Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have been trying for almost a week to compose this blog entry and it is just not coming. I am still processing...and I'm frustrated that processing doesn't happen more quickly!

Last week my friend Lisa made an observation that has stuck with me. We have a mutual friend who talks about how her mom always berates her for having a messy house, being overweight, etc. and Lisa said, "maybe her mom nags her because she feels like she hasn't taught her well."


My emptying nest is giving me a new perspective right now. I have been wracked with feeling such regret lately. Did I hug my children enough? Did I listen enough? Did I look at them in the eyes and hold their gaze? Did I teach them what they will need to know about life? Or, more accurately, how could I have taught them enough about life when I'm still learning so much myself? Did I smile at them? Or did I just look aggravated all the time?

Dear friends have given me perspective. Brenda, who lived next door for 5 important years, says my home always felt warm and loving. Michelle says I can do things differently going forward; I can apologize. My therapist reminds me that my role as a parent is not over, it is just changing. My children still need me, just differently. I can figure this out.

Let me just pause here and say that they are getting a lot more snuggles and hugs from this point on.

This topic is not exhausted, but I am!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I have a reader! I have a confession!

Thanks for the facebook encouragement Ann, I'm on it. :)

Recently I have been feeling anxiety and agitation. In fact, most of my emotions start with an "a" these days...and the underlying contributor is usually fear. Lately, however, I've been led to the realization that I am extremely hard on myself for having feelings other than "calm" and "happy."

You probably are too.

When my friend died I started having feelings that were big and messy and confusing. I had no control, no calm, little understanding and just about zero patience for the process. Instead of throwing myself into exercise and writing, I threw myself into secret leprechaun activities at school. These activities gave me good and consistent access to m&ms, andes mints and skittles (trademarked all). Do you hear the reproach? I should have exercised more and written through the pain. I didn't, so I'm bad. SCREW THAT! I didn't because I just didn't. I don't even want to think about what I'll do "right" next time. But I will put it out there, that someday, in my deepest hope, I want to handle crazy feelings and fear and anxiety and agitation and anger and sadness with writing; without inviting additional distractions or eliminating activities I love including exercise and friends. In the future I want to handle feelings while still maintaining my healthy and loving routine.

Is that even possible?

Why is life so hard? Why am I telling myself to stop whining and deal? How about a kind voice that says, "oh, sweet Kristen, it is hard, but there are lots of people who love you and you love lots of people too. God is in charge and you are doing your best. And, Kristen, your best is getting better. You weren't meant to be S.H. so-and-so. Stop comparing yourself to others and just be YOU."