Pizza, Electric Scooters, and Squirrels on Park Benches

The main conflict we have in our house is introvert to extrovert ratio. I am always trying to go somewhere and Eric is not. I am always planning some kind of out and… Eric is not. Lately, we have both been really content with staying home. I am tired. Due to summer vacation we spend most of our days out and about and our evenings at home. By the time the weekend rolls around, I’m done and I just want the option of having no options and wearing pajamas all day.

Last week, Eric and I took a day trip to DC for a concert. Neither of us really wanted to go but it was part of my Christmas and my dad agreed to watch the girls. (I will literally go anywhere if someone offers to watch our girls.) So away we went.

We have both been in a pretty deep rut lately. With just the constant stress of kids, work, Pop being sick, school, and just life in general being a whirlwind. We have been struggling. When we both find ourselves in one of these ruts we do this cool, subconscious, parental, teamwork thing where we buck up for the kids, then crash after bedtime. It works great for a few weeks and then we start forgetting who we are underneath being parents. And that is how we have been operating for months.

The moment we got into DC we both agreed on the plan to have no plan. We ended up skipping the concert, getting gourmet pizza, feeding squirrels on dirty park benches, and taking scooters all over the city. In the midst of almost killing myself via electric scooter I realized how important it is to make room for surprise, something that is very hard to experience working from an itnerary.

I have recently started to acknowledge how much insecurity has been creeping beneath the surface of my life and the result has been my lack of true living. Living in fear? Yes. Actually enjoying life? That would be a big no. Two cancer diagnosis in a year’s time keeps you pretty guarded when it comes to life’s surprises, but being guarded to the negative surprises blocks the good ones too. Growing up I used to always find all of my Christmas presents early, not to play with them right then and not to tweak my list for Santa. I just wanted to know what I as in for. I still essientially do this but through micromanaging things that really need no management.

Sticking with the same ole routine is one way I feel I am able to limit life’s surprises, but not every routine is manageable or fulfilling in every season of life. Not to mention, not every routine is meant to be carried over into the next season.

Sometimes we need to do things differently to get past whatever it is we are facing, to step into the vast unknown, and embrace the adventure. Go somewhere new, meet new people, get back on meds, go off meds, see a different counselor, eat a vegetable, put on real pants, take a shower. Seriously, just take a shower. It can change everything. Break that mess into the simplest step you can and give yourself a break for making it this far. Reach out for help when you need it. You deserve that and your relationships with others does too.

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