When the two most important things in your life are sitting next to you smiling…my heart is full.

You know, I’ve gone back and reread a bunch of these more recent blogs lately (the ones from this year and end of last especially) and realize just how far I’ve come. A year ago there were more days than not that making it out of bed was a monumental task. Putting on a smile and a brave face and going through the motions of work and life and responsibilities was so exhausting I felt like I could collapse at any moment…only I couldn’t because too many people relied on me. And I think to recent struggles, this year, this summer, and even the past few weeks and everything that’s been going on and in comparison, it’s so much better than to where I was last year, and then these past few months happened. Especially these past few weeks.

Suddenly my morning routine isn’t a struggle to get out of bed, feed the animals, make up an excuse to tell myself why I can’t take them on a hike before work, sit in stagnation and frustration and force yourself to put one foot in front of the other. Over and over. Remind yourself that the light at the end of the tunnel (likely) isn’t a train. Probably. Do it again tomorrow. Wait for the weekends, and want to run away. Remind yourself you’re not actually running away. Consider running away anyway – in a few years when the kids are done with school. Live for the weekends. Struggle through the weekdays. Keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel to show you the daylight or just run you the fuck over already.

It’s funny how good I am at pushing people away. Being overwhelmed while not feeling worthy of accepting help so pushing that away too. Being overly social while almost entirely solitary at the same time. It’s funny how many friends have told me over the years they’re surprised that I’m single, that no one stuck around long enough to just be there, and I’d shrug. It was what I was always used to, after all. Starting with my parents as a child. Why would I believe my adult life to be any different? I’m sure things I did helped, too. Self-fulfilling prophecy is definitely a thing. A thing I finally started working very very hard at this year to stop becoming. Perhaps it was my father’s death that was the catalyst. Or perhaps it was my mother’s deteriorating mental / neurological health that she refused to get help for. Maybe it was setting boundaries with friends that I wanted to help but didn’t want to help themselves. All of that was hard at first. But those healthy boundaries added up. They allowed me to take some of the shit life was throwing at me in stride, with a deep breath. Let it roll off my back and be calm and steadfast and secure enough in who I am as a person to let it go and know that whatever was meant for me would always be here.

My kids are both home and getting along better than ever. We’re looking at a family trip out west to a place I’ve always wanted to go, that coincidentally is near a place Morgan wants to go to school and always wanted to live. Work is picking up – slowly at first but it’s starting to snowball and I know that things are going to just keep looking up. I’ve got friends around me – both locally and from further away – that are here for me, truly here for me and that’s something that takes a little getting used to. But I’m getting used to it.

You know what else takes some getting used to? Smiling this much all the time. Having something to look forward to every day that makes mornings not a struggle anymore. Knowing that on the hard days, there’s someone looking forward to seeing me, who will tell me it’ll all be okay and actually do everything in their power to make that true. Friends down the road who are willing to work on my bitch of a tractor even when I’m not (do NOT use that as an excuse to not hang out!!!!). Friends who despite being from different places, locations, and all walks of life, all seem to get along and not just for me or because of me. Because we’re all actually really amazing people. Wow. Do you know how amazing of a feeling that is? Do you know how amazing of a feeling that is when you haven’t had that ever before in your entire life? Yeah. That.

Find your tribe. Love them hard.

Yeah, I found them. You found me, too. Damn is this different, in all the best ways. I am not sitting here feeling like I’m too much, or not enough, or everything in between. I am sitting here smiling feeling like me. Thank you. Thank all of you. Fuck around and find out, right? Maybe I should have taken my own advice ages ago. Or just maybe, I needed the right person to convince me it was the right advice to take at just the right time. Thanks for waiting. Hi.

life without a paddle cjmillar82 hi