Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! (Nov 24, 2011)

I haven't blogged in forever, and I feel I need to. So much has happened over the past little while. I need to catch up.

Life for me right now is hard. Not that it isn't hard for anyone else. Everyone has their own struggles and burdens. This I know. For me personally, this is a time of testing once again. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Austin was struggling at Mount Logan Middle School. It wasn't just his grades. He was physically ill every day. He was cutting himself, and he developed an ulcer from the worry and stress he was experiencing. I saw how hard school was for him, and I made a pretty rash decision: to pull him out and enroll him in the Utah Virtual Academy. It was a good decision. He became a different kid. We are now treating the ulcer and he is feeling 10 times better. He has been so happy with his school work. It is easier for me to keep on top of what he is doing and to guide him in knowing what to do every day. He is already on the honor roll, and his self-esteem grows every day. The only problem with this arrangement is the time involved. As you know, I already have a hefty schedule. With work and school, my time was already scrunched. Not long ago, in addition to my cubmaster calling, I was asked to run our Webelos den. I love the cub scouting program. I believe in what it teaches. I have seen how the boys in our ward have grown through participation. I knew our Webelos were not having den meetings. I didn't want them to end up like Austin: not progressing because of bad leadership. When the ward leaders were unable to find a replacement den leader, I volunteered, thinking it wouldn't be too hard. That was before I knew my son needed me to help him. I have tried so hard to carry all these roles. But unfortunately, I can't keep up with it all. I am crashing and burning, BAD! I don't have time for anything anymore. I go to work, come home, study with Austin, pick my other kids up from school, hang out with them, study, do a little cleaning, fix dinner, and study some more. My exercise time has gone down the tubes. It will be better once my semester is over. This last stretch has been awful. I have several big projects to complete, which I didn't start previously because I had so many other weekly things to do. There wasn't time. Now in addition to the weekly things, I have to fit these projects in and there is only a couple of weeks left to do it in. On top of that, I have Austin's school. On top of that I have two cub scout responsibilities. On top of that, I have visiting teaching and trying to be a helpful friend and neighbor. My husband is also in a vulnerable place and needs lots of TLC. I have tried hard to spend as much time with him as I can. I haven't been to the temple in forever! I am getting up at 5:30 every day to fit in my scripture time. That is hard because I stay up late getting my homework done. I can feel the unbalance in my life. But I am not sure how to gain it back. My body is starting to complain. I feel sick again, like I did when Ashley was dying. That makes me even more discouraged. I don't have time to be less than 100%! Consequently, I am depressed as well. This time of year is always hard for me. It feels stressful every year. I truly meant what I said when I stated I don't like Christmas time. I love what it stands for. I love doing things for other people. I love the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior. But the mechanics, YUCK! Just more things to get done and never enough money to do it with. I always end up feeling tired, sick, and depressed. It has been that way for several years now. It is worse now that we don't have Ashley. I dread taking out the Christmas things. We have so many that remind me of her. I am already sad. I don't need any help! Anyway, it takes me most of the month of January to get feeling like a person again. I just don't like this time of year. Okay, off the Christmas kick now. Something has to go! But what? I feel if I don't carry all these responsibilites, I won't be good enough. I won't measure up. I should be strong enough to handle it all. But at the same time, I am hitting the bottom. I don't like being there. I have been there many times in the past year, and it stinks!!

All that being said, I know there is something to be learned through these experiences. One lesson I feel I still haven't learned is that we all have limits and we have to accept what our individual limits are. Some of us are able to do more than others. And that is fine. As long as we are doing the best we can, that is good enough. Heavenly Father loves us for what we can do, and not what we can't. I have a good friend in Nampa who perfectly understands this concept. She can only handle so much stress in her life and then her fibermyalgia kicks in and she has to step back. Despite her struggles, she manages to keep her life in balance. She serves and loves and lifts and builds as much as she can. She knows her limits and she stays in those limits. She is happy with who she is. Not who she is not. I wish I could be more like her. I am constantly comparing myself with others, especially my older sister, a literal superwoman, who seems to never hit the bottom. I need to be happy with who Connie is, and not who I am not. I really try hard to do all I can. I am giving my all. As you know, I have carried our Cub Scout program on my shoulders for a long time without any support. Some of my pack meetings were dumb. But I did the best with the resources and help I had. I have to learn to accept that I have done my best and that is what matters most. I have to accept that I am not my sister. I don't have her talents and abilities. But at the same time, I have my own strengths. Right now, I can't see them. All I see is that I am barely scraping by from day to day, keeping up with my life. But my strengths are there. I will survive this time. With lots of prayer and faith, I will be able to see what I can let go of, and be okay with that. Heavenly Father will continue to lift me up and help me to deal with life as it comes. Trials keep us humble. They help us keep the eternal perspective in view. I know this. I have learned this so many times in my lifetime. There is one thing I never, EVER want to do again: lose my way and forget what is truly important, who it is who will get me through. I lost my way once, and it was a hellish time in my life. I know I want to be with my family in the celestial kingdom someday. I want to hold my beautiful daughter in my arms again. I miss her so much! I think of her and her example every day. I am so thankful she was given to us. I am so thankful all of my children were given to us. They are so special and they teach me so many things.

So I will keep pressing forward, faith in every footstep!!!!