Friday, January 29, 2010

Just That Kind of Week. Oh! And Some Cookies

Dear Mom,
It. Has. Been. A. Week.
I love to blog and to read blogs.  But I am more the don't-like-to-feel-the-pressure-of-saying-too-much-or-trying-to-say-something-profound/intellectual/creative/funny-or-reading-too-many-words-on-another's-blog-so-I-would-rather-look-at-pictures-and-be-refreshed-type of blogger (so says the photographer!)!!  Except Today.  I'm making an exception.
Ya know how you can go along, trying to keep everything together?  And one thing, however trivial--or big--it may be and then you just burst into tears?!  Yep.  My week.  I am the first to admit (and Kim and Bonnie Jo will certainly not argue this!) that I cry.  I cry and pout and fuss and worry.  And cry again.  Until I need to be strong.
The husband took another paycut.  30% paycut in 1 year.  Big.  Huge, actually.
I have been picking up hours at the yarn store.  I have been knitting and sewing to try to earn extra money.  I have been on interviews for other part-time jobs.  I have been reminding past photo customers that Spring is right around the corner! I even went to a temp agency where, after 13 years of being a stay-at-home-Mom and having nothing to do with my "pretend life" of being a Legal Secretary for 11 years BEFORE the kids came, I STILL scored the highest scores in Excel, Word and keyboarding that that particular office has seen . . . (a testament to the quality of my education at Indiana Business College?  Or worse--a testament to my "competition"?!)  I got to boast of my abilities and how, when I graduated with honors from Indiana Business College, I was typing 110 wpm on a real typewriter since, in 1986, computers were usually in another separate room since they were too big to do anything but beep and flash and occasionally spit something out (after much sputtering!) from a printer in another different room.
I have already learned frugal with the first paycut.  I like to think of myself as "green" but really, just frugal because I need to be.  You know, hang the clothes on a line in the basement so I don't have to use the dryer (it's green not to use the dryer!  I'm saving the environment!); the girls and I handwash dishes so we can spend good quality time together (which is really true; but it's also true that the dishwasher is broken!); our thermostat is set at a chilly 63 degrees because that's good for the environment, too.  And honestly, our house is very warm because we are blessed with a nicely insulated house and sunshine streaming through windows (and on a side note--we have saved over $75 a month in gas/electric--it really does work!).  We also have fires in our fireplace and I am a knitter, for goodness' sake!  We wear those sweaters!  We don't eat out.  We  frequent the library weekly for movies, books, magazines (which we've always done anyway so that probably doesn't count on my journey to frugality!)
Not to be one of those wordy-need-to-make-a-point-bloggers but I wanted to re-emphasize that I'm holding it together.  Holding. It. Together.  Job interviews, managing money, creatively grocery shopping and meal planning, working at the yarn store, being a Mom--on one of the many days off of school, we made candles together (not to use in place electricity--yet!).  We do homework and play Monopoly and chess.  We bake cookies (you know--we're actually a family).  I am a friend.  I have a neighbor with MS and I sit with her on Monday afternoons.  I help her do light things that she isn't able to do herself anymore.  I have another neighbor that is hosting an exchange student from Denmark.  Anne-Sofie is having a birthday next week so I knit her a pair of socks (from my stash yarn!) because her mother knits her socks.  A small reminder of home.   I also keep the house (fairly decently) clean (okay, maybe not that so much).  I was able to finally put together packages and mail them to you and Kim and Bonnie Jo.  I was woefully and dreadfully late on the thank-you notes from Christmas but a bit proud of myself that I was only 1 day late in getting the birthday package to Kim.
Are you getting that I am busy but surviving?!  And surviving with panache and gusto, if I may say so!!  I like to think that I am a fairly "normal" Mom in this day of busyness.  So-------yesterday.  Still holding it together.  No tears shed from me, nuh-uh.  Not gonna cry.  Except that I got an email.  A reminder that I have been a disappointment to a friend in another state.  I cried.  Isn't life hard enough?  Rather than remind one another of  how we, as humans, are continually going to disappoint and fall short of grand perfection, can't we be friends that encourage and can say, "It's going to be okay".  I have painted above my front door this quote, "Don't Live Down To Expectations!  Go Out There And Do Something Remarkable!"  Every morning I give my husband and children a kiss, a hug and an "It's Going To Be Okay; Do Something Remarkable" pep talk as they go out that front door.  Really, isn't that what our lives should be about?!  Having friends that help us hold it together?  Giving that pep talk?  The cheerleading; the encouragement?  The smile?  The belief that everything really IS going to be okay?!  Don't we all go through our own rough moments but survive them with panache and gusto because we have friends all over the world that walk with us?
I guess I am trying to say in my very wordy way that it's very hard to hold it together all of the time.  To be the cheerleader for the husband and the children.  When do I get to have my breakdown?!?!  And when that breakdown opportunity comes, I'll probably be too tired to have one!!  So--can't we just be friends?!
p.s.  I did make a cookie of the week.  I'll post that tomorrow.  My eyes are glazed over with so many words . . . hope yours aren't!


I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and We Were Raised to GET GOING, weren't we! You can do it, Duffy Moon!
Times like this I say over and over in my head, "All Shall Be Well. All Shall Be Well. All Manner of Things Shall Be Well." It works.
As far as whoever that "disappointed friend" may be... sounds like she is not really a friend and it is time to put that one in the compost pile. Life is too short for "friends" like that.
Hang in there. God doesn't set anything before you that you can't handle.
I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Phillipians 4:13


Chris said...

I think Kim said it all. You have riches that most people will never know. Remember that there is no night without a dawn. You are a wonderful woman...wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend...and niece. I love you and am so proud to be your aunt!

Anonymous said...

Wendy, this is a remarkable post that speaks for many these days.

Ironically, one of my daughters received an e-mail with what sounds like the one you got from one of her friends. The printed word can be very toxic. If your "friend" wrote that to you with all that's going on in YOUR life, well. . . that's truly disappointing.

I have never met any of you, but I believe your mother has three remarkable daughters and I think it's terrific that you have each other. Sisters...! Not THEY'RE forever-friends!

Sometimes it's hard to remember that dawn always follows darkness. Always.

a friend to knit with said...

it really is going to be okay.
sending you a BIG SMILE and hug!

Frogdancer said...

A 30% pay cut would be enough to send me into the corner, rocking and beating my head against the wall.

You have every right to feel overwhelmed at times. It sounds to me as if you're behaving with grace and dignity under very trying circumstances.
(Thanks for the cookie recipe... we call them biscuits over here! I'm going to give these a try today, so the kids can take them to school tomorrow on their first day back after summer holidays.)