I was a little melancholy yesterday, since it was my oldest child’s 25th birthday (25! how can that be?) and it was yet another year that we were far away from him. I reposted something I had written three years ago, and then just gave myself permission to feel a bit blue. I often think that we all have something, some weight that we carry around. The longer I live, the more I’m convinced that it is universal- everyone has something. Maybe I’m quicker to reveal it than most people, but it’s there for all of us.
I tell my kids this too, to help them when they start to feel envy for someone else’s seemingly perfect life, and to help them remember to feel compassion. Life is a struggle, but I have also become so much better at seeing all the beauty, the peace and the joy and the little things that make a difference. I really do wake up each day and feel gratitude for the blessing of yet another day. The days aren’t always perfect, but most of them are pretty good and I’ve also become a lot better at reframing things in my head and learning how to be more positive in general.
So yes, I missed my son very much yesterday. I hope that someday we live near him again, close enough for a day trip at least. At the same time, I’m glad that my kids are the way they are- fearless, independent, curious about the world. They have some wanderlust too, and I understand that. The good news is that we are taking a trip to Atlanta to see him in a couple of weeks. It will be a quick trip, since my husband is going with us, but a few days will be better than nothing. This is how I see the future, with four kids- we will probably have to figure out how to travel to see them rather than expecting them to all settle down in the same town like some families seem to do. Mobility rather than permanence. But I do hope to have a place for everyone to gather, a place that is home for all of us, no matter where we go. That’s what we’re working on now, finding a little piece of the Maine woods and creating something special.
I can’t go back and rewrite the past, nor can I predict the future. But I understand that for me, living in the moment isn’t easy. I have to work at it, and I do. A lot of dissatisfaction can come from thinking too much about what might be different. I had my husband take a personality test recently, which has given us some insight into each other and the challenges we’ve faced as a couple. Our strengths too, it’s not all bad. I can’t believe I haven’t asked him to do it before!
He is an ESTJ (and I’m an INFJ), and let’s just say that a lot of things make sense now. We each give something that the other person needs, but it’s been a bumpy road for sure. I would highly recommend that every couple know this about their partner- I don’t think it’s an exact science, not every detail will fit every person, and I do think that personality can change a bit over time, but in our case it helped us understand each other better, which is always a good thing. I think that reading more about what makes the other person tick has made us feel more kindly toward each other, and kindness is so crucial to a happy marriage. When you are guided by that principle all relationships are better.
It’s taken me two days now to finish this, and I need to go enjoy this beautiful day. Scott took the boys on a little backpacking expedition last night (yes, in March- I will never understand the male psyche), so I’ve had some time to myself. I had to go bathing suit shopping last night though, which isn’t very fun. I couldn’t decide between two suits after trying on what felt like hundreds, so I decided to sleep on it and go back and pick one this morning. We have a trip to a water park with other homeschooling families coming up tomorrow, and then there will be swimming during our trip to Atlanta. And summer is coming… I’m trying to live differently when it comes to clothing and everything else about myself. No more “good enough“… I want to take better care of myself now that I have the time and resources to do so.