We’re coming to the last moments of 2015. It’s hard to believe how quickly it all passed and how much has changed. It got me thinking about some things, and how hard it is to think past things when you’re facing difficult moments. Let me explain.
At the beginning of 2015, I was at my breaking point.
I was in the middle of co-directing an all-school musical at the high school where I taught. I had a 4.5 month old and a 3-year-old. Mornings began early, as I left the house at 6:30 a.m. to take the baby to my dad’s house (or my best friend‘s house) so he could take her to her Mother’s Day Out at 9:00 a.m. Greg was home with big sister, taking her to a different school. They couldn’t be at the same school because we had to find a place that would accept infants. (We put our girls in a five day MDO program because of the schedule that is similar to my teaching schedule, it’s cheaper, and Greg’s work schedule was flexible since he worked from home.)
I would pick Caroline up from her school, sometimes I’d go to Kennedy’s school and pick her up as well. I would drop them both off at home, and head immediately back up to my school for rehearsal.
Some nights I would get home after 5:30, and when we got close to opening night, I was home after 10:00 p.m. I missed a lot of things. Sometimes I had to call around and ask my mom, my dad, my best friend and Lord knows who else to help me with my children. To help me do the job I should be doing myself, even if I was a working mom. It wasn’t fair to have Greg do all of this work. Did I mention he worked full time and was attending grad school?
I remember pumping behind racks full of costumes (at least I kept up with that if I actually couldn’t see my baby?). I would sit there and scroll through social media and see posts about moms lightheartedly complaining about their kids. I wish I even had a reason to complain about my kids, but I never saw them.
Even though I tried to see the beauty in the busy, I felt like I was stuck and couldn’t get out. It wasn’t as easy as saying, “I’m not staying after school anymore.” It was a component of my position. A position I once loved and lived for. But it became a position that I lost passion for because I couldn’t be the best anywhere I went. I couldn’t be there for my kids, and it affected my teaching and directing because my heart wasn’t in it anymore. It wasn’t fair to everyone involved – my spouse, my children, my school, and my students.
I came across this photo when I was writing my guest post for my friend, Jaclyn. It brought back a flood of memories because in that moment I couldn’t see past what I was dealing with. I was in the thick of it.
It was a dress rehearsal. My mom had to pick up both kids and drop them off to me at school because Greg had class that night. This photo was taken after 7:00 p.m., which was definitely past Caroline’s bedtime. At that point, I already cried about missing my kids and my husband and all things normal.
That was the worst of it. That was the thick of it.
Friends, it got better.
You may remember that I took a leap of faith and left my job of 8 years, without anything lined up. At the last possible second before the new school year started, the most perfect part-time teaching job became mine.
When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see your future looking like anything else. When you’re in the thick of it, guilt consumes you to your core. You can’t understand why you can’t control the things you should be controlling.
I learned that “the thick of it” can be anything in life. This past year, it was work-life-mom balance for me. You may not be able to relate to my personal story, but you may feel like you are overwhelmed by something you cannot seem to get past, no matter how hard you try. It’s a dense fog that never lifts. It’s like being stuck in a mirrored box where you can only see your reflection and what’s around you.
The second I let go and stopped trying to make unworkable things work was the moment I finally found freedom. At the end of the day, I was the only person who could make that change.
One day, you’ll come across something that reminds you of those moments of being “in the thick of it.” You’ll realize you are not there anymore. It could be days, weeks, or months later. You’ll feel accomplished, having learned how to navigate those stressful, treacherous waters. You’ll feel stronger, more humble, and grateful. You’ll know you’re in a better place. You’ll thank God for guiding you there.
Adios, 2015. You started out on an incredible low and ended on an incredible high.