After Year Eleven, our routine was firmly established. Maybe a little too much so.
Cameron was in 2nd grade, Parker was in Kindergarten and Anna and Landon were home with me still. I had been working at the church for about 3 years and finally just couldn't take the stress of that job anymore and had quit back in September and in November (just after our 11th anniversary) I started watching twin babies at our home while their mommy worked during the day. Taking care of two little babies, a one year old and a 3 year old proved to be pretty stressful too but the twins were only here a couple times a week and, in February, their parents ended up finding someone to watch them at their own home so it had only lasted three months.
About this time I started to feel like I was in a rut or "a funk". Slightly depressed. I even wrote several posts about feeling that way. It lasted on and off for about 4 months and then just kind of dissipated once I acknowledged it. I was just having trouble feeling motivated to do anything and kind of restless. I can't put my finger on when it went away or why it did but, eventually, I just kind of snapped out of it. Hormones? Perhaps. It was about that time that I felt a lump in my right breast and couldn't get an appointment to see my doctor for several weeks. I didn't insist on being seen right away because there is no history of breast cancer in my family so I wasn't in any big hurry to get it checked on. And by the time I was seen by my doctor (4 weeks later) it had shrunk to hardly anything at all. Turns out that a similar thing had happened to both my mom and my aunt about a year after each of them had stopped breastfeeding and it had been a year since I had breastfed Landon. I think my body was just getting used to the idea that it wasn't a baby making machine anymore and was making some adjustments. ; )
It seemed like we were going and doing something all the time and I was disorganized and kind of scatterbrained most of that school year. I was always rushing out the door at the last minute and feeling like I was forgetting something all the time. I blame facebook since that was the year I got on the silly thing. Or, more accurately, I blame my addiction to facebook! I've definitely had to scale back on how involved I had gotten in it and had to acknowledge that it was sucking up a lot of my precious time. There are still days that I spend entirely too much time in front of the crazy computer screen and I have to remind myself to get up before I start growing moss!
I was looking forward to a lazy summer that year and it was wonderful to leave the school routine behind and just relax. No schedules, no soccer practice, no homework, no special events. Just playtime. And that summer Brian and I got to go to some incredible concerts and were spending a lot of time dating each other again. It was very therapeutic! "Music soothes the savage beast" after all!
In August I took on a new role! I had become Aunt Rebekah thanks to the arrival of a sweet little someone!
In the fall, Cameron started 3rd grade, Parker started 1st grade, Anna started going to preschool and I had just my (2 year old ) "baby" home with me. We went on an AMAZING vacation, in September, to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and were gone while our town was being flooded. We live on such a steep hill that we weren't worried about our house but we had many friends that had damage to their homes during the deluge. Knowing that it was soggy and dark at home, we thoroughly enjoyed all the sun and surf we were surrounded by.
All of that rest and relaxation and doing things I love had helped me to see things differently. I was noticing how beautiful my life is. I was observing how lovely each day was on its own and how blessed I was just to have these gorgeous people in my life. The routine wasn't bothering me anymore because I was finding that order and structure are not my enemies if I learn to work with them. Is this the year I "grew up"? Maybe a little.
A more "grown up" me, a more comfortable me, a more relaxed me celebrated twelve years with her sweetheart that November.
What did I/we learn during our twelfth year?:
- Babies (plural) are Tough! - Taking care of a room full of wailing 18 month olds or caring for a set of twins is NOT the same as taking care of your own children and is not for the faint of heart.
- Don't Consult the Internet Before You Talk to Your Doctor - During the four weeks I had to wait to be seen for the "lump", I had worked myself into a minor hysteria by reading about breast cancer and tumors and how approximately "70% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer" but I had read it wrong and thought that it meant that 70% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history when it was actually talking about the TYPES of breast cancer and not the women.
- Facebook is Good in Small Doses - It is a wonderful tool for reconnecting and keeping up with friends but if it's taking up more than an hour of your day then it's time to cut back.
- Stop and Smell the Roses - When your schedule has you bogged down and feeling blah then take a break or think about what it is you love to do and then DO it!
- Grow Up - Being a mom means having to deal with schedules and homework and practices and stuff. Help yourself by getting organized.