Another year down

I turned 42 today.

It was an insanely busy day… one of those days where at the end you plop into the couch with a glass of wine and go, “Whew, glad that’s over!” My family did their very best to make this day special. The kids picked out SpongeBob decorations. So cute! I even got to wear a SpongeBob party hat for dinner. 🙂 My mom made homemade cupcakes, sliced them in two and put homemade chocolate icing in the middle AND on top. Oh yeah, baby. I’m a lucky girl.

So as I’m sitting here tonight, I realize I’m feeling a little sorry for myself and I’m trying to pep talk myself into gratitude. There is SO much I have to be grateful for and I need to focus on those positive things. Instead, my mind wanders back to my intense therapy session with my counselor today where I looked pretty honestly at the negative chatter in my head; back to fretting about a tough spot in my marriage (which probably has to do some with that chatter); back to this morning when Anna failed her hearing test and remembering the audiologist saying, “Oh bless her heart, she really can’t hear”; back to the missed call from the hospital for scheduling Anna’s inpatient 24-hour VEEG saying that there is a problem getting the sleep study portion scheduled; back to worrying about the continual swelling in my knee and why the ortho and rheumatologist have no answers; back to wondering how I’m going to manage being at 2 different schools at the same time while Curtis is out of town the second week of school (’cause they have moved my sweet Anna to another campus this fall); and on and on and on.

So… to focus on those positive things and keep that negative chatter OUT of my brain, at least for a little bit, here are a few things that I am blessed to have.

I have this impish, intellectual little boy who swears he will never leave me. He loves playing on my iPhone, the Wii, the computer, his DS, reading Harry Potter, and harassing his big sister. Dominic starts 2nd grade next week.

I have this brave little girl, who keeps trying and keeps trying even when she is scared and cries in fear. She has more challenges than anyone else I know and never complains. She loves YouTube, baby dolls, and basketball. Anna starts 4th grade next week.

I have this amazing grown-up girl who dotes on her little brother and confides in me like something out of a book. She is working hard at finding her grown-up niche in the world and is excited to tackle her sophomore year in college. Jenny is a rare, old soul… an interesting mix of naivete and wisdom.

I have this husband. This complicated, endearing, loyal, difficult, and loving husband. He loves adventure, travel, taking risks, and exploring yet rarely gets to do any of those things. Our 15 years together have had many ups and downs and he has been there for every dip and curve and I’m so glad we’ve put in the hard work to make it work. Curtis, I love you.

I have this mom who is my best friend, my cheerleader, my respite, and my comfort. She is the coolest Nana ever, playing jazz gigs around town, getting promotions at her high tech job, and making kick-ass homemade baked goods. She has set the bar high!

I have this support group of moms that also have children with special needs. We have a private message board where we can share everything and we try to get together every couple of years for a retreat. When a milestone inchstone is met, we all cheer. We get each other.

I have a huge network of friends online… it’s amazing to me that by starting a little blog way back when, doing some YouTube videos about PDD-NOS, making a few siggies, creating some digital scrapbook layouts, and diving headfirst into the photography world, that I could find so many interesting and kind new friends. I cherish each one.

I have this new business that is fun and exciting, getting to photograph people, putting my technical skills and passion into something I love so much. Though I’m just starting out on the business end, my entire heart and soul is invested into every click of the shutter, every detail, every pixel.

So there! It worked. Writing is another form of therapy for me. Some days I feel so broken, dealing with the fibro and other issues, on top of being a mom to Anna. I see her feeling so tired, working on reading a book or trying to brush her hair, getting frustrated, then accomplishing something, dealing with another doctor’s appointment, another slew of tests… she is my hero. I wonder if I make my life harder than it needs to be, why I let that chatter fill my head too often, why I’m so afraid to really let my guard down and love unabashedly, why it’s all so hard all the time. It doesn’t seem like this is the case for everyone else but I know everyone has their own challenges that fill up that worry space. Some days I think my heart was born on the outside of my chest, that’s what it feels like. In looking back at 41 and ahead at 42, I’m going to work on finding a better balance in protecting my heart and letting it feel the pulse of the wind… it’s not as fragile as I think. Here’s hoping and wishing for a happy and healthy year for all of us!

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