Lifted

I have been feeling heavy for months, feeling like big decisions are looming over us and not knowing what to do.

Since January, we have been uncertain of where my son would go to school next year, whether or not my husband would do a fellowship (which decides when we will move) and maybe kinda sorta starting to TALK about having another kid. (How’s that for noncommittal?) As my son told me, “that’s only three things.”

I am a planner, and though my life has been nothing if not a constant exercise in change, I hate change. Hate it. I’m good at it, I do it a lot, but I can not stand it.

I like plans, and ideas of what will happen next and clear decisions.

And then today, we got some news.

My husband did not get his fellowship.

He told me with a huge grin on his face.

I think he really only wanted a fellowship because he felt like it is something he should do, not because it was something he was passionate about. And he is so ready to be done with residency and get a “real job.” Because our families still live in Georgia, our “real job” search will be in GA. We only have one year left in Richmond.

I have had mixed emotions all day. I have fallen in love with Richmond, and have established some amazing friends here. Richmond, VA is where we bought our first home, our son took his first steps, and where I finally found myself again after feeling lost from becoming a Mommy.

Secretly, I am also kind of relieved. I have to admit that living this far away from family is hard, and driving down to GA three times a year is extremely draining. At some point, we would need to just stop seeing family so much or just move closer to them because GA trips stress me out. A lot.

It also makes my preschool decision so much easier. As soon as I got the news I paid the deposit and turned in the contract for my son to stay at his current private school for pre-K next year. There is no point in changing schools for just one year right before moving and changing EVERYTHING. I am actually so thankful to be at peace about that. The preschool decision has been weighing heavily on me.

There is still a lot we don’t know. The job searching process will be a whole new adventure and we don’t know exactly WHERE in GA we would like to be. (Except definitely not the area we grew up in. That’s a story for a different day.)

But we do know that we will be moving away from Richmond, VA in the summer of 2014 and we know where our little guy will go to preschool next year. I feel like a huge weight has lifted.

As for the maybe kinda sorta baby thing? I can only handle so much in one day.

 

 

Pending

Do you ever feel like your life is pending?

Sometimes I find myself at that place. That place of wondering, of stalling, of waiting. Waiting for the unknown.

I have been at these places before. My life was pending at the end of my pregnancy, when I was just waiting for a delivery, but had no control over how it would unfold.

My life was pending during the match process for my husband’s residency, where we could have been placed anywhere in the country, and we just had to wait until Match Day and a piece of paper to find out how we would spend the next four years of our lives.

Sometimes I feel like some of my relationships are pending; not really that bad and not really that good, just pending, waiting to see what will happen in the future.

The hot topic issue of having another child is pending in our house, since the hubs and I disagree on this very sensitive subject.

Most recently, I have been handling pending insurance claims and financial bits of life, and even though that is extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I find the stress of constantly dealing with it seeping into my contentedness.

Sometimes, I even apply that word to myself. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I was a nanny and a teacher and now I am a stay at home Mommy. But that too, will come to an end when he starts school in a few years, and I’m not sure what direction my life will go in then.

So I find myself here today feeling like I’m on hold, just waiting for the next thing to happen. My life is not bad, or overly exhilarating, it is just there….

Pending.

There is a woman on a corner

There is a woman who stands at the corner of a shopping center intersection every day wearing worn clothes and a card board signs that reads “Two Kids, No Job, Please Help.”

My son and I frequent this shopping center because that is where Chick – fil – A, Target, and the grocery store are. (By ‘frequent’ I mean we pretty much live here.) Every time we drive home, there she is, standing on that corner, with long frazzled hair pulled half up, no make-up, and glasses that are too big for her face. She only has the cardboard sign and a sparsely filled shopping cart.

I don’t know how to respond to this woman. There are two sides to my reaction. On the one side, I want to reach out to her and give her money, or food, or a blanket, or a gift card to a store so she can buy what she needs.

On the other hand, I feel angered at her. If you have two children, where are they? She must have some sort of support system to leave her children with, because I know I have never been able to leave my child unsupervised in order to stand on a corner. And she’s very…well proportioned. She must be eating to have such a figure. And if she doesn’t have a job, wouldn’t her time be used more wisely going to businesses and applying, rather than  standing a street corner? I have never known anyone to obtain gainful employment from standing on a street corner.

I feel like a horrible person for thinking these things. I feel so conflicted about my view of her as well as my reaction to her.

Her children might be in school during the day while she stands on that corner. Junk food is much cheaper than healthy food, so if she is getting some money and using it to eat McDonald’s, that would explain her figure. And I know that times are tough right now and that jobs are not that attainable, so maybe the best solution she came up with was to stand on that corner.

I spent some time driving by her. I would turn my head and I would go home and think about this woman and her plight and my conflicted emotions. I talked to my sister about it. I wrote about it. I searched for an answer within myself.

Then one day, when we were driving by, I stopped and rolled down my window. I handed the woman a dollar, because I never carry cash and it was all that I had. She touched my hand and said “thank you.” And even though I’m really not terribly religious, I said, “God Bless You” and she smiled and said, “You too.” Then I rolled up my window and drove away as the light turned green.

From the back seat, my little boy said, “You gave that lady money, Mommy?”

“Yes, sweet boy,” I said, “The lady needed some money so I gave her some.”

I could see him thinking. Then, the sweet little voice from the back seat said “Oh, that’s so nice!”

And it was so nice. And I knew that all of my inner conflict was resolved. Because the truth is, I have no idea what her situation is. But she is a woman I see everyday on a corner. And giving her a dollar is really the least I could do. I think next week I will bring her some lunch and leave my self conflict behind.