I know the holidays are coming up and it's to be expected, but does anyone else feel like they’ve been tossed into a blender and set on high speed lately?
Or, maybe more accurately, like you're trying to put out all these little fires but they're those trick candle kind of flames where, when you blow one out, another relights?
Our past few weeks have included a 13-hour road trip (well worth it but still exhausting with a 5 year-old), a broken washing machine, a heart attack in the family, an inaccurate & hefty bill we get to spend time disputing, and a leaky roof. (I’ll spare you the “when it rains it pours” pun, but it’s there.)
Add to that the usual stress of the holiday season...
I’m just waiting for my one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club to arrive so I feel justified in screaming “Hallelujah! Holy s**t! Where’s the Tylenol? “
Some realizations sneak up on you slowly — you look back & can’t quite pinpoint the “when” or “where”…they just happen over time. And then there are moments when awareness hits you like a bolt of lightning.
⚡️⚡️November 24, 2019 ⚡️⚡️
That’s the exact day I realized a sad, inevitable fact: I’m getting old.
It was 8:09 p.m. & I had just laid down for bed (yes, yes, I know…that should’ve been Clue #1). I turned on the American Music Awards. I saw the first presenter & wondered “hmm, who’s that?” (It was one of the “Lil” somethings…) Then he introduced an act I’d never heard of and she began “singing” in a way that seems to be the new style — a seemingly intentional off-tune whisper/slurring (“whurring”?) that really just seems more like talking.
Can we just agree it’s talking?
And the outfit…I just can’t. (Or couldn’t, I should say.)
“Who are these people and what kind of noise is this?! They call this music?! I don’t get it! What the heck is going on?!”
⚡️⚡️ And that’s when it hit me ⚡️ ⚡️
👵🏻 👵🏻 👵🏻 I’m getting old. 👵🏻 👵🏻 👵🏻
Can I share a little truth about myself? I am not naturally a super happy person. My default setting, from as far back as I can remember, has always been a bit serious & somber.
Look at me here—that little face says it all, doesn’t it? Happy to have the BEST parents & most loving home life a Kindergartner could ask for, yet also busy contemplating the world’s problems & how I might solve them. This was the year my mom found me barefoot one day because I gave my shoes away to a girl who said she needed them. My naturally bleeding heart has given me empathy, but it’s made me feel everything more heavily, too.
At times, too heavily.
These last few months have been rough for my hometown of Stuart, Florida. For those that aren’t local, I’ll sum Stuart up this way: it’s a happy little seaside town (like, officially--Coastal Living ranked it #1 in 2016) that is small enough to retain its charm and character, but developed enough to have plenty to do on a Saturday night. It’s the kind of town you’re too cool to settle in at 18 but lures you back in when you’re building a family of your own and have grown to appreciate its simplicity.
We grow and develop but stay firmly connected to our history. We’re family, friends, and fishing; boat rides, beach walks, and barbeques. It’s where almost everybody knows your name (perfect!) and you’re rarely stuck in traffic (well, at least in the “off-season”).
I love my hometown, and that’s why the past few months have been so hard.
My 25 year-old self never would’ve guessed I’d say this as I approach 40 and the highest weight I’ve ever been (pregnancy excluded), but I've truly never felt more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not technically overweight, I just have the kind of not-so-perfect body you might expect a busy teacher & mom to have: a decent set of love handles, thighs that rub together a bit, underarms that wave a little when I do, and, when I look down toward my stomach while in a plank, well…
it’s just not good.
Yet that extra "me" somehow still feels lighter to carry than the mental load I lugged around back when keeping it off was my biggest priority--fixating over calories and a certain number on the scale, imposing consequences on myself if I ate "too much" or skipped a workout. I couldn't keep up with that today if I tried, and I don’t care to. These days, if my cholesterol's good, my blood pressure's in check, & I can keep up with my five year-old and share an ice cream with him, too--then we're all good.
She burst through the door for our parent-teacher conference talking loudly to a client on her Bluetooth. Her entrance aside, we were happy to see her given that she’d scheduled but not shown for the previous two conferences. Her son was struggling—not so much academically, but socially and emotionally. He was a small, quiet little thing that oozed anxiety; a loner on the playground and a worrier about seemingly every little detail of his day. We sat awkwardly as she loudly wrapped up her conversation with a client at the table.
When done, she sat back without saying a word, sunglasses unremoved, her lips tightly pursed together. As each teacher shared, she sat silently & reactionless--no longer the bold, expressive talker she was only a few minutes ago. We first shared her son’s accomplishments and then delicately eased into our concerns. Still no response. After we’d said everything we needed to say, she finally responded coolly “well, then…why don’t you help him? I mean, isn’t that your job, to take care of kids? If he’s struggling and your job is to help children, then I’d say you’re not doing your job.”
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)