Might Be In Over My Head…Maybe?

Ever had one of those days that it just seems like every where you turn that day seems to be a lesson in patience, like God is testing your resolve, and NOTHING is really going the way you wanted, hoped or expected?

Well that seems to be my 2014. Its been a heck of a ride and so not what I expected. It seems like everywhere I turn there is a lesson I am being taught…sometimes the lesson is the wrecking ball slamming into my gut and me not recognizing to move. It seems as nothing has let up, good or bad drama, since January 2, 2014 and I still have 3 1/2 months to go…

Sadly this year I have lost 6 people who were either close to me or a parent of someone I love and care for dearly. For those doing the math its a little under one person a month. So 2014 has already been a year of mourning and remembering. It has definitely reinforced a valuable lesson I had to learn a long time ago…value those you love NOW and in THIS moment as tomorrow may come and they may not be in it. These have definitely been the wrecking ball moments.

I’ve co-chaired my son’s basketball team’s annual golf tournament…way more of a commitment time and energy wise than I imagined and I imagined A LOT of commitment. It was joyous and I loved helping. However, it was a lesson I have trouble remembering…not every need is a calling AND saying NO means that you are saying YES to a more important priority.

Unexpected legal drama from a few sources…one that effected our family’s immediate situation to one that effected our future. I have already shared about my husband’s former company declaring bankruptcy and in doing so how we most likely have lost a MAJOR chunk of our retirement. The other was a personal challenge that comes from being a blended family. Both took huge demands on my time since my husband and I choose to represent ourselves and I get to be the family’s “legal research assistant” and “paralegal” and “process server”. My lesson seems to be no matter what you are doing, there is always something more you can learn. And it has definitely shown me I do not want to go into law.

We have faced dealing with the ever fluctuating and unstable world of architecture, specifically school architecture, here in Southern California. There have been several times so far this year when my husband’s firm was looking at potential pay cuts or more drastic measures for survival. In fact since February 2009, this has been an on-going struggle for our family. We have weathered several and we will weather the newest cut in pay that came the Friday before last.  Each time, I am amazed at how God not only provides but at how we shift and manipulate things to deal with our situation. Each time we face this I am reminded to keep faith in God as he has promised he knows the plans he has for us. Keeps me sane.

Speaking of sanity…mental note do not sell your mother’s home, move her stuff out, her in to yours AND have your entire house of 23 windows replaced all in the same two weeks. Totally lost it…my sanity that is. This too shall pass comes to mind and was my lesson. No matter how insane, how challenging and even how joyous something may be, in the end, it shall pass…maybe that should be this year’s mantra for me…this year too shall pass…so looking forward to a calm 2015, ok I would settle for less drama, forget clam.

And then there is my health. Granted this one seems to have been a carry over from previous years but this year it feels like my social life has been doctors and pills and blood tests (I hate the vampires that take my blood every month…ugh!) and next set of doctors when the last set didn’t find anything in their specialty. But we are making progress. I am finding answers and learning to adapt to what they find…except being allergic to garlic…THAT I’m struggling with. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, garlic and folks it is in just about EVERYTHING on the market or in restaurants. UGH! But I’m learning to just go with it. Its sometimes not easy, especially when there are pizza pick ups and  Chinese cravings, but its better than what happens when I refuse…I mean forget to remember I’m allergic to garlic.

My favorite memory of my uncle...making my dolls dance.

My favorite memory of my uncle…making my dolls dance.

Speaking of health that brings me to latest source of “Oh no, here we go again drama.” and it has brought many lessons. On Wednesday, August 29 my uncle, who has been like a surrogate father to me since my father passed away when I was 16, went to the ER with some breathing difficulty. What looked like a simple and fairly routine expediting of his pacemaker installation turn in to one doozy of a rollercoaster that all of us have been begging to get off. What was supposed to be a 60% chance of pacemaker install turned into the most unlikely of possibilities/problems… a bypass. And not just any old bypass but a quadruple bypass for his heart and arteries. Can you say our family was shocked! What has been going on since has been a series of 3 surgeries, moving in and out and in and out of Cardiac Care to Cardiac ICU and back and forth. He has faced respiratory failure (now at permanent 30% lung function) and even a cancer scare with possible 4th surgery. In fact, as of writing this, he is still  in the cardiac care unit.

At the same time, our family has been working to make sure my aunt, who has cancer and multiple sclerosis, is being cared for as well. While all of this has reinforced my love and appreciation for how my family defines family, it has also been a huge series of lesson for me.

First and foremost, be an advocate for your and your loved ones health, ask questions, even the stupid ones. When it comes to your health, better safe than sorry. And speak up! No one knows better than you when something “feels” wrong. It’s your body after all. You live in it 24/7 and you know when something is not right.

Second, plan for tomorrow. While it is true that many people will die at home, it is equally true that at some point in your life or the life of someone you love, long term care will be needed. My husband and I are definitely looking into long term care insurance. My mother and I have looked at continuing care communities for seniors that offer permanent residency, places where even if you run out of money, you are guaranteed a place to live and proper health care.

Third, “community” is so vital and yet so not present that much anymore. The nurses and staff at my uncle’s hospital are so awestruck with how much we all care and show up for my uncle (10 people in total) when most people are lucky to get one. Based on their stories, I think we are the first family they have had to limit visitation or say no visitation too. Our family has shared responsibility on all fronts for care for my aunt, my uncle, ideas for future and working together to make sure everything is taken care of. I’m my mom’s only and I truly do think “how could I ever handle this all on my own?” Truth, I would handle it because I had to and I love my mom and in my mind there would be no other option but it would be so costly to my well-being without the help of others.

And as if to almost add insult to 2014, my baby, my very first new car I ever own AND the one I busted my butt to earn in Mary Kay has a MAJOR and BIG crack in its front window…lesson learned “crap happens”…okay, really the lesson is expect the unexpected. Thank God I just lowered my comprehensive deductible.

So while I face the rest of 2014 and yes I do mean face as who knows what could happen next, I take comfort in the lessons I have learned and peace in knowing this too shall pass as well as knowing it could ALWAYS be worse and is worse for someone else. 2014 has left its mark on me and my blog as posts have been sporadic, not the schedule I wanted, so I hope you understand and forgive my absences. I’ll take it to mean that something BIG must be going to happen with wifemomhouseohmy.com! Stay tune with me.

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