I can’t wait for them to go to bed. It’s around 7 PM and I’m thinking- I just have one more hour until it’s quiet. And then it’s 8:30 and it’s quiet and I’m wishing they were still awake. Only calm and adult-like, or maybe actually adults. I’m lonely.
I’m alone now, with the dog beside me on the floor.
Since October, my husband and I have lived in separate states. He has work there, but not enough to afford housing around the big, loud city in the flat, flat, flat land. And I have housing here in the mountains, with our people at hand, but he can’t find work. It’s one of the stranger in-betweens we have been in.
This time last year, Not The Mama had a well-paying job with a wealthy businessman, full of great promise and potential. We didn’t know a couple months later his boss would decide that vacationing was more important than paying a salary (or even a severance) and we would be without income. We didn’t know we would lose housing, twice. We didn’t know when we chose to live with Greg’s family that it would drag on and on without inclination of realistic income. Or that two weeks after we left, Momo would die and we wouldn’t get back in time to say goodbye. We didn’t know that just a few months later, my oldest friend would suddenly and shockingly pass away as well. And we would be living seperatly, once more living in a house that’s a temporary solution to a bigger problem, the prospect of moving a certainty. And soon.
I didn’t know I would begin to question if I could continue homeschooling. That I would worry that I would be forced to find a job at minimum wage and only spend a couple hours a day with them. That I would find myself questioning if could continue in some of circles without feeling as though I’ll never fit anywhere.
I didn’t know 2015 would be so hard. That’s what I mean. And I’m glad it’s almost over.
So here I sit, another night alone, the stress just tampered by the Christmas lights on the tree and the sound of sleeping children and the patter of the dog as he moves from spot to spot, the dryer humming steadily to catch us up on the laundry I let get behind for two days worth of haircuts and coffee dates and throwing a little birthday celebration for my friend’s three year old who will not remember her. I remember how I got here but I don’t know why.
A year ago I would have thrown my hands up and asked why. A year ago I would have dug through every last sin and ugly thought and blamed myself. I would have pondered and questioned and agonized. But that is for fools, I know. That is for Job’s friends and that’s for the past.
This is a season.
And I’ve had enough hard years, goodbyes and losses, difficult decisions, tough conversations and seasons almost just exactly like this one to know that they end. There is an ending to these seasons and beginnings to new ones. There will be a spring once more.
Today, twice, when people asked me how I’m staying sane, parenting four kids alone on little income, grieving deeply, wondering about the next day and the next job and the next year, I answered “who says I am sane?” without laughing. Because, really, I’m getting through. And that’s enough.