I hear ‘time for change’ and I shudder. Anxiety sets in. I know no one is going to throw pennies or quarters at me; that might be rather exciting. Change means there is something different about to happen. It means my normal routine, or at least part of it, is going to be transforming/morphing into something that is different. That always makes me nervous.

I am the girl who stays up late to plan. I make a weekly schedule. I stay up late at night and plan the next day from my weekly schedule. I often have been told how much more time I would have during a day if I would just not plan or if I would just skip the list for the day. That might be true, but I also would have less sanity, more missed appointments, and angry phone calls from kids I accidentally forgot to pick up (yes, that might have happened). I have been so busy, on occasion, that I haven’t had much time to plan. And, as backwards as it seems, during those times I am so tired I can’t make myself make a list, plan, or I just forget to do it. During those times, it literally feels like my life is spinning out of control.

In order to get my life back on track, I make myself spend the time and I plan. Its pretty simple, I feel a little lost without a plan or a list. I have noticed when I am not planning my day, my car gets trashed, my purse fills with junk, I never know where my stuff is (keys and phone specifically), and I’m not able to get as much done. I feel like I am chasing my tail.

I have always been a list maker. It didn’t start with kids. I have made lists as long as I can remember. Pros and Cons lists, To Do lists, Schedules, etc. There are some people who have to schedule in their spontaneity. I’m not that bad. If I have a schedule and a list, I can deviate from it. Sometimes the deviation is even a nice little break for me.

Besides my lists, I am also a binder keeper. I like totes and I like binders. My grandparents have a binder, my fundraisers have a binder, my main recipes have a binder, my toddler activities/themes have a binder, my writing has a binder, and my home organization has a binder. When I need a go to recipe, I know exactly where to find it. If I want to find an apple activity or an acitivity for the color blue, I know exactly where to find it.

People say that I must be so neat. Well, not so much. I should be much neater. I like to leave things everywhere when I am working on them and I never keep up with the house like I should (who has time for that). But, I do know where everyone and everything is, or needs to be, and my kids have a great life. Which is exactly why the word ‘change’ puts a huge lump in my throat.

I can deal with the little changes. I can even deal with medium changes, most days. Big changes, well, that’s not so easy for me.

Don’t be fooled, on the outside, I will convince you that I am perfectly fine. I have to convince myself first.

I can handle anything. I have been through worse, this is nothing. I got this.

Yeah, right! Most of that is true. I can handle anything and I will be fine, but until I am those things, I will feel terrible. My heart will race, I will have trouble sleeping, I will feel like throwing up at times, and I will ask a million and one questions 100 times over again. I can’t help it. I get so pre-occupied with how nervous I am, how unsettling it is, that I will completely forget what I have asked or where I am in the process. I will wake up in the dead of night in the same worrisome thought that I fell asleep to. I try to shake it. I pray, I try to change the subject, I pray again, I count blessings, I go to the bathroom, I get drinks, and I repeat mantras to myself until eventually I fall asleep. Usually, I won’t even need an alarm clock because it’s almost a guarantee that I will wake up to the same worries in the morning. The only good thing about having that much on my mind is when I wake up worried, it actually startles me and then I am absolutely wide awake. Change and how to get through it occupies nearly every thought I have until I either have a solution or enough time has passed I feel at ease again.

I’m not sure why I have the reactions I do. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s a fear of failure. I don’t mind minor failures. I call those ‘learning experiences’, but when something major is changing and there are real consequences for messing up, especially if it’s at the expense of someone else, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Somehow, amid all the chaotic internal panic, I settle myself and come up with a plan. How can I get through this? What do I need to do to make this successful? What is my goal and if I can’t reach the goal, what is the bare minimum I am willing to accept and still be satisfied?

We all want to rock out every endeavor, or storm, that crosses our path, but sometimes, you just have to survive for a while. And when we think we can finally keep our head above water, we make a plan. Even a plan isn’t enough to reach our absolute goal, but it’s a great place to start. My motto for reaching a goal is: Reach for the moon, grab the tail of a star. To me, that means I should always want to be the absolute best I can. I should always have the highest dreams and goals in mind. I also have to be okay if I don’t obtain that goal. If I am trying with all that I am to reach my ultimate goal, I should be able to at least get most of the way to it and that makes me happy because I know I did the best I knew how. It also leaves me much closer to my final destination. The next time I try, and there will be a next time, I have so much less space to cross. My chance of succeeding is much higher.

I have spent this whole year complaining about all of the blah that has covered my life. I have spent the last however many months hoping and praying that 2013 is different. I’m ready for some pizzazz to cover my life in the new year. I have hoped and prayed that exactly that would happen. But, then, there is that scary word ‘change’. Change has to happen get rid of the funk that has been over my life. Now, 2013, is right around the corner. There could be some big changes heading my way and I don’t even know it yet. As the new year approaches and the potential for change starts toward me, I can feel the anxiety building. I know, no matter good change or bad, I (we) will make it. We will come out the other side with lessons and memories.

So, come on 2013, show me what you got.

Never Before-1999

Randy and I went through a very rough period. I felt like I had grown up. Like I had given up all of me to be a wife and mother while he slept, worked, and played like we were still 18 and kid free. I tried talked to him about it. I tried talking, I tried screaming, I tried throwing things, and I even tried ignoring it. Nothing, and I mean nothing worked.

One day I just told him, we had to be done. We had to separate or he had to change. I knew full well I could end up a single mom and miserable. Since I already felt like one, I figured it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. He was very unhappy about my decision. His way of dealing with what I told him was to ignore it, just as he had done all the conversations before.

To drive the point home and maker sure I was prepared if this lead to a life apart, I got a full-time job and put Kayla and Brendan in day care. Kayla still carries that scare today. She hated every second of it.

Getting that job really drove the point home. He was remorseful. He wanted to turn things back to the way they were. He hadn’t noticed how unhappy I was during that time. Even though I was practically shouting it from the roof tops! I guess it was easier being blind to how unhappy I really was.

I wasn’t giving in this time. I knew he hadn’t wanted to change before. I didn’t believe he really wanted to change now. I think he just wanted to be comfortable again. That wasn’t enough for me. I guess maybe part of me wanted him to stay uncomfortable, too. I know I had been for so long; it was his turn.

I kept trying to get him to actually move out. I wanted him to see what life would be without me. I guess, if I am being honest, I wanted to know what life would be like without him. I guess I probably did want some freedom. I had gone straight from my parents house to his house with a baby. That is a lot to wonder about. A lot to soak in. And, at some point, your mind wonders: what did I miss?

One night he came home early for work, which scared me. That is never a good sign. He was in tears, literally. He told me he was a mess at work. He was a machinist at a metalizing company. They would spray metal onto parts and he would machine the parts back down to specs. He worked on aircraft parts mostly, but did some parts for NASA as well. He had messed up a couple $50,000 parts because his mind couldn’t stay focused. He was afraid he was going to lose his job. He also was afraid of losing his life. He felt unstable, like he could snap and take his own life.

Those words scared me. That is never what I wanted. We started talking. We talked and talked. We talked and cried together for over six hours. It turns out, how we were raised conflicted with each other and created some huge misunderstandings. We told each other things that were unpleasant to hear. For the first time, we were acting like adults and we were very honest.

That was the turning point. That is when I knew we were salvageable. We could be us only better. We could be the us that I had dreamed about.

We put a halt to all plans of separation. For the first time in a long time, I let him hold me until the kids woke up the next morning. We only got a few hours sleep that night, but it was the most restful sleep I had had in years.

I was tired the next day, but somehow, I had plenty of energy as I walked on cloud 9 all day. I knew the worst was behind us. Even though I knew we still had plenty of work to do, we were going to be fine.

While he slept before work (he worked nights), I wrote this….

Never Before

Never before have I ever felt

So safe and loved

Never before has anyone let

Me come before them

Never before have I wanted

Something so badly

Never before has being alone

Felt so scary

Never before had I felt I had found home

Until I found you.

February 23, 1999

Times are rocky still, but after long talks that last the night through,

I feel much better.  Better with each passing day.

Oh, it’s so cheesy, but what a glimpse into what I was feeling then. I find it amazing to view my old writing.