Family, Hard Things

Reset and Resume

First, I wanted to thank everyone for the extra prayers and support you have given us after my last post. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, but it’s looking like (fingers crossed) the worst is behind us. My father-in-law is doing a lot better and will probably be out of the ICU today, and we got to visit with him yesterday and even hear him joke around with us a bit. The whole conversation in his hospital room last night felt like a clenched fist in my chest slowly unfurling, one finger loosening at a time.

It was like I felt I could finally breathe a little again.

And so it feels like life has slowly resumed once more, unpaused from about 11 days ago—

We started introducing Raven to the idea of the potty (after I borrowed a mini toilet training potty from my sister) and explained to Raven the concept of going poop on that instead of in her diaper. She’s been enthusiastic sitting on it several times, but we’re not pushing anything yet—we’re just easing into it, trying to feel out if she’ll be ready for more intensive training soon.

I started watching my friend’s baby for her as she went back to work last week, and he’s just been the sweetest. The whole experience makes me realize that I am, indeed, capable of watching two small children simultaneously, which is helping me get over any jitters I might have had about someday adding a second child to our family (of course, it helps that my friend’s baby sleeps WAAAAAY more than Raven ever used to…seriously, he naps like a champ).

I finished up most of my goals for January (as per the resolution I set in January to set monthly goals as well as make a weekly to-do list), and I’ve already pounded out a list for February, which includes making dental appointments for all of us (something I’m SO bad at) and finally setting up an official playdate for Raven (another thing I’m so bad at).

So it seems, by our daily routine at least, that it’s been Life As Usual here lately.

But ever since we got word of Matt’s dad being in critical condition in the ICU, something has forever shifted in the parameters of my mind.

I knew before that tragedy could strike anytime and that it was important to enjoy each day and savor each moment spent with loved ones (the unexpected deaths of my nephew and of my coworker taught me that).

I knew that if you’re lucky enough to get a little warning before you lose someone, that you should make time to be with them, to ask them about their past, to frame each moment as if it could be one of your last with them (I learned that when my beloved grandma was getting sicker and sicker from her breast cancer before she passed).

With this latest narrow escape from losing someone I loved, the lesson has felt different—

The truth is, I’ve always felt a lot of anxiety about the terrible things that might happen to me in my life. I look at all the awful and hard things that people around me have had to face, and I have worried endlessly over what will be my lot to face in the near or far future.

I know that my anxiety might be useless and not helping me any, but that’s the thing about true anxiety–it can be hard to keep under control, and it usually doesn’t go away just by you telling it that it should.

So with this latest scrape with trials and sorrow, I knew to expect the surge in anxiety, the increase in worry of what might happen next. To any of us.

And it came. That anxiety definitely came.

But as I’ve been studying scriptures and praying and reading uplifting books (like A Million Miles in a Thousand Years), I’ve just been thinking a lot, too. Thinking without the anxiety. Thinking about what life is, and what it’s supposed to be, and what I want it to be. Thinking about the things I can control, and the things I can’t.

And while I’ve still felt some of the old anxiety creeping in, especially right before I try and sleep or when the phone rings at an unexpected hour, I’ve also noticed that my fear of the future is gradually starting to lessen its death grip on me. Fearing the unknown is a weakness I’ll probably always have to deal with. But building faith every day that no matter what, things will be ultimately All Right is something I CAN control–it is, indeed, one of the reasons that I’m here to experience life at all.

And so yes, we are back into our routines, as per normal.

But with a whole different outlook on what’s to come ahead.

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