Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the long and short of 5 years

so, i already blogged about the five years, but for journaling purposes, i'm going to blog about our celebration of it.

that's right; journaling purposes. allow me to warn you: this could be long. really long.

for awhile now, i have been struggling. i can't say it was postpartum, i don't even know if it was depression. anxiety maybe? i know there were a couple times when i thought perhaps i needed to see a therapist for some kind of relief from the constant inability to function with motivation or interest or energy.

the worst part was feeling a loss of identity. the fact that i mattered. it was as if ava's endless requests and seth's constant cries for attention were smothering me. smothering me to the point that i wasn't even paying attention to myself anymore. i was exhausted, bored, irritable and unmotivated. i mean, not all the time, but enough of the time that it was a problem. maybe it's having two kids. maybe it's starting a business. maybe it's letting myself drift away from friends. or not exercising enough. or. . .

it doesn't matter. i was frustrated. and the more frustrated i become, the more pressure i put on myself to do things right and the less i relaxed and enjoyed my life. it was becoming this awful cycle and it was spinning me thicker and thicker into a tangle.

so when ryan pointed out our anniversary at the end of the year, i thought maybe we could get away. for a whole weekend, i could unravel, unwind, let go, sigh and sit back--sleep in! it was going to be heaven, i had all sorts of things planned--and then we realized that things weren't going to work out. the thought of that weekend slipping away almost sent me into hysterics. ryan salvaged things by arranging for his parents to take over for a day.

so we had a day. we went mountain biking (terrifying and fun and hard all at the same time) and we climbed on the rocks at the beach, we ate at a seafood place we've been going to since we first started dating, we went to see avator on the imax 3d screen, we ate chocolate molten cake at chili's. i showered without a single person coming in and urging me to "hurry up and get out" or inform me that "seth dropped his shoes in the toilet" or wondering "what are you doing in there? showering? washing? shaving?"

this day was wonderful for many reasons.

1.  no one sat next to me while we were eating with their mouth wide open. also, i didn't have to look down at my plate and figure out how to feed someone else with a minimum of mess.

2.  once i got used to the feeling of flying around a dirt road on a bike, avoiding rocks, ditches, gopher holes and brush, i got to think. and you know what i realized? i should relax. i should enjoy my children. i should enjoy what i have when i have it and where i have it. and right now, i have two small children that really like to hang out with me. and we love to do things like go to the beach and hike and go to the zoo and go to the park. and i can do those things! i should do those things. if i focus on the fun of being a mother and i let myself have that fun, it is fun. right now, the most important work i have is motherhood. if i put that first, i can do this! and not only that, but i can do it well.

3.  ryan is still my best friend. and to be able to talk and talk and then get to the place where we drive along in the sunshine just holding hands and listening to music, that's heavenly. saturday was a day that included perfectly comfortable and relaxed pauses in conversation. and laughter. a lot of laughter.

4.  i love the beach.

5.  i love being outside.


Amber Marie said...

so very sweet. i'm glad i'm not the only one feeling smothered- and i only have one at the moment!

glad you had such a beautiful day at the beach and mountain biking (yikes!)

Annie of Blue Gables said...

I know just how you feel. I remember one of these many times where I felt like I was going to just fall apart. I was a mom of several young ones, and the Primary President. I was crying on the phone to my sister, and she said something profound: "Your well is empty. You need to fill that well so you can give again." That is what you did with your day off. The way I handled it was to take one extra hour after the 3 hour block and attend the other ward's Relief Society. Hubby took the children home and fed them while I sat there in RS soaking up the Spirit once a week. This lasted for about 2 months and I felt like I could handle things again. I'm glad your Sweetheart saw your need and took you away. That is so wonderful!
I just got back from helping a Daughter-in-law with her four children ages 3-8 as she delivered one more addition to the family. Just one week of this nearly did me in. All the screaming, fighting, crying, (mixed with loves, stories, hair braiding, and other nice things) made me so tired. I was so happy to get into the truck with my Friend and head back to Utah and the peace and quiet. I decided I am too old for this, but it did bring back memories of what I used to do myself. As much as I miss my little ones, I am glad I have graduated on to this Empty Nester Chapter of my life.
Beautiful pictures of the surf!
Happy Anniversary!

Jennifer said...

You are really such a great example of being a wife and a mother and a person all at the same time. I'm not sure if that really makes sense, but it did in my head. What I mean is, I love reading about your life, and (I'm sure I've said this before) I love how real you are. I hope this year brings you lots of happiness :)

Brittany said...

Can I just say that I can't actually believe that you wrote this...only because when I am around you, you are so happy and fun to be with...and most of all...loving towards your children, your hubby, and even me and my children. I hope that you got the deserved break that every mother should learn to take and the next time you are feeling not up to mothering give me a call...I would love to squeeze your little ones while you soak in the tub or whatever:)

Birgit said...

Miriam, I know exaclty how you feel sometimes.
Right now I´m in my office, but I´m going to write you a mail in the late afternoon.
I need some time (and some dictionary) to word this in english. ;-)
I´m glad, you told us!


Morgan said...

Ditto to everything that Jennifer said. We think almost exactly alike, so it's really no surprise that she said exactly what I was going to say.

Miriam, I think that you are fantastic, and one of my very favorite things about you is your honesty. Look at you- you posted about your struggles so openly and you made it look so easy. I know that it's not easy. You are one of the reasons why today I was able to open up about my own struggles on my own blog. So for that, I thank you.

I love that you blog about the easy and hard parts of your life, both the good and the bad. It's so easy to blog about only the good.

You know, some people pretend to be good people, and then they just end up looking like fakes. But you are real, and then it is just obvious that you are a good person.

It's late, and I'm tired, and I'm willing to bet that nothing that I just said made any sense at all. Please forgive me.

P.S. I am very happy that you and Ryan got to spend a much deserved day together, alone. Very happy. The pictures are, of course, adorable.