There are two sayings that I will always remember my mom saying whenever things didn’t happen as anticipated:
“Everything happens for a reason”
“Nothing ever happens before its time”
I guess age brings wisdom because as a child, teenager and young adult, I failed to understand these sayings and only remember being completely frustrated. But as I ventured into my thirties and beyond, this suddenly started to make sense.
I think the revelations and wisdom have come from the many mistakes that I’ve made in my life… the failed relationships, friendships that fizzled, career choices that disappointed because I wasn’t good enough by imagined benchmarks and standards. With every mistake, I grew stronger. No matter how small, I learned something. And from the lessons, I was able to find the courage to move forward. I found the bravery to step outside of my comfort zone. I learned to love myself without needing validation from others whether it was my physical appearance or the internal battles in my head.
Have I reached my final destination? No. But I’m in a better place today than I was yesterday and tomorrow will bring continued growth.
It’s been 9 years since you left and my life has changed in ways I never imagined. When you died, I was a new inexperienced mummy fumbling around with everything related to child rearing, but completely focused on my career and driving it forward.
Fast forward 9 years, and I’m 6 years older, many years weirder. I’m Super Mama (but still fumbling), autism advocate, homeschooling mom, blogger and yoga instructor. There is no science or career and career-focused is one of the last phrases that I would ever use to describe myself.
I’ve learnt the value of family and loved ones, the significance of health over wealth. I’ve discovered the ability to find beauty in simplicity and recognized the importance of appreciating every single moment however fleeting it may be. I’ve realized how easy it can be to take those we love for granted, assuming that there will be another day to say sorry or I love you, but then finding out that extra day is gone and will never be back.
When I gave your eulogy, I said that regardless of how tiny the accomplishment, the person who always lauded praises the loudest, was you. Yet I’ve always wondered how you would’ve reacted to the complete 180 that my life has taken.
Today represents almost 2 years of homeschooling! Some of the pros:
We can sleep late! 😁
Homeschooling is substantially more affordable!
We set our own schedule and go at our own pace. If we feel to skip a day and go to the movies, we sometimes do that!
We can pick exciting topics which may not necessarily be covered in a traditional school curriculum.
Our focus is learning, not preparing for exams.
But there is also a bittersweet perspective. For us, homeschooling was not a deliberate path. It was a decision made out of necessity. A choice because we had no choice! I saw my son struggling so much with his social anxiety and his dysgraphia that I feared allowing him to continue in his neurotypical school would be detrimental to his health and overall development. The unfortunate reality was the lack of alternatives: zero publicly funded special needs schools equipped to deal with his challenges and private schools which were beyond our finances.
On a day like today, I look at all the back to school photos, proud parents and smiling kids, and I’m reminded of what we don’t have. I’m grateful for the opportunity to homeschool, the flexibility in my work to allow me the time and the progress that has come with that decision. But I’m also sad for the opportunities that my son may be missing. I’m tired of the constant juggling of full-time work, special needs advocacy and single mama-hood. I’m always second guessing myself and wondering how I can approach things differently and how I can make this easier for both of us. So to those moms and dads, who get to count down the days until school re-opens, always know that this isn’t a luxury open to all parents. Be sure to enjoy 😉
I know in my heart that this was the right decision for us and will open up paths that we never imagined. But sometimes the journey is tough!
I wish that my crystal ball would accurately tell me when my depression is on the verge of breaking point. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy.
For the most part, I’ve accepted this part of my life. I understand that in order for me to ride through the wave, I need to prioritize. Very often, that means only the bare minimum is accomplished. And sometimes my writing has to be neglected. Pouring your heart out tends to be more challenging when your head is in a mess. Throwing anxiety into the mix, and things tend to get a lot more complicated. Depression drains your energy to the lowest it can be. Then think of anxiety as being the most annoying and clueless person in your life who tells you that you need to suck it up and deal with it.
I’ve been on this journey for years. There are weeks when I’m great and life couldn’t be more perfect. I can cut down on my meds and still experience everything to the fullest. Then without warning, I’m struggling to bathe or get out of bed or even eat for days on end. And my meds are doubled yet I still feel as though I’m floundering.
Simply remembering at any given moment that this too shall pass! And for this very moment, it has!