I used to write a lot. When I was a child I didn’t have very many hobbies or extracurricular activities, but I always enjoyed keeping a journal. It was written in sporadically, but none the less I would share all of the mundane things that I had completed throughout the course of a day in my writings. Sometimes I would write beyond my daily activities and share some of my thoughts, feelings. That happened more frequently as I got older.
When I got pregnant at 17 priorities in my life obviously shifted drastically. Everything that I did for happiness became less of a priority.
It wasn’t until 2012 when smartphones were rising and the internet became more and more saturated, that I had an epiphany – these websites were all created by someone. That someone could be anyone, so, why couldn’t it be me?
My three children were still really young at that point. Anika was 8, Emma had just turned 4, and Noah was one month shy of 2.
I had my hands full with the kids, but I was only working a few shifts a month as a nurse, so my schedule was still pretty flexible. During nap times and late at night I began researching everything I could find about websites and blogs, and in April I wrote my first words on this site.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think it’s good for everyone to take some time every now and then to reflect on our journeys, our stories.
This website has become part of my story.
While I occasionally look back through and clench my teeth at some of my previous writings. It’s still by far one of my most treasured things.
As you know though, the last couple of years I haven’t shared as much, or as consistently as in the past.
Beyond raising kids, the last 5 years of my life has been, well, stressful.
My Mother-in-law died as well as her sister, both of which were very kind women. One of my best friends got into a horrific car accident that left her hospitalized for weeks. Her brother, who was also my sister’s boyfriend then died suddenly before the age of 30.
My sister had nowhere to live afterward, so, withdrawing off of heroin and alcohol, she moved on to my couch. Then she became suicidal. After a brief hospital stay, I brought my Dad in and one of us was with her 24/7 for a month while I worked on getting her insurance and into a program. She lived with me for 6+ months at that time. She moved out, relapsed, came back, had to have her appendix removed, then had an ectopic pregnancy, and was then diagnosed with cervical cancer.
My Aunt, whom I’ve mentioned here before, was my confidant through all of that, then, nearly 2 years ago my Aunt committed suicide.
Also, somewhere in all of that chaos, I took a job at an inpatient chemical dependency facility, aka rehab. I’m not going to lie, it’s been stressful. Oh, and my husband lost his job, was on unemployment for 6 months, and is currently working at a company that pays him shit and makes him work 6 days a week. Since it’s agriculture there is also no overtime pay.
If that wasn’t enough, last year my Mom got sick, I had to move her into a nursing home and I am now in charge of all of her medical care. My stepmom is also currently hospitalized and has long term mental and physical deterioration from brain radiation therapy 17 years ago. We are in the process of having to put her into long term care at the young age of 53.
Shit, I guess I just went off on a tangent, didn’t I? I guess my point is that I haven’t taken the time to sit down; reflect. There was simply too much stress.
But today? Today I’m reflecting.
Have you taken the time to reflect on things that you do for happiness lately? It seems that when life gets overwhelming or too busy things that we do for enjoyment are the first to go. I think we get caught up in the day-to-day hustle of life that at some point we wake up and realize that we aren’t happy anymore.
I think I’ve been waking up a lot this last month.
I’m working on my game plan, my next move in life. I’m 35 now, I’ve got one kid in grade school, middle school, and high school. I need to do more things that make me happy; do more things that I enjoy – like writing, sharing stories.
I’m working towards the backtrack to happiness.
Can any of you relate?