Thursday, November 8, 2012

Exhale

Here, pull up one of these.

 
And take a sip of this.
 
 
And let's chat about the way things have been going lately.
 
I am very stressed right now.  I have been crying a lot.  I am confused, angry, and annoyed.  I don't know who I am sometimes and I feel lost about where we are going.
 
Do you know what it feels like to systematically cancel your life as you know it?  And then, when they politely ask you where you are going, to consistently get this face?
 
Pretty much exactly this, just the human version
 
I have defended Kansas more than I have ever defended Virginia and I have never been there.  Can I tell you how much fun it is to get pity from strangers constantly about a place you have never been?  A place where you really didn't have a whole lot of say about going?  It is stressful.  My friends haven't been much better.  And while I know they are kidding, hearing that they refuse to visit me because I am going to the Great Plains and not some convenient location or tropical location stings a little.  I'm not mad, I get that Kansas City isn't Maui, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
 
People who don't know me and who just take my blog name for face value might assume I have a knack for being zen.  I don't.  If you know me and hang out with me in more than just in passing you know that I have a tendency to be anxious.  To worry and think too much and wonder what I am getting myself into.  Typical Type-A, first child BS.  I start to bumble and stumble and cry.  I don't actually drink a lot of cosmos. Maybe that is my problem? 
 
The past few weeks have really been hard for me.  I have been in Norfolk with my kids while my husband is down flying and having fun.  We have had Hurricane Sandy, a (small) nor'easter, and the kid-sleep killing Daylight Savings. I don't usually feel sorry for myself when he is on the ship.  But when he goes on these good deal detachments where he gets to relax and have fun with friends and eat good food and put it all under the category of "work trip" I get jealous.  And a little resentful that we both have Master's degrees and work experience and I am at home changing diapers and breaking up toddler throw-downs while he flies F-18s and gets long dinners out.  His life feels so much more well rounded than mine and I am jealous.  And looking down the road I just get sad.  For the next year he gets to go to school, learn cool things, exercise his brain.  What do I get?  I'm not sure.  I have no friends there, no family, I know not a soul.  I don't plan on working and I am going to be going there in the dead of winter where I can't exactly just hang outside and hope someone cool who wants to be friends walks by. 
 
It is becoming clear to me that I need something for myself outside being a mother and wife.  I do love being a mom.  My kids give me a tremendous amount of joy.  But they don't "complete me" (to quote Jerry McGuire).  I am personally not a well rounded person by doing nothing but play with and cater to them.  I'm not sure what I am going to do to better myself or occupy my brain in the next year, but I need to start thinking about it and getting excited about it.  I need something.  Right now I am feeling resentful and that is not the way I want to live. 
 
I realize that this post will probably be a stark and dark read compared to the millions of blogs focused on gratitude during the month of November.  It goes without saying that I know I live a very lucky and blessed life.  It also goes without saying that I know I am whining right now.  I know many people are fighting much harder battles than me. 
 
If you are still sitting in the chair reading this - thank you.  Venting is often the first step to change.  And an attitude adjustment is certainly in order.
 
 
 



 


12 comments:

Ally said...

I understand what you are going through. Even in the middle of Afghanistan my husband gets to "clock out" he gets to sleep, enjoy a book in peace and quiet, savor his dinner. Its so stupid but it makes me jealous. He has friends and talks about "adult" things. I won't say it will get better or easier because I despised El Paso, we were only there for 6 months and just the idea of moving back to Texas will send me in a fetal position, I do hope its better for you but I will give you an idea, you have a degree in counseling and half the world today is homeschooling. No way you can create some kind of business that will help these moms?? That way you can work for home or part time and still get the best of both worlds. I don't even know if that is something you want, but just throwing out an idea maybe.

Sarah said...

It's okay to feel the way you do. Just because other people may have it harder than you doesn't mean that you aren't justified in the way you're feeling. Take a deep breath. Look into some activities (a class at the local craft store, an exercise class, etc) that will allow you to have some "you" time and enable you to meet new people.

Sarah said...

Sending you a giant hug, Jill! I don't have any magic advice--just some "know you're not alone" encouragement. It's totally okay to feel the way you do and especially vent about it, I'm sure you know that. You are rocking mommy-hood and I have no doubt that you'll rock Kansas as well. (And yes, more martinis will help!)

Courtney said...

Unfortunately, it's part of the stereotype and stigma that comes with the word "Kansas". When I moved to Virginia from Kansas City I honestly had people ask me if I was a farmer. Years later when I said I was moving back I got that exact same puppy dog face.
I know it's scary because it's unknown, but believe me, you will love Kansas City. You will be so pleasantly surprised. I think it's going to be great for your family.
Hang in there, Mama. You are doing a great job. This is a very stressful time and you totally deserve to have a place to let it out!

Anonymous said...

Oh I don't "know" you besides this blog and I wish I could just give you a big virtual hug. I wish I lived in Kansas. But I am sure something really positive will come of your mom and your feelings now. Good luck!

Angie said...

I, for one, am envious you are moving back to my hometown. I miss KC so dang much! Even though you are moving there during the winter, there will still be plenty to do. I know you will find some fun people to hang out with.

I understand about feeling resentment. I feel it as well. It stinks, and I haven't figured out a way to overcome the feeling.

Jen said...

yep, yep yep! I was going to write about something similar, but I felt guilty.

the long, grey winter is starting here in Germany and I am panicked about how I am going to keep Nolan busy through it. Also, my good "Mom friend" will PCS in January. I am a bit worried.

I know that for you, this is a PCS. You have been lucky, and always had good friends and family within a few hours drive of wherever you guys have been stationed. I think it's natural to be fearful of this move.

BUT, I know you will be ok. You will get out there and make friends. Either through preschool, or other kid activites. And before you know it, you find the cool kids and make dates for a girls night out. I promise.

As for work, finding your identity and all that stuff, well, I haven't figured that out, either, so I am no help. Maybe volunteering? I know you need to keep your brain going, so do I. With both kids in school, hopefully that frees you up a bit to do something you are intersted in.

Karen said...

Your feelings are ones I have felt many times over. While I am happier since PCSing from Oklahoma, I still haven't figured out the professional identity aspect. Hugs!

Allie said...

Oh, Jill! I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I can definitely relate to feeling unfulfilled, even with a full time job and a beautiful family. And the move dramatically increased that feeling. I think you're right on that you need something in your life outside of being a wife and mom - we ALL do. I will say that the classes I've taken this fall helped a TON. It was so nice not only to have this challenging creative outlet, but also to talk to my classmates and "meet" a whole new group of people that I still keep in touch with. Are there any hobbies you'd be interested in? Online ed is so great because of the flexibility, and it seems like these days there's a class for anything. Or have you thought about Coursera? They offer free, online, college level courses from prestigious universities. Just a thought. :) Hang in there!!

{Simply Cozy Nest} said...

Reading it while I'm laid up with ice on my back, and a heating pad on my shoulders, contemplating my very own crossroads of existence and self identity! Jill, I totally get it. Some locations just carry an unfair stigma. Kansas, like anywhere else we can be sent, will be what you make of it. It's funny how I've met people that had that same reaction when we were thisclose to be transferred to WA (and Kansas was actually mentioned, as well had he been able to change planes). Yet, I have a friend who is there now not only loves it but frequently sends me photos via text message of all the fun they have in what others would say is simply 'drizzly, depressing Whidbey'. And venting is truly the first step. You're in amongst company that gets it. I really agree that you'd likely benefit from a few online ed. classes. Heck, how about in person - sitting in a classroom - classes. Would you be up for that when you move? I think some of us that have worked prior to being homemakers (and boy, have I been there and battled and had a few bitter moments with it), we can still find balance in having productive, positive brain stimulation that seems to ebb and flow.. gnaws at us from time to time. The death to our former selves can be enriched with the renewal of the 'new us'. And on the note of transferring to a place that no one finds enticing. My MIL caught a lot of flack, when they selected orders to Iceland in the 80's. While (to me) it sounds like a 'cool' (hmm, literal) gig, it was orders that no one wanted, amongst their military friends. However, she found kindred spirits amongst a building of new neighbors that would be her family for the next 3 years. They ventured out together and found the bright, shiny points of living there. She immersed herself in courses, she adapted to only talking to her family once a month (holy smokes, thank God for the internet technology and reasonable international calling of today), and they made it through. I think once he comes back from party town and you can have a day (or two) to just unwind from all of stress of packing, organizing, and child caring solo, that you'll be feeling (I hope) so much better. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend that you put whatever can absolutely wait until John returns, on the backburner. Yikes. I know that may be hard.. however, I was in this spot in 2007 and the stress truly made me so sick. Thinking of you!

Leslie said...

Hey Jill, my brother went to Kansas University for his doctorate and I went and visited him on numerous occassions. I can honestly say that I love Kansas City. Its another one of those great midwestern cities. They are big, but not overwhelming. There is tons of stuff to do, GREAT food, excellent breweries. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. People gave me the same look when I wanted to move to Indianapolis, but its just because they don't know that places like Kansas City are actually thriving. I'll try to ask my brother about some fun things to do.

Sarah said...

Hey there! I just found this blog through Sarah Nanoff's facebook page and I relate to each and every post.....thank you so much for your words and for sharing your experiences! I wanted to post here because I am from the Midwest and I know KC has so much to offer. My best friend in the world lives there, as well, and I would love to connect you two if you would be interested? She is a pediatric nurse practitioner and has 2 girls under 3...plus she gets to listen to me talk about all things Navy all the time.....so I think it could be a good connection? My husband is also a test pilot in the Navy and I am a school counselor (not working this year in Norfolk) and I completely understand how you feel! I just want to say that I think your blog is amazing and I find your honesty to be so refreshing, so thank you!!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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