190 Days

I want so much to tell you about the whole weekend, the whole week in fact, or maybe even the whole month of October. But I can't right now. Instead, I can tell you this. What has been a long and tiring (and painful) 6 months is finally starting to make sense. I am now able relax into a placid state of grace.

The crisp fall weather has brought chills into my skin and has sent notice that summer is now over. It's given me reason to think deeply about the last half year and notice all the credits into my "sink or swim" bank account. They've certainly added up. I may not have gone many days in a row without my eyes brimmed with tears or hands cupped to face, but I sure as heck figured out how to take care of myself and my son and stay employed while this tornado roared its way thru our lives.

Please forgive me if I list my accomplishments today. I am truly humble most of the time. Let me be frank if you will. I felt like sh*t for one whole half of a year. That's 190 days of pure pain. Pain that I didn't think I could ever live thru. Pain that I did not think would ever end. I'm still afraid there's a lot more to be had. It's not like there's a reconciliation in the works.

But you know what? I have figured out how to move on, to let go, to forgive (ok, I'm workin' on that one) and how to trrrrrrrrrrrry to act like a grown up. I'm not great at it. Really. I screw up a lot. But most of the time I'm pretty OK. I get back up just as quickly as I fall down. And often I'm not bitter or angry as I move thru my days. Parenting you ask? Unbelievably, I'm patient with Oliver. (Hey, I'm even patient in traffic, and that speaks volumes I think!) I have had only a handful of moments where I am glad there wasn't a camera around. Generally speaking, I am actually quite proud of how I behaved and treated Oliver, despite the fact that there were many times I was there in body mainly, because my heart was aching for a mend. In other words, I don't think I've screwed up Oliver just yet — not too much anyway. ;)

So here's what I can't flippin' believe I did the past 6 months. I'm amazed. Really truly amazed. And.... I'm not going into detail here. I'm just going to list the headlines, OK? Again, forgive me, but I am writing this mainly for myself. Here goes....

What I was able to do the past 190 days:
  • I manage the majority of the care of our son; 
  • I handle the business of arranging his schedule; 
  • I manage a full-time job which includes a certain amount of responsibility and accountability; 
  • I mentor about 5 other women (I don't talk about that here very much, but it does give me a large dose of humility and time away from my own problems when I get to help them with theirs.); 
  • I attend two (sometimes three) "book" studies a week outside of work that are very spiritual in nature and help greatly to keep me grounded; 
  • I manage a whole entire house by myself; 
  • I absorbed some additional financial burdens;
  • I do some yard work; 
  • Some of the repairs around the house I also do myself; 
  • I have done "project organize" in our home and basement with several trips to Good Will these past 6 months;
  • I work out twice a week, sometimes three or more; 
  • I took a class that I've always wanted to take;
  • I attend a WW (Weight Watchers). Currently I'm down 30 lbs from two years ago, losing 15 more pounds the last 6 months; 
  • I take care of three cats which means I mainly clean up hair balls, fur bunnies and cat puke everywhere (and most recently a dead mouse with its head gone missing but that's another post); and I feed / water them; 
  • Most recently I've been by my dad's side thru his heart surgery this past month; 
  • I traveled to Door County with my son a few times this summer; 
  • I tried to make sure that my son and I did at least one sort of big, fun, child-centered activity each weekend; 
  • I made sure I had plans each weekend with friends or family;
  • I was an active committee member for a women's retreat for 7 months; the retreat occurred this past month and it was a big success;
  • I read a lot; blogged a lot; journalized a lot; photographed a lot; played a bit of solitaire nightly; and even watched Top Chef, Project Runway, The Good Wife, and Rescue Me and stopped watching my soap;
  • I sleep thru most of my nights and get to bed at a decent time;
  • I feed my son healthy, organic and nutritious meals and snacks daily; 
  • I shower my son with love and attention the best I can and keep him out of the middle of my life mess;
  • and I continue to take care of me in terms of my health and appearance.

In a nutshell, I've been a single mom for 6 months.

All while grieving a big loss, trying to heal from a broken heart, trying to cope and understand what was happening in my life and Oliver's life.

Actually, I want it known that I flippin' take out my own garbage almost daily!

I'm doin' it you guys. I'm doing it.

Now I just have to act the part. I have to stay strong. Be cool. Stay focused. Not miss another minute out of being present for my son. I am learning guys... I'm learning. I'm trudging, but I gettin' it done. Wow. As I look back no wonder life was not easy. My marriage was / is busting up. My husband left, and I mean left, emotionally. It was like an alien came down and took over his body. I watched him remove his wedding ring, clean up his appearance, tone his body and buy new clothing. After which, I had to get myself in order, then my son, and then this whole big house. (Big is relative, OK?) And I had to function at work! Not only did I not lose my job, but I just had a very positive review last week. Yay for me.

So yeah, maybe I'm tooting the ol' horn a bit here. But I'm saying this for my benefit really. I can't flippin' believe it. No wonder it was a rough summer. My goodness. College break ups were hard, no doubt, but nothing like this. Tack on all that other stuff and you get a big fat triple quadruple whammy.

Before I end, I just want to tip my hat to my husband. He did continue to support me and Oliver financially this whole summer. His support was immense, without which, we could not have stayed in this home. He offered to mow the lawn at first too, until I received another lawn mower, one which I could actually start and operate myself. My husband has been incredibly obligatory in the finance department, all while his own business continued to suffer. He has paid not only for most of our necessities, but quite of few of our luxuries as well. Yes, I acquired some of the financial burden when he left, but I am here to say, he is doing a lot. In addition, the only reason I have Oliver the majority of the time is because I have not been willing to give up "my baby" more than just a couple or few nights a week. That being said, Matt has been more than fair; more than willing.

OK, time to end this post and go to bed. I have to mention that I don't think I could have survived these 190 days without the tremendous amount of support I received. My friends, my family (even my employer) — you have really carried me. The encouragement you shared gave me the hope and confidence to put one foot in front of the other. And you guys all continue to carry me. So thank you. Thank you, thank you. I love you guys. I'm so dang blessed.

Thank you to my mother who I talk to often, whose voice I hear offering me comfort and strength. We are connected.

Thank you God.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes. You are doing so well, I am proud. Day by day you are getting closer to being 100%, you will be made of steel in 190 days! Wonderful post.

  2. I don't even know you, and I don't remember how I found your blog... but I am so proud of you.

    I was raised by a single mother who never wanted to be a single mother. She fought for the dreams she had for her marriage, and the dreams she had for me. In the end her heart broke. And she pieced it together for ME. Powerful stuff. I had more of a parent in her than many of my friends had in both. You can do this. You ARE doing this!

  3. Thank you to both of you. The comments mean a lot to me. Thank you for sharing about your mother. Love for your children can be so powerful and strong. What a great story.

    Thanks to both of you....


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