First and foremost, My Grandma. She's been gone 12 years, and yet some days, she's all I think about. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. I'm not really sure why, but I have. I remember freezing Cokes in cups when Cyndi and I would go stay with her. I remember writing about her all through high school and college. I remember the letters she used to send me while I was in college. I remember the first time I introduced her to Ryan. When my dad called her that evening she told him I was going to marry him. We'd only been dating a couple of months, so I'm not really sure he was happy to hear that! I remember my wedding day. She couldn't come to the wedding because she was sick, but she was living at Mom and Dad's and she got to see me in my wedding gown. She told me how beautiful I looked and how much she loved me. I have SO many happy memories of her. So why do I cry when I think about them?
This is going to sound selfish. But sometimes I miss being single with no kids. I LOVE my husband and kids. But if you're married and have kids, you probably understand where I'm coming from. Remember when you could do WHAT you want, WHEN you want? Not having to check with your spouse to see if they're okay with it. Not worrying about whether or not you have a babysitter. Not being able to just get in the car last minute and do something, even if it's just running to the store for a diet Coke! I wouldn't trade my family for all the money in the world. But sometimes, just sometimes, I miss that freedom.
Believe it or not, China. I LOVE being home. SSOO glad to be home. But there are parts of our year in China that I miss. And I will always miss. I made some great friends. Friends that I saw when I went back and it was like we'd never even been apart. Our style of living was different there. I think it made us closer as a family. We spent more time together. We only had 1 room with a working TV and that room had the satellite, dvd player, and Wii on it. So that's the room we congregated in. We took walks together. We didn't have a car, so we HAD to walk. We walked to the store. We walked to dinner. We walked to school. It was just a different lifestyle. I REALLY miss my Ayi. Not having to clean or do laundry for a year? Let's just say I got pretty spoiled while I was there. And now we're home, and guess who's the Ayi? You guessed it - ME! NOT happy about that!
Four Things You Wish You Could Say, But Might Never
I'm not sure what I ever did to you, or why you don't like me, but I'm tired of worrying about it. I'm sure you have your reasons. I'm also tired of hearing about how the world is against you. You get what you give. Please don't spout to me about friends or family, when it's only convenient for you. If you aren't going to act like a friend to me, then please don't try to lay a guilt trip on me about how I should act. I know I don't fit into the "mold" of what you think I should be, but just because I don't look a certain way, it doesn't mean I'm not a good person. I've spent too many years trying to be someone you would like. I'm done trying. If you don't like me, that's YOUR problem. Not mine.
I think you're both being goofy. You've both said things you shouldn't have said. You've both done things you shouldn't have done. Now get over it! I think it's pretty crappy that it's gone on this long. But honestly, I'm done worrying about it. And you should be too. You've both made it very clear that you're never going to forgive each other, which I also think is pretty stupid, so why keep dredging it up? I do however think it's pretty crappy that 2 grown adults can't be civil to each other. I've spent most of my kids' lives telling them that they are not going to like everyone they meet, but they at least have to be respectful to everyone, whether they like them or not. Why is that THEY know that, and you don't? One more thing, I also think it's pretty crappy that it's affected more than just the two of you. That's very childish and should NEVER have happened.
I love you very much. But you really hurt my feelings. And it's not something I'll probably ever forget. It's been almost 18 months, and it still bothers me. And when I tried to tell you that it hurt me, all you wanted to do was tell me more things that I did wrong. I'm not saying what you said was wrong, because it wasn't. But your timing was awful. And instead of agreeing that you could have timed it better, you just told me about other things I've done to disappoint you. How would you have felt if that was the last time you saw me? What if something had happened to the plane I was on? Is that REALLY the last thing you wanted me to remember? I spent the whole plane ride thinking about what a disappointment I am and that if something happened to the plane, at least I wouldn't be a disappointment anymore.
Sometimes you make me SO angry. I don't feel like you respect my feelings. I feel like I have to justify so many things I do and I have to censor a lot of the things that come out of my mouth. Just because we don't like the same things doesn't mean my things are stupid. They're just different. So why do you have to keep making fun of them? Why can't you just accept that we are different? I don't make fun of the things you like. Why can't you respect me enough to do the same?
I'm pretty sure I've never talked about this on here before. For a long time, I never talked to anyone about it. It was too heartbreaking. And scary. But recently, someone I care very much about has been having the same type of problems, and it's brought all of the memories flooding back.
In September of 1998, I lost the best friend I've ever had. My Grandma. She meant the world to me. And then suddenly she was gone. And I was lost. Then, the next month, after trying for almost a year, we found out I was pregnant with Jason. Then, the NEXT month, my husband started experiencing SEVERE depression. A lot of things happened all at once, and I think it just HIT him, pretty hard. And he kept spiraling out of control, and there was nothing I could do to help him. I was working full-time in customer service. And I went from answering almost 400 calls a day, to being lucky to answer 100. Because I was on the phone with him. All day. Every day. He was crying all of the time. I was crying all of the time because I didn't know how to help him.
I have a degree in Psychology. I'm supposed to KNOW, at least a little bit, what I should be doing for him. But I didn't. I was clueless. And he didn't want anyone to know what was going on. So for awhile, it was just him and I trying to fight this battle alone. Finally, after a few weeks he decided that we needed to tell my parents, because *I* needed someone that I could go to. So we told them. And as usual, they were very supportive. Of both of us. The day I married Ryan, he became a part of their family. No questions asked. I'm sure they thought we weren't "right" for each other. Every parent questions the person their child is going to marry, right? But they knew I loved him, and that was all that mattered to them. So he became their other son. And they were SO great. Not only were they worried about me, but they worried about him too. I'm not sure I ever thanked them for that. So just in case I didn't, thanks Mom and Dad. You helped me more than you'll ever know.
He finally started meeting with a Psychiatrist, to put him on medicine, and a Psychologist to talk to her about his feelings. And let me be clear, in my opinion, one does not work, without the other. IF you have severe enough depression, you NEED medicine. But you also need the counseling. (Even if you think you're a "big tough man" that doesn't need to talk about your "feelings", YOU'RE WRONG!!! It's your feelings that got you here in the first place). He started "intense" group therapy that he went to every day for about 4 hours a day. He continued meeting with the counselor, I met with the counselor, and he continued meeting with the Psychiatrist until they found the right combination of medicine to help him through it. This process was still going on even after Jason was born. There is no "quick fix." (There was a lot more than that, but this post isn't really about the "act" of the depression, it's about what it's like for the other person).
We had a really tough few months. Months where I wondered if he was going to get out of bed the next day. Months where I wondered if *I* was going to get out of bed the next day, because I was so drained. And so exhausted. And I went through all of the emotions. For a long time, I was so ANGRY with him. Here I was, pregnant with our first child. This was supposed to be such a happy time. And I couldn't really focus on it, because I was so worried about him. How could he be so selfish?! (I never said I was thinking rationally. I WAS pregnant after all)! And I was sad. And I cried a lot.
I don't know what he went through. And honestly, I don't WANT to know what he went through. But he doesn't know what I went through either. I know it's harder being on his end, but it's not easy being on my end. I saw the person I love turning into someone I'd never seen before. He's always been more of a "glass half empty" person than me, but this was more than that. This was the glass is empty and I can never fill it again! And I was useless. I couldn't "fix" it. And I should have been able to. Why couldn't I fix it? Why wasn't I smart enough and aware enough to see it coming? He cried all the time. I cried all the time. I honestly didn't know how to help him. I TRIED being supportive. But then I just got frustrated. I kept thinking, why can't he see the GOOD things? Why does he have to keep focusing on the negative?
I am 40 years old. And to this day, that experience is the hardest thing I've ever gone through in my life. He talks every once in awhile about going off the medicine because he thinks he's better now. And he may be. But honestly? I'm not willing to take that chance. I can't, and I WON'T go through that again. We KNOW what it's like. And we know that him being on the medicine keeps it from happening. So why tempt fate? Why mess with a good thing? I won't do it. We have 3 kids now. Three kids that are amazing and smart and funny and our whole world. Why mess with that? I already thought I was going to lose him once. I'm not going to do it again.
I sort of spaced out on the last challenge and didn't finish the last few days. But in my defense, we were in China and then the kids were on Spring Break, so things got a little hectic! Anyway, I liked the idea of doing the Challenge, because it gave me something to write about everyday. So I found another one to do. And after this one is over, I might even find ANOTHER one!
So here's this one. This one is a 7 Day Challenge.
Day 1 - Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day 2 - Six things you love.
Day 3 - Five songs you like.
Day 4 - Four things you wish you could say, but might never.
Day 5 - Three things you miss.
Day 6 - Two things you want.
Day 7 - One story of a memory you have.
I'll go ahead and start Day 1 since it's been so long since I've written anything.
Seven Things That Cross Your Mind A Lot
Ryan and the kids.
My parents and my brother.
My wonderful friends.
My amazing Grandma and how much I miss her.
Wishing I would win the lottery so I could do WHAT I want, WHEN I want, with no concern about how much it costs.
Being thankful that I have such amazing people in my life that love me just as I am.
I'm not the greatest housekeeper. I'll be the first to admit it. I hate cleaning house because with 3 kids, it never stays that way. It's very frustrating. So sometimes I let the "clutter" build up so I don't have to deal with it. But eventually, I do. And it's very overwhelming. I look at all that clutter, and I don't know where to begin. I try to work on it in steps, but it's still overwhelming. Take Sarah's room. I've been cleaning out her closet, bringing out the Spring/Summer clothes, putting away the clothes that will still fit her next Fall/Winter, and then bagging up the ones that are too small and will go in the yard sale. I've pretty much gotten her closet cleaned out, but I had to quit when I got to her room. After cleaning the boys' rooms yesterday and putting all of her stuff that was found in THEIR rooms, back into her room, I have about 3 tubs of things to go through and sort. And I'd had enough. So I'll work on it again later today or tomorrow.
Now, if I was a SMART person, I'd never let it get so cluttered. But, keep in mind, this is ME we're talking about. I'm unorganized, lazy and hate cleaning. Oh, and I'm 40. And I've always been this way. NOT just going to wake up tomorrow and TA-DA I'm an organized and amazing housekeeper. I have a greater chance of winning the lottery. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't be so bad, because then I could PAY someone to be organized and clean for me. Now THAT would be AWESOME!!!
(I know I've been MIA for a few days. I've been in Shanghai for the last 2 weeks, and I got busy with shopping, foot massages, and catching up with my friends. I had a great time. I'll post more about that later).
Day 25: Your Dream Wedding
Since I'm already married, and had my dream wedding, I'm just skipping this one. It's been almost 15 years. That was MANY years ago! ;)
Day 26: Original Photo Of The City You Live In
I live in Louisville, Kentucky. And while I LOVE it here, it's not as pretty as Shanghai, China, where we lived last year. So I decided to post some pictures of Shanghai instead.
This is a common site in Shanghai. The first couple of times we saw things like this we were amazed. By the time we left, it didn't even faze us!
This is the Pearl Tower. A famous building in Shanghai.
This is the Huangpu River. It divides Pudong and Puxi. We lived in Pudong. This is taken from the Puxi side.
The building on the left is the JinMao Tower. The one on the right is the World Financial Center. These are also 2 famous towers in Shanghai as well as around the world. The WFC is the 3rd tallest building in the world.
Another view of Jin Mao and World Financial Center.
This was taken from the Pudong side. We are looking at Puxi.