Sunday, March 10, 2013

When Life Hands You Pause Buttons Instead Of Easy Buttons...

I know I promised photos from our trip, dear readers (ye brave, ye few) and there will be someJust not in this post.
This week has been a doozy. Not all bad, but a doozy non-the-less. And since part of this blogging thing is all about honest conversations about life - let's talk about times when life puts some of those skills to the test, shall we?
This week, I've been challenged to make sure I develop healthy coping mechanisms, and search out the 'Easy' buttons that will help keep me safe and grounded during challenging times.

Right now, those challenges include a virtual halt on our adoption process. I'll be filing paperwork soon requesting an extended hold next week and canceling (yet again) our Transracial adoption training we'd signed up for. See, My Sailor's work schedule includes leaving for work around 4pm and coming home around 8am the next day. In the Navy, there are no such things as "weekends". Most days, he has about 2 hours of waking time in the house. That doesn't leave a lot any time for anything else. Try as he might, the poor guy is just exhausted when he rolls in. Making plans, having date nights, even the day-to-day stuff beyond the essentials (a shower and food) are pretty much impossibilities for the foreseeable future. Forget about a mandatory meeting for a training class that starts at 5pm in Seattle. He'll be working. Yes, we both MUST attend.

His heart is in it. He isn't flaking out. He'd love to be here and be all things all the time, but he's just run ragged. There is no time to get through the paper work, and it's the type of forms that I can't complete on his behalf. He'd planned to have them done this week - but then this schedule kicked in. It was tickled Monday night and sits on the computer, about 1/4 of the way done. (Since my laptop crashed on our vacation, he wasn't able to do it during this leave like we originally planned.)

The paperwork aside, even if he was able to get his portion magically completed in the next 60 seconds, we still have to post pone. There isn't time for CPR/First Aid/HIV certification (required), 27 hours of PRIDE classes (required in classroom by the state), and other classroom-only training classes we both must attend and complete. (Unlike other states, Washington requires classroom hours and does not accept online programs. Even if they did accept online programs, we probably would still be on hold as he doesn't have time to complete them. Parenting is the kind of training I can't do for him - nor do I want to. This is a journey unique to each parent involved.)

The heart is there. The money can be there (at least to complete the homestudy portion) but the time just isn't there.

At least, not for what is probably the remainder of 2014..

While part of me realizes that caring for a child/children right this second might overwhelm both of us, it's heart wrenching to realize that we are making exactly zero headway on this front for the foreseeable future. In fact, we've made VERY little headway since August of 2012...There is no sign of his schedule letting up until the Fall. 

While I know all things happen in their own perfect timing - I'd be lying to omit the fact that it sucks. Big time.

Especially since I had hoped that Dad's cancer would cooperate and give us time for him to at least meet his future grand kids. Right now, the goals to Dad's cancer treatment changed from aiming for remission to aiming for comfort and quality of life. Now, he's not bed-bound or anything and there is still time to more awesome memories, but there isn't as much time as we'd like. And it's honest to say - that despite our optimism, it still, well, kinda   really sucks. 

I know that our kids will know my dad though, in the living legacy that is me and my brother.

 Taking all this on has made me really face what coping strategies I've learned over the years. It's made me take notice of the unhealthy ones (insomnia and an overwhelming urge to eat every pastry and sugary thing in sight) and foster the healthy ones (working out, eating healthy, writing).

In fact, it's made me grateful for all the other Pause Buttons that I've learned to thrive through over the years (and extra gratful for the therapist that helped me through most of them following my divorce).

  If it weren't for those trials, all of these might crush my spirit entirely.

Instead - I've been hitting the gym harder than every to exhaust my body so sleep comes unmedicated (95% of the time at least). I've been spending time around My Sailor whenever possible and just enjoying the moments, rather than pushing for anything. I've been marking things to do on my calendar and keeping things to look forward to that I can make happen with or without My Sailor.

 Things like 3 work outs a week with Trainer Guy and C25K Training on the days in between. I'm planning on at least 1 race in August and looking for more. A Disney World race sounds great, but I'm still nervous about making the money happen for it. I'm adding some extra TLC to those special relationships that I know will carry me through this and beyond. I'm writing (, reading more, loving more, praying more, and meditating more.

I'm not eating more. I've still yet to purchase a single box of deadly Girl Scout Cookies and I'm not having any trouble with binge eating that the me of 20ish years ago would have had. I'm not drinking more (in fact, it's times like these I generally avoid alcohol), unless you count perhaps a few more cuts of soothing teas. I'm not picking up smoking (ew...) or charging up credit cards. Retail therapy never lasts.

So, dear readers, don't worry. I don't plan to touch on this topic often. This isn't going to become a cancer blog where every entry has the word "tumor" in it. Nor will you be seeing photos of a Wake any time soon. This blog will be full of conversations beyond the restrictive bubble that is a diagnosis worthy of House. There is so much life to live every day. Too much to keep me down for more than a few moments here and there.

I am asking for help when I need it, and balancing the tears with laughter and the loneliness with friendly voices. I'm leaving the tears in the tissues (or on My Sailor's shirt, whichever is handier when it sneaks up on me) and I'm working out the anger and frustration in the gym. (In fact, this may just make me the physically healthiest version of me ever.)

After all - if we're never given more than we can handle, then we'll all get through these times just fine, right?

Isn't that what faith is for?

When Pause Buttons hit, and Easy Buttons hide, hit Faith and Play.


  1. I hear your heart on this in so many ways. How long will my kids have my Dad? His cancer isn't so good either. Double ugh! For both of us. To encourage and reiterate: God's timing is always perfect. The top of my blog picture proves that out time and again and continues to amaze me every day. Hang in there J.

    1. Yeah - I keep reminding myself of that! I mentioned to My Sailor the other day that I don't want to be 40 chasing around a 2 year old. Then he said the obvious thing, "Well, we can always adopt older if we have to wait 7 years." lol It'll all happen when it's supposed to.

  2. No words of advice from me...just sending hugs, love, and positive thoughts. You have a lot on your plate right now. I am so sorry to hear about the adoption delays, and especially about your dad's health. Thinking of you. xo

    1. Thanks Carly. I'm a believer that every little bit of support really does help keep us going!