Monday, December 28, 2009

Taking a look at the past 12 months

The holidays seem to be notorious for putting people in a pensive frame of mind. And I'm no different. In the last few days, amidst the chaos that is the holidays, I have again been taking stock of my life.

15 months ago, the man I was married to, my best friend, died. So many of you have been there for me during this journey. I am still working to find peace. There are days that I feel that things will be fine and that the world is finally slowing down enough to let me back on. Then, night falls, and I find myself alone and aching. Grief is not for the weak.

Last night, after the gifts were put away and my daughter was in bed, I found myself crying. The second Christmas without him. Sure, I've moved forward, and things are improving, but there are some things that are not the same. Some things can't be fixed. A part of me will live forever with him. And those memories come back to me at night.

So, what has changed for me over the past year while I have taken a break from this blog?

I've taken a different job. I am no longer working as a Technical Writer. The job and the company I was working for created too much stress. My health and my personal relationships were suffering. I now work as a manager at a local lingerie shop. I love what I do and I am much happier than I ever was at my last job.

My daughter and I are beginning to adjust to living on our own. Right now we are dealing with some abandonment and separation anxiety issues for the munchkin. Even when I leave her with my parents she often worries about whether or not I will be coming back. She turns 4 in February and is beginning to grasp that other people have Daddies and that hers is not around. She still isn't sure why he isn't. She knows that "Daddy's in heaven with Jesus" but I believe she is only repeating what I have taught her. I don't think she grasps the concept of Daddy being in heaven. If I'm honest, I'm not sure I grasp it. :)

I've begun dating again. On June 21st (Father's Day) I met a wonderful man (Hereafter referred to as "the boyfriend".) who has been a friend of the family for years. I was able to contact him through Facebook and ask him if he'd like to get together. Six months later, I still get excited every time I know that I'm going to see him. He treats myself and my daughter like a queen and a princess respectively. He's kind, honest, patient, caring, attentive, generous, intelligent, and gentle. He's everything I could ask for. It's amazing to me, but he seems to understand the position I am in. I'm fighting every day to find my way and I believe he enjoys watching me grow. I get phone calls and "check ins" for no reason. He manages to find that fine balance of taking care of me when I need it and letting me have my own time and space. He has a daughter of his own and the four of us enjoy spending time together. The munchkin adores him and he adores her. I often tease him that I'm not sure if he's dating me or my daughter.

My financial situation is much different that I've been used to in the past. I am by no means destitute, but paying the bills is often an exercise in patience and prayer. I am in the process of paying off medical bills. This month was big for me. I paid off the first of the balances. Now, that money will be rolled into another payment. I am excited to begin to see things snowball. Never before in my life have I been the one in charge of the finances. Up to this point, there had always been someone else who dealt with it. Now, I keep track of what's coming in and going out, and I make sure that things are being paid on time. It's actually quite a feeling. If I were to get married again, I'm not sure I would want to relinquish control.

I've learned when to ask for help and I've also learned all the things I can take care of on my own. I've learned that there are so many people out there willing to help me if only I can swallow my pride long enough to ask. I have learned that independence is a wonderful thing, but being all on my own is not my goal in life. Thankfully, my daughter provides me with constant companionship.

Munchkin has gotten another year older, another year smarter, and another year sassier. She always makes me smile and more than once has pulled me out of the pit. She's wonderful and she's the best thing I ever did.

So, dear readers, there's a snapshot of my last year (or so). The ache is still there, but it is beginning to dull. I have wonderful people in my life that believe in me and care more than I ever knew. Thank you to all that have been there for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm a baby penguin. HONK! HONK!

The munchkin girl has taken a sudden liking to penguins. We've been reading penguin books, watching penguin shows, and playing with penguin toys.

She waddles around saying, "Honk! Honk! Mommy, I'm a baby penguin." So, as any single mother would do, I've been indulging this little obsession. While I was at Wal-Mart the other day I found a singing dancing penguin that looks an awful lot like this one.

It does an incredibly annoying rendition of "Jingle Bells", complete with giggles. The munchkin girl loves it and I've had to put a prohibition on it during certain times.

Today she was staying with Mom and Dad while daycare was closed. She took her penguin. While standing near my parents she pushed the button to start the singing, let it sing about two or three words, and then pushed the button again to stop it, saying, "OK. That's enough. Party's over."

I swear, I don't know where she gets this stuff.