How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Welcome to the sixth edition of my “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.

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In 2011 I lost two loved ones to suicide. I realize that there is likely nothing I could have done to change the outcome of their lives, but it is something that I struggle with as I continue to work through my grief and try to make peace with these women taking their own lives.

I know that many of us suffer in silence when we are going through difficult and uncertain times in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not asking you to tell me your secrets or your problems, unless you want to of course. But I invite you to check in here periodically (you can also email me or send a Facebook message) and let me know how you are feeling and what plans you may have for tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt from the post I referenced above called Gatekeepers:

My favorite line in Meg (Hutchinson’s) song (called Gatekeepers) is, “maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.”

I think that is so profound and it certainly rings true for me.

There have been countless people throughout my life that have been “Gatekeepers” to me. Though I have never seriously considered taking my own life and strongly believe that I will never do so, I have survived some very rough patches where my self-esteem and self-worth were severely challenged. 

I love the idea that in “ordinary ways” we can make extraordinary differences in the journeys of loved ones and even strangers that we meet throughout the course of our day-to-day lives. 

Kevin “the Gatekeeper” Briggs has done so by asking those two simple questions of strangers he has met contemplating jumping (off the Golden Gate Bridge), Meg Hutchinson has done so through her music and song, Bob Edwards has done so with the stories he shares on his radio show and you all have done so for me over the years through your comments here, your caring ways, your love and your support as my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family members. 

Thank you so very much.

I will be posting “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they will present the opportunity for anyone who reads them who is having a hard time coping with challenges they are facing in life to share. That said, you are certainly welcome to comment about the things you are feeling good about too. I believe that being able to recognize and name the things we are grateful for is essential to help us find peace and joy in our lives. That is part of why I love participating in Lori’s monthly Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sometimes it’s the little things than can help keep us a float when we feel like we are drowning. Just knowing that others care and want to know how we are feeling, as well as being able to think about what we might do tomorrow has the power to help us get through tough times.

Thank you for reading. I hope that however you are doing today that you know there are people in your life (I am one of them) who care about how you are feeling and want to know what your plans, hopes and dreams are for tomorrow and the days to come.

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I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Tired — Abby was up in the night a few times and it was hard to console her/get her to go back to sleep. She is still in her crib, so I couldn’t get in bed with her to try to help calm her down, as I did sometimes when Sean was her age. I brought her into bed for a little while with Bob and me, which she was happy about, but then none of us really got much sleep. So then I put her back in her crib and let her cry it out, which was hard for me to do last night, even though I believe in Weissbluth’s “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” philosophy on sleep.

Excited — I will be participating in a conference call tonight with the members of the panel, My Blog No Longer Fits Me: ALI Bloggers Talk Blogging After a Life Change, that I am speaking with at BlogHer’s Annual Conference in August and a representative from BlogHer. I look forward to hearing some of their voices for the first time and getting to discuss more of our plan for and the details of our session!

Content — Our summer has gotten off to a great start overall and I have really enjoyed Sean being home from school with Abby and me. We have spent a lot of quality time together and it reminds me how blessed and lucky I am.

Sore — I somehow managed to pull or strain a muscle in my upper back while the kids and I were at the beach with my mom yesterday. I was playing in the water with Sean when it started bothering me and it has been uncomfortable ever since.

A Bit Jealous — A lot of loved ones in our life have recently had or will soon be having babies. I am so happy for them, but it is also a reminder about how our family building journey did not go as we hoped, dreamed and planned it would. Overall, I have made peace with that and feel grateful for our family–just as we are. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wonder sometimes what our life would be like if children had come into our life more easily and quickly, as we had wanted. That said, I do feel so grateful to have Sean and Abby in our life/family with Molly always in our hearts.

My plans for later today/tomorrow/the days to come are… 

Have good friends over for a BBQ, whom we haven’t seen for a while. Their son and ours play together really well too, so Sean is excited for our gathering.

Ride bikes with Sean and pull Abby in the trailer to/from the library so they can file their Summer Reading Club reports and return old books/check out new ones.

Play a round of golf with Bob (our first of the season) at the golf course where our wedding reception was held twelve years ago this September, while my parents graciously watch our children. We played there with our dads and some friends the day before our wedding and got rained out after a few holes and somehow never made it back. So we are looking forward to hopefully (weather permitting) getting a full round of 18 holes in this time.

Go to the hospital to visit a dear friend and meet her new baby girl who will be born Friday, if not before. Praying for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Go to a local race track with my side of our family for our annual (belated) Father’s Day Celebration. I am not a huge gambler, but I enjoy the experience of watching the horse races and placing a few bets.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jjiraffe June 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Lots of good stuff going on 🙂 I love that you bike to the library! I hope you have a good golf game and have fun at the races…

The kids are out of school and doing swim lessons and I’m exhausted. I miss school! 🙂
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2 Kathy June 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Yes, thank you! This time of year/the weather cooperates we try to bike as much as we can locally for the exercise, gas savings and doing good for the environment.

Swimming lessons can be exhausting! Sean and Abby will start theirs in a few weeks Monday – Thursday mornings! I am looking forward to their learning to swim better, but it is a lot of work to get them dressed, sunscreen applied and to/from the lessons. I will also be getting in the pool with Abby, since hers is a parent/child class. Such “first world problems,” I know…
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3 Esperanza June 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

I meant to comment on this before but I forgot. I guess I’ll answer for today now.

Today I’m feeling nervous to talk to my therapist about the pregnancy she has been hiding from me for months. I feel she put me in a really uncomfortable situation by not telling me and letting me wonder for months. She is already six months pregnant and hasn’t said a word. It seems very unprofessional.

Also depressed that I have to deal with depression, again. I wish I could get pregnant without having to take an SSRI but it doesn’t look like I can manage that and it makes me feel broken.

I’m also anxious about a trip with my college friends next week. I’m very excited to go but also worried I’ll be the depressed one once again. I’m so tired of that dynamic with them and I’m sure they are too.

Tomorrow my family and I are goin to tool around the neighborhood of a house we’re looking at to see if we like it and if there is anything to walk to around there. I hope it feels like home, or has the potential to.
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4 Kathy July 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

So glad you checked in and answered Esperanza, regardless of what day it is/was.

That is surprising and unfortunate that your therapist put you in the position. I agree that seems unprofessional, especially knowing your history/situation. I am sorry that you are having a hard time with that and hope that your discussion goes well when you do talk about her pregnancy.

(((HUGS))) I am sorry that you are depressed and wish you didn’t need to take an SSRI. I appreciate it making you feel broken, but I respect you knowing yourself well enough to do what you need to take care of yourself emotionally during this time.

Sending courage and strength for your trip with your college friends. Those dynamics can be very bizarre and uncomfortable when the years pass and the circumstances of our lives become very different, making it difficult for some of us to understand/appreciate each other’s perspectives and life experiences. I hope that things go better than you expect them to and that some of your friends surprise you with their actions and attitudes.

That is so exciting about your plans related to house hunting! I look forward to hearing how it went (please let me know) and I too hope that it feels like home for you. I also like that you are open to it having potential, even if it doesn’t seem to be exactly what you have in mind.

Thanks again for sharing how you are feeling and your plans in the days to come. Sending lots of peace, love and light your way during this difficult and uncertain time in your life.
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