Here are the things I’m struggling with right now:
- How to raise my two boys so they can honor a woman’s agency and intelligence, in spite of the fact that they didn’t see this modeled for the first 10 and 8 (respectively) years of their lives.
- How to run a business when I still have my own ups and downs, when I’m back and forth between single-hood and single-mom-hood, when I don’t have the safety net I used to have (and as a result, a high level of anxiety when things get tight financially).
- How to train for a 100 mile race when the heat index is above 100 every day.
- How to do all the things that need doing in my business and my home, and how to get rid of a lot of clutter (both physical and mental) that found its way into my life during my marriage.
- How to deal with a society that seems hell-bent to de-value people, families, caring, compassion, and charity
Here are the things I’m not struggling with, a much longer list.
- Finding a church. I’ve found a delightful group of people to learn and grow with on Sunday mornings at Universalist Unitarian Church of Little Rock, and if there’s differences of opinion, they acknowledge that those will happen and handle most things with humor.
- Finding a great partner. I’m constantly stunned by the man who has shown up in my life, by his kindness, intelligence, energy, sexiness … I could go on but this could get boring really fast (to anyone other than me).
- How I look. I guess I could struggle with this. I’m not a supermodel. But, I’m strong! Losing a lot of weight can have its consequences too, and parts of me are floppier than I’d like, but my above-mentioned partner makes it a daily habit to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am. I just can’t get myself worked up about what anybody else thinks.
- Whether I’ll be able to finish my next race. I’ve managed to power through a lot of races now. I’m sure there will one day be circumstances that will lead to a DNF, because even some of my stronger, fitter, faster friends have encountered this. But mentally I’m in a better place to deal with it, with a stronger, more supportive community of people around me.
- Knowing I can DO things. Last week, I refinished my dining room table. It looks lovely. This lovely little mid-century table has been awaiting refinishing since I bought it in 2004. I grew up believing I could do anything, something that was definitely borne out by my dad assigning me to a variety of non-feminine tasks, from mowing our acre of lawn to carrying 40-lb bundles of shingles to him as he built our roof … but during my marriage I was asked to buy into the fiction bullshit that these things weren’t “feminine.” Whatever. (P.S. I also fixed my bike, another thing I was told I could not do.)
- Being in a better place with my kids. I get to be the parent I always wanted to be. No longer do I feel I have to yell at them to prevent their dad being angry with them later. I can be a refuge, a safe place. I can provide a kind home, a place where they can be comfortable and can snuggle and feel like they are wonderful. Which, they ARE.
- Speaking my mind. See the last few blog posts if you don’t believe me. For the duration of my marriage, I got shouted down every time I ventured an opinion (sometimes by two people if my ex-father-in-law was around). I wasn’t even SUPPOSED to have an opinion on politics, certainly not one that would be listened to. Well, screw that.
- Standing up for what’s right. I’m not even speaking politically here. Sometimes I find myself in a group where one person is routinely rude to wait staff, or acts like a total arse just for the hell of it. I’ve called this person out enough that they have blocked me on Facebook in some kind of juvenile revenge. I’m one thousand percent proud of that.
So what are you struggling with? And, more importantly, what have you accomplished?