The Tough Stuff

“We must learn to talk about the most difficult things, easily.”
Srividya Srinivasan

I was looking for a quote the other day and stumbled across this one.  I absolutely love it!  I don’t know what, specifically Ms. Srinivasan was thinking about, but I can think of SO many topics that it fits.

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How I Do It

We’re in limbo.  It’s common in the Navy.  Our eleven-year-old was just laughing yesterday about how the submarines never leave on time.  “They say they’re going to leave one day and then they don’t.  It’s always at least a day or two later.”  She’s not wrong, either.

And she shared a story with me about a friend of hers, also a military child, who was talking about her family’s upcoming move a few months from now.  Gracie and she giggled together that all the planning in the world can’t make orders come any faster.  Our family is supposed to leave in a couple of weeks and still don’t have those orders in hand.  Maybe I should send Tyler out to hunt them down in his Australian accent.  “We’re on the hunt, mates.  We’re trying to find the elusive orders in their natural habitat.  Quiet, now.  Don’t wanna spook ’em.”

Or maybe I’m finally losing it.  Crikey!

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Recently I drove by a school after hours and saw a woman I can only guess might have been a teacher leaving for the day.  She had a bag in each hand and looked exhausted.  She paused to readjust her grip and closed her eyes for a minute saying some silent prayer or curse – not sure which.  And I wondered what the rest of her story might be.  Had she had a difficult day?  Had she finally had a breakthrough with a challenging student?  Was she headed home to a lonesome and quiet house?  Was she bracing herself for the rush of children or pets that would greet her at the door?  Was her mother ill or had her father just remarried?  Did she hate cooking dinner every night or relax with a glass of wine and classical music while chopping vegetables?  What was going on that the eyes couldn’t see?

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I Forget Its Hard

I’ve been working on this post for weeks…pretty much since I last posted in March.  It’s now May.  It seems to be hitting me often lately…how hard this life truly is.  It may be my day to day, but that doesn’t make it easier.  I may have developed coping skills to help with the heartache of saying see ya later, but it’s still hard.

Every hug with a lump in my throat…every deep sigh in the car outside a coffee shop… every pat on the leg by my preteen who sees the stress I can’t even begin to hide…it’s all a reminder that this is hard.

Every time my nine year old points out, “That’s probably the last time, ever, that I’ll (fill in the blank)”…every time our thirteen year old asks to get together with friends, friends he won’t see anymore in a matter of weeks…every time our daughter pats my on the leg because she sees the stress I’m not at all good at hiding…I remember that this is hard.

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Blessed By You

You’ve probably heard that we are who we are because of the life we’ve lived.  The things that happen in our youth help shape who we come as adults.  Those opinions we form in our impressionable teen years influence our lives decades later.  Even things that happen in our adulthood can impact us a little…or a lot.  That’s life!  It’s always giving us opportunities to grow.

What I find important to acknowledge, though, is that it’s not just what happens in our lives.  We are also who we are because of who happens to be in our lives.

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Second Guessing

So…to catch everyone up….we were going to retire from the Navy.   And now we’re not.   And all of that happened so quickly, it seems.  It wasn’t overnight, but it was over a few sleepless nights…let’s put it into perspective.

May 2013…we moved to New Mexico
October 2014…we moved to Connecticut
May 2015…we moved back to Washington (that’s where we were prior to New Mexico)
April 2016…we decided to retire and move back to New York (which is where we’re originally from)
January 2017…decided to not retire and move to the Washington DC area

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*Trigger warning – this post is about sexual assault and its aftermath in my life.*

“Occlumency, Potter.  The magical defense of the mind against external penetration.  An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.”

Severus Snape, a professor at the school for wizardry that Harry Potter attended, gave Harry this definition.  Harry wasn’t a great student in these one-on-one lessons but eventually he figured out how to block another from his mind.  It seems to me that he figured it out once push came to shove and he really needed it.

In Harry’s case, they were trying to keep him from connecting with one person who was getting into his head. Through the books, though, I started to think of Occlumency as keeping evil out.  And I think I’m still learning.

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