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Lost and Found, 2016

While I’ve taken a step back from blogging, I still continue to read some of my favorite blogs-even when I can’t comment.  A lot of people are writing their 2016 year recaps, and that got me thinking about all I’ve endured this last year while my husband has been deployed.  Immediately, “Lost and found” came to my head which is where the title of this post came.

 

A lot of things were lost this year.

 

I’ve lost a lot of friends. There. I said it.  While harboring anger has been my method of choice for the last 9-10 months, I know I need to just get it out of my system and move on.  When the news of my husband’s deployment came, the outpouring of love and support I received in the weeks prior to his departure was a God send. I thought, “Ok, with all this support I will get through this without a hitch. I GOT THIS.”  But after he left, as the weeks and months passed I can say I was more than shocked how many friends basically fell off the face of the earth when it came to being in my life at least.  Because my ability to go out, go running, pretty much do anything but work and raise my kids 98% of the time ceased, so did said friendships.  And that made me so very sad.  BUT…I’ve got a small handful of friends who didn’t give up on me, and continued to support me even if it was just via text or phone calls and I NEED to focus on that.  The harboring anger is too hard.  While I will forgive, I will say that I won’t allow my heart to be hurt anymore in the future.  I can’t ever forget…this year has been far too hard to ever forget.

 

I’ve lost my temper more times than I care to admit. Fits of anger and sadness overcame my body so much so I’d find myself curled up in a ball on my bedroom floor, sobbing. And I didn’t like that feeling of helplessness at all.

 

I’ve lost my motivation to run, cook, or do any of my favorite things. What little free time I have is spent cleaning, taxi’ing kids and just being around for them when they need me has taken everything else out of me.  My oldest daughter has found her solace and peace with her friends, and I get that.  She’s 17.  But my youngest wants to be with me, all the time, and while I know a part of me knows that is because her Daddy is gone, the other part of me is celebrating because she WANTS to be with me.  I haven’t been able to focus on anything else.

 

I’ve lost my ability to make excuses for people. No explanation needed.

 

I’ve lost hope, on more occasions and in more situations than I care to admit.

 

And in a way, I feel like I’ve lost my hubby and oldest daughter all in one year (even though I know that’s not true) and the emptiness that statement brings to my heart cannot be described in words. I’ve lost him due to this deployment, and I’ve lost her as she starts gaining more and more independence. I miss them both, dearly…

 

But I’ve also found a lot of things.

 

I’ve found that I am tougher than I thought. Despite a couple breakdowns, both physically and mentally I have battled through a lot of things this year. Broken snowblowers, toilets, furnaces weren’t going to beat me. Add in car accidents, multiple nannies quitting and raising two girls on my own and I give you a whole new level of stress that isn’t for the weak.

 

I’ve found that I’ve got a few amazing people in my life. Between my neighbors who are like family to me, and a couple pretty amazing friends that didn’t quit reaching out to me even when times were tough, and I’d say I am pretty blessed. My friend A. has texted me every single day, for 42 weeks now…that’s 42 weeks she’s set a reminder to tell me goodnight “NNT” and allow me the opportunity to reach out to her if I needed to because we all know how rotten I am about asking for help or reaching out.  She’s driven in a blizzard to have dinner with me, because it’s so few and far between that we are able to get out.  She’s been there for me. And that speaks volumes.  My friend J. has called, texted, and FB’d me as well as doing sweet things like leaving mums on my front porch this fall.  My family has also been amazing, calling, texting, and my Dad has been awesome about helping me around the house when they come to visit.  There are others, too, of course…but these are the standouts that didn’t give up on me and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

 

I’ve found that I can function on just a few hours of sleep. And while I may look like a train wreck, I can say that I have wrapped 95% of the Christmas presents because I stayed up late last night doing so!

 

I’ve found that running and cooking will always be there. While I’ve only run one race this year, I still have a love for it and look forward to training for the Chicago marathon next year.  My husband will return, and my cooking will commence as I am sure he won’t be as appreciative of soup and sammiches every night, LOL.

 

I’ve found that you have to pick your battles. So my kids aren’t star athletes and they don’t get the best grades.  So what? Their happiness is the most important thing, and I remember how hard it was to be a teenager/young girl. The best medicine is always support and love, even if it’s tough love, all while motivating them to do their best in everything they do.

 

I’ve found that not being on social media as much is something I need to do for my own happiness. Because it’s too hard to hear how people are always too busy for you, when you are seeing pictures of them out and about with all their other friends.  Social media can suck like that.  And I don’t need that in my life.  So I’ve started trying to not check it during the day, except maybe at my lunch break.  Baby steps, right?

 

I’ve found that even though my oldest daughter and I butt heads, we love each other. That little woman is truly 90% me at her age, and that terrifies me because of the struggles I had growing up.  I often remind myself of how I felt at that age, and try to approach things at a different angle so she doesn’t withdraw even more.  This of course after I’ve flown off the handle which let me tell you, NEVER works when trying to communicate with a teenager.

 

I’ve found hope. Nearly as quickly as I lost it. Every. Single. Time.  And that counts for a whole lot if you ask me.

 

I’ve found that I really can…do hard things. I may not always do it right, or do it well, but I haven’t given up yet.

 

While I will happily bid 2016 goodbye in just over a week, the things I found truly outweigh all that was lost.

13
One of my favorite memories of 2016

 

How was your year? Highlights? Lowlights?

 

Cheers!

Michelle

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25 thoughts on “Lost and Found, 2016

  1. It’s good to see you back. I have found that blogging is a great way to share the journey and gain people who have been there. A lot of families have anger for the reasons you feel. Hang in there, you got this the rest of the way.

  2. I’ve found that staying off social media is one of the BEST things I’ve done for myself this year. I deleted my Snapchat and only go on Facebook every few days now. Between feelings of FOMO and all the negative political and social commentary people post about, social media can sometimes do more harm than good.

    Sounds like you’ve had a tough year, Michelle, but also a fruitful year. Often, it is from pain that we find our greatest strengths.

    I wish you the best for 2017!

  3. What a wonderfully honest post! I love how you balanced the bad with ending with the good. Hoping 2017 brings lots of good things your way!

  4. It’s been a hard year for you and some things I can relate to so well from this post. From afar, I would say you are going such an amazing job with everything. It’s great to hear you have some solid family members and friends around for support. I sure hope the next few weeks speed by for you. Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 to you and your family.

  5. Beautifully written, glad you found more than you lost this year. Being a single parent (even temporarily) is difficult & you learn you are stronger than you believe you ever are ❤ continue to be strong and see the blessings in every situation. Merry Christmas.

  6. I am over here boo hook bawling!!

    I am so sorry for your losses this year. The friendshipsecond I think ate the hardest ( personally). I have lost some too jus by becoming a mom an it sucks 😦

    I am so happy to read about your founds!

    Isn’t it amazing how strong we can be when we have to be?

    I am so impressed by you and your resiliance, strength and dedication to yourself and you girls!!

    Continued blessings to you and your family.

    As always that you and your family for your service! I really appreciate it!!

    Virtual hugs and blessings!

    Happy Holidays.

  7. I am sorry that some of your friends did not come through for you. Sounds like all of this brought you a lot closer to your girls though and in the end that is the most important. You have really dealt with a ton this year and you have handled way more than most of us ever have to. Merry Christmas!

  8. You know how they say there is always someone going through something much worse than you? I had a tough year, Michelle, but you definitely had me beat. And you have done things I really don’t think I could have.

    The friend thing sucks. I’ve always had a small circle of friends, and every time we move, it takes me years to build that network. I’ve lost friends, too, though — best friends — over the years, and that really sucks. It’s very hard to let the hurt go. I have with some, not with others.

    Thinking of you this Christmas Day. I’d like to say I’m here, since I’m Jewish, but unfortunately I am going to visit my parents so I will be with them (and in the car for 3 hours). Still, I am thinking of you and wishing you a much better 2017.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I apologize for the delayed response. My family was in town, and truly saved the day. It was a rough holiday for sure, but having my family close really helped. I am sorry (and empathize) on your rough year…but here’s to 2017!! May we find more joy in the upcoming days!

  9. Isn’t it funny how deployments reveal your true friends? There are friends for a season, and there is always a lesson to be learned through a friendship. That said, there are also friends for life, and it sounds like you have a couple of those!

    I have been thinking of you, but not following my “following” on WP too much (perhaps a new commitment for 2017 – focus on WP, rather than FB?), so I apologize for not responding sooner, or to as many posts. But, I am holding you and your family in prayer through this holiday season and the duration of your husband’s deployment. Another day almost down!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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