The last few months I've been away because I took a break from social media. That includes all of it, email, facebook, cafemom, and my blog. Last year when our financial downfall became worse, and it felt as though everything in front of me was crumbling away I needed to stand back and re-evaluate. I was consumed in negativity. I felt like the funk that was surrounding me was never going to let go. I tried to pretend like it wasn't there, but there came a point where I couldn't fight it. It was everywhere and it took hold.
I used to be on Facebook almost every day, sometimes several times a day. But when I found the only thing I wanted to write in the status bar was something negative I started to fade away from it completely. Then came the emails I didn't want to keep writing to my friends and telling them I was fine when I wasn't, and at the same time I didn't want to keep telling them I was miserable and bring them down with me. I realize that my decision was selfish, but I'm truly not sorry I did it, because I don't think I would have been able to be where I am right this second had I not done things the way I did.
In May of last year we received a foreclosure notice on our house. That was the turning point for me. I was so sad and filled with anger and emotions I had no idea where to place I spent several days just crying and sitting in a sack of whoa is me. Sad sight to see it was. The light that was leading me to better days was gone. Losing my house, at the time to me felt like doom. I just couldn't imagine leaving my home, that I helped build, where I brought my 3 beautiful children into the world, where I shared so many amazing moments and memories! This is my home, and you will not take it! I said that over and over but knew it was very possible the house was going to go no matter how loud I shouted.
The next several months went by with much the same. Television and Internet were disconnected, even the power was off a few times. Then came winter and we were sitting here cold many days. How frustrating, and how embarrassed I felt. I was ashamed. Ashamed that I couldn't give my children the life they deserved, that basic necessities were difficult to get and sometimes impossible. How sad for them I felt that their parents were letting them down. Then came the day it all changed. Though it would seem the day we saved the house from foreclosure would be the turning point, that wasn't it. It was the week before school was starting and I was going through all the beautiful things my family had gotten the children to get them ready. It was a moment that only happened in a few minutes, but it was a huge moment. At the dining room table my daughter heard the phone ringing and the answer machine came on.
"Mr. Raymond, this is the bank manager, I just wanted to tell you that you only have 2 more weeks to come up with the payments you'll need to stay in your house."
There it was the moment of, oh shit, now my children know. I cringed with anger and fear. Why hadn't I just stopped what I was doing for that minute and answered the damn phone! Why didn't I always keep the answering machine volume turned to zero, especially when all the messages were horrible!
So there I sat in complete ice cold fear. I glanced at my son and he was busy putting labels on his new folders, my other son was checking out his awesome new backpack with really awesome reflectors.
Then to my daughter, who sat directly in front of me, staring at me with those huge brown eyes. She wouldn't move an inch, and I thought oh dear god help me through this. My daughter looked at me and said
"Mommy, what does that message mean".
I wanted to lie, I really did, but it dawned on me we may not be able to save this house, and they will need to know, and I would feel much worse telling them when we were packing.
"Annelyse, there is a chance that Daddy and I will not be able to afford our house anymore, and if that happens we will have to move out".
"Mommy, why are you crying".
"Because I didn't want to tell you, and I don't want you to be scared".
"I'm not scared". said my very calm and beautiful daughter.
"You're not?" I asked.
"No, I'm not scared of anything like that". she said as she continued coloring her name tags.
"Well that's so wonderful you would say that, and I'm so proud of you for being brave". I said knowing what a wimp I was, and how brave she was.... Then came the moment... the simple, very quick amazing moment....
"Mommy, you should be brave too, and you shouldn't be sad. Look at all of these cool things we have that Grammy, Kimmy and Rosie got us. We have so many things Mommy, it's easy to be brave".
I didn't understand what she was saying I really didn't. I asked her if she understood what I had just told her, and she said she did.
"I understand Mommy, we might have to move out of our house".
"Ok" I replied, still not sure if she really knew the depth of what I told her.
"Mommy it doesn't matter where we live, we will always be together, and we will always have just what we need. We don't need this house to be ok Mommy, we just need us".
There it was. The moment. That one damn moment changed me to the core. My 8 year old daughter looking me straight in the eye telling me what I should of been saying. I swear God spoke through her that day. The light came back. It was so bright I could hardly stand it. That moment I realized I was being so selfish, and it was time to stop. My children weren't suffering, they weren't dwelling on what they didn't have. I was! They were enjoying all the wonderful things they did have! They were living happily. I don't know why I didn't see it before that moment, but I didn't. But when I saw it, it was the most wonderful and amazing sight I had ever seen. It was living in the moment, enjoying the little gifts we receive every single day. The tree's that change color and look so beautiful. The different clouds that form and look like all sorts of amazing dinosaurs. The way the sunlight hits your eye and lights it up like a beautiful marble with brilliant colors. The way you feel all warm and fuzzy when your child gives you a hug. The beautiful moments we share every night when it's time for bed. The way a kiss can make your heart flutter. The taste of your favorite meal. The laughs we share every night at dinner talking about our day.... The one moment it took to wake me up gave me millions of more moments to remember, and to look forward to. That was a very good day.
So, my friends I leave you with this. Sometimes life is a real pain in the ass. It can swiftly change and knock the wind out of you. You can take them with despair like I did, and feel like you would never be happy again, OR you can kick life right back. Let yourself revel in the little moments. The small things that mean so much more. Smile whenever you want to. Do not feel like you have to be sad when times are rough. Keep your sanity when life tries over and over to take it. Live in the moment. The old saying that until my moment I never took seriously. Four words that can change your entire way of thinking. Tomorrow is always going to come no matter how far away it seems. Grab your moments and smile.