June 20, 2012

My brain is exploding

I waiver between tossing up posts that just say that we're alive and give you some tidbits of our lives, however shallow, or taking time to delve into my emotions and write from a deeper, more emotional place.

Frankly, it's hard to find time to delve. Of course, for me, it's also hard to find the motivation.

Here's the list of things I need to think about (but usually avoid instead):
  1. My brother-in-law, Jrex's sister's husband has been battling throat cancer. They went in Monday morning to try to remove the tumor, as well as his voice box, and closed him back up. The cancer has spread to his neck bones. Their daughter is 7-years old and I just don't know how to wrap my head around it. I don't know what to do for them except pray. While I'm doing it, it brings up arenas of doubt and disappointment. YJ calls and talks with Jrex for an hour or so multiple times a week. When I've answered the phone, she's quick to ask for him. I remember not having emotional energy for most people when my Mom was sick, so it doesn't feel personal, but it limits how much direct involvement I can have. I don't know what they've been telling Sogna and she's a little young for me to be able to call just to chat with her. I'd love to go visit, but Jrex is also stressed about finances, so that doesn't seem doable either. 
  2. Finances. We're both making very good salaries, yet feeling strapped. A lot of it is the house. It's beautiful, but takes a lot of maintenance and help to keep it that way. Plus, gas/electric/water here costs almost as much as the mortgage payment, and we didn't anticipate that. I'm doing what I can to try to be even more frugal, I'm open to selling this house in a couple years and down-sizing, I've raised the thermostat, I'd love to plant drought tolerant plants and cut down on watering, but there's only so much I can do in the meantime.
  3. Finding a church. Sundays have become really emotional for me. It's hard not to have a 'home', to not have a sense of at least beginning to be rooted somewhere. I'm totally freaked out about raising a son in the midst of all my searching around. I want a community who will have known him all his life and it's already passing so fast. It's hard that Jrex isn't part of the process. If I find a church where I really encounter God, I come home excited to tell him and he just listens tight-lipped and silent. It breaks my heart to not be able to share our faith walks in any profound way together. It's become so private for each of us. Part of the ache for me is that I've usually had a group of women to talk and pray with at least every other week. I love the women that I've met with, but we don't really dive into active prayer together and I'm craving that. I've got three possible churches that I'm thinking about, but it's often easier to stay home and avoid the emotional journey (which doesn't help in the long run).
  4. This one feels less emotional, but I do keep debating whether or not to do  freelance. If so, I need to crank out some design work, make phone calls and start attending area design networking events. It seems like WAY too much hassle at the moment.
  5. Vacations. Jrex is desperate for a vacation. We haven't really had one since we did Vancouver and Whistler three years ago. After that, his Dad fell off a ladder and we dealt with all that, then Jrex went into publishing his paper, applying for jobs, deciding on a job, moving, and now starting up his lab. He's FRIED (understandably!) and that's part of his bitterness about the house. Because we can't easily drive to any mountains, our vacations now inherently involve flights, car rentals, hotels/cabins/etc, kennel for the dog, and food costs. We're used to driving somewhere, bringing our own food and sleeping in a tent. Budgeting a few thousand dollars for a vacation is disheartening when it's hard to get money into savings. 
Our current cheap vacation thoughts: We're thinking of doing a staycation in October and then maybe driving to Big Bend for Christmas week. We could  bring food, the dog and all the baby gear. I found a little solar powered cabin with toilet and shower that would be as close to camping as we could get. We can't bring the dog into the national park with us so no lodge for us... plus, Jrex needs mountains, hard hikes and solitude for recharging. It's "only" a 10.5 hour drive through flat, stale and yellow desert. If we were younger, we might try putting the baby in the car seat and driving all night.

I think that's it. Nothing much, right?

No wonder my blog posts have been shallow and infrequent!


Lori said...

I was about to suggest a trip to Big Bend; my parents are from that part of Texas, and both of them have always found it to be just about the prettiest place on the planet.


Inkling said...

Wow. That is some heavy stuff. It's hard when both halves of a couple are in survival mode for reasons both shared and separate. I can relate. I wish I could say when it gets better (because I totally believe it does if we endure), but I'm still in the enduring stage.

That must be a hard irony for your husband to watch a relative deal with a disease he pours hours into alleviating. (If I've understood JRex's job correctly.) I'm so sorry for all of it. (Saying sorry is a sucky way of giving a hug to you from a keyboard a border away.)

The church/spiritual life stuff....You know I relate. You'll be on my heart in that regard.

Thank you for your incredible input on my last post. I was wondering if you would see it and relate, and am so glad you shared. When you grow up in a bubble like I did, it's vital to hear from people who have experiences like you have had. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'll be praying that these burdens somehow get lifted and that you guys do get to go on holiday somewhere the provides a real sense of respite and refreshment.

Rachel said...

Wow, that's a lot. Any one of those things would be tough, but all of it together must be overwhelming. I hope you guys are able to take a vacation sometime soon, even if it's something low-key. Keeping your BIL and his family in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Gracious! My brain would be exploding too! I hate that your new home is producing so much stress and wonder if maybe downsizing sooner might be better than toughing it out. I know the market is not the best for selling, but maybe it might be better to lose some now rather than the pay out so much each month.

I'm sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I can't imagine adding that to everything else you described.

I know it's not possible, but I wish you could spend some time on the coast path here. I always feel better after a day spent walking up and down the hills by the sea.

NGS said...

I wish you a lot of luck in finding a church community that works for you. We are not religious, but I know that having a faith community can be so important in being grounded, meeting new people, and having support. Keep trying new things and don't give up!