I’m Dying…. And So Are You

Dear World,

My whole family has suffered from the cold of the century this past month. It is a lingering, annoying, disgusting little bug that has riddled each one of us with a months worth of dirty tissues, nagging coughs and endless sneezes. I’m confidant that we are on the home stretch of this germ fest but there are still the last few sniffles that remain. My sleep has been dramatically effected, as it is hard to breath when you can’t breath. Brian, the concerned and loving husband that he is, asked me the other day how I was feeling and I responded with “I’m dying”.

Well it was true. We are all in fact dying. I realize it was a little harsh, when he was really asking how I felt at the present moment and if I had had a better nights sleep. He glared at me unamused and I shrugged it off as a joke, but I’m not sure if I was joking.

You see, I am dying. Not today, hopefully, but I am going to kick the bucket someday. I don’t get to know when that day is so for all I know, it may be tomorrow. I’m not trying to be morbid and creepy, there really is a point to this.

I think about the people that are sentenced to death from cancer. The doctor tells them that they have six months to live. What do they do? They sure as heck don’t live like they have forever. They surround themselves with the ones they love. They do the things that they have always wanted to. They take every minute of every day as a gift because their time clock is on its final countdown.

How about people that work in the armed forces to protect our country. The men and women that fight on the front lines where it is most dangerous. I can bet my life that when they are home on a leave that they are counting every blessing and every minute because they don’t know if they will have them again. Their time could expire the next time they are deployed so they make every minute at home count.

For some reason, when our brain realizes that we may be almost done here, that is when we want to hold on for dear life. Think about the five year old at a park. After an hour they start to slow down and tucker out. You can tell that they don’t have much energy left so you give a five minute warning. Suddenly the energy returns with gale force. When the clock was endless it is easy to become complacent and tucker out. When the clock is ticking suddenly every slide must be hit once more. Every swing must be swung.

I think it is a brilliant lesson to be learned. I want to hold on for dear life. The same as the patient dying of cancer and the soldier ready for war and the five year old with a five minute warning. We all have no idea when our five minute warning will be or if we will even have a warning.  Tomorrow is promised to no one. We are all going to die and we have no idea exactly when.

I certainly don’t want a diagnosis of cancer and tomorrow I’m definitely not going to jump out into oncoming traffic just to see if I’m meant to be here. However, I do wonder if we could all live a little better of a life if we had in our mind that tomorrow really might be it.

I have recently started to wake up in the morning and before my first sip of coffee, I thank the Lord for another day. I am realizing that it is a gift to just be here. I thank God for Brian and my kids waking up yet again and I start my day.

I also have started to take snip its of the day and live them in slow motion. All too often I rush around the house doing chores, working, getting kids ready, just the tasks of living. I rush through them to the point that I am numb to them and even hate them from time to time. The new me is trying to make moments count. I am trying to live in slow motion.

I would despise getting up in the morning and having to get everyone ready. Uggg it is the worst part of my day. We fight over outfits that I picked out, fight over what shoes to wear, fight over breakfast and what to pack for lunch.  The morning was the worst part of my day until later when something else happened to take the title. I sat in traffic and was late to work. I forgot to pack my own lunch and didn’t eat all day. I was late picking Jacob up from school….again and looked like an idiot. Uggg it is the worst part of my day. Dinner was terrible and everyone hated it, I despise every second of homework, bathtime never came because I suck at being a mom. Ugggg it is the worst part of my day.

I would feel this way every day. I still slip back into it here and there, but I am trying to re-frame my way of looking at the worst parts of my day. I love that I was blessed with the ability to wake up today, so many are not. I’m overjoyed that I have made a daughter so independent that she would want to choose her own outfit. If shoes are the biggest problem I have today, I am a lucky girl. I may have burnt the toast but I couldn’t be more thankful that we have food to eat at all. I may have skipped lunch today but it gave me a chance to catch up on some phone calls that needed to be made. I was late again but Jacob smiled at me just as if I was on time. Homework is quality time spent with one of the loves of my life. The dirt and the bath will be there tomorrow. Hopefully, so will we.

All the things that were the worst things, really don’t mean anything. Do you think that the person with six months to live is thinking twice about any of this. I should hope not, so why am I? I too am dying. You are dying. We are all dying.

I am dying, so every moment needs to count. Tonight for the first time ever, I let the kids decorate our Christmas tree all by themselves. It was a slow process that left a very bottom heavy tree with many sparse spots but I watched as Cassidy went up and put on one ornament and then Jacob. Every second was enjoyed and cherished, even the moments when I had to snap at them to slow down. I can look at each and every ornament and tell you who hung them. We didn’t decorate just to get it done. We did it with purpose. This was a night to remember. It was a night to cherish. Tomorrow will be the same … if it should come.

Love,

Cherise

Fifteen Years Of Collecting Dust

Dear World,

Ever wonder what it will be like when you finally settle down and have kids? I can distinctly remember wishing and waiting on the traditional milestones, getting married and having kids. I recall the single days and being young and having fun. The days of less responsibility and the days that were centered around myself. Funny as I centered every day around Me, that I was counting the minutes down to add more work, more people, more love, more chaos, more confusion and less Me into my life. I couldn’t wait for those milestones and I had no idea what a difference they would make.

I can be sappy and tell you about the differences that it will make in your heart, but we’ve all read that blog over and over. “There is no love like the love you feel for your children.” Got it! “Marrying your soul mate is living happily ever after.” Yup, Got that too!

Now for something more tangible!

It is a Friday night and I sit here and type. It is peaceful and quiet. I am the only one stirring in the house at this moment. A glass of wine sits beside me on the coffee table and a stiff pillow behind my back and I think about my life fifteen years ago. Wow, seems so far off but as I look around I begin to see the differences and realize the distance that I have traveled in fifteen years; I am surprised by the differences. Here are five changes after marriage and kids.

1. My mantel. First off, fifteen years ago I probably didn’t have a mantle and if I did it only held things like candles or empty liquor or wine bottles in an attempt to glorify an amazing night of over indulging. It was covered in dust and there was nothing hanging above it, that is if I even had a mantle at all. I was carefree and unfettered at the time so remembering a plank of wood sticking out of the wall fifteen years ago seems silly.

Tonight, I look up at my plank of wood and I see pictures from my wedding. A kiss that I would never forget. I see last years school pictures, because I’m slow and haven’t changed them out yet to this years but don’t judge, at least I have them up there. There are jars filled with wine corks and candles in full pinterest form making me feel so crafty. There is dust. Hmmm I guess not much has changed!

2. My couch. Fifteen years ago my couch was a trash dive couch that a country club was tossing. I took it for free and could have cared less that it was pastel striped and god awful ugly. It was free! It usually had a puppy on it, and with that tons of fur. Shortly after said puppy came along the couch was also covered in dental impressions as well.

Tonight,  I sit on a hand me down couch from a friend that I have recovered in full pinterest form. It is comfy and was free so I’m loving it. It is no longer pastel and ugly but it looks like a couch that belongs in a living room with a mantle. It is still covered in fur from when the no longer puppy decides that he should climb up for a sneaky nap. Hmmmm, I guess not much has changed!

3. My coffee table. Way back when, a coffee table could have been anything. Milk crates, Tupperware boxes, an actual table… all of which could have been used for a coffee table. Mine was of the wood variety and it was once again free. Passed along from someone moving and getting rid of shit. I was available to take said free shit. Then, my table was probably covered in crap. It probably had bottle caps, old mail, magazines I would never get to read, dust, and a coaster for decoration.

Tonight my coffee table is covered in almost the same. You’ll be shocked to know that the table was free. Yes, I don’t like paying for furniture and people throw it away when it is still perfectly good so it isn’t Tupperware but it is a hand me down and I love it.  The table is topped with papers from the kids “crafts” which is actually just ripped up paper placed strategically around the house to fuck with me. A center piece of pine cones  and a candle in full pinterest form sits on the table now along with the coasters that are just for decoration. If ever I had a table worthy of an actual coaster I wouldn’t have coasters, I’d just cover that shit in a sheet of glass like old ladies do. Finally, it is covered in dust because I’m lucky I have time to get a shower daily, let alone dust.

4. With the holidays approaching, I realize that fifteen years ago, I had a love for decorating…. on a budget of course! I bought a cheep tree that was short and skinny and some cheep ornaments to cover it. It was small but pretty and by the time I took it down in mid January it was covered in dust.

Tonight, there is no tree in my living room but already the pinterest plans are being made of where to put the tree and how to decorate it for the most magical Christmas ever. That said, I still have the same cheep ornaments and the same cheap tree. There has been additions to the ornaments that the kids have made. Hand prints and foot prints adorn the tree now. They are free to make, but when they all come down in January, they are all still covered in dust. Hmmmm, guess not much has changed!

5. Fifteen years ago, the only reason that I was sitting on the couch playing on the computer by myself on a Friday night was because I was lame. If I were sitting on my couch by myself I was probably feeling like shit for being alone. I was trying to fill my time with meaningful things like reading magazines or painting my nails but really I was lonely and knew that all that I was doing was collecting dust.

Tonight, I sit alone on the couch with a pillow firmly placed behind my lower back because I’m an old lady. I type away and feel anything but lonely. I am overjoyed by the quiet and peace in my house right now.  I cherish every second that I am still alone, thinking in the back of my mind that it is only a matter of time before a kid wakes up and spoils my peace. I enjoy every moment until I have finished my glass of wine that was filled too high and realize that all I have done tonight is collect dust. Hmmmmm, I guess not much has changed after all.

In the end, kids or no kids, hubby or no hubby, we are all just collecting dust. Enjoy it if you can and hopefully you aren’t allergic!

Love,

Cherise