Friday, April 3, 2015

Quarterly Update

I've not been great about posting, clearly.  I've been writing, just not here. There is a specific reason for NOT posting.

Ever since last summer, I have been able to avoid being drawn into an old dysfunctional pattern of behavior and it's been amazingly freeing. What I've learned is any requests for adjusted behavior are met with argument. For example, if i were to ask that G not be informed about a trip that requires my consent, until my consent has been given, I  would be met with, "We had open tickets so if you said no..." I did give consent and my request was simply for the future, just in case I need to say no for some reason. There was no need for debate on the issue. But anything that seems like criticism is met with debate. It's exhausting and a waste of time. So I no longer respond and life is so much more peaceful.

The biggest takeaway, is that there is a difference between engaging in time consuming useless debate and being walked on. I made my request politely. That's all I can do. It's in the best interest of G. If it happens again, all I can do is take the proper steps to address it. No need for debate.

This gives me both more time and more energy to focus on the people that actually matter: my family and friends. Baby L is thriving. She was actually thriving a little too much. Meaning her growth shot straight up the charts. The Dr. was a little concerned and he had an appointment with a neurosurgeon to check and see if she had a common infant issue of water on her brain. Less than a week prior to the appointment, her growth fell back into normal range and we were able to cancel.

I am astounded at my level of happiness, honestly. I  worried that having a baby would change my relationship with Chris. I worried our stress would increase, time together would decrease and all the good feelings would dissipate into roommate type relationship. Thankfully I was wrong. Having her has only added to both our overall happiness and our happiness as a couple. Seeing how much he enjoys Fatherhood makes my heart feel so full. I expected the worst because I've lived it. But everything with Chris is different. I find myself constantly wondering why this didn't happen sooner. He's really taught me so much just by being calm and conducting himself in a manner I respect. I have changed and grown so much with him. I choose my words more carefully. I don't need to fight with anyone to not be walked on, and I love that he's helped me get to this point. It's something I needed and something I am so grateful he gave me.

I've also let go of certain friendships. I haven't cut people out of my life. There's no anger involved. I've just stopped trying for friendship when there's no effort on the other end. I'm always here, but I'm not giving more than the other is willing to give. I feel less hurt and less rejected. I absolutely adore the friends I've done this with, but after so much time being there, it's just easier to approach the friendship in a different way.  I really wish I'd learned to do this when I was younger too. Sadly, it meant not inviting a friend to my baby shower. The fact of the matter is, this friend wouldn't have come anyways. I knew that. It seemed hurtful at the time. My reasons were questioned. But after explaining it from my perspective, there was understanding and we moved forward. I'm not surprised at all that this person has yet to meet or spend time with the baby. No matter how much it was discussed prior to the birth, i knew it would never happen. Not placing expectations on the friendship has helped me tremendously.

We are preparing for the summer season. Each weekend we make syrup from our tapped maple tree. We have peas, kale, and Spinach planted. The others are ready to be planted. I've joined a grocery cooperative to get locally raised farm fresh food at a discount. I make all of baby's food from scratch and even grind whole oats and rice into flour for her cereal. Chris is in demand with his business and his work can be seen in restaurants around Washtenaw County, as well as a dog rescue in Detroit and coming soon, a whole line at a yoga studio. Things are good. Easy, peaceful, happy and good. Our biggest challenge is that we need more room. So we've been trying to decide on the best approach. An addition to the house? Purchase land and build new? Or buy a bigger house? We aren't in any hurry so we'll continue to think about it and figure out what will work best.

My only real struggle since I last wrote has been a pretty bad flare. I ended up in the ER because I couldn't breathe. It was sort of crazy. I road an easy roller-coaster at Disney and bumped the side with my elbow and ribs. When a normal person does this they get a bruise and recover. But the bruise on my ribs sent my autoimmune disease into a full flare. It's the first time that's ever happened to me because of a bruise. The same process that helps a normal, healthy person recover, turned on me. Instead of getting better, my body attacked my connective tissue around my ribs. The pain got worse and worse, until last Friday, as I went to put the baby in the car, something happened and suddenly I couldn't take a deep breath and i had sharp intense pain that was so bad i almost threw up. Luckily the ER doctor knew my disease and knew exactly what to do. I'm still on the mend but I'm getting better, not worse. So that's something.

So that's pretty much it. We've got a few fun things planned for the summer. And I'm just looking forward to the future while enjoying the now. If you asked me 3 years ago, if i thought id ever be this happy or content in life, I  would have told you no way. Life really has an amazing way of giving you everything you need when you need it. I really couldn't see it back then. But as Chris and I approach 3 years of officially dating (in a few days) and 20 plus years of thinking how much we'd like to date but thinking the other person would have no interest, I am amazed. Life really does have happy endings. Bad things can result in the best outcomes. I'm so lucky and grateful. If i hadn't nearly died, I might not have ever seen the forest for the trees. I might have thought what I was living was as good as it got. I might have never grown as a person and might be spending my time feeling defensive and angry. It feels really really good to be where i am today. It might not be glamorous or exciting but it's the happiest I have ever been.