A Work In Progress

Good morning, everyone!!!  It’s almost 8:40 am this Sunday morning but I’ve been since 5:15 am.  A planned hike with my in-laws didn’t pan out so I used the time instead to get a jump on the day.  I already made one of our dinners for the week, a hot Italian chicken sausage and veggie pot pie, and will start work soon again today on my VA claim paperwork.  (So far, I’ve backtracked on the August and September 2004 casualties; I have five more months to go back over and I am waiting for older civilian medical records to be mailed to me so I can discuss, yet again, my anxiety-induced chest pains with the VA.)

This week delivered more stress than I typically encounter this time of year.  The resulting uptick in chest pains makes me more uncomfortable, adding its own layer of stress.  These stressful things are temporary, I know, but it still frustrates me.  We’ve had a really long summer: my husband’s service dog tore her ACL, our other dog had cherry eye surgery (and revision surgery), an A/C issue resulted in a small repair just under $300, and this week was a frustrating mix of a termite inspection (our neighbor has active termites), the brakes went out in one vehicle and fireworks were on the menu.  Ugh!!!

I make a conscious effort daily to find ways to de-stress, and I think anyone who has life dump so much at one time knows the same thing: we’re all a ‘work in progress.’  I am not the best at managing my anger and frustration when life falls apart, and my budget is hit hard month after month.  I owed my daughter an apology earlier this week when I let my anger at the world over our ongoing array of mishaps get the best of me because this week wore me down greatly and I fear she thought I was mad at her.  I wasn’t, but she’s little and doesn’t understand anger directed outward isn’t necessarily directed at her.

After composing myself, I talked to her about being mad regarding these large expenses.  Each expenditure has meant a dip in our budget, a need to be creative in other areas of spending, and facing the reality while I wanted us to take a trip to Vegas in January and start saving towards a Hawaii trip next year those prospective trips are off the table.  She doesn’t recognize in the eleven years her dad and I have been married, we’ve never treated ourselves to a big trip or why that luxury matters to us.  We didn’t have a fancy wedding nor did we go on a honeymoon; it was nice to dream that renewing our vows in Vegas (I’ve never been to Vegas as an adult!) and makeup honeymoon were within reach in a year’s time.

As I write these things to you, I know–and own the reality–these are first world problems.  I am still in a place of privilege.  I own my home, I have a job that allows me to support my family.  My family and friends stand by me for this journey.  My fridge, freezer, and pantry are always stocked.  I have free time to reflect on where I am personally and professionally, time to look back on all I’ve experienced, and plan for the future.  The situation is not as dire as it feels in the moment.

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