Ever since 2010, the months of August, September and December have been so hard due to some hard times and family things. The depression hits, the mood swings are worse because of numerous reasons, my sleep suffers and I really struggle to even get out of bed most days.
This summer was a very intentional summer in my home. I made a real effort to have fun with the kids, help them make their own decisions (big and small), do things they wanted to do and at the same time fill my own cup with making our adventures educational and memorable. The summer flew by with their first camping trip, their first tenting experience, time at my husband’s family cabin with just me and them, nature walks, sunset chasing, dragonfly saving…ALL the things! I needed it, they needed it. I also made sure to allow tons of time for them to spend with their cousin who they will not be seeing much now that he is starting school many hours away in Moose Jaw. They had their last play date and we were all sad saying good-bye. I worry about him being so far away. And I also worried daily about the 2020 school year looming and what it was going to look like.
Mid-August my youngest turned 5. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened so fast. The day of his birthday I received an email asking all families to let the school district know if they were NOT planning on sending their children back to school. This was a big decision in which I had been speaking to my kids about probably more often than necessary. They knew their options and understood that there was no wrong answer but I wanted them to make that decision from their heart.
Starting September 9th this year my children began new journeys that they had a part in deciding. I am proud of them for making the decision and I am in their corners all the way.
Brody began grade 5 with a teacher who shares my son’s love of all things nature. He is catching grasshoppers for the class salamanders and helping his teacher find all sorts of bugs and animals outside which his teacher documents and photographs (he is working with some sort of group having to do with nature-I really can’t remember what it is though). The fact that he needs to wear a mask all day and on the bus has not worried him one tiny bit! (Polar opposite from his mom here)
Karina began her grade 3 year as a homeschooler. We decided not to do remote learning or distance learning. It wasn’t really as much our decision as what ended up happening because of lack of information and poor communication…I can always fill you in on that later lol. Regardless of where her education was going to come from though, she was not going back to school (at least for now). We are only 2 weeks into it and we have already had many ups and downs but I’m learning what kind of learner she is, what makes her tick when it comes to school, and trying to remind myself that I am teaching her, Karina, not me. We all learn differently and this is not a classroom in a school.
Ryan started his first day of Kindergarten on September 15. He will be going every second day for the whole day. This is so great for him! He gets to spend time with so many other kids other than his brother and sister and I know this was the right choice for hi as well. Lol, he didn’t make that decision on his own but he did get to give his thoughts and concerns. The mask was not a concern (for him, different story for me haha). I can’t wait to see what kinds of great pieces of art work he will bring home! I just love watching them grow and change throughout their years!
My biggest struggle by far has been my workplace. When they implemented mandatory masks for employees and customers this meant that each I worked I fought back those anxieties and all the trauma responses that come with it. It is exhausting to have to find a way to do my job, deal with customers yelling and threatening (another big trigger for me), my own mental health including the panic attacks that were incurring constantly due to all the triggers and extra stress…I was a mental mess. I still am, to be honest. I’m finding it very hard to cope with it all.
I also worry about the impact this year is going to have on people world wide long term. I fear we’re going to end up with more mass shootings or bomb threats or heaven only knows! I don’t feel there’s enough mental health support for everyone during this pandemic. It worries me that someone could literally *snap* at any given time and I sometimes worry that someone might be me or a teacher at my kid’s school, or a customer that I ask to please pull up their mask. The fear is real.
Anyway, take care for now friends. I’ve missed everyone over the past couple of months and I can’t promise how often I will be able to pop in, at least until I can find some sort of groove with this crazy life, but I’m over here thinking of all of you!
I also want to say a special thank you to Dwain for reaching out. It’s not the first time and honestly I hope it’s not the last. You know when those bad days just pile up and nothing is going according to plan, when the depression has hit too many times to count and you just feel like nothing you do matters anymore? Dwain, your email helped me realize that there are people out there who (even though we’ve never met) care. This means a lot and I truly appreciate your kindness.