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 The Problem

Well, I got through the bout of depression yesterday.  I didn’t take more Lexapro.  The Chick-fil-A helped.  A lot.  Closing the door to my office for a while helped.  Mostly what helped was identifying that there was something, a lot of somethings,  bothering me. 

While I had lunch, I sat and thought about it.  What in the heck was wrong with me?  I was overwhelmed.  Expanding the program is a huge job.  All morning, I had been asked for information (as if had the answers!)  What tax rate increase was I proposing?  HA!  ME….proposing a tax increase!  Who was I to propose a tax increase?  Who was I to create a budget of this magnitude?  How in the world did I get that authority?  Whatever I did, I knew that I would have to take ownership of my actions.  Eyes were on me, expecting me to know the answers.  Did I have answers?  Well, at that point, I just wanted to go home, be pregnant, and work in the garden.  I wanted to run away, but that was really not an option. 

Also, there were things in my personal life that were weighing on my mind.  Often, the choices in front of us are not easy.  What might seem like a great idea in the short-term, may end up being a damaging choice in the long run.  It’s easy to pick those short-term fixes.   Those are the choices that get you through the day…..or the week….or….on and on, but in the end, thoughtless choices will turn around and bite you in the butt.  What might make you feel good or happy in the present is often the same thing that will cause you pain in the long run.  I was facing one of those personal choices yesterday.  On the surface, it didn’t seem like a big deal.  I could have fooled myself into believing that, but my gut and my heart were giving me different advice.

The Solution

I had needed the quiet time at lunch to break all of these issues down into more manageable pieces.  First, I tackled the work issues.  The information was out there.  If I didn’t know the answers, then I knew how to get them.  I made some phone calls.  I called my contacts at the state level.  I called a friend who did my same job in another city.  I called a professor in New Jersey.  By the time I was done making phone calls, I had a fairly good idea what direction I was heading.  There is still more work to be done before I make a recommendation, but at least I am feeling confident in the process of arriving at a decision.  Taking some positive action on this matter helped tremendously.

Then the personal issues needed to be addressed.  I left my office to make a phone call.  A friend, I needed the support of a friend.  The funny thing was, I called my “sister from a different mother,”  but she didn’t answer.  This woman I have never met, but know in my heart.  She is a fellow blogger, and our lives are on a parallel path.  We have known each other for an eternity it seems.  I called her, but she didn’t answer.  I left a long and rambling voicemail.  (I’m good at that!)  By the time I finished leaving my message, I had worked through the greatest part of my issue on my own.  I had simply needed to say it out loud.  I returned to my office feeling as if a weight had been lifted. 

On my own, I had chopped down to the root.  I hacked away at the cloud of depression bit by bit.  I fought back against what was swallowing me up.  I’ve learned something over these past horrible months.  If you don’t fight back against it, it WILL win.  Yesterday, I won.  A small, but much-needed, victory for me. 

Solace of Home

I was so happy to be driving home last night.  I was happy to leave the city.  I needed to see the wide fields beginning to turn green.  I needed the sky and the peace.  I was happy to see T home from his day at work.  We took a moment to talk in the kitchen.  I told him my problems of the day.  He listened.  That was it.  Listening was all I needed.

Those moments didn’t last very long.  Soon, we were Mom and Dad again.  Our energies were consumed by the needs of those around us.  Whatever dilemmas we had faced during our days didn’t/couldn’t matter now.  We are the parents.  We are the ones in charge.  We prepare the food, listen to the stories our children need to share each day.  We put our own issues, trials, and feelings aside for the “good of the whole.”  That’s what parents do. 

When I climbed into bed last night, T was already there waiting.  He had been sleeping, but he woke up when I laid down.  I was facing him, when he rolled over towards me.  He rubbed my back.  There was nothing sexual in his touch.  It was simply peaceful and calming.  I felt the tension that I didn’t even know existed begin to leave the muscles in my back and shoulders.  Solace.  My muscles softly twitched as I began to relax.  As I fell asleep, I thought of a horse, a high-strung animal like myself, high-strung and twitchy.  T was reaching that high-strung animal inside of me.  He didn’t know it, but he was calming some primal fear that had been rippling beneath my surface all day.  This time, I allowed myself to sink into the calm.  I let go of my need to control, and I allowed myself to be calmed.

27 (well, 31) Years Across The Table

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T and I have been married for almost 27 years.  We dated for four years before getting married.  I was 15 years old when we started dating.  He was 17.  You can do the math on that one.  I often wonder how many times we have done certain things, said certain things.  How many meals have we shared? 

Meals are very important to us and to our entire family.  From the beginning of our marriage, we have shared the evening meal together whenever possible.  As the kids began coming along, that evening meal became even more important.  It was the one time each day when we were all gathered together without any distractions.  We shared our days, and our lives, with each other. 

Now with our kids growing up and having busy schedules of their own, we never know from day-to-day how many people will be at our dinner table.  Some days, it is just T and I with little Lola.  Other days, our table is full with all of our kids and a variety of their friends.  Either way, there is a daily gathering at our table each evening.  During good times and bad, our family shares the evening meal each day.

T and I have been finding it increasingly difficult to have private conversations.  There are always interruptions, second opinions, and distractions when we try to talk to each other at home.  By the time we find ourselves alone at the end of the day, we are often too tired to care about talking.  This past year, we have started meeting each other for lunch a few times each week. 

This has been a stressful week for me.  I am juggling way too many balls at work right now, and preparing for work-related travel next week.  Tonight, I am giving a presentation at City Council, and I will miss that important evening meal.  I was engrossed in my work this morning when my phone buzzed with an incoming text.  T asked me, “Do you have your hat on?”  I just smiled.  I had told him this morning that I had on my “Bitch Hat,” and I wasn’t even out of my robe yet.  Before I was even out of bed, I was responding to work emails via phone.

It’s kind of an amazing thing to me whenever I get a text from him.  I know the effort it takes him to compose a text.  T is NOT a techno geek.  🙂  He sent another text asking me to meet him for lunch, but that I better not be wearing the hat around him.  T always has a way of reminding me of who I am and where I come from.  He brings me back down to Earth.  T is my past.  He is green grass and days spent fishing.  He keeps me grounded and reminds me of the things that I truly hold dear in my heart. 

I enjoy the lunches T and I share.  We are two different people when we meet during the work day.  We are both in “work mode,” not Mom and Dad or Husband and Wife mode.  We don’t talk about the kids.  We don’t talk about household matters.  We talk about our mornings, what we did at work so far, or what our afternoons hold.  We are T and Pam.  We meet for a few moments several times each week just as ourselves.