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Back Home From Out West and Work-Life Balance

We are back in Saint Augustine from our 3-month trip out west (and super west to Hawaii). We found that having our nanny live with us in the RV, though pretty awesome at times because it allowed us to go do stuff on our own without the kids, ended up being a little too much for everyone. We had the choice to stay out and keep going or get back and give everyone some much needed alone time. We hustled back at almost 400 miles a day. We also had a pressing work issue that either Jason was going to have to come home for, for a while, or we could all just go home. I am glad to be back, and we made the decision to stay put for about 3-6 months. We will take some side trips down to the Keys and maybe to North Carolina, but we are re-structuring our entire business and working with a consultant to finally, after 6 years, get us organized so maybe we can actually take an extended leave without things falling apart.

It has been a tough transition for me and for the kids. They went from having us home and going on travel adventures every day, to us leaving for work 8 hours a day for the last two weeks. I know to a lot of people this is not a big deal, but to me, when my babies are screaming for me and I am making the choice to walk away to go help our business, I am in deep pain. I grew up in a house that was and is not close. I grew up wondering if my parents cared for me. I grew up in day cares and with nannies. I grew up and all the separation physically and emotionally has translated into the chasm that is between me and my immediate family today. I do not want that with my kids. I do not want them to wonder for one second how much I love and want to be with them.

I am still working through some of the recent trauma with my mother still. Well meaning people have tried to convince me to “get past” her issues and deficiencies and “focus on the good.” Although I can appreciate their attempts to put a band aid on my relationship or lack-thereof with her, their projections of their own experiences are not mine. I cannot snap my fingers and magically decide to stop feeling the negative effects from a childhood of emotionally traumatic events that have continued into my adulthood. Mostly when I reflect on the relationship with my mother, I feel sad. Sad for the little girl within me who deserved so much more. She deserved all the hugs and kisses and encouragement and love in the world. Just as all children do. As I make choices to heal from my trauma and be my radiant self, despite caring if my mother would approve, I am discovering some new energy come up. Now maybe it is a combination of eating well for the past 2 years and healing from a lot of fatigue issues coupled with the honesty I have been able to release, but I am feeling more like myself than I have in my entire life. I even went back to they gym for the first time in two years. And!! I went because I wanted to, to be strong for me and for my children, not because of the fear of how I look. Do not get me wrong, aesthetics still enter my mind a lot of the time, vestiges of the conditioning from my upbringing and media. My fear in a bathing suit has not fallen from my anxious mind.

So yes, it sucked that my mother did not react the way I wanted her to when she read my blog posts about my feelings on our relationship over the years, but it does not suck as much as keeping it all inside. I sent it out into the Universe, and the Universe reminded me that I am not what other people think of me. Not the people who raised me, not my friends, not my husband, not random strangers on the internet, or anyone at all. Of course, there will always be work to do to keep the old tapes from wanting to play over and over and over ad nauseum. The dark thoughts that wait for low moments to whisper things like “you have no friends, you are not a likeable person, you are a burden, you are just broken…”

I am so lucky to have a 12-step program and community in my life. I sat across the table from my sponsor the other day trying to work through to the core of my resentment with my mother and she looked me in the eyes the whole time. She gave me encouragement, guided me toward some healing suggestions, and talked about her own struggles with family. She hugged me and accepted me and said how much she loved me, and I know she will be excited to see me and hang out with me again. It was all I have ever wanted. A true friend. A deep friend. A friend that knows God, and is a walking, talking projection of grace and love, even in her flawed moments, she strives to grow and be better. She and I even have completely different views on God. She is religious, and I am more Spiritual. She has a church and mine is the Great Outdoors. But it works. We recognize we are more alike than we are different. We recognize and agree that this world would be a better place if we accepted our friends as they are without trying to control or change them. We laugh and we cry together, side by side.

I am not sure what will happen with work and home life balance in the near future. I will probably be spending more time at home (in the RV) with the kids and a little less time at work, but that is how I have always preferred it. My little baby is about to turn 2 in August, and it seems like I just had her a few months ago; it all happened so fast. Jason and I are trying to figure out a good schedule where we can be at home more. Stay tuned and I hope everyone is living their best life. Amen

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