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July 10, 2008


I feel ya, sister. I am working on my tendency to be overwhelmed and then just drop the ball on everything... which never helps except that I feel I'm further behind. I've been learning the value of baby steps toward goals that seem overwhelming the past couple of months. I had a small setback today, but I managed to pull myself out of it. Keep on truckin' - you have sympathetic ears.

I know that I have the tendency to err on the side of negativity sometimes in my personal life, but at the same time, I hope that I can still revel in the good things. Sometimes I feel it slipping, though, and need to remind myself of the good things. Like yesterday. That said, I have a friend who does the doom and gloom thing any time something good comes along, it seems, and it is hard for me to come along for that ride. I don't want to ditch her, because she's my best girl, and it's my job as her best girl to be there for her. But at the same time, I find myself trying to find the courage to tell her exactly what your friend was brave enough to say here.

All of that to say, I understand, from both sides, I guess. :)

it happens - especially when, as you said, things start to get piled up behind us

but it mostly happens to the people who give a damn and want to do the right thing, want to teach a better way, want to lead by example for our kids...

So while you may have needed a little tough love unsticking, you were still setting a good example for your kids - even at your "overflowing bucket time," you were helping show your kids how to pick up and regroup with the help of loved ones and looking for the good in life.

I do the same thing - which made me a little teary-eyed reading your post. I try to think that...

Even if your kids don't do what you do when you get overwhelmed - they will have their own thing to navigate and process and regroup from and you will have shown them it's possible.

So - sorry if this all sounds like fluffy crap or doesn't make any sense but I guess I just related and wanted to say that I wish more people tried as hard as you are.

I guess I, a stranger, read your post and understood a little and wanted you to know I was proud of you, for being open to hearing what your cousin said (a lot of people would have been defensive and shluffed it off) and being open to trying so damn hard to keep navigating through your soft spots.

One thing for sure that I've read in your blog is that you fight for your kids and to be the best you can - that's the reason I read it because it helps me to do the same.

Anne, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you sharing that post. I battle the same black pit of loss and completely related to everything you said. I lost my mom at 16 and my dad just a couple of years back.

Each time there is something wonderful(my wedding day, a new job, little things like stuff I've made or something on tv I know they would like,and now biggest of first child)some of the wonderful strips away because of regret. When something bad happens, something that hurts...the hurt pinches a little harder and you find yourself as a grown woman saying "I want my Mommy. I want my Daddy." Every injustice becomes about THAT injustice..losing them.

And you wonder why other people don't know "Don't they get it?" and the answer is, no they can't but they love you and even if they'd had the same loss...they still can't get it. I can relate to you because our losses are of the same nature...but I will never know your pain, nor can you know mine because each loss of each individual person makes it completely un-understandable to anyone else...even if they've lost someone too. If that makes sense.

I think that those of us who have gone through a terrible loss like this, we tend to cling very strongly to those friends and family that we do have. That's a good thing actually in many ways. I think it can make you more compassionate, more appreciative and more considerate. However sometimes it can also make your expectations from others to soar to heights that most just can't live up to. It's hard to say "whatever" to unanswered phone calls or invitations or lots of time passing with no contact or whatever the shattered expectation might be. But you are absolutely right, its unfair to slap that "Loss Card" on top of every disappointment. It's unfair to us and unfair to our parents and unfair to those we love. But its a damn hard thing to catch and I just want you to know that you aren't alone in it.

I struggle constantly to find a balance between remembering and honoring my parents memory and falling into that void where the loss of them strips the joy right out of life. It's the toughest struggle I have known of my entire life. But I am starting to recognize it sooner, talk myself out of it a little easier, be a little less "all is lost" and more "look what I've gained". I try to remember, as my hubby said last night, that they would not want me to live the moments of my life in the shadow of their loss. They would want me to have joy. Like you I will never be able to just throw glitter in the air and say "oh whatever" when life gets tough. But also like you, I am trying to move away from making every disappointment turn into being about their absence.

Anyway, I just REALLY appreciate you putting those feelings out there and wanted you to know that I got some therapy out of your therapy. As my baby shower is tomorrow....I kind of really needed to hear it right at this exact time. Thank you my new friend. :)


To be honest, nothing makes me crazier than the "let's wear blinders through life and pretend everything is perfect." I work at being positive and try to surround myself with positive people, partly because I am so naturally inclinced to be critical and negative. But I've learned there's a big difference between those who pretend nothing ever sucks and those who looks for the "silver lining" in the pain.

And let me just say---that photo you captured (love those firework pjs!), that's the silver lining. Thanks for sharing it!

i don't have anything to add here, so much good has been said. but the thing about gratitude hit me, as that exact thing has been on my mind lately. ungratefulness, not being able to rejoice in the good things, taking things for granted. sometimes others, sometimes myself. but i do believe gratitude can be learned by practice. so i'll be happy to join you in this.

yes, the good in the ordinary.

please...i need it.

Funny, my post today was on "gratitude" also. It's one of the reasons I continue to blog, too. To find the wonderful things out of the ordinary days of mommyhood.

I also relate to not letting my disappointment rub off on my kids. It's hard to do sometimes. But why put our burdens on them? Yet we still do it. ** Thanks for always being honest, Anne. That's why we all love you!

I know that with your previous post and with this one, you are a person I would love to have around. Perfection does not exist, and those who believe they have it are the worst types of people anywhere.

Thanks for this post! I really need to work on this lately. Why do we always focus on the couple of little negative things instead of the many great things? Argh!

This was a great post!
And there is so many other before me that have told you wonderful things, so I just agree...

The birthday party sounds great!
And the picture of the boys are adorable.

Thanks for this post. It was very timely for me. I just got back from almost a week visiting my family in Chicago and I realize how I fall into old patterns when I am there. I too have a tendency to see the negative and I take it a step further and catastrophize and before long everyone hates me and nothing is right (at least in my eyes). It was this week at home that made me see that my mom is totally that way--I have inherited her bad habit and I don't want it anymore. She is especially bad when it comes to other people and how they treat her and what they think of her. If someone looks at her the wrong way, she assumes they hate her--that kind of thing. I am so determined to change the way I think, because this line of reasoning just makes it easy to miss all the great things.

Thanks for reminding me of that!

Another well written and heartfelt post Anne. I'm definitely a glass half empty person.

"I cannot control how other people behave and should not take it personally"

So true!

first of all, yes, i want to join you on good friday's. that is a great tradition to start.

second, yes, that picture most definitely melted my heart and then brought tears to my eyes. the intensity of the raised shoulders hugging so tightly is incredible.

third, this was an amazing, honest, real post that i appreciate so much. i feel like i can't really follow all the great comments above, but the one line that jumped out like neon to me was "i will fake it if i have to." i've thought so much about this lately and try and practice it daily. i think it so important for us to give our kids a childhood that is full of what a childhood should be full of: innocence. we have all of our adult lives to deal with stress and worry and disappointment, but childhood is the one time where we're allowed freedom from that. and in a world where kids are growing up and seeing more and more earlier and earlier, i think it's such a great lesson to learn: that sometimes us parents have to fake it so our little ones can hold on to innocence and happiness a little longer. i think it's so great that you could recognize the need for that and pull of a fantastic bday party. i admire you a lot.

ps i hate that people don't rsvp. drives me nutso.

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