One of the emerging themes that has come up during weekly therapy sessions has been balance. The need for balance. The importance of balance. It’s a daily goal, in practical ways and for broad concepts. And while it’s something to strive for, I also have to remember I don’t have control. God does. I can certainly do my very best to take care of my needs and the kids’ needs. But the final outcome is up to Him. Here are some of the areas we’re working on:
Balance in dealing with Simon’s stuff – Some days, I want to throw away every trace of him because it hurts so much. His favorite snacks are still in the fridge and pantry. His toiletries are in the bathroom cabinets. Don’t even get me started on the garage. The kids are opposite. They don’t want anything moved or changed. So we work on balance. A few things a day or week are filed, moved, cleaned, stored, or tossed, depending on the value, whether monetary or for sentimental reasons. We sold our old van and got a new one. We still have Simon’s car and will sell it when we’re ready. We are moving forward, but doing it delicately. Simon is a huge part of our family. Always.
Balance in social life – I have been feeling guilt if I go out and leave the kids with family or friends. But when I do go out (and we’re talking movies or dinner with girlfriends typically, nothing crazy), it rejuvenates me. It makes me a happier person and ultimately a better mother. So we are finding a balance. I’m going out more, even if it’s just the grocery store by myself. The kids love getting a break from me and spending time with other adults or kids.
Balance in health – I used to go to the gym four days a week. Not so easy now without Simon’s help and the funk that comes with losing the one you love. And there have been some evenings where we have had bacon and ice cream for dinner. No judging. But health is paramount. Simon took such good care of his health that I believe he bought himself quite a few MORE years than he would have had if he abused his health. I’m back into the gym routine, I got a complete physical and blood work out of paranoia, and I’m trying to eat less bacon for dinner (c’mon, though, it’s BACON).
Balance in emotions – This is one that is all over the board, which is normal. Some days I cry. A LOT. Like, pretty much the whole day. I didn’t want the kids to see me like that. But the therapist reminded me how important it is for them to experience this process as a family. It’s OKAY to cry, even at inopportune times. Likewise, there is no shame in having really fantastic, happy days. Our son recently said that it is hard to cry sometimes because there are times he isn’t sad. Great, son! Progress! We will always, always, always miss Simon. And there will be moments when memories are stirred up and we crumble. But then joy comes in the morning.
Balance in friendships – We spent the majority of time with other married couples and families. As a single parent now, I recognize the richness of having friends from all walks of life because families don’t all look and operate the same. We are branching out and making new friends, spending more time with single friends, and still leaving room for the families that we have chosen to live life with.
Many verses from the Bible have been comforting but what stands out right now are some of the shortest and sweetest sentences in that Good Book.
Don’t be anxious for anything.
His mercies are new every morning.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.
Love endures all things.