1. You to try to nail things down and eliminate variables. Give me yes or no.
2. You close off items from your life that might cause you stress; you don't need more of that.
3. You stop looking too far down the road. If today might be hard, how can you possibly think about next year?
There are certainly other traits that I know came to me with loss, but these instincts distinctly belong to loss. I'm looking at my kids this week though and it's clicking that I've been present for most every day of the last three years and I may have been going through the motions more than I'd realized. I knew I was checked out in some regards-- not unpacking my house, not completing basic tasks, adding in naps, no accountability. I thought I was super-present for my kids though. Clean clothes, meals, time with them, taking them to and from... If I had to bet on myself, I think I carried it off. I don't believe they noticed. I'm only starting to. That's definitely been an eye-opener. They say that time raising your kids goes fast. Yes, it sure does. Especially when you suddenly realize you don't clearly remember most of it. All I can do it move forward.
After Caleb, we took our kids to Disney World. Aaron really thought they needed that happy to drown out the bad. We went to the Finding Nemo exhibit (now might be a good time to mention that I hate that movie). That blasted thing had me in tears in no time, sobbing along as Dori sings "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" It's become a theme of sorts in my life, popping into my head unbidden at random times. No matter how much I feel I may have missed out on due to just existing, what has to matter is that I didn't completely check out. I got stuff done. I took care of those babies. I have been mother and father to them. They haven't stood in a place of want. I still have today and tomorrow and the next day to be checked in and to start fresh. It's a new year. The beauty of having new opportunities and chances doesn't diminish as long as there is hope. In the present though, I need to keep chanting to breathe. Take it one day at a time. Don't get ahead of yourself. This current state of my mind to fast-forward won't last long, of that I'm fairly confident. What positive I do see in it though is that it's almost like a return to the living. Making plans and thinking about the future are things I've avoided. Even building the house... that was a decision made long ago that I just had to walk out (and it came with it's own set of breakdowns). Otherwise, no big plans have been mapped out since 2010. Wow. That's kinda sobering. Pace yourself. This isn't a sprint.