Just Keep Swimming…

Hello Friends,

It’s been tooooooo long. And I don’t say that because I hold myself to a standard that I haven’t met, which is what old Bonnie would mean by that.

What I mean is that I LOVE writing. It is one of those things that I enjoy doing. I get lots and lots out of it. I usually get a product that I like, I get to process whatever is going on in the piece while I write it, and I get to play with words and ride a wave of spirit that sometimes lifts me up like a magic carpet. That’s when I’m in the flow and everything is easy. But I’m not there right now. And I haven’t been for a while. And I’ve also been kind of an ass. More on that later. 

I’ve been in some really dark places in the last month because I’ve abandoned all the things that make me happy. And I abandoned all the things that make me happy because they weren’t making me happy. Because nothing was making me happy. Because I didn’t have time for myself. I’ve been grieving the loss of my previous life— one that I understand now was never mine to have. Yikes. 

My husband and I are very close but it doesn’t always serve us. When things are good, everything is good. We are so incredibly close that I’m entirely confident that if I should ever find myself looking for another partner, I would be entirely unsuccessful. There is no one on this Earth that’s like him and like the way he loves me. Our family is beautiful and perfect and fun and full of life. 

I was recently texted by an old friend. We caught up and I shared a bit about how my husband’s work schedule at his dream job has really impacted my life and he asked, “Well, what about your dreams?” And that’s when I simultaneously realize and say…

I already have my dreams. 

I wanted to learn about science and plants, I got my Botany degree. I wanted to be a teacher, I became a teacher. I wanted to find my soul mate and get married. I found Him and I got him. I wanted to have kids, a boy and a girl where the boy is older. AND I EVEN GOT THAT. I wanted to own a home with a little bit of land and here we are. I wanted to feel connected with the Earth and I do that almost every day. I wanted to be soft on the environment and my PG&E bill is less than $100. 

I wanted to stay in my marriage and be a better wife and I found Laura Doyle. I wanted more friends and I got more friends and now I have a massive support network that literally grows every day as long as I’m brave enough to share. (You are part of it. Thank you.) 

I wanted goats and chickens. Now I’ve got more eggs and milk that it’s literally a brand new problem. I have to remember to eat vegetables! 

I wanted peace and independence and love and nature. I have every one in some form or another. 

Of course, I didn’t say all this to my old friend, but the message is the same. I already have what I wanted. And now I’m forging a new vision with new parameters, which is messy and strange, and I’m not really proud of how I’ve been handling it. 

I guess I thought things were always going to be the way I’d hoped — spending lots of time together as a family, working on projects together, building things, gardening, improving the land. But we rarely are together now and I struggle to see how we will make it to next week with all the limitations — there’s too many cars, every single one has some issue that needs attention but my husband is so far from having time for that. So we are now both driving my car (that has an exhaust leak now), which impacts our schedules and limits how much I can go out. So do the kids, I can’t go anywhere with them other than work at my dad’s and when I do go there I have to take two little ones and a dog in a crate who gets car sick. And after I’m done trying my best not scream at literally everyone – it’s hard to see the big picture. I don’t even really know what it looks like anymore. I’m also failing pretty hard at homeschooling at the moment. We seem to be stuck in a perpetual spring break. I think I just got tired of trying to make it happen. We learn and stuff. It just needs to be better. 

I rearranged my living room a few times over the past could months and now it’s back nearly the way it was before. I created a bunch of work for myself and made my life more difficult than it needed to be but I couldn’t see that at the time. Hindsight. 

So because my living room made no sense, I couldn’t do yoga or light my candles and do my morning ceremony stuff, but when the weather has been good I’ve been outside reading the Bible and doing devotionals by Candace Cameron Burre (DJ from Full House) which I’ve been really enjoying. What a strange sentence that was. Phew, glad we got that out of the way. My 20 year old self is horrified. (She’s naturalist and part-time Buddhist and despises creationism.)

The weather has also been wet and the field has been muddy and I have Polly the puppy now so I haven’t been going on runs in the morning. Usually I’ve been too tired to think about it anyway. Just getting kids fed three times a day and answering emails has felt like an unconscionable burden lately. Also I clean up a lot of misplaced animal and toddler waste. It’s a delightful job. Crisis management is going on my resumé should I ever need one. If you’re a mom, you should probably add that too. 

[Seriously, we should stop looking at “gaps” in our employment history and start claiming our skills at management under pressure. Our society needs to value mothers more, who are we waiting for? We need to value it ourselves and value it highly.] 

The last month has been me cutting all the things that I love out of my life so that I can be present with my children from 15 hours a day, keep some semblance of a somewhat orderly household (**I haven’t had a guest in a year**), ensure everyone (kids, dog, goats, chickens) is eating relatively regularly, and I try to take a shower most days. I’m sleeping and I’m not drinking too much. I need cannabis more than is comfortable to admit, but it’s literally what calms me down because my rage demons are back. 

Ugh, this sucks. But yeah, also a dream come true. 

So as I’ve been unable to figure out how to maintain a meaningful and enjoyable life through these new parameters, I’ve slipped into a lot of old habits. Some might venture to say — low vibration habits. I’m complaining, I’m not getting what I want. I’m not saying what I want because I feel isolated. I don’t feel valued. I’m super tired all the time. I get no rest, I get no love, etc. Cool stories, huh?

And when I slip back into this stories, I get my old relationship back— I’m codependent and he’s mean. Energetically we are on top of each other: I’m clingy and desperate, he’s annoyed and shoves me away to maintain distance. I’m violating his boundaries because I think they aren’t the way they should be. He should love me unconditionally, care for me, and understand my sacrifice but (I think that) he doesn’t. So I’m angry and I refuse to take care of myself. And I’ve been a jerk. 

And I’m telling you this as my repentance. I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want to nag or be upset that something isn’t happening on my schedule. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to be the monster that I can be when I rage. It’s scary, and it’s bad. It’s my demon and I’ve got to grow out of it. 

My husband has been no angel in this either. And previous me would continue to feel totally justified in blaming 100% on him because it’s his job and his mean things that he’s said to me and his inaction on a million to do list items and his lack of apologies or humility or grace or compassion. See? I know how the thinking works… it’s hard not to be trapped in seeing it that way. But I know better than that now. 

It’s all just another experience. 

This Earthly existence is about shaping us. tempering. honing. Giving us our deck of cards and seeing how well we can play even if we look at the cards and know we should fold right now. 

It feels like I accidentally rebooted and clicked hard mode and now nothing is as it should be. But it’s the same game— it’s just not as easy as it was before. And I’m not nearly as good of a player as I used to be. Now I’m dying all the time and I can’t get to where I used to be able to go (easy things like eating vegetables and visiting friends). My health gets to zero and when I get to save point I do nothing at all trying to soak up some mana from the ether. I used to play a lot of video games. They are a great activity for depression but it tends to keep you in the same place. They don’t have the same appeal to me as they used to anymore, which is probably for the best. 

I have to keep moving. I have to keep going. I have to find my joy again and do my pleasure seeking. I have to embody who I want to be for the life I want to have. If I can’t do that then everything falls apart. And it’s sort of heartbreaking to know that there isn’t much of a safety net. It’s on me to keep this family together. My piece is a big piece and I can’t let go of it. 

Thank you for witnessing me on my journey. We are all in different places on our own paths and I’m so fortunate to be able to connect with you and witness you with what is going on with your journey. In all of this, my faith in the universe taking care of us all has not wavered. 

We are here, in exactly the right moment, doing exactly the right thing. The more surrender I can find the easier I will be magically lifted back to my happy place so here we go. (Look! I wrote something!) I’m going to smoke a joint and take a bath. Love you. 

Published by Bonnie Stewart

Mama, wifey, relationship coach, writer, community builder, OG Flourishing Lady

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