Still Sinking In

It’s been about four months now since CBG moved here. Since our life together finally began.

The official report? It’s still amazing. Sure, we’re not without the occasional issue. But right now, I have to say that we’re still in the “cohabitational bliss” phase of life.

The girls are loving having CBG here with us. On the weekends that he goes away to see Ankle Biter, they miss him when he’s not around. Sure, we enjoy our dedicated girl time, but the thrill of being able to dance around in their underwear wears off after the first 24 hours. The three of them — CBG and my girls — are growing closer together every day. And it’s wonderful to see.

From everything we can see, Ankle Biter is adjusting well. CBG being in another city has actually only meant a small disruption to his day-to-day life. Their twice weekly video chats have been filling in the gap. CBG’s ex has been awesome about that.  I have nothing but respect for her and how she’s been handling things in terms of helping and encouraging CBG and Ankle Biter continue their relationship long distance. Kudos to her. When CBG and Ankle Biter do have their weekends together, they are full of fun and adventure. The girls and I join them every now and again too, which always results in a fun family weekend.

Honestly, though, even though he’s been here for four months now, I still sometimes have a tough time wrapping my head around the fact that CBG isn’t going anywhere. That he’s here — to stay. Just the other night I had one of those “wow” moments….”Wow. He’s here…to stay.” And a huge grin spread across my face with this knowledge.

Having CBG here is better than I ever anticipated it to be. I know that I keep repeating myself on this, but honestly, the point is still being driven home for me. I wake up every single morning completely grateful for all that I have. I wake up more in love with the man beside me than I was the day before. It’s all still sinking in…and every time I have one of those “moments of realization”, I am happier than I ever thought I could be.

Life is wonderful. Wonderful! 

I hope I never get used to this feeling. I want to always appreciate it.

Holiday Gratitude

Last night, CBG, the girls and I put up our Christmas tree together. Our first blended family tree — the first of many to come.

We have a vast collection of ornaments, the girls and I. We have ornaments that have been given to us as gifts over the years. Home made ornaments from when the girls were toddlers. Ornaments that I’ve given the girls over the years. Our ornaments have no special theme, or colour palette. I love all of those ornaments; so many of them have a story or a memory that go along with them. They are all special in some way.

This year we added CBG’s ornaments to our collection. He also has a huge collection of ornaments without any particular theme. His collection blended quite nicely with ours. Seamless, really.

The result was absolutely lovely:

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As we spent the evening listening to holiday tunes, drinking hot chocolate and putting up the tree, I found myself feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. For my girls, my man, this life that we are creating together. I thought back to Christmases past, when the girls were little and their dad and I were still together. My first few Christmases as a single mom, struggling in so many ways — mentally, emotionally, financially.

I felt grateful for absolutely everything. Every year before this one. Every struggle, every heartache. Because it was all of these things that have worked to bring me where I am today, to this place of so much love and happiness. I would endure it all again — 10 times over — if it would bring me to tonight.

I know that there are some of you reading this who might be in that place of struggling. Maybe things feel hopeless. Maybe you wonder what in the hell you’re doing right now in your life. The future can seem extra frightening when you’re in that place of sadness and uncertainty. If you’re one of those people, then you should know that it won’t always be like this. Good things will come, if you are willing to keep pushing forward and reaching for them. You must be willing to continue doing the work. As hard as it might be to do, focus on what you’ve got right now. If you can find happiness and joy in whatever your situation is — regardless of how much you’re struggling — when things become easier, then you will appreciate it all the more.

Joy feels even sweeter when you’ve overcome obstacles to get there. Four years ago, none of this seemed possible. And yet here I am. Simultaneously loving it all and still reaching for more.

The Guardian of My Happiness

A few weeks ago on Twitter, someone tweeted this: “You are the guardian of your happiness”. It was one of those things that I had the privilege of seeing at a time that I most needed to see it.

It’s tough to know what that means sometimes — being the guardian of your happiness. I don’t think that we always truly know what will make us happy at any given point in our lives. Also, sometimes something that made us happy a year ago isn’t going to be what makes us happy now. Happiness changes as evolves as we change and evolve over lifetimes.

Think about it — when I was a kid, the one thing that would have brought me a lot of happiness was a Barbie Dream House. Not so much anymore. Never did get that Barbie house, btw. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

*cough*

One of the things that evolves over our lives are our friendships. I’m not certain that most friendships are meant to last a lifetime, really. I think that people come in and out of our lives at different times, for different reasons. Sure, there are some friends that are there to stay, always, but others that will only be a part of our lives for a certain time period.

Being the guardian of my happiness lately has meant learning to know when to let go of friendships, and when to hang on. It’s tempting, I think, to try and hang onto our friendships, a certain nostalgia from a time in our lives that has come and gone, maybe. Lately I’ve learned the value of recognizing when it’s time to let go. I’ve learned how freeing it can be to say goodbye to someone whose time has come and gone. Sort of like clearing the clutter out of closet and giving away those things that we no longer need anymore….passing them on to someone who can make better use of them than I can.

Some friendships are worth fighting for. Others need to be allowed to fade away…and that’s okay. It’s all a part of learning and growth. I’m happy that my life isn’t stagnant, always staying the same way. Change is difficult sometimes, but you know what? If my life looked the same as it did a decade ago, I’d be pretty unhappy about that right now. Part of life is learning to embrace change, in all its forms.

And for me, right now, this is a big part of being The Guardian of Happiness. Embracing change.

Thankful

It was four years ago this past weekend that I was at one of the lowest points in my entire life. A year of depression, months of struggling with anxiety, and overwhelming stress all came to a head. I remember at one point thinking that there was no way that I was going to be able to continue on living. My life felt like it was shattering apart — and in a way I guess it was. I felt broken beyond repair; it took me a good long while to realize that this wasn’t the case. Worn down and worn out, yes — broken and defeated — absolutely not.

And here I am, four years later.

I am proud to say that during this time I have carved out a life for myself better than I ever thought I would have. I have proven to myself how strong I am; I have gained independence and self-confidence greater than I ever imagined. I re-started my life with practically nothing, and here I am, happier than I ever thought possible.

Four years ago I never imagined that I would have so much to be thankful for ever again. And yet this is where life has taken me. This year, on Thanksgiving weekend, I spent the time surrounded by those I love most in the world.

What more could I possibly need?

Living Life

So I haven’t been blogging much lately.

It’s definitely not for lack of material; I have a good dozen blog posts swirling around in my head, dying to recorded and unleashed out into the internets. Instead of writing one of them down, however, I’m writing about why I’m not writing much.

‘Cuz that’s how I roll.

The plain and simple truth is…I am happy. I am happy and I am just getting busy with the business of living. CBG has only been here four nights, and honestly, having him here is better than anything I have ever imagined. We are settling into a comfortable, easy, loving domesticity of shared chores, laugh-til-our-sides-ache family dinners, and waking up with a smile next to the warmth of my man every single morning.

Funny how when we’re happy it’s a lot tougher to get down to the business of blogging. I think a lot of people can relate to misery more than they can to overwhelming contentment and happiness, and so part of me feels almost guilty writing about how good life is right now.

But then that voice in the back of my mind pipes up. The voice that reminds me of where I was just four years ago — freshly separated from my husband (though still miserably living under the same roof), struggling with my community of “friends” (who were actively adding to my misery instead of helping), drowning in depression, unemployed, weighed down with self-doubt. I have fought and scratched and worked my way to where I am today. I shouldn’t feel guilty for being here at all — because I have earned it. There have been many, many times in the last four years when I never expected that I would get to where I am today. And now that I am, I intend to enjoy every single moment of it.

Which is why I haven’t been writing about it as much as I would like. I’m far too busy soaking it all in.

I’ll write more soon, I promise. There are too many stories — lovely moments — not to share.

He’s here…

The moment was almost four years in the making. Last night at approximately 8:30 pm, CBG pulled up to the house. Our house.

He’s home.

I think I might just smile forever.

Courage

Someone posted this last night on Facebook, and I couldn’t help but share it here. Because honestly, these last few years, for the first time in a very, very long time, I’m finally feeling like I am that courageous person…being who I truly am. And it just keeps getting better. Every person, every event, even all the struggle and heartbreak have all been learning experiences for me…making me the person that I am today. The person that, overall, is pretty damn fabulous. I like this person that I am.

And you know what? It’s a damn awesome feeling…being courageous enough to finally let this person out to play in the world.

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