I say this phrase almost every day. When people ask how I am. How we are. What’s the latest with Landon. It’s always something. As I lay on my exercise mat this morning, avoiding an ab workout, I thought… no phrase has ever defined me so much as this one. And I don’t like it. In fact, I’m down right fed up with it. Why the hell does it HAVE to always be something with me…. with us?
As I surmount one hurdle, another one rears its head. I find myself telling people I’ve just met here a mini synopsis of our life and it sounds absurd. Most of the time, they stare and say “seriously… that’s ridiculous and down right stressful, honey.” Or they try to hand me a cocktail. Our life is always peppered with this one phrase.
This goes back to before Landon. Before marriage. To avoid reopening old wounds, let’s just say “it’s always something” has hung around my neck since my early twenties. With my parents, with my father, and then with Bo. To resurrect some humor during my darkest hours, I’ve said this to others. To let friends know that I saw the absurdity in just how bad things had gotten. Or that I could see my way out of whatever it was.
After we became a family, it was something that should have been put on a needlepoint pillow. We had this incredible girl and she has a rare syndrome. It’s always something. We took her to specialist after specialist. Waiting rooms, long subway rides. Therapy and not meeting goals. Breastfeeding or the lack thereof. It’s always something. While still in New York, as a couple, we started failing each other and being less of a team. It’s always something. So we moved. We started over. Living with his family and trust me… around here it truly is…always something. But now, as we build our house and see this dream out there… almost within reach… Bo lost his job. It’s always something. I’ve now gone back to work from home full-time. It’s exhilarating to use my brain more often and with adults (!!) but now Landon prefers someone else reads to her. When I run into the room after working all day to pick her up from her grandfather, she cries when I take her. It’s always something. And the highs and lows as you work together to find jobs, find insurance, keep up with Landon… there have been many somethings. And these things keep getting in our way of just being happy. Just being anything other than put-through-the-ringer exhausted.
This new normal is not just a life with a child with special needs. This new normal is riding on a roller coaster. I stop and think some days that surely all of these tests are preparing me for some unbelievably hard thing that’s coming. Surely there is a larger plan at work. God has this road map that I am following.
And this morning, as I lay there, I reminded myself that even if He does have this plan for me, my choices matter each and every day. My choice to be be warm and supportive to Bo instead of cold and challenging sets the course for that day and sometimes that week. Making more of an effort myself to leave my phone OFF or in another room when playing with Landon is my choice. Saying something truly positive when someone asks “how’s it going?”… my choice. My choices can offset this “it’s always something” attitude. That phrase is actually negative. “Sure this sucks and I’m in pain but this happens all the time to me, what’s new?!” It’s gross.
I want to break this habit. I want to make choices that break this habit.
I want to choose happiness and light instead of complaining or casting emotions aside. I want to stop assuming something else negative will come our way, because acting like “it feels like it sure will” isn’t helping anyone.
And today especially… all I wanted to do is come here and rant and rave about how frustrated I feel. How mad and sad and annoyed I am that it’s always something. But, after writing and thinking and writing some more… I’m choosing another route.
I am always preaching “choose kind” from the book Wonder. I promote the Kind Campaign on social media. So now… I want to choose happy. This will be my hashtag (and mom I’ll explain what that is later). No matter what someone else is doing, what energy they are throwing my way… I will choose happy. It’s not easy. I’m not saying it’s as simple as deciding. This choice will require a paradigm shift in how I think and interpret what’s going on in my life. There is darkness in this world and things are unfair, but dammit… this is my goal. I am plain old tired of being frustrated and feeling like I’m cursed. My choices have led me here after all. I’m a mother to the world’s most special child. I have an amazing family and husband.
And I… choose happy.
Who’s with me?!