Homegrown Texan

Born and raised in Texas, I've found the home of my heart and soul in the Pacific Northwest. I love trees, cool weather, and rain. I'm a back to basics kind of gal just trying to raise my family and find a bit of time to slow down in this hectic life.

I know I said I'd make "thankfulness" posts.  Then I went to Canada.  It was a trip that I thoroughly enjoyed and needed, and that I am truly very thankful for.  As always, I felt like Dawn, Henry & Matt were my family (even moreso than some of my real family).  And, as always, I didn't want it to end.  However, strangely, it didn't hit me as hard as it usually does.  I think because I know we'll see each other regularly.  Our friendship is just too strong for anything else.

What I wasn't prepared for was how depression would slam into me when I got back.  And it isn't just the "my vacation is over and now I have to face the yucky real world" post-vacation blues that I usually get.  This is full out, I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself depression.  I *need* to find a job.  And I have no idea if I can.  During a good moment I feel like it's a numbers game...like I have to go through some magic number of grueling job applications and even more grueling job interviews (engineering interviews last a minimum of 4 hours...most of them last all day) just to win the numbers.  It sort of feels like being told you have to support your family by winning the lottery, so I just keep buying tickets and hope I get the right one before I run out of ticket money (where "ticket money" is both mental & emotional energy, as well as actual money, which I'm running out of).  That's on a good day.  On a bad day like today it feels like God (if I believed in God) is an abusive stepparent, and me finding a job is like me asking to go out with my friends to the movies.  My stepparent makes me go through all the motions of doing all of the chores, getting perfect grades, behaving perfectly, and then maybe, just *maybe* if stepparent hasn't been drinking or hasn't had a bad day, he'll let me go out.

Or...maybe he won't.  The point being that I feel like even my best may not be enough.  And I have no way of knowing.  I'm just supposed to keep doing it.

I am thankful for my youngest son.  For one, his health, as he was born premature and not so healthy.  However, asside from his small size, you wouldn't know it now.  But I also love what a joyous spirit he has, and how amusingly literal he can be.  And I love how sometimes very complex-beyond-his-years thoughts sometimes tumble out of his mouth, and then he goes back to being his usual silly, goofy self.  I love my little son with all my heart.

I am thankful for my husband, who stands behind my decisions and is *always* ok with me taking some time to myself. I know I deserve the time, but he supports me much more than I ever hoped for.  And with the stress that we are going through with my work (or lack thereof), I'm particularly thankful that we've managed to come together on it, rather than let it wedge us apart.  I'm still scared shitless, but at least I'm not facing my fear alone.

Many of my facebook friends are writing daily statements of gratitude on facebook.  I prefer to take a more anonymous face (even though some people I know personally read this blog, it still overall feels more anonymous), plus sometimes I'd like to write more than I would on a facebook status update.  I've been feeling in a funk lately...worried about my job situation, depressed about being stuck in Arizona, and missing my family.  While I feel like I'm justified in having these feelings, I also know that the negative thoughts are becoming too prevalent, and that is not healthy.  Not only that, I am one who believes that negativity, even just in thought, can actually work against a person.  I sometimes have trouble shutting off my thoughts and feelings, but I think replacing them will work better than simply trying to remove them.

So my goal is to write something I'm thankful about every day, starting with today up until and including Thanksgiving day.

I am thankful for my oldest son's sweet soul.  Sometimes it causes him pain, because he tries so hard to do nice things for people, but he doesn't yet understand the art of taking into consideration what other people actually want.  Case in point: today he got up and made pancakes for the family.  Since the kids are out of school, my husband and I wanted to sleep in.  My younger son doesn't really care that much for pancakes, plus he wanted to use his newfound cooking skills to make himself a bowl of oatmeal.  And I was up nearly-but-not-quite puking half the night, so I just wasn't up for food yet (I may venture out and have a cup of herbal tea in a bit).  So pancake-boy's feelings were hurt.  I feel bad for him and hope that he doesn't learn to just shut that part of himself off.  I really don't think he will...it's an integral part of him that has shown itself from a very young age.  People tell me all the time how it shows what great parents he has and while my ego would like to agree, if I am honest with myself I know that this is really just who he is.  Yes, we can (and try to) do our part to nurture it, but this really is just part of the beautiful person that my son is.  And it's one of the many things I love him for.