I am sitting at my computer at 6:38 in the morning. Ten years ago this would have been a very real probability as well. But what makes today different than a day ten years ago? What is still the same?
I drove to work this morning from our beautiful but smaller home that I share with 9 other people, three of them under 10. Ten years ago I was living in a much bigger home that was shared by all kinds of people. Our children were ages 11-23. Most of them lived at home. Sometimes we had as many as 20 people there overnight if you included significant others and the first grandchild. Drama was at an all time high causing me much stress.
Right now I am sitting in my beautiful office with a mountain view in what is known as the "Chief Officer Suite." Ten years ago I had just started my second job as an adoption social worker, writing home studies and placing kids. I was also knee deep in matching, one of my favorite things, with my Adopt America job. And I worked from home. A small 8 x 10 office in the basement. I worked from the time I woke up until I went to bed, taking breaks only for dinner and to drive our old purple van, as the kids call it (it was really maroon) all over town. One day I never left that town of 45,000 people and was in the van for eight hours. I remember thinking I could have driven to Chicago.
Ten years ago I was the focal point of the anger and a repository for teenage angst. That hasn't changed as much as I wished it had -- just that fewer people live with me so the anger needs to come by text or over Facebook messenger and back then it was direct and in my fact. And it's not teenage angst, it's young-adult angst which may be even worse because as responsibility grows, stress grows. When I had lunch with Cindy last week I realized that she has 4 times as much as I do and her phone was buzzing the whole time. I can't imagine how exhausting that would be ... I'm tired enough as it is.
This morning the house was silent. Bart and I were the only ones up. That would have been true ten years ago but I would have been facing, in just an hour or so, the dreaded morning routine complete with bickering, arguing, and complaining about a myriad of things. At my house this morning Salinda will get her kid off to school while the three adult males, two currently unemployed and one who doesn't work until this afternoon will sleep. One until about 9, the other until 11, and the third possibly until 3 or 4 his afternoon because he was up gaming all night long and blew off his kitchen responsibilities. I may rant about that another time.
I would have faced a day of emails and possibly a home visit or two ten years ago. Today I have meetings -- that's pretty much what I do. I go to meetings. And I will spend some time at my desk. I do love my job! Even though I don't want my opinions associated with where I work, I do love our mission and the work we are doing.
I have a new granddaughter. She has a ten year old sister. That ten year old sister was a newborn ten years ago and my relationship with her mother was so strained. I loved that baby, but I was scared to death to do something or say something wrong and I was guarded. Not so with this new baby. Her mom is married. She is settled. She gets along with me about 95% of the time. I never worry that I will do anything wrong with the baby. I just love on her and kiss her and talk in that silly baby voice. And, to Gabby's annoyance, I remind everyone often that science has shown that you can't hug and kiss a baby too much.
I couldn't sleep past 4:30 this morning. Lately when I can't sleep it is simply because I am old. Ten years ago it might have been a middle of the night police visit or a kid sneaking in or out. I prefer this lack of sleep.
Life is calmer, that's for sure. There is less stress. In some ways there is less responsibility, in others more. We have been to the brink of hell and back many times in the past decade, and yet God always pulls us through. I know he'll do it again.
I'm more tired. I'm older. My body doesn't have the energy it once did to keep up with my mind. But I'm still hanging in there and my mind is speeding as always.
Oh yeah. Today I started another diet. I probably did that ten years ago too. But I have realized that struggling with my weight for decades isn't a bad thing. It's better than not struggling. I watch "My 600 pound life" to demonstrate what happens when people just stop struggling.
I better start working. I've missed this, though. It feels good to do a brain dump and "think out loud." At least I don't have to worry about whether or not my blog will lead to book sales because I already know it doesn't :-).