As I was talking with my therapist the other day, we were discussing how I, as an individual, and we, Tony & I, are in a really good place. I agreed and mentioned that we were a little anxious in moments that the “other shoe was going to drop.” She stated that we can never know what the future will bring. The only thing we can do is be resilient.
Now, having been through a tornado destroying our home and business, I understand the need to be resilient. But I hadn’t really thought of it in this tense. So, that night I was pondering (an old fashioned southern word for deep thought) this as I was going to sleep it hit me. The only way to live, like really LIVE to embrace. it. all.
To do this is to accept that:
The shoe will drop.
The rug will be pulled out from under you.
Life will happen and some of it WILL hurt.
But what you WILL NOT accept is the fear of the future or fear’s ugly cousin, dread of what might happen to steal your JOY from this happy moment.
I will not let dread or fear of what is coming or not coming steal my joy in the really good place. I will let my joy run FREE. I will soak up every nuance of this season. I will be grateful for every walk on the beach, every stroll down our historic neighborhood, every kiss from my grand-babies, every smile from my husband. I will gobble it all up like a sumo wrestler at an all you can eat buffet.
Then, when the bumps come- even if the bump in the road is filled with heartache- I will have no regrets. These moments I am enjoying right now will be what sustain me when the road is hard.
I will be so busy being grateful that there is no room for fear.
I will be so busy being happy that dread cannot steal a bit of joy.
the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
This has been the definition of our lives over the past three years. In reality, we are all in a constant state of transition as nothing stays the same. We either move forward or we deteriorate. However, so often the change is small and not so noticeable and then there are those times where change is monumental.
Our first monumental change was Tony retiring from Mother Francis where he had been employed as a paramedic first on the ambulance and then as a flight medic for 16 years. Given that our oldest was only 17, this was the only thing our children remembered Tony ever doing. This was a good change, but scary. We started our business selling plants, shrubs, and herbs- what was then called The Farm On Holly’s Hill. I was so glad to have him home and not working so many hours and being so tired all the time. We could be together everyday and sleep in the same bed every night. I have never regretted making this change not that it was easy. We have worked very hard.
What I did not know , was that once Tony quit flying and working in the field of emergency medicine, he began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, his was not so severe that he could not function but he began having nightmares and night sweats about all that he had seen and heard. His sleep was horrible, he would hear the buzzer go off in his head and then be up all night because of the adrenaline rush that this triggered. It was a rough year and for the most part I had no idea. I am a heavy sleeper and he is good at keeping things from me if he thinks it will cause me to worry. When he did tell me- after the trouble had passed- I said, “Why didn’t you tell me? I could have been nice to you on those days and not fussed so much.” To that he replied, ” I just wanted things to be normal.” Oh, maybe I should work on “normal” a bit, huh?
I write all this, not because I want sympathy but to say that if you have a loved one working in this field be aware that they see so much more than they will ever talk about. Just know that even if they haven’t been in combat, there has been trauma. Tony would probably not really like me posting this because he is a very private person and keeps most stuff inside. But he deserves a lot of credit for how long he worked helping people. The average tenure is his field is 2 years, he stayed for 16. This makes him a virtual legend, the old guy.
Now, we are in our third year with the business and have changed the name to Hollyberry Herb Farm. Not only did we change the name but also our focus. This spring was the first year that we did not sell shrubs but focused mainly on herbs. This has been a great change, one that I have really enjoyed. Instead of flea markets and trades days, we sell at the farmer’s market every Saturday.
Last October, our oldest moved out for school. We moved farms in March leaving behind the house we had lived in for the past 13 years. Savannah graduated from High school. Both girls move into an apartment in Athens next week and will attend college there. So, I have gone from home schooling four children to two children in a 12 month period.
What I hope to be the last monumental change for us for awhile is that Tony has been hired by Amazon.com and will be working full time off the farm again. We both knew the season had passed for him being home full-time working only a part time job on the side. He will be a medical representative at a major warehouse, kind of like a school nurse. No more working in the field, he will have air conditioning, set hours, and private sector pay. Tony has certainly earned it. I am so happy for him. As I write this, he has just landed in Phoenix Arizona where he will be in training for 3 weeks. I hate having him gone for that long, but it is only temporary, an uncomfortable step to something far better.
Now, I would really like to just settle down. Develop a rhythm with the two kiddos still at home, work my gardens and sell my herbs- that would be on my list of wishes. We shall see. I can’t foresee any more major changes to come. Well, I say that when- you have a daughter that is 20 you could have some major changes popping up if some one pops the question but there are no candidates at this time so I think we are safe- for a while.
Goodness, when I read back over this realize just why I have been so tired lately. I need to rest! And rest I will, Sierra , I, and Jonathan will be headed to Galveston next week. We will miss the rest of the bunch something fierce, but it will help pass the time while their dad is away. I get happy just thinking about it. There is nothing more soothing than the sound of waves rolling in to the beach.