My rant today is about the different journeys I am on in life. As with most of you, I am on several different journeys that all intersect at some point. My journeys are those things that are challenging to me....take time, thought, and effort to do. My journeys (in no particular order) are these: Parenting, Spiritual, Self Awareness and Improvement, Caregiving for my hubbys Grandma, and Coparenting with my hubby's ex. And of course my BFC lifestyle. Each of these journeys takes priority in my life because they are things that I am continually trying to improve. There are times when some are more prevalent than others but they all come up on a regular basis as things I am working my way through.
PARENTING- I have two bio kids and 6 step kids. I have been faced with many parenting challenges but none so much as learning how to parent a child with bipolar disorder. By far and away that has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life as a parent. My son was misdiagnosed with ADHD many years ago and we had many many problems. Last year the correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder was made. He is now on the correct meds and doing so much better than I had ever hoped. My efforts as a parent along with counseling and proper meds have made all the difference in the world for him. My daughter has recently been diagnosed with ADHD but her doctor is keeping a close eye on her to make sure that it isnt latent bipolar that could manifest later. So far so good. The challenges have been great....especially teaching the two how to get along........but I am seeing the rewards in my kids both individually and as
siblings. In addition to that, we have successfully created a blended family...again, lots of effort but the rewards are truely awesome! I am so proud of our kids and feel blessed to be thier Mom. I will had major kudos here to my hubby for being such a wonderful father and husband. Without him, I would have had a much harder time doing what I do!! Not enough can be said for a man that is supportive 100% of the time and is always available to help work through problems with the kiddos.
SPIRITUAL- I have another blog about my spirituality on here that pretty much sums it all up so I won't repeat myself. I am always learning and growing but my research on this has taken a back seat and will for awhile. I will always learn things as they come but as far as seeking knowledge....not so much right now. I simply don't have the time! lol
SELF AWARENESS AND IMPROVEMENT - I am always on a self awareness and improvement journey....to be the best me I can be each day. To be aware of my words, actions, and attitudes and how they affect those around me. Nope, I am not perfect, nor try to be but I do have a standard that I set for myself and try to always be aware of the image I project to the people in my life. A lot of my blogging comes from introspective thinking and putting a thought or feeling into a statement. I am not always right....but I am always me. :)
CAREGIVING- I am caregiving for my hubby's grandma during the week while his parents work. Gma has dementia....most likely from Alzheimers. She forgets a lot and while generally pleasant or at least tolerant, she can also get a bit grumpy. that is not my challenge. Oddly enough, while I struggle with patience in other areas of my life, this is one area where I have to limit to my patience.....or I haven't found it yet! I know why she gets the way she does so it doesn't hurt my feelings. I do get sad for her.....I am getting very attached and it scares me that I am becoming so vulnerable to the inevitable heartbreak as she declines in health and passes on. It will hurt like hell. No question. I am also sad because by the time I met my hubby, grandma was already sick so I never got to know her beforehand. I really enjoy listening to her stories about Grandpa and hubbys mom but she is telling them less and less as time goes on. I can see her getting more tired and withdrawn....which is natural....but it still makes me sad to watch. I don't know how my hubby's mom does it. She also took care of her dad and my fatherin laws dad before they passed. She has a heart of gold. I love and admire her a lot! I feel thankful that I am able to help her with Grandma, provide ease of mind so she can still go to work and do some fun things and know that Grandma is taken care of. Still, its hard to watch at times even though it is the natural progression of the life cycle. It does help that I go home to a housefull of very alive and vibrant children! Sometimes i think it is the chaos that keeps me from being sad. LOL. I have been doing a lot of research on Grandmas condition and what to expect in the coming time. I guess that is what prompted me to write this blog....yet another journey for me....something to learn....a challenge to meet. I am becoming prepared for what I will face and how to help hubby's mom the best I can. It isn't going to be easy but again i feel deep down that this is one of those life experiences that is absolutely vital for me to do. Why, i have no idea but I don't have to know.....I just have to do it and the answers will come later.
COPARENTING- As the mom of 6 step kids (this is the last time you will hear me use that term)I have learned a LOT about blending families and developing a working coparenting relationship with my kids bio mom. It has'nt been easy at times....Jaime will tell you that....but again, it is one of those challenges that I feel is absolutely necessary for me to meet and succeed. Our shared boys are awesome little people who are on thier way to becoming awesome adults. They deserve to have two Mom's who get along and present a untied front regarding parenting issues. Jaime and I make a very huge effort to do that for them. We have had our differences from time to time and probably will again but we are both committed to being family and showing the boys that a blended family can be even better than a traditional one. It isn't always easy to get along with your hubby's ex....as I am sure it isn't easy for her to get along with me at times....we are different for a reason, but I think that over the past few years, we have learned enough about each other to realize that we both have so much to offer our family that it would be tragic if we let our differences get in the way. We are able to do things together with and without the kids and plan big family events with everybody. We even follow each other's blogs and are friends on facebook. ;) I think that next to my hubby....I have more text messages from/to her than anyone else. LOL. Anyway, my point being that this is a journey that I have been on since I met my hubby and will be on until the kids are grown and gone if not longer. It is a worthwhile journey because it is teaching all of our kids valuable life lessons about divorce, remarriage and blended families. This is where words don't count.....example does. I just want to give a shout to Jaime............thanks for being such an awesome coparent.....remind me of this blog the next time I get mad about something. LOL. Together we will get these kiddos raised and off to college....then take an adult family vacation as congradulations for a job well done!
Last but definately not least...
BFC LIFESTYLE- As you well know, I have had a lot to say about this journey along the way. It is by far and away the best thing I have done for myself in my adult lifetime. I am now only 3 pounds away from my ultimate goal. Lost another .5 last night so I am down to 128!! I don't know what I will do when I get there....I guess re assess the situation and go from there. Regardless, I am now much much healthier, have more energy and need new clothes! LOL. People have been asking me what I am going to do when I am "done with your diet".....I laugh and say do what Ive been doing....its working for me! They don't seem to quite get that it isn't a diet in the traditional sense. They ask "what will you do to maintian?" I say..."eat". LOL. Or the ever popular "What treats are you going to have when you are done?" My answer....a small bikini! Of course I know they are talking about food but I can't resist. hehe. They also ask if I am going to start eating anything I "cant" eat now. My answer is that I can eat anything I want. I choose to eat food that is not going to expand my waistline. Nobody is stopping me from eating a batch of home made cookies. I can. I choose not to poison my body with it is all. I will talk with people who are serious about being curious but for those who don't respect my choice to not eat like crap then bitch because I am fat.....I have an equally disrespectful, yet sarcastically funny answer. For the most part, my friends and family are super supportive and have come to realize that it is truely a lifestyle change for me....I am not counting down days till I can eat a gallon of Ben and Jerrys.....I simply don't want that food. I will say that I may occasionally have a piece of yummy bread from time to time (as long as the sugar is low enough) and not worry about how much fiber it has or if the carbs go over just a bit but that will be decided after I hit goal. If i continue to lose after that, then bread will definately be my go to treat. hehe
Thats about it for now....those are my journeys and a brief synopsis of what they entail. I didn't mention my jjourney as a wife because I feel that I have actually achieved near perfection and now just do what I do. There are no challenges there because I have a great marriage that flows so easily that it isnt hard at all to be the best wife I can be. :)