This time three years ago, Tim was away for an entire month of training, similar to what he’s doing right now. It was a difficult thirty days for me. The kids were much younger, Jack was eight months old, Sophia was two and a half. It snowed at least twice a week for the entire month and when it wasn’t snowing it was freezing cold. We were housebound for much of the time. Even with help from family and a babysitter, it was rough. I know I wasn’t in the best of mental health either.
Flash forward to now. We’re living in Iowa; a place I never imagined we’d end up but here we are. I unpacked the last boxes yesterday. There were so many boxes that I didn’t think I would get through them all before Tim came back. The surprise was many of the boxes were packed with an obnoxious amount of paper that only a few items could fit in each box. I found our tools yesterday so my next project is to hang our photos, curtains, and decorations…to take this from house to home. In between all of this, I’ve been working my normal amount, taking the kids to and from school, and we even had a play date over the weekend. We’ve been busy to say the least.
“I couldn’t have done this five years ago.”
Those are the words I said to my sister last week. I know for a fact that I would not have been able to make the eleven hundred mile drive and set up a new home by myself. My anxiety would have swallowed me whole. I don’t think I would have been able to make it six weeks alone by myself with two kids five years ago, even three years ago. So what gives? What’s changed?
I have no idea.
That is the honest truth. I’m not on medication, although I have been in the past. I’m not seeing a therapist. This isn’t to say I haven’t had anxiety try to clutch me. When we decided I would drive the kids and the cat half way across the country I had a lot of anxious thoughts. What if we had an accident? What if something happened to me? What if we had car issues? It was easy to let those questions spiral into exaggerated scenarios.
I feel like I made a conscious decision not to feed my fears and in turn my anxiety. I told myself over and over “I can do this”. I put my faith in my kids to handle two days of long driving. I put my faith in our past experiences of long drives. I also took a leap and planned on the possibility of things going according to plan instead of telling myself that things were going to fall apart. It sounds like it was an easy decision to make but it wasn’t. It was a decision I had to make over and over again.
But you know what? I did it.
I drove my kids and my cat from New York to Iowa by myself. We camped out in our house with zero furniture for an entire week. I helped my kids get settled in their new schools. I unpacked our home. I did all of this. I did all of this without having to drag myself through it. And every time I succeeded in an accomplishment, it was one more boost to my confidence. It’s been an amazing feeling.
I did it.