Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a work in progress

I went to the Mount Timpanogos temple recently. It is covered in scaffolding, as it needs repairs. The gentleman at the desk told me it will take quite awhile.

As I left and snapped this picture, I couldn't help but think that I, too, am a work in progress.

For quite awhile now, I have been feeling somewhat adrift.

I was so looking forward to Eva starting first grade last year. I had so many things I wanted to do, but had never had time for. I painted my kitchen cabinets, and that kept me occupied for a good long time. I volunteered a lot at the schools. I did some little projects here and there, I painted the piano.

Summer was very busy, with several trips and lots of good family time. At the end of the summer, we had a yard sale. Marc and I went through the entire garage, culling. It felt great to get rid of so much stuff.

A little later, I cleaned up the garage, sweeping and organizing a bit more. I was on fire. I was doing yardwork, going to the gym, being mindful of my eating.

But the kids were back in school. And here's one thing I know for sure: having children and having my children around is the best thing that ever happened to me. Not just because I really love them, but also because they help to keep my depression at bay. Their needs keep me busy, give me purpose and motivation to get out of bed (and stay out).

I was never the kind of mom who cried when her kids went off to kindergarten. I rejoiced. I knew it was good for them and good for me. I have always treasured my brief snatches of solitude.

But here's the thing: I am remembering, once again, that big transitions are difficult for me, even ones that are exciting. For instance, Max is getting ready to apply to college. I am facing the very real fact that he will be leaving home soon and our family will never be the same again. I know it will be wonderful for him. It's exciting. But I like my family the way it is. I like having everyone under one roof.

It's weird. I've never felt like a mom who lives vicariously through her children. I've taken pains to maintain and develop my own interests. I certainly never thought I would be in this position. Given an influx of time to myself, I pictured myself losing weight, getting fit, devoting more time to studying the scriptures, keeping my home clean and organized. And while I've done some of that, it would seem that  my personal pursuits are not motivation enough.

Depression has been threatening to overcome me, and it's been progressively getting worse. If I have a meeting or an appointment, I will be there, but otherwise, I've been hard pressed to do anything other than sleep or read. I hate feeling like this.

I went to a new doctor this week, and we're changing my meds. She recommended that I start seeing a therapist, a life coach to help me redefine who I am at this point in my life and figure out what steps to take next. I didn't see this coming.

I am definitely a work in progress.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a great post Michelle. I love knowing we're a work in progress but it doesn't diminish our potential or worth. Thank you.

I hear you. I went into mourning the year before each child left. I kept telling myself that they weren't dying, but I still mourned. I didn't like things changing either. I hear you. I'm glad you can articulate so well what you feel.

Natasha said...

Good for you for seeking some help! There have been times in my life when I needed therapy and going through with it was the best thing I ever gave myself. What a great post for us all to read...we are all a work in progress!

April said...


" would seem my personal pursuits are not enough."


It's hard and that comes as such a shock, doesn't it?

Charlotte said...

I have been meaning to comment on this for a long time.

I'm so sorry that you've hit a rut. I wish I could come over and clean your bathroom or make you dinner or just sit and chat.

I hope you find the balance you need between your personal persuits and more professional guidance. You're in my prayers.


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