space2live girl in field

Space2live original image
Photo by Rona Keller

This Sunday, February 16th commemorates the ninth year of space2live. As I reflect on where I was in 2011 and where I am now, I see a lot of similarities.

Much like in 2011, I am squeezing the writing of this post into a tiny time slot that could be used for family activities. Writing under time constraints feels familiar.

Nine years ago I was married to a hedge fund manager and had three children at home, ages seven to eleven. We lived in the suburbs of Minneapolis. I did not work outside the home. My life revolved around kids’ school events, getting the kids to do homework, grocery shopping and cooking meals. There were the occasional date nights to a dinner and movie with my husband. I craved space to live.

I often felt unseen and frustrated.

Today I am married to a process improvement manager and have three kids at home ages 16 to 19 and two more children out of the nest. We still live in the same suburban home. My life revolves around school (my paraprofessional job), grocery shopping and making meals. I do not have to sit on the kids to do their homework anymore but I do have to coax my senior to go to class. He’s already been accepted to college so he is into minimal effort at this point. I have fairly regular date nights with my husband. We take in a variety of events from dinner with friends to Oscar Parties. I even enjoy our TV watching ‘dates’ at home.

I still get frustrated and have a fear of feeling unseen.

I still grapple with enforcing boundaries. My job at the high school involves keeping kids on track in the classroom. I help them focus on the task at hand, manage their emotional outbursts and go to the bathroom. At home, I have a stepson and my two youngest kids to keep on track. I strive to guide their focus and help them manage emotions. Fortunately, the bathroom stuff is well in hand. In a lot of ways, I am still constantly caring for children.

Writing and creativity take a back seat, again. This is the frustrating part.

The difference is I now realize the sources of my boundary and irritation issues and they are not all external. I have an avoidant attachment style (give me autonomy but stay connected), I have a highly sensitive nervous system and I know the stress will pass.

It still feels maddening when in the thick of burying Brenda, but my husband makes it easier to lighten up. He makes me step back from the storm. My partner gives me a chance to relax, because he relaxes too.

In fact, just before I started typing this post, I was bemoaning my lack of time to read, reflect and get creative. Both my husband and my daughter spitballed ideas with me for this post. My husband came up with the anniversary reflection post.

To tell you the truth, I did not want to stop talking with them. I wanted to hang out with my husband and daughter longer. I find space to live in time with others and time alone. This is very different from my attitude in 2011. Progress.

I want to thank all of you who have read my writing over the years. I truly feel close to many of you. We’ve been through quite a journey together. I hope you see the progress you have made in your own lives over the last nine years. Go ahead take some time to reflect on it. I give you permission. 🙂

How have you changed or not changed since 2011?