Three years ago, 2018, my family uprooted from the suburbs of Omaha and moved to the other side of the state for my husband’s job.
The move pushed me to my physical and mental limits. It was stressful, hard on my already creaky body, and took all of my time and energy. Because my husband had to start his new job before we moved, it was up to me to take care of the showings, navigate the world of home staging, and eventually manage the mass of paperwork. Luckily, before he left, my husband and I had enough time to pack up most of the house and cram it into a huge storage unit.
To this day I’m amazed at the amount of stuff we own, and we’re still constantly finding things to give to charity.
Buying the house was an ordeal as well, and by a stroke of good luck, we snagged the house I wanted only because they dropped the price at just the right time to our price range.
A couple of months after we moved, I naively posted about how busy we had been and how life was going to get back to normal. After all these years I still haven’t accepted that Murphy and his law are never far behind the words of someone thinking things will go as expected.
After a couple more posts on the blog it was more apparent than ever that I was more burned out from the move than I had realized. At that point Living a Sunshine Life took a back seat and I thought I could keep up with one blog, my low carb blog, Taste This Keto, rather than three blogs. Even that proved to be too much for me at the time, and those recipe posts tapered off as well.
During the summer of 2018 we met an amazingly sweet kid, and my kids became instant friends with her. Over time she spent the night at our house frequently and after getting to know her family, we learned things weren’t the greatest in her home.
Over the next year, she spent more and more time with us, even going on vacation with us. We became a stable, safe place for her to go when she needed an outlet. I spent that year trying to help her family get the support and services needed to improve their situation. Unfortunately, things remained about the same, maybe even got a little worse. At that point we requested she move in with us.
After another year and a half of her living with us and me spending a lot of my time trying to help out her family, my husband and I decided it was time to petition the court for guardianship. Full guardianship was granted to us just a couple of months ago.
Let’s not forget to mention how covid affected our family. We are beyond relieved that at this point in time we have not lost anyone we know to covid. We mourn the loss of so many people around the world who fell to the pandemic. Our family has had friends and family affected by it, both by losing their loved ones or contracting it themselves. Some of them are still feeling the effects months later.
We have done our part to stay home and shelter in place; life didn’t seem to change much for us. Many people in our community were, and still are, refusing to practice social distancing and masking. Because it is a small, rural community covid has spread, and people have died. A lot of people here still view it as nothing more than a cold.
With the lack of community health practices to reduce the spread of covid, and our connections to high risk people, we stayed home, a lot. No more shopping, no more travel. Most things were delivered to our door or picked up curbside. We did that for a year and a half. Masking when going out and keeping our social interactions to a minimum.
Coping with Covid
Initially I thought we’d be okay, especially since we’re introverts and our routine didn’t change a lot. My husband is the only person in his office, so he could go to work daily without risk. We homeschool, so we’re already home most of the time. However, without the multitude of field trips we were used to, shopping trips, or family visits, the monotony got to us. I’m not an extremely active person, and without my small daily outings, I became even more sedentary. This wasn’t good on my mental or physical health.
In the past few months we have come out of our bubble a bit. We still social distance and mask, and no unnecessary outings without precautions. Three members of our household have gotten the vaccine. One is too young, the other has an extreme needle phobia, but both want to get the shot. The struggle now is dealing with our one public school kid and a community who refuses to mask.
Which Brings Us to Now
After the past three years of stress, I’m still here. I’m a lot calmer than I used to be, but overwhelmed easier. My face is a bit more puffy and aged, but I’m okay with that. My hair is a bit more gray, which I love, and I like to think I’ve gained some wisdom along with it.
I’ve made a promise to myself to take better care of my physical and mental health better. As a result, I’m setting more boundaries and getting back into some things I’ve missed, such as reading and crafting. My attention to other’s needs has taken my focus away from my family, and that’s not okay. I now have three kids and house full of pets who need me to be present. Not to mention, my husband who has been nothing less than amazingly supportive, who deserves more of my attention.
It will be interesting to see where these changes lead me. I hope you’ll join me as I take on this chapter of my life.