I thought of this post last night as I was lying in bed trying to sleep. Usually, I fall asleep in under 2 minutes, but my husband was serenading me with his chainsaw snoring opera, and I couldn’t stop typing thoughts out in my mind.
Long story short, things are all over the place. I’m in this weird state of being grateful but also not feeling like I’m thriving, disorganized, and wanting time to slow down, but also feel like life is passing me by.
So, you know, It’s a normal week, I guess. But not really.
First up. Some downs.
We almost got to move back to the beach. Keyword = almost. My husband almost got a job in Jacksonville, FL. It was so close and I was already looking at beach homes, and picturing myself dropping off Levi at school and then going for a quick surf before work. Morning beach runs were part of the weekly lineup too. I could taste it. Then at the last minute… they went with someone else. It happens. So does lots of silence and knowing each other’s heartbreak without having to even talk about it. I still might buy a bikini that I don’t need, purely as a coping mechanism.
So that leaves me back with the ongoing love/hate relationship known as me and my life in Washington. Yes, it’s a gorgeous place and lots of people flock here. Two months out of the year it seems like the sun shines for 18 hours a day continuously and the skies are an incredible blue color. But you know when you’re somewhere and it just feels off? That’s here for me. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s NOT ALL ABOUT ME though. My dog is in heaven in this climate with all the hikes, sniffspots, etc, Levi is in a melting pot of amazing educational opportunities, and my husband’s got a kick-ass job.
But being the weirdo that I am, I just want more out of my life than that, so I always dream of being back at the beach or living on a boat and island hopping. So until that happens my heart just seems to gravitate in that direction.
Also, living here (and not seeing the sun that much) has done wonders for my skin. However, when I DO get back to a tropical location, I pretty much go on a soaking up the sun bender.
There are more struggles: marriage is an ongoing learning experience and personality conflict, I’m dealing with being in my 40’s and all the weird physical insecurities that go along with it (mainly four decades of gravity is starting to show up and try to turn parts of my body into silly putty), the constant mom guilt and rewiring of my heart to deal with all the changes and growth that come along with it, I have a pile of laundry that rivals Mt Rainier, things are just getting more and more expensive, and the money seems to be coming in less and less, spend way too much on Aviator Nation gear, social media keeps making me feel like I’m irrelevant and never “enough”, and just loneliness in general. Even though I am perfectly comfortable being alone.
I guess that’s what’s in my “backpack” right now. You know, the stuff we’re all carrying around that’s not that easy to see.
Ready, set, deep breath.
But there are some wins, too. It just feels a bit odd writing about them and difficult to articulate for some reason. And let’s face it, it’s not as fun to read about someone’s wins. Unless it’s some long novel and you’ve come to the ending. Which this post might feel like.
Every time Levi laughs, hugs me, tells me I’m the best, or that he loves me, everything makes sense. My daily dog walks dish up the serenity I crave, the forests are all turning bright green and full of waterfalls right now, and our new rental home has lots of windows and natural light. (Which shows off how it’s always covered in dog hair.)
There are some surf trips coming up this summer and there’s a year-round heated pool down the street from our new home, so just thinking of being able to be in the water puts some pep in my step.
Last week I squatted and hang cleaned close to what my max was in College – not bad for almost 20 years later.
I’ve been selling and licensing my art in Japan for a few years now (I REALLY need to do a post on this) and I have to remind myself of how freaking cool that is.
It still just amazes me that people give a damn about anything I do, wear, have to say, or create. As much as my self-doubt likes to chime in daily, it feels so good to remind myself that I do have the capability to brighten someone’s day without even knowing it.
In fact, we all do.
So, on that note, I hope this little catch-up helps.
I’m a (somewhat) open book when it comes to admitting everything isn’t all smiles, rainbows, beach days, and butterflies, and whenever I take some time to sit and write about it, the easier it is to just move on and keep on living. And also fall asleep easier at night.
Now, back to that massive pile of laundry. I can’t contain my excitement.
La vie est belle mes amis, gotta soak it up and live it.
I feel like I could have written this. You helped put words to so much I am going through but couldn’t explain. We have so many similarities such as the 40s, being grateful yet oddly uncomfortable, having a single son, marriage stuff and excitement over a job that ultimately fell through.
You are not irrelevant to me. Your paintings bring me joy, your hair is to die for and I look forward to your posts. Hang in there.
Thank you so much.
I am sooooooo glad it helped, Elizabeth! It helped me just by writing it and knowing you can relate just is like a big, and much needed, hug. Thank you so much for the encouragement, and you hang in there too! Sending hugs, -Rebekah
I feel like this could’ve been me writing this post (aside from living in Washington) glad to know it’s not just me. Hang in there mama. I do look forward to your posts more than just about anybody else… and my little girl (11) is so inspired by your art, she’s teaching herself watercolors. ♥️♥️
I really need to print and frame this comment, Krista! Thank you thank you thank you so much for the encouragement, and I’m so glad it helped/you can relate! Please tell your daughter to keep on painting…and that I’m self-taught in watercolors, too!
I found your blog back when I was in college, I was living in San Francisco which is an amazing place but just not the place for me. It was too expensive and too “cool” which I am not and too cold on the most random of days and too hot on the other random days and it was just a lonely city for me. I appreciate your blog for having helped me through what was a difficult time, it was a little thing but I so looked forward to me. 💙
Oh my gosh, Megan! It meant so much to read this and just knowing my blog helped you keeps me going. Thank you! Also, We lived down in Menlo Park for a bit and I was mindblown about the weather in the bay area. Ohh Microclimates were crazy! Hang in there and hoping you’ll have some not too hot nice days in SF soon!
Its so hard so truly be grateful for everything when you know something just ain’t right… My husband acknowledges that we are living the dream here in the UK, its just that its his dream, not mine. I do love our view of the countryside, the woodland dog walks, the peace… but I never get to the beach, even though its only 15 mins drive, because the dogs really prefer the woods, and I never get to socialise because everyone lives ‘too far’ away so I have to drive and not drink and I like wine! My girls are almost grown up now, and in a couple of years it will just be us and the dogs… more freedom but less chatter. I decided to step away from random accounts online, and only focus on those that resonate, and I am still holding out for my beach bar / yoga cafe when I’m older, and a lot more tanned than the UK will ever allow!
Ohhh the things we do for our Husbands and Dogs!!!! Thanks so much for this, Caroline. Hoping things warm up in the UK and you keep on finding slices of sunshine until you can get back to a beach for a abit!
Also, the art in Japan stuff sounds amazing! What a great achievement, you have to do a post on that…
Oh gosh, can so relate. I’m in the freaking freezing endless winter mountains – when my soul knows the tropics and oceans I grew up with are calling me! So you are not alone! It can be so hard when you know that the place you’re in is not what makes your heart sing, I totally understand that.
I know one day I will be back in the sunshine and so will you. Stay kind to yourself Mama, and keep looking for and focusing on all the good that is around you. And you know taking a break from the socials never hurts-take note of how certain accounts make you feel. If it isn’t uplifted and positive, time to unfollow. Sending virtual hugs xx
thank you so so much for this, Kristina! Means so much to read that people relate and thanks for the reminder of how important breaks are too…I’ve been grinding at this thing for a decade and it’s catching up with me! Lots of love – Rebekah