I think I can say, from the other side of New Year's Eve now, that 2013 was the most difficult year of my entire life so far. I am far from sorry to see 2013 fade into history, but it will always be with me. Nothing will ever be the same again. I'm moving forward now, hoping for less sorrow and more positives in my life this year. There are no guarantees for any of us, but I am hopeful that the things within my control will be better for my family and I, and that I'll be able to deal with the things out of my control in as gracious and positive a fashion as I can, leaning on the Lord's grace and strength to do so.
Most of my friends and all of my family know that 2013 was a year of great challenges and changes for the kids and I, and for my husband. If you know us well, you know what's been going on; if you don't, I'm sure you've read between the lines. My husband and I are no longer living together, and have not been since last summer. We are on good terms, working together to raise the kids, but we are not a couple. This has set off a whole cascading series of changes, including my need to find a permanent job with insurance, and the likelihood that we'll be selling the house this year to adjust our finances to a more realistic long-term plan. So, the kids and I will be moving, probably over the summer (between school years). We hope to stay in the general area near my husband, for obvious reasons.
I have appreciated all of the prayers and well-wishes from all of you through the ups and downs I've shared, and I hope that you will continue to lift us up and encourage us now that you know a little bit more. Everything is up in the air for us, waiting on where/when I can get a permanent job. I'm looking now, and not limiting myself to jobs in education. I'm also considering work with not-for-profit agencies working with people with disabilities, or other human services related work. If I can get my foot in the door somewhere, I'm open to retraining. I don't want to wait for September (or later) for stability in employment, and this is NOT a good time to be looking for jobs in education. I may have no choice but to take something else, outside of education, sooner rather than later.
The kids are handling this transition with varying degrees of understanding and patience. Of course they've got a lot to process, and we're all getting counseling now to help us work through our issues. You've probably noticed I've posted much less about Safety Guy and the Princess than usual over the past six months. I wasn't ready to share this news, and the kids needed me to respect their privacy, especially Safety Guy, who does read my blog occasionally. But I've also realized that NOT sharing the most basic life-changing fact of our lives right now is another way of lying to everyone around me, and hiding the unpleasant truth. This situation hurts all four of us - a lot. It won't be the focus of my blog (what a downer that would be!), but it may crop up occasionally, directly or indirectly. Frankly, I'd rather write about gardening, or art, or autism-related stuff, or just the wonder and joy of watching our kids grow up and become unique, amazing people.
Life is messy, but I'm not going to air our most private lives for others to get a vicarious, voyeuristic thrill. I am, however, going to be honest about the basics, and also discreet. No bashing, no ranting, no recriminations, no airing of grievances, and no whining about what's "not fair" in our lives. Just the occasional statement of, "Yes, this is hard - thank you for praying for us," or, "I've got to work through finding a job and moving with the kids, and thank you for listening to me while I process all of this," or, "We could use some extra prayer right now."
Thank you, my friends. Farewell, 2013 - I'm not sad to see you go. Welcome, 2014 - I hope you're kinder to us all.