For those who haven't been over to Mama's Losin' It and participated in her prompts, the concept is simple (though more info can be found in the link above). Every week, you are sent 5 prompts. Choose one to write about, and on Thursday, she'll put a post in her blog for you to link to. I just signed up for the e-mails with the prompts, but since she has the prompts listed in the blog today, I chose to participate this week as well. And, like C. Mom, I'm choosing to write about What I know.
What I Know For Sure
There are so many things in the world that I don't know. I don't know what the future brings. I don't know the price of tea in China. I don't know how I'm going to feel on any given day, or if I'm going to get all the things done that I want to do. I don't know how how to keep a neat house or why I try to do so many things when not getting to them all only depresses me. But I do know several things for sure.
I know that I love my children without question. Yes, they frustrate me. Yes, they make me wonder if I was really cut out for this Mom thing after all. And yes, I joke about selling them to the lowest bidder because the highest bidder would realize they paid too much and try to get their money back. But I know that I would do anything for these boys and that they truly are the center of my world. How do I know this? Some of it is just inherent knowledge. They are my sons and I feel honest, soul-consuming love for them. Some of it is the fact that I talk about them more often than not. On writing swaps, or with pen-pals, I warn the person receiving my things that they'll be hearing a lot about my children. I've tried focusing on other things, but they creep into everything I do and everything that I am. And when they are in danger, I drop everything. The other day, we were at the playground and Daredevil Peter took a tumble from at least 5 1/2 feet up. As soon as I saw that he was going to go down, I threw down the book I was writing in, screamed his name and ran. I knew that I wouldn't be there in time to catch him, but I had to try. Thankfully, he was more scared than hurt. But he was the only thought I had at that moment. My kids really are my world.
I know that my husband loves me unconditionally and has never wavered in that love. I suffer from depression. I have most of my life. And some days, my depression is worse than others. I tell him he should leave me, that he should take the kids and find someone who will be a better wife and mother than I am. And all he does is hold me and tell me that there is no better wife and mother for him and the boys. When I'm feeling sick, he does whatever he can to make me feel better. He cooks dinner because he knows I really don't like cooking (and he does). He watches the kids so I can go to Starbucks for some destressing time a couple times a month. He supports me when I want to try new things and tells me, every single day, how beautiful and sexy he finds me (even though I have to wonder why, since I'm so much heavier than I was when we met). I have no doubts that I am the only woman for him.
I know that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. One of the problems of depression is that I can't always see the good in myself. When I fail at something, I berate myself and wonder why I bothered trying in the first place. But deep inside, where the depression sometimes covers, I know that I'm a strong woman. I've been through a lot. I stayed in a toxic relationship for 7 years and came out the other end learning a lot more about myself than I ever would have imagined. I've moved several times in my life, often to places where I didn't know anyone. I've done jobs that I didn't care for (like inbound telemarketing). I haven't taken my life when the depression has been bad, regardless of the whispers in my mind telling me that it would be better for everyone. I know that the strength is there, even if the doubts sometimes try to blot it out.
I know that I've got some of the best friends in the world. When I'm going through good times, they laugh with me. When I have questions, they help me answer them. When I'm down, they help bring me up. If there's something I need, they try to provide it. My friends have seen me through thick and thin, my best and my worst. The fact that they, like my husband, stick by me through it all means that my depression isn't telling me the whole story. Because, really, if I was as bad as my depression likes me to believe, would so many people still be around?
I know there is nothing in my past that I regret. There have been bad choices that I've made. I stayed in that toxic relationship for far too long. I burned bridges that I shouldn't have. I didn't focus enough on money to get my degree. I moved places for the wrong reasons. I convinced myself that I didn't deserve better when I did. I clung tightly to anyone that showed me the least bit of love, sometimes pushing good people away and sometimes allowing bad people to use me. But every single one of those choices made me the person I am today. They put me in the right place at the right time to meet my husband. They gave me the strength to know what I would and would not stand for in my life. It taught me what I needed to know about real love and being used. It shaped me, and I cannot regret that.
Finally, I know that tomorrow is another day. I may not have made the most of today that I would have wanted to. My house isn't clean. My swaps aren't all finished and ready to put in the mail. My blog isn't full of the interesting things I'd planned sharing. My laundry hasn't been finished down to the last stray sock. I didn't get the walking finished that I wanted to. But tomorrow is another day and I can try again to do all the things that I want. A friend of mine told me that failure isn't falling down, but staying down. And that is something I know to be true. One of these days, I'll get myself completely organized and be "perfect". Maybe. But in the meantime, I'll always have the next day to try again.