Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Run For the Roses

Dan Fogelberg.  I'd always associated this song with the Kentucky Derby, one of Dad's yearly getaways.  The story goes that Dad and Stan went to The Derby while they were in law school.  They bet, but didn't win.  And then Dad, king of hair brained ideas, decided that they should collect all of the betting tickets that had been tossed to the ground, in hopes of finding a winning ticket that had been discarded by accident.  They snuck under the fence (ahh. . . to live back in an age without no big brother!!!), collected bags of tickets, and actually found a winner.  From that point forward, Stan and Dad went to the derby each year, although never with that much success.  And as they got older, going to the derby morphed into watching the derby on television, during their own "derby day".  Run for the Roses became one of Dad's favorite songs.  In retrospect, I'm sure it had nothing to do with the derby, and everything to do with the profound lyrics.

"It's the chance of a lifetime and a lifetime of chance."  Those words. . . so profound, have been resonating deeply within my soul, within my heart.  By chance, my family came together.  By chance, I grew up with, went to school with, dated, worked with, adopted with, people that have deeply, significantly, affected me, changed me, molded me into the person I am.  We all experience this Lifetime of Chance, experience things out of our control, meet random strangers that somehow become as vital to our being as the breath in our lungs, the beating of our hearts. 

But there is also that Chance of a Lifetime, those things that we can choose for ourselves, opportunities we take or don't take, so often dictated by fear, fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of Pain, fear of causing pain. 

As I sit here, I know that I can't choose who has come into my life.  I can only choose how I let those people affect me.  I can only choose how I react, how I change because of their influence.

It's no secret that I don't like this person that I've become.  I don't like the constant anger I feel towards my husband, my children, my mother.  I don't like, I hate even, this lost identity, this new definition of my being, as mother and wife, instead of simply "woman".  Yes, I am a mother and a wife, but those are only two facets of my being.  I am so much more.  I know that I am, but I have been so buried, so crushed, by the roles of mother and wife, that I'm not sure I can dig The Woman out of the abyss. 

Last night, Nathan and I talked.  Last night, I voiced out loud, for the first time, something that I've been thinking about for some time now.  I think it is time for me to leave.  Not forever.  Not permanently.  But for a few months.  Long enough for me to remember.

The decision, not yet fully decided upon, does not come easily.  I take my responsibility seriously.  I understand that I have a husband, three children, five dogs, and two cats that need me to be present in their lives, that need me to fulfill the role of mother, wife and caretaker that I willing accepted.

The problem lies in the realization that I cannot fulfill my roles as mother, wife and caretaker as I exist right now.  I need to step away.  I need to remember the person that I've always wanted to be before I can actually be that person. 

And so, we have some details to work out. I need a job.  I need a place to live.  I need to make sure that things are in order in this house.  I'm not sure when, or even if, all the pieces will fall into place for this to happen.  But. . . . it's the working plan right now.  I'm going to run for my roses.


Livia said...

Are you out of your mind? Come out here and see me for one week and I'll make it all better. Seriously. I'm not joking. Maybe all you need is one week of vacation by yourself with someone who really knows you that isn't straddled with too many responsibilities--who can still show you-- you can have fun and give you back enough in the tank to go back and get through this hard time your facing!!!!! I want to shake you sometimes but you're too far away!!!

Heather said...

OK, no I am NOT out of my mind, thank you very much! Ha! It's not as crazy as it sounds. Nathan is completely on board, and while he wishes I didn't need the time away, he totally understands. I know I am freaking blessed beyond belief to have a partner that supports me, even when I have this crazy idea that I need to be on my own for a bit. My commitment to my husband and kids isn't waning at all, it's just I need something different.

and yes, I've actually considered going out to visit for a long weekend! Thanks for the offer!

Livia said...

Then do it. Come for a long weekend. I'd love for you to come. Tell me when!!! I promise you, you would like it out here and we'd have a great time. And I've got vacation to spare for you this year! Come in June!