Like most women, my life has had many phases that feel like completely different lives, rather than different chapters within one, single story.
In life’s crazy, unpredictable, maddening way, I have journeyed from feeling sad and lonely due to childhood divorce; shunned and neglected due to being a misfit, stepchild; hesitant and fearful to trust a man and become his wife; frustrated and confused when I was unable to conceive naturally; depressed and anxious while undergoing fertility treatments; distraught and sick from pregnancy failures and losses; hopeful and enthusiastic for adoption of a Chinese orphan; shocked and scared by a medical diagnosis; excited but terrified by a twin’s pregnancy; happy and thankful to be a mother of two and overwhelmed and worried to be the mother of an autistic child.
Now, as I quickly move into middle age, I am facing the challenges of my older body (with its thinning hair, developing wrinkles, failing eyesight, weak knees and impending menopause), my aging mother (with the many fears and concerns for her senior care), and my growing children (with their new need to show their stubborn independence, desires for cellphones and video games, and ability to talk back and win arguments).
After nearly a decade of being a stay-at-home mom struggling with the constant monotony of laundry, cleaning house, fixing meals and running errands, plus the feelings of a lack of identity and self-worth, I am hoping to balance being a mother with having my own life again. I am trying to pursue that which I’ve always loved—writing. So, I’m starting a new chapter in my life and following my dreams to become…an author. As I enter this new and scary chapter, I find myself dependent on the coping skills I have developed since childhood. Call it my “bag of tricks” for overcoming life’s many challenges. Of which, I’ll share with you, dear readers…