I've been thinking a lot lately about whether I'm naturally an optimistic or pessimistic person. I worry that people must think I'm nothing but a Debbie Downer and not able to see the good in life. I keep on thinking that maybe it's my negative attitude that is keeping me from "turning the corner" and embracing our new family life. K and I have started to almost be numb to the bad things that we continue to have to deal with.
I came to a realization last night as I was thinking about the upcoming summer vacation. I believe I'm a positive person who for whatever reason keeps getting bombarded with (for want of a better word) loads of crap. I think my resiliency is based in my own brand of optimism. A belief that tomorrow is going to be okay and trying to find some peace in little things like a good cup of coffee or listening to the kids laughing.
I also accept that I am still grieving. Loss is such a complicated issue. As I've written about before, I feel enveloped by loss in most of my day-to-day actions. Positive things, like a night with just the boys and K, is still tainted with feelings of missing our old life. Driving to school brings us past the cemetery. Taking care of two grieving children is a constant reminder of what they have lost. Looking in the mirror sometimes makes me pause as I see my sister in my eyes and facial expressions.
Today was the last day of school for the big kids. Some people might see this as the end of the year and emphasize the stress of having the kids home all day for over two months. I choose to see it as the beginning of summer. The beginning of fun, relaxation, and lazy days of reading, games and the pool.
In my fantasy life, I wish that I could take the summer off from work and really focus on getting our family and house back on track. That's not going to happen, so I'm going to try to make a reasonable list of goals to accomplish and just get to it. Items on that list are going to include things like dinners at the pool, herping hikes, whiffle ball and trips to skate parks. But it's also going to include some organization, school work and real discussions as a family about how to make things work easier around here.
I don't think labels are ever a good idea when it comes to people. Life is just too complicated for that and what purpose does it really serve? Am I an optimist who's been dealt a bad blow? Am I a pessimist who just can't get past the negative? I think the best thing is for me to try to just be Peg and continue to do the best I can. Try to take solace in the little victories and joys and keep moving forward. I think that's all any of us can do.