Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

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.


  1. Personally, I don't think it's healthy to be completely one or the other. An optimist in the wrong situation is an inappropriate Pollyanna, and pessimism when it isn't useful is beyond annoying. I've always felt the glass half full or empty question depended entirely on the former state of the glass. Your glass got knocked off the shelf and you've been piecing shards back together! If you're lucky, one day it will hold water again.

    I believe you will be that lucky.

  2. Hi,

    Just came onto your blog and realize how difficult your life must be right now and how much you wish you could have your "normal" life back now, whatever that would be. We never know what life has in store for us and must always look for the good in all things.... Tribulations are meant for good, and you must trust God with his infallible word.

    Is there a way I could sent you some money? IS there an email or paypal account I could post to? I would love to somehow send something to make you smile just a little.... My email is tedda2000@yahoo.com. I am a mother of a classmate of your fellow blogger Anna,(Inch of Gray) who lost her son tragically last Sept via floodwaters. So hopefully that may give you some assurance I am not a stalker or anything...

  3. Summer is a great time to reevaluate and take it easy and try to find a way to make things a little smoother. There are less pressures and stresses and everyone can breathe just a bit more easily.

    I'm an incurable Pollyanna and irritate the living crap out of my sister. I can't help it. I know it's annoying and yet, I'm constantly looking for that blasted silver lining.

    I don't think you're a pessimist or an optimist or anything other than a woman trying to navigate her new "normal" and that's all you can ask of yourself. Be gentle with you, Peg.

    I look forward to reading about your fun summer events--be sure to share! :o)