Please welcome Jenny. She’s here to chat change, life, change, blending families, change and, well, her approach to change.
(did I mention she’s talking change?)
It was the 35th anniversary of my arrival on this earth. I often kid people that “Beware the Ides of March” was not warning Julius Caesar of his assassination, but rather a warning of my arrival thousands of years prior to my birth.
To say that I’m a pain to live with is the understatement of the year, and if anyone would like to send sympathy cards to my family after reading this, feel free to shoot me an email for the address.
I kid (sort of), but the reality is that as I get older – I find I’m even more set in my ways. Change can be difficult. Even when it’s something you’ve been longing for.
Years ago I read an article (I wish I could find it and reference it), that stated there are only so many life changes a person should try to go through in the course of a year in order to prevent depression and feeling overwhelmed.
Well…………….. in true mizfit fashion (I’m stealing your line Carla!) The family and I are just going to go ahead and tackle 3- maybe 4 biggies— in the next 6 months, mkay?:
- Get married (finally)
- Move (finally)
- Change Schools
- Get pregnant (maybe??)
ALL are amazing, incredible, exciting, wonderful changes, right?! And yet I still find myself in panic mode at times. I am the biggest offender when it comes to paralysis by analysis.
Letting Go of Independence – Alfie (short for Alfred) and I will be together 7 years in May. And although we’ve of course been completely committed to each other, and already call each other husband and wife—the thought of actually being husband and wife still scares me. You see, I tried it before and failed.
As I get older, and life takes a few more jabs—wisdom allows me to realize that LIFE AND LOVE IS HARD WORK. Of course I know we have what it takes to make our love last, but that doesn’t make it less frightening. Right now we are with each other because we WANT to be. Will that little piece of paper somehow transform it in to being there because we HAVE to be?? I’ve always been so independent, will that now change?!
Blending a Family – Kenzer met Alfie in July of 2007 (she had just turned 4), and I’m fairly certain he loved her wayyyyyyy before he realized he loved me. He has been such a good “Papa” to her! I am overwhelmed with the excitement and joy of him being her “official” step-father soon, but at the same time find myself analyzing their interactions with each other and if their bond is strong enough.
I want to make sure neither one of them feels left out or “different” when it comes to our love as a family. I want them both to know that I love them dearly. This becomes especially important when it comes to adding to our family and another child being in the picture. (more on that later)
There is a fine line I’ve had to walk over the years between allowing Alfie to feel like an equal parent, but also making sure Kenzer knows she isn’t on the back burner because of my relationship, but ALSO making sure I foster a loving relationship with my spouse. After all, at some point Kenzer will leave the nest and Alfie and I will be the ones left.
Change of Venue & Complete Vulnerability – I moved out of the house at 18 years old. I worked full time, put myself through school, and never had to move back to “the nest”. For the past 17 years, I’ve ALWAYS lived in what I would consider “MY” house. Whether it was an apartment, or the house we currently live in, it was always mine first. And I could pay for it all on my own. No additional income needed.
For the first time in—- well—- EVER, I (we) will be living in a house that isn’t “mine”
It is a joint venture. We’ve been building this house together for the past 6 years, and are finally at the point where we’re getting ready to move in. I’m giving up my tenure as the “Alpha”, and taking on a role where we walk beside each other rather than me being always slightly in the front.
Talk about vulnerability!
I will be removing that hard shell of complete and total independence, and showing my soft underbelly in what will be called a TEAM EFFORT.
Although I don’t expect anything to change because we’ve always been the proverbial team, this move is what solidifies it for sure.
Change of Schools – Although this would appear to affect Kenzer the most, she seems to be taking it all in stride. Who knew a 10 year old could exude such confidence and wisdom! But she’s really embraced the idea of a new school and new friends, and is looking forward to becoming a middle schooler next year.
It’s ME that goes in to full on panic mode at the thought of changing her school. I know my way around her new school. I know who to contact. I feel comfortable with her there.
In trying to ease her(my) transition to her new school, I’ve already been in contact with the guidance counselor of the new school to schedule a tour over the summer. And luckily, Alfie went to high school with the art teacher, so we plan on having her over so that Kenzer can meet her prior. Of all the changes, this might be the one that goes the smoothest. Leave it to the 10 year old to show her mama how it’s done.
Last, but certainly not least—
Getting Prego – This one is up in the air. I’m 35, Alfie is 39 – are we SERIOUSLY going to try and have a baby at this point in our life? In a word—youbetcha!
Although time is usually not on the side of women, I feel fairly confident that my healthy lifestyle will afford us the opportunity to have a (hopefully several) child/children together.
But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t worry me a tad.
“Am I going to be the old mom on the playground?” “Are we going to have problems conceiving?” “If can conceive, will the child be healthy?” “Why in the world would we go back to diapers when we have a tween?!” “Will I live long enough to be there for this child and their children?” “What in the world is going to happen to my body having kids at 35+, it bounced back the first time, but will it again?”
All of these questions circle around in my head. But I also realize that for most of these, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
All I can say is we’ll give it our best shot and see what happens.
In closing, I guess you could say my way of handling change is to just “rip it off like a band aid.”
We’ll bust ‘em out one by one.
Being prepared for the worst, but always hoping for the best.