I think it is safe to say that 2020 has been extremely challenging for nearly everyone and I have to agree, my little family has been affected. Whether you lost someone, have experienced increased depression, anxiety or isolation, whether you have lost your business, had financial or martial trouble or if you are struggling for any other reasons, you have my sincere condolences.
I would like to share a little bit about my 2020 experience and although it has been bad why I’m looking forward to the future, but also want to invite you to share your negatives and positives. I will send you virtual hugs both in sympathy and in joy, because whether you are on top of the world or in the depths of despair, we all need a little love right now.
I was so excited for 2020, this time last year. Ian and I were nearing closing on our little house, our soap business was doing well, I had huge plans for reading and growing in various areas of my life. John was nearing his 4th birthday and there was a feeling of normalcy… maybe not everything exactly as we want or how we envisioned (which how often does that happen anyway) but life was good.
In January, my aunt died unexpectedly which was so sad, while I wasn’t overly close to her she was a good woman and I felt for my uncle, cousins and their children. Between her death and the memorial service, Ian had a mishap at work which cost him his job. This tanked our home loan, Ian and I were grieved about this as we had been working so hard for it, but at the same time we agreed if we were being completely honest, that wasn’t the location that we really wanted, so perhaps it was really a blessing.
As Ian looked for work, we started searching the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area for apartments, to be closer to the highway for him, closer to the grocery store for me and most importantly closer to church for us all. We found a beautiful townhome and even put down a deposit, but news of the pandemic was spreading fast and I let fear get the best of me. I didn’t want John and I to be isolated alone, if Ian got stuck trucking in another city, state or country. Also I felt bad leaving, my nephew and niece if schools should close (which, of course, they did). So instead of moving into the townhome, Ian and I bought an RV and moved on to Kane Ranch.
While I had done tons of research before John was born, about rv living and expenses of setting up land (which was our plan for the summer). I had done far too little recent research and under-estimated the strain it would be financially. Also I felt immense tension in trying to get everything done and living in such tiny quarters. From schooling the kids to living in a tight space to figuring out that even if we bought a piece of land with utilities-getting it rv ready was expensive not to mention the fact we had 17 months of Ian home every day and now he was over the road again, I was stressed and taxed far beyond my limits.
I love the Kanes more than I can say but living with them, even in my own space was difficult as is any adult family members living together… you would think I would have learned this lesson before, but I guess somethings take multiple lessons to sink in. I was very frustrated with Ian and my situation and felt stuck. There was pressure from all sides to do more, to do better, but no visible options within the confines I believed were placed on me, I was angry and tired.
At the end of Summer, my Grandma Shirley passed away (more on this in another post) it was not a surprise or from Covid, but was sad none the less. The weeks leading up to her small memorial were extra stressful and blinded me to how badly my marriage was suffering. Ian and I have have several ups and downs before but the act of him completely disappearing the day after our weekend celebrating Grandma, was my rock bottom.
I panicked, I felt like I had nothing. My family surrounded John and I with a firm sense of protection and as I was in this cocoon, I prayed harder than I ever had before. I prayed for myself and forgiveness for me. I prayed for Ian and that God may lead him to whatever he was seeking. I prayed for John to not be overly affected by this sudden sadness and change. I prayed for all our families to not hate us for the mess that Ian and I created. I firmly believed my marriage was over. I thought I would never see Ian again, even for his visits with John, I didn’t expect him to show up.
These prayers softened my heart and made me realized my personal faults in my marriage. Things I had done wrong and not handled well and decisions that I had forced. I will never say what Ian did was ok, it most certainly wasn’t, if you are feeling stuck in a relationship talk to your partner before leaving. However, when Ian reached out and asked to talk, with trepidation I took the call and thank God I did.
Ian and I are not perfect, we don’t have everything worked out and planned, but we were able to talk about ways we both were unhappy and that being apart didn’t change our general unhappiness. However the separation did provide us both with perception that we had been unable to communicate together before. After deciding to reconcile, Ian and I needed to move, where we could be together everyday and work together in person.
I feel awful leaving my family distraught that I would return to a relationship that I had just been abandoned from, but I know I made the right decision for Ian, John and myself. I pray that someday God will soften their hearts to understand how thankful I always have been for their help and support and ultimately this decision was not about them. My relationship with them has needed to change for years as our boundaries had become augmented over the years, but this is not how I thought that change would come about. I hope they forgive me any pain I have caused them.
So here we are facing down 2021, after one heck of a year and I am so thankful, sometimes we need a little tough love and 2020 came out swinging for sure. I didn’t get anywhere near my 20 books read. I experienced tough losses. I felt the most scared and alone that I have ever felt in my life. However, I am also so looking forward to 2021 because I learned a lot of lessons. I survived. I have drawn closer to God and am excited to nurture that relationship and all of the relationships in my life. I’m excited to write whether here on the blog, in a journal or just making lists for the week, I have missed the joy I get from putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys).
Whether or not life returns to normal in the coming months or we are ever able to go grocery shopping without a mask again, what are you looking forward to in 2021?