Mike and Sarah share Sunday posts, as they are two widows who are in a new relationship together.
Today’s post is from Sarah:
There are a lot of endings and beginnings happening in my life right now. Not only are the seasons changing and we’re nearing closer to the end of this very long year. There seems to be a whole lot things in my life that are coming to a close all within months of each other. I can’t help but notice how strange it feels to have so many things closing out and beginning all at once…
For the past few years, I have managed all our finances and a highly disciplined budget to help us pay off our debt, taken care of our elderly dog with declining physical and mental issues, supported Mike through some of the most challenging periods in his career, planned a wedding and honeymoon and then rescheduled the entire thing twice before ultimately postponing indefinitely, kept up my art practice and worked daily to stay focused on making, all while entering the years of parenting a teenager – something I have zero clue about how to navigate.
So much of this is changing. Mike just finished up a daunting year-long project that has put a lot of strain on our world this past year and we’re already beginning to feel the weight lifted. In October, we will be going to the courthouse to get married, since we’re unable to yet have the big wedding that we eventually will still hold.. So this basically ends all the waiting around we’ve been doing to get married all year. Just a month ago, we finished an especially hard goal we’ve worked towards for over 2 years now: we finished paying off all our debt. And today, in just a few hours, we will be saying goodbye to our elderly dog. She is 15 and has gone downhill rather fast the past few weeks, and as hard as it is, it is now time to let her go.
Given the events to come today, it’s hard to think about anything other than endings. And while there is going to be some time needed to process the grief of some of this, I can’t deny though that there is a lot of relief around most of these endings, too. These endings also mean new beginnings. To me, it feels like a time for simplifying. Mike and I have both been pushed to our limits in so many ways in the past two years. I don’t know if this is just wishful thinking… but my gut is telling me that some real shifts are in motion right now that will mean simplifying our lives in a lot of positive ways. I feel it in my bones and in the air around me.
Not only have the past couple of years been tough, but really, almost the whole past 10 years. I can’t deny that really, since Drew died, life has just never gotten back to being “easy” or “effortless” in the way it was back before he died. Of course, I don’t ever remember anyone saying that life gets easier as you get older. Doesn’t seem like the way it ever goes… just that we get better at handling things over time. That doesn’t mean it isn’t just as beautiful when life is challenging, because it sure as hell is. It just isn’t as simple. This past almost-decade has made me stronger, and more resilient than I could have ever imagined. Made me into more of the person I want to be in life… but just because I can handle more now doesn’t mean I want to. I think Mike and I both are feeling very much the same one that right now… sure, we know we can handle a LOT, and we know together we can do it well, but we’re at the point now where we sure as hell would like an easy year! Will we get it? Who’s to know…
There’s no way of knowing things ahead will be any easier… or that simplifying our lives and our stressors will mean life actually will get less stressful. There will always be things we cannot control. I am proud of how well we have both navigated all the curve balls in this chapter of our lives. I am proud as can be, but I am also feeling more determined than ever to take stock of the things that are important, that we can control, and begin making choices to simplify wherever possible. There’s so much uncertainty ahead, but I am hopeful that honing in on the most important things will mean we can feel less of the weight of stress, and more of the lightness of love as we embark on a big new chapter of our life together soon.