On Thursday night, after a long and painful conversation with my mother, I resigned my position with the public affairs committee I love so very much. She knew instantly that something was wrong and when she asked me to talk to her, hot tears flowed down my cheeks and I couldn't hold back.
All of the frustration and pain of the last several months poured out, over and over, until I was finally empty and spent. In the end, it was an easy decision because to do anything else wouldn't have been true to the prioritized list she had me create.
Here's what the list looked like in draft format:
1. My job (so that we don't lose everything to the Great Financial Vortex of Doom)
2. My dearest friends and family (TCB included)
3. Alcott and his siblings
My mother gently pointed out that I hadn't put myself on the list and that the greater threat to TCB and my long-term happiness wasn't a lack of money but rather the very real possibility that I would die in the next year due to stroke or heart attack. After Mom's input, the list looked like this:
1. My health
2. My friends and family (because they'll be here even if the job isn't)
3. My job (paying bills is good)
4. Alcott and his siblings (I have to be able to buy gas in order to see them)
5. SPAC (making a difference for people who need help)
Honestly, the fear and frustration from just #3 is more than I can bear right now. Supplemental property tax bills. Unreimburseable dental expenses in the thousands. A bank that won't work with us the make the mortgage on TCB's condo feasible. Mounting credit card debt (mine, all mine and I don't blame another soul for it). I don't sleep at night for fear that my beautiful house is made of cards and will tumble around my ears at any moment. Add to that the uncertainty of my job situation (no details) plus the amount of time it takes to be the Chair of SPAC, and there was just no other option for me. To do less than my best - less than what's needed - isn't something I can do without frustration, so, shivering with the sadness of giving up a dream, I sent the letter of resignation and began my healing.
Several girls sent kind electronic letters of concern and support, by which I am both humbled and comforted. The President of my local League immediately jumped in with the offer of a committee placement with low-intensity commitment and high fun factor (she totally rocks), which I gratefully accepted. I went for walks with my mom both Saturday and Sunday. We planted plants and bought cute light-up pumpkins for my front porch. We watched movies and Pop Warner football games, and listened to a wise, old, soon-to-be 13 year old talk about what he wants to be when he grows up. (Not yet, little one...please walk before you run.)
I turned 41 yesterday with my mom, four cats, darling husband, and family and friends surrounding me with love and patience. Unconditional love - warts and all! - that heals my wounds, both self-inflicted and otherwise. Patience for the fact that I'm still trying to be the Very Best Me while not entirely sure who she is.
I'm fragile right now, raw at the edges, but I'm going to be OK. In fact, I'm more OK by the minute.