Monday, September 17, 2007

Good Housekeeping: How it brought me to where I am

I was sitting "around" last night. I can't stand that phrase because it makes me sound like I am so completely lazy that I just sit "around". So anyway, I was sitting on the couch trying to find something semi decent to watch on TV. The emmys really don't interest me, and everything else was re runs. So I put something on the TV...Bridezillas maybe...who knows?!?! I just wanted some background noise while I read my most recent issue of Good Housekeeping. I only got about 3 pages into it when I realized that my eyes just couldn't focus any longer and I had to put it down. But as I stared at the fall cover with ideas of how to lose 20 pounds by Thanksgiving and how to create magical Halloween crafts and foods the thought struck me, "How in the world did I get here?".
Don't take that the wrong way, I don't say it as if I dislike where I am- well, physically I'm not a happy camper about my living surroundings- but rather I say it as a woman with two kids who is 27 years old, in graduate school, teaching high school theology and driving a minivan. How in the world did I get here?? And when was someone going to let me know that I was headed here?
My choices, for the most part, have been completely conscious. I married my husband because I wanted to, I still do, I love him. He is one of the only people who has ever pushed me, in a unique way, to do what I really love and want to do. And he has supported me in just about every decision I make because I think he knows that if I'm going to fall, it's better for me to have done it by my own hand than to have someone else to blame. He reaffirmed this support to me the other day. I decided after a lot of back and forth and research on the issue that I am going to have the BRCA testing done, if my gynecologist will agree to it, to see if I have the genetic mutations for the Breast and Ovarian Cancer genes. I announced this to Pat while we were sitting around, not even talking.
"I'm going to have the test done to see if I have the gene mutations for Breast or Ovarian Cancer." I said in my lightest manor possible. I tread lightly on the Breast Cancer topic considering Pat's experiences with it.
"Really? Good, I'm glad. You should be tested, then we'll know to prepare." Pat replied in a very matter of fact, it's about time type of tone.
"That doesn't bother you that I will know that my chances of cancer are increased or decreased? You wouldn't be more worried?" A little shocked at Pat's sudden influx of maturity on this matter.
"No, we'll be ready if it ever happens. Do they offer it for men?"
"Um, I'm not sure." I respond Flabbergasted.
My husband does not discuss Breast Cancer, he does not deal well with the idea of Cancer, he does not deal well when I have a cold. I was thrown for a loop here and it was refreshingly surprising. Pat has faced his mother's death head on and in the past year with my illness and our preemie birth I think it has resurfaced and that scared him. It is incredible to me that this man who I can't get to pick up his underwear has come so full circle and is overly supportive in my "quest" to have this test.

So, yes, my choices have been conscious. I still don't know how I got here. When did I go from being the party girl to the homemaker and teacher? When did I stop being the lazy-I don't want to do school work and study- type of girl to the full time graduate student? How much further am I going to go? If you had sat me down Sophomore year of college or even Senior year of high school or college and said by 2007 you'll be married, have 2 children, a house that is teeters just on the edge of the earth, you will have faced the possibility of thyroid cancer and still live with the uncertainty, you will be living on medication, teaching high school, going to grad school- still, and driving a mini van I probably would've picked up my beer or Jack and Coke and laughed in your face. I never imagined myself here or at least not here this early. Would I do things differently? I don't really think so. You know what? I would do something differently! I would confirm with my wedding organist that the wedding starts at 11am not 3pm so that he wouldn't be late and take time away from the party!
I guess I brought myself here, and my husband and my kids have "tagged along". Many of the choices I've made have been joint choices between Pat and I. They have been the right things for our family, at the time and sometimes beyond. I was reading a book about cancer treatments about a year back and this one piece of advice stuck out, "Make the choices for your treatment based on all of the information you have in the moment. You cannot worry about how things will change because there's a chance they won't." That's how Pat and I have tried to make our decisions about everything. We're a "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" type of couple and family. It works best for us that way.
So, my Good Housekeeping is waiting for me at home as is my Counseling Skills textbook and my Counseling Theory textbook. I've brought myself here and would I rather be anywhere else? Probably not. There is a Friday or Saturday night when I'd love to be in a restaurant away from my kids and occasionally away from my husband. But I love those days when I can sit at home when I can make one of those Halloween crafts from my Good Housekeeping.
Oh, and I just bought my FIFTH tweezer!!

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Becky said...

The balmex picture sure rings a bell. My son just got into it the other day, in fact...and put it all over his face. I asked him, "Why would you put that on your face? Do I EVER put this on your face?" He just laughed, and I went for the camera.

How do you do it all, girl? Grad School, teaching, parenting? Blogging? You must be one busy gal!

I enjoyed your blog.

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