I had an “Ah-hah” moment. Or a moment that was so lame and embarrassing that I had to do something. I was sitting on a too deep leather couch, holding a comfortably stuffed pillow in my lap at the therapist’s office. Couples Counseling. (Sorry honey, now the world knows we’re not perfect people, in a perfect marriage making each other perfectly happy.) I’m a believer in therapy. It’s amazing what the chance to talk and listen while you’re still cognizant can do. Especially, when you’re used to trying to communicate only at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, and you’re bone tired. Even then, you can’t really relax because you’re just waiting on the kids to come downstairs needing water, hugs or their toenails trimmed.
But back to the therapist. This was our first time in his office. I’m wondering what he’s observing about me. That clipboard. The writing without looking. No one should be able to write in straight lines without glancing down. The deep couch. It doesn’t matter how deep or shallow a piece of furniture is, I’m not going to lean back against it. He keeps asking if I'm comfortable. He wants me "be relaxed." I was told it wasn’t ladylike to lean, and that I looked ten pounds heavier when I did it. Those words, when I was 11, have had me trying to sit up straight my whole life.
I probably seem so uptight. (I am so uptight now.) I notice ev-er-y-thing. His office is pretty generic. Well done generic. Leather bound books. Most arranged from tall to short. The diplomas on the wall were hung straight. (Thank you very much.) The light level was comfortable, not too bright or dim. There were two boxes of tissue. That’s nice. Especially if your relationship is at the point where you can’t share one box of tissues. (We can still share tissues.) His tissue boxes didn't match.
He asked some questions, we talked. We looked at each other (Do you concur?) neither wanting to throw the other under the proverbial bus. It seemed like it was going well. My husband and I have been married for eleven years. We've made it work. We keep having the same issues though, and if between our two brilliant minds we haven’t sorted it out in a decade, it’s not a bad idea to go to a professional and get some new ideas to try. I've tried assuring my dear husband if he just did things my way, everything would be just perfect, but alas, he hasn't gone that route.
In the course of the session, and learning about us, the therapist said something along the lines of, “So you have had a lot of stress in your lives.” We agree. He asked me, “What do you do to help deal with the stress?”
“I like to write.”
“Oh, where do you write?” He asked this with that expressionless expression that must take years to master.
“Okay.” He replied, again with that expressionless expression that is hiding the thought “How, pathetic.”
“But, I really just use it like a blog.” I added quickly, hoping it would validate me.
He turned to my husband and asked him the same question, and got different answers. At least my husband doesn’t turn to social media to self soothe and ground himself.
The therapist asked me if I was familiar with “mindfulness.” I answered that I’d heard about it and got as far as putting a book about it in my Amazon cart… It’s been there for about a year. Another expressionless nod, and more scribbling on the clipboard.
I could never be a counselor. My face tells too much. I don’t really think the therapist is judging me. He’s there doing his job, being a professional. I’m judging me. Somehow a blog seems less pathetic than my years of Facebook posts.
That brings us up to now. I’m sitting. I’m writing. It’s not on Facebook. I’m justifying. Frankly I can’t do anything but sit, because after going to a workout class for the first time in 4 years, my legs are as stable as overcooked noodles.
A blog. My words, my thoughts, my mess and a potential audience. The name of the blog is something I’ve been trying to live. It has rattled around in my brain for years. It is a mantra I want to adopt. A “self-truth” that is hard to embrace. “The Queen of Good Enough.” I want to be that person. I want to own my life. I want my best to be “good enough.” But, more than that, I need to accept that “good enough” is “good enough.” "Good enough" is good. It is enough. I am enough. I don’t want to be afraid.
I don’t know where or how to start. But I do know that if I don’t start now, I never will. I know that I’m not the only wife, mom, daughter, sister, person struggling with “good enough.”
I don’t know how to start a blog. It feels sort of like the online dating sites I tried over a decade ago. Those didn’t work. I couldn’t find someone to date me until I left the country. Green Cards have more pull than I realized. ;) I found my husband in Denmark. Together we’ve created a life neither of us imagined or planned. We moved five times in the first seven years together. We became parents to four children five and under. Yes we know what causes that. (Moving!) Our first was born in Sweden, next came North Carolina, then Texas and the caboose joined us in Idaho. We’re done moving.
For most of the past decade, my next action has been chosen by necessity. I’ve been putting out one fire after the next. These days the world is spinning just a little bit slower. Exiting “survival mode” and realizing this is my life, has been hard to embrace. The chronic illnesses, autism, developmental delays; these aren't just stages, this is life. This is me. This is us. It’s time to do something about it. It’s scary. As long as you’re on the move or in crisis management you don’t have to accept what's going on; you're just going through it. Change is comfortable. Acceptance and beyond that, embracing what is, is hard. So join me as I work on becoming enough, or don’t, that’s okay.
It took me over 6 months to post this. I wrote it, then it sat, and sat, and sat. That fear thing can really hold you back.