For Lessons Learned and Resolutions Made Go Elsewhere This Year

For Lessons Learned and Resolutions Made Go Elsewhere This Year

Elizabeth Foss and Jennifer F. both have inspiring posts up about lessons learned in the past year. If you’re looking for inspiring and thoughtful blogging, go there.

I’d love to be able to write something in a similar vein. Or something about resolutions for the coming year. But right now I’m in the trenches and I simply cannot fathom having that much perspective. Right now it seems any lessons I might have learned over the past year have been unlearned or at least been put on hold until I have time and energy to implement them. Right now I’m dragging myself from minute to minute, trying not to lose my temper or my lunch. And I must confess—because if I can’t name anything I’ve learned or anything I resolve, I can at least have a little of the honesty it takes to proclaim such things in public—that after reading those two posts I sat down and had a little cry because I feel so completely and utterly out of control right now. I felt much better afterwards and I think I really needed it. No slight is meant to the writing of two of my favorite bloggers, just a window into my own inability to gain some perspective.

Last night Dom and I calculated that this is the fourth new year’s in a row that I’ve greeted while pregnant. (The second time I didn’t know yet.) Each child is a blessing, of course, but the thing about children is that each one brings a total upheaval of routines, expectations, of life. And that upheaval begins from the day I find out I’m expecting. I hardly dare to plan for the coming year because all I know for certain is that things will continue to be… interesting and unpredictable.

Thanks you all for the words of encouragement and the prayers.

I think what has me most discouraged is that looking back over the past year it seems I’ve just gone from one crisis to the next and hardly had time to recover a semblance of “normal” life in between.

In the beginning of the year I was getting ready for Sophie’s birth. The last few weeks were a trial as my sciatica raged and my blood pressure shot up so that I could only accomplish a bare minimum rather than the nesting I really wanted to do.

Then Sophia was born by c-section after a long labor. Hemorrhaging right after the surgery and an infection that didn’t get caught for almost two months led to a very long slow recovery. I was just beginning to get to sleep regularly and feel up to getting out of the house when Dom’s job moved and we were discombobulated and started to house hunt in earnest. We’d never really settled into our last apartment because we knew the move was looming.

House hunting with all its emotional ups and downs took up much of the summer and fall. And then there was packing and moving, of course. And we finally were moved in November only to find that I’m pregnant again.

I was not at all adverse to another baby but I was sort of looking forward to establishing a sense of order and calm domesticity. Looking forward, I have a hard time feeling like I’ll be out of crisis mode any time soon.

I hope that the exhaustion and nausea will clear soon and I will have a brief respite. But it will only be the eye of the storm in a sense. I am absolutely dreading this birth. Not the baby; but the birth. After two emergency c-sections, I have no hope for a vbac. And I am very afraid of both the surgery and the long recovery. I’m facing not only a surgery I know and dread but a new doctor, a new hospital. All the things that might be comforting are unfamiliar, the only familiar is that which I fear.

And in this season of advent and joyful hope I have been deprived of the consolation of prayer. I plan to write a separate post about this, but the short form is that my dedicated prayer time has been my nursing time and it became quite clear to me that my body was demanding I use that time for closing my eyes and resting. There is no other time it seems. Just brief snatches of desperate pleading here and there.

I know God understands, but my fearful little heart is having a hard time resigning itself to living in crisis.

Thanks again, my dear friends, for your consolations and for helping me indeed find a little bit of perspective on this wintry morning. At least this blog and the gift of writing, when I snatch the time to jot a few words, and the gift of sympathetic readers at least they have continued to be here for me.

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  • I’m now reading In This House of Brede, my first Rumor Godden novel.  And as a fan of horses and horseracing, I’ll have to add your current one to my list as well! 


  • In This House of Brede was my first Godden novel too. And is still my favorite. I think I’m about due for a re-read, in fact.

  • Genevieve,
    I found a used copy of “Battle” and read it last year. I don’t recall if I posted a review or not. Searing I agree.

  • Thanks for the good review, Melanie. I’ve read so many of her great books, but nothing will compare to ‘Battle of Villa Fiorita.’ Absolutely searing, and I couldn’t stop weeping over those children. Yes, ‘House of Brede’ has its tragedy, which is unparalleled, but I cannot recommend ‘Battle’ enough, though Amazon doesn’t seem to show it in print at present. It is available.