The last two weeks or so have been quite turbulent for me. Many “ups” – my sisters’ birthdays, my birthday, time with family and a rest from work… but also many “downs” – my birthday, hard family times, and a job rejection.
So what’s been happening?
As a family we took full advantage of the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend – we had my sister’s 18th birthday party on the 1st, so my brother and I drove home late on the 31st to join in the fun. We both took Friday off, so had a super long bank holiday weekend to celebrate and it’s the first time in over two years that all four of us siblings have been in the same place! (Crazy I know, but one of us always has to work or is away or doing something when we get together) It was lovely to be together, and we got some great family photos on party night – I plan to get some of them blown up to frame. All four of us, all together for four days, and no arguments – definitely a thing to be celebrated!
So that was an “up”…but the day after Abigail’s party came my birthday, my 23rd. It’s always a difficult day for me. I think the right word is “bittersweet”. It’s the first birthday I’ve been home for, in the past four years, so that was lovely – waking up to Mum wishing me Happy Birthday and giving me a big hug and kiss, and having everyone around to watch me open presents and cards. Mum and I went out for tea, and a walk, and we had a barbecue in the evening (despite the torrential rain…it was an indoor barbecue!) and from that perspective I had a great day and felt very loved.
The downside is that my birthday is always a reminder of how broken my family relationships are. I got a card from my dad and stepmum, signed by my brother and sister, but no phone call or present. I didn’t even get a card from my paternal grandparents. I missed my Nana a lot; she died two years ago, but she always used to call me in the morning and sing “Happy Birthday” down the phone. It was cringeworthy at the time, especially when I reached Uni and she still did it, but now that she’s gone I miss it so much.
It’s hard not to dwell on who I miss, and how much it hurts that half of my extended family – grandparents, aunts and uncles, completely ignored the day. It’s hard not to be sad and bitter about the fact that my Dad didn’t even call.
But, I survived, because God is good and He is the best Father I could hope for. I try to be satisfied in him.
And what else went on while I was away – well, my mum and sister are moving house this weekend; downsizing to a two bedroom cottage from our 3-4 bedroom house. We’ve been doing a lot of packing, organising, donating and throwing out. I’ve found it therapeutic but my mum and sisters have found it very hard. So while it was difficult, I was pleased to be there and able to take charge of things and spur them on. I’m excited for Mum’s move, as I think it is a really positive step.
We also booked a holiday – just Mum and I, to Majorca in July. I am beyond excited about a week in the sun, just her and me. We’ve never done anything like this but I just know it will be great, and it’s nice to have something to look forward to when the days are tough.
I’m trying to accept that life is full of stops and starts, ups and downs, closed doors and heartaches. I’m also trying to remember that God is in control and has my best interests at heart. I often forget, but He is so gracious in accepting me back each time I turn to Him.
There hasn’t been much of a purpose to this post, other than for me to offload what’s on my mind. I hope you didn’t mind reading my ramble! At some point this week I want to do a 6 month update of my goals for 2012, but now it’s late and I need to get to sleep!