Foundation update: Back to basics
Earlier this year, Dan worked as a stone mason. He hauled rocks around all day, unloaded flagstone and patio pavers and slugged out crazy amounts of landscaping.
My husband is a tall, broad-shouldered man who tosses big ol’ rocks in his backback for fun when we’re hiking and floats himself up sheer cliffs. He is not weak by any stretch. But he’d come home as wrecked as I’ve ever seen him from that job. Every day: exhaustion personified.
My brain knows exactly how he feels. Mentally, I’ve done nothing but heavy lifting all year. At the end of each day, the inside of my head feels the way Dan always looked by dinner time: wrung out, shellshocked, and ready to sleep for about 3 days straight.
Building a foundation, as it turns out, is not easy. At all. I feel like I’m dragging cinderblocks behind me constantly. By bedtime, I just want to untie my burden and collapse on the spot. Every day.
By this time last year, I was able to give a detailed six-month multipart update on my word of the year. Have I made progress on this year’s word? I can’t tell; foundations lie mostly underground.
What I do know is this: after months of flailing around and false starts, Dan has a steady (non-mason) job with benefits– one that does not physically ruin him on a daily basis. This is good. This is solid ground.
On the other hand… In my quest for foundation this year, I’ve fallen away from everything that is personally meaningful or fulfilling to me. Every time I try to reduce my work hours to make room for what matters, I get a huge rush project that eats all my time. My last blog post was two months ago; my yoga mat is rolled up over in the corner.
For the past 8 months, I thought “foundation” meant finding my dream job, my passion, what I was “meant” to do. Every day– every single day– I thought I was putting my shoulder against a new cornerstone and moving it a few inches closer.
I forgot what I wrote in my very first post of the new year: that foundation means paying myself first, and letting the rest fall into place. Having faith that everything will fall into place.
So, I’m going back to that. Back to the basics. Back to beginner’s yoga. Back to weekly blog posts. No more heavy lifting. No more giving myself beyond empty.
Foundation is not a sexy word. It’s not an intriguing concept. It’s hard, it’s cumbersome, it’s grey, it’s dull. And utterly essential, all at the same time.
See you next week.
Oh hey there, struggling stepparent!
Listen, I put together a new website just for high-conflict blended families: Blended Family Frappé. Come on over and join the hundreds of other stepparents who are reclaiming their sanity one Sunday newsletter at a time.