A Brave Face

 This weekend we went camping with family.  My mom, nephew, brother-in-law, his fiancee & her brother, and my sister's family all joined us at my favorite place.  It's where I grew up camping.  And taking my kids there is magic.

 While we were camping I started getting emotional about departing for Alaska in August.  We leave in a little over two weeks, and I just can't comprehend how that's possible.

 I have been trying to keep positive about going back.  But to be honest, I'm scared.  Last year was exhausting physically (pneumonia, bronchitis...) and emotionally (depression, anxiety...), and it's left me shaken.

I have to remind myself of one of my lifelong favorite quotes:

"Courage doesn't always roar.  
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 
"I will try again tomorrow."
-Mary Anne Radamacher

I have made it through hard days.  I have had debilitating anxiety and joy-stealing depression, and still I stand.  I have cried and prayed and trembled in fear, and still I stand.  Through it all, I have run our household, parented my children & loved my husband.

It's scary to go back to the place where my fear was so strong, but it's home.  
Really, it is.  
So I have to put on a brave face.

Josh reminds me that I have tools now that I lacked before.  And that I have a 100% track record of making it through hard days.  And that's pretty good.

Most importantly, though, I want it.  

I want to have joy, to be free of fear and to live fully.  
And that desire coupled with my newfound skills will lead to success.



Anonymous said...

You seem so happy and joyful when you aren't in Alaska. I wonder if maybe it isn't the right life choice for you? There's no failure in that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that Anonymous commenter. I really enjoy your blog and I admire the wonderfully honest way you write about your life. Living such an extreme lifestyle is also admirable. Josh is doing Alaska a great service by teaching in a district that many people would not consider (because of it's remote location, I mean) and I understand that this is a decision that you & Josh made together in order to pay off your debts etc, but I worry that maybe it's time for you both to re-evaluate the benefits vs the emotional costs of such an assignment. Indeed you do have more resources available to you this year, but that does make the situation any less worrisome. Some people - anonymous me, included - need to be part of a more complex community. As a stay at home mom with young children, I know how much it means to me to have tiny "adult" interactions with other people throughout the day- the ladies at the check out counter at the super market, the mailman who brings my mail, the gas station attendant who helps pump my gas. I find that just having a short conversation with these people as I go about my day, helps alleviate the stresses and the loneliness I feel being home all day long with my children. Sometimes when I read your blog posts, I think "how can she do that!?! How can she be at home - alone - all day long and not have anyone to talk to?" I would think that most everyone would have the same anxieties that you have living in such a remote place, far away from friends and family. Sometimes when I'm reading your blog, I wonder how it's possible that Josh isn't having the same issues! Maybe it's easier for him since he has his work? Have you considered cutting short your stay in Alaska? Does your mother or sister ever try to get you to consider moving back to Washington State?

Anonymous said...

I'll tag on as an anonymous third here and agree that you should seriously reevaluate where you would be happiest. You thrive with the support of your family. If you lived in Washington would you home school?