On Assignment

Timehop tells me it’s been eight years this year since I graduated from my master’s program. That means it’s been eight years since I’ve had homework.


And, yet, here I sit: on assignment.

I’m writing this because my therapist told me to. Well, he didn’t specifically say what to write. And he didn’t tell me to write a blog post. He simply said, “write.”

“I don’t care what you write. Just take an hour, by yourself, and write. It might be hard, and you might not write anything. But you need to get back into it.” 

So, at 11 a.m. today, Mr. B — my ever-supportive (sometimes annoyingly so) husband — kicked me out of the house and told me not to come back until I had an uninterrupted hour of time. And, apparently, he wasn’t willing to include drive-time in that hour, either.

My first session with J was on Monday. I’ve done therapy before — twice, actually — for a couple of different seasons in my life. But it was never anything that I thought was particularly life-changing. And it never lasted. After just one session with J, I think I know the reason: I hadn’t met the right therapist yet.

After just an hour with J, he’s pretty well figured me out — well, at least figured out how my mind operates and how I need to do things. At the end of the get-to-know-you, why-did-you-call-me session, he asked me what I would need to have accomplished at the end of our time together (whether it’s two months or six months or a year …) to know it’s been a success. Together we set three very measurable, very realistic goals.

And from those goals came my weekly “homework” assignments. This week’s? Make time for myself to write.

It’s not that I don’t want to write. I actually really, really do. And I miss snuggling up with my computer, the romantic glow of the screen keeping me company while I drink green tea and type whatever words happen to be at the top of my mind that morning … or noon … or night. It’s just that I’ve been struggling to make it a priority.

You guys are probably pretty sick of all of my blog posts about trying to make time for myself, about filling my cup before I can fill the cups of others. But it’s all I’ve got right now. This is the season I’m in. And as I sit here writing, listening to the buzz of the coffee shop around me, I’m beginning to think I know why it’s so hard for me — or at least part of the reason.

I don’t want to miss a thing with Dottie Lou. Not a single thing. No mom does; no dad does. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the world for working parents — whether they have to work or they choose to work, or both. For me, I think there’s even more to it than that.

I’m still carrying with me the grief of all of the experiences we missed with Penelope Joy, and the fear of missing out on one of Dottie’s milestones keeps me as close to her as possible whenever it’s in my control. There are days I still cry when I drop her off at daycare — even though I know she’s loved and welcomed as one of their own children. There are nights I cry to Mr. B because I miss Dottie so much during the day.

While Dottie goes in and out of stages of separation anxiety — when all she wants is me — I’m experiencing separation anxiety of my own. It’s hard enough to leave her during the day while I work, but to take extra time alone in the evenings and on the weekend is really difficult. And the thought of leaving her overnight causes me pretty bad anxiety — even if I want to go on the trip. Because every time I think about the possibility of missing something with Dottie, the wounds of Penelope Joy’s loss feel so fresh.

As J and I settle in to our relationship, I’m certain we’ll be working on these — and so many other — issues associated with Penelope Joy’s and my dad’s deaths. The grief? It will always be there. Because that’s how grief works — it’s a constant (sometimes gentle, sometimes not) reminder that we have loved; that we have lost. But I need to find ways to deal with Grief’s friends, Anxiety and Fear.

Writing helps.




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3 responses to “On Assignment

  1. bkwrmbarb

    Beautiful article, Kimi; and I will NEVER get tired of any of your blogposts, pictures, etc. I admire so much your ability to put your thoughts and feelings ‘on paper’. And I’m so happy to hear that God has provided a good therapist for you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy Warren

    I’m glad you’ve taken the first step

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer

    My Friend, I am glad you are writing, because you have a divine gift for putting words on paper. I am sure you have thought of being a stay at home Mom and have good reasons why you are not, but there has got to be some sort of balance for you. Is it possible to cut your scedule down at work or possibly work at home. There are wonderful people that will work for you at your house to take care of Dottie while you get some work in and you do not have to miss so much.

    Sometimes the pain is there because there needs to be a change in what we count as important. There is absolutely no criticism here or condemnation, just encouraging you to search your heart to find what is most important and how that can come about. I believe there is a answer there for you. I pray and trust God that He will guide you. His love is so great for us that He wants to bless us and help us through all things. He says in the Bible, “If your earthly father knows how to give good gifts, how much more will I give you”(paraphrased).

    It is natural to go through anxiety and fear after Penelope Joy, but I think there is more there. It sounds like it is more than that. Things have shifted in your life and what was very important, does not seem as important. Please do not try to fit into the expectations on what success looks like. Sometimes success is raising a really good child.

    Chin up, and thank you for sharing. I enjoy reading your post.

    God bless you and Mr. B.

    Liked by 1 person

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