Life. Can. Suck.

Sure, it can be great too. But there’s no denying its suckiness at times.

Last year, Brandon and I started planning the kid-free, work-free trip of our dreams to Hawaii for our 5th anniversary and my 30th. We were already exhausted with the business and the whole becoming-parents-overnight thing.

Real talk: while you wouldn’t have seen it on Instagram, I truly felt like I was hanging on by a thread most days.

Running a business with your spouse can be awesome, but the line between work and the rest of life can also get blurry. Adoption is so rewarding, but it hasn’t been easy to navigate the complexities of trauma and loss, let alone the meltdowns and self-betrayal episodes those things bring. To be honest, if you scroll down my gram you’ll see some cute photos from days where our house actually more closely resembled World War Three than a functional family. Hawaii was the light at the end of a tunnel – the rest, reset, and reflection we were longing for.

Then enter COVID…Frickin Rona!

Stack on top of the exhaustion four more months of stress:

Pandemic

Isolation

Homeschool

The excitement of a positive pregnancy test…

A heartbeat

…a miscarriage ????.

The last year has somehow simultaneously held more joy and hardship than any year I’ve experienced yet. Our family is dealing with a lot- hope and joy, sure, but also grief, depression, doubt, and exhaustion.

My anxious, go-until-I-drop personality finally started crashing a couple of months ago. I started noticing it was getting bad when I could barely make it through a workday without laying down a couple times.

My anxiety can feel like a train sometimes- it starts slow but once it gets going, it goes quickly and doesn’t come to a stop any time soon. And this time I felt depression move in, too, making one ugly cocktail. I needed a change in scenery and a short break in responsibility from the things that were feeding my anxiety – namely work and parenting.

We managed a couple fun getaways, but never just Brandon and I. I longed for time away with my husband (and not my colleague), but as I tried to find that time, it wasn’t coming easily.

Finding trauma-informed babysitters isn’t easy, the threat of COVID makes a simple trip to grandma’s nerve-wracking, and there’s no built-in vacation plan for business owners. I kept thinking, “if it’s this hard, it’s not meant to be.” I gave up a number of times. But this past week, my mind, heart, and soul finally started screaming at me loud enough to make me try harder.

I decided to stop waiting for plans to come together and started MAKING plans to work. I started making calls and sending texts until I got the yes’ I needed- the babysitters, the dog sitters, the rescheduled meeting times. I hated the process, but the screams kept pushing me to do it. To be honest, we pulled out of our driveway Friday with no hotel booked for the evening, because I was sure something would pull the plug.

But the perseverance paid off – and we somehow made it!

It was no Hawaii. It was a simple four-day, socially-distanced, mask-wearing escape to Michigan – but it was everything I’ve been longing for. Side note: turns out Michigan is like the most beautiful place ever.

*Sometimes what you need isn’t always easy to get – but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting through the discomfort to get it.*

That’s what I’m learning lately.

I know life isn’t magically better, but I do feel a little more life in my veins than I’ve felt in many moons. And I’m so proud I fought for it.

Life can suck sometimes.

We don’t have to add a “but” with an encouraging statement at the end.

So many of my friends are experiencing more suckiness than I can imagine. I want to make it better for them – for myself – but I can’t.

Maybe sometimes the best we can do is acknowledge it’s hard and take care of ourselves through it the best that we can.

If life sucks for you, I’m sorry. You’re not alone. Don’t let the smiling photos on the gram fool you – most are just a mirage covered with a cool preset filter like the one I discovered this weekend ????.

What do you need right now, friend? What will give you a little life in your veins? I know it won’t fix the sucky, but if it’s just a breath of fresh air, it’s something.

Fight for it ❤️.

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