Against the wind
We were runnin’ against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the wind
And the years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searchin’
Searchin’ for shelter again and again
Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind
This past week was a tough one for me and it has left me feeling exhausted and unsettled. What caused this? The whirling dervish known as my lovely, highly successful daughter coming to town. I love my daughter with all my heart and I am so proud of her I could burst….but…..she is a force to be reckoned with as any high-performing person of any gender can be.
The week began with unscheduled meetings that knocked my work flow and schedule completely off course. Then add in a stopped up kitchen sink the morning of her arrival and my adrenaline was flowing strongly. My daughter, let’s call her Taz – short for Tasmanian Devil (LOL) – was in town for four days. The purpose of her visit was to see her wedding venue for the first time, select a hotel for the out-of-town guests and buy a wedding dress. Really the dress was the most important item on the agenda. In addition to all this, she was meeting the Hunter for the first time and staying with us for two nights. The visit went really well but I was drained at the end. Let’s run through this and I’ll try to explain my emotional turmoil because since her departure I have been working through my feelings because I have felt unsettled and worn out.
It has dawned on me that preparing for my daughter’s wedding means that I am ….OLD. Yes, I am no longer as young as I want to think. That sucks. It’s not my wedding. It’s not my big day. I am only a checkbook and honored guest. It’s a strange transition. I also see Taz rushing into adulthood with the same conventional approach that I had – get married, have kids, settle into a professional, upper-middle class life. I want to scream,” STOP, WAIT! YOU CAN TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH,” but when I have gently suggested different paths (eloping perhaps so they can use the wedding money differently), such suggestions are abruptly halted with no discussion. I have had to realize that this is her life and she has always learned life’s lessons the hard way no matter how much both her parents have tried to guide her otherwise. That is just how she is wired, so I have to let her be. Ugh.
One thing I know for sure is that she loves me (and I her) and that I understand her perhaps better than anyone else other than her fiancé. I am always her go-to person when she needs to really talk through things. My venue selection was perfect. She had only seen it on a FaceTime tour prior to booking it (top venues are scarce here, so it had to be snatched up ASAP). My bridal shop appointments were well-chosen and planned which gave her the necessary variety to make an informed selection. She was able to say yes to a dress on her last day with me. Hallelujah!! My suggestions on rehearsal dinner venues (we were scouting for the MIL) and hotels were excellent and well-received. My Ex’s suggestions were not on point. More on that later. I was on my A game, but sometimes it wasn’t enough. At one point we were frazzled with one another and she asked me what was wrong. I replied that I simply felt like I couldn’t keep up with her. Who can? This 25-year-old woman is in her fourth year of medical school. She is planning a wedding at the same time she is: 1) moving in with the fiancé 2) doing two out-of-state rotations with other medical schools 3) working 10+ hour shifts during these rotations and 4) applying and interviewing for surgical residencies across the country. Who can keep up with that?
I had to put all of my work on hold so I could focus on her. She needed 100% of my time because we were cramming so much into so little time. That caused me stress because I was needed at work. I only had her for 2-1/2 days and then her dad gets her over the weekend to relax and play. That’s fine, I understand why this has to be. He did join us at the venue and that is a whole post to itself. Hilarious and frustrating.
This post is just a broad overview of the visit and my feelings. I was exhausted when we would arrive home. The Hunter made dinner for us and they have gotten acquainted. I’ll write more about that as well. It’s funny I realized yesterday when talking to a girlfriend that perhaps what left me so unsettled was the thought that I am being drug back into the upper middle-class mother role that I am fighting to leave behind. I spent thousands this week between a second payment on the venue, down payment on the wedding dress, lunches for Taz and two of her bridesmaids. That’s money I really didn’t have readily available because I am waiting for some payments on a completed project that has now gone into collections (another ranting post). I have upcoming engagement parties, bridal showers, all the trappings of a conventional wedding on the horizon plus her graduation and potential relocation to a new city in the late Spring and it seems like stress to me, not joy. I will get my mindset adjusted, I just need time.
Her stress level is so unbelievably high right now. I can’t imagine dealing with all that she is dealing with. She is really great at identifying her priorities, delegating and refusing to sweat the small stuff. I am learning from her, which is wonderful when our children do things better than we do. I am so happy that she has found the love of her life and he adores her – she is so incredibly lucky. I don’t think she realizes how lucky she really is. Smart, successful, great guy – she has it all right now. But I look to the future when they have children and the burn-out begins. How will their relationship handle those normal struggles and stresses of day-to-day life? I have to let go and let my beautiful daughter live her life. But I cannot allow her stress to continue to ooze into my life.
There will be so much more to write about as this wedding approaches. The former friends from my marriage are all an integral part of her childhood so they are invited. My Ex is his usual annoying, controlling self, but as I watch my daughter deal with him, I am learning what I did wrong with him and how to perhaps better handle him. The Hunter is watching from the sidelines with interest and wisely little advice, only support. God, I love this man. Yes, a soap opera is forming just when I thought I was exiting Stage Left.