As Christmas approached we had a lot of job leads but no offers. Christmas morning at Granny's was almost sacked by snow for us folk with 2 mountains in between us and the destination. We made it just fine to this holiday tradition. It was the first Christmas that I can remember that was not at Granny's house. One thing we have learned in the last year or two is that it is not the location, it is the people. We all fit into Granny's high end apartment home just fine. Breakfast was just as it always was even with the major adjustments. This was our first Christmas without Grandaddy. The third without Dad. The kids took over every room in that 2 bedroom apartment playing with their gifts. They adjust much better than we do.
After around 2 weeks of Carter being unemployed I shut down. I was so afraid of doing something or saying something out of emotion and stress. It started showing on the outside. I was holding in all of those emotions with all of my might. My acid reflux got worse. I was using my inhaler for what I thought were asthma episodes. Turns out it was just tightness in my chest. More anxiety and panic than airway constriction.
At times my mind would seem to go blank. That started right before Thanksgiving. I was talking to my mom on the phone and could not get a certain word right. I was aware of what I wanted to say but my brain knew that was not what came out of my mouth. I brushed that off, until it happened again with my brother in law Kevin at Thanksgiving Dinner. I was standing in the garage and I was trying to explain to him that the small fridge was the one I had in "college". Did not feel right so I tried to say it again. Nope still not right. I got aggravated and a lot un-nerved and said "What did I just say? I know it was not right!" He said "I don't know but it sounded like something that started with a "P". Finally I described it as "the place you go to after high school". My brain broke free and then I finally said it. To say I felt crazy is an understatement but Kevin is familiar with that.
This would not be the last time it would happen. In fact it continues to happen but now I also blank and don't understand what people are saying. Whether it is something on TV or someone in front of me, or listening to myself talk, my brain freaks out at random times and stops connecting. I'm not sure how to combat this new and odd stress symptom. I think I am going to try and not freak out when it happens. Maybe if I relax it will unfreeze my brain faster. Ha! Laugh about it and follow with a big sigh. That has become a common expression in the last year for all of my family.
With Christmas gone, next was New Year's Day. A day in my mind that I did not want to face without an offer for Carter. I was quietly anticipating a worrisome week. Pushing back the thoughts of what we would do if there was no offer and the severance pay runs out. Can't go there unless it is absolutely needed.
No one was obviously at work on Sunday. There goes Monday, no one wants to work the day after they get back from the Christmas holiday, not even HR. Tuesday begins, I start trying to get the house in order, keeping myself busy. I sort laundry. After weeks of jumping every time I heard Carter's cell ring, I did not hear this one. What I heard was Carter coming up the stairs. He burst through our bedroom door with the phone on his ear, points at the phone and gives me a thumbs up with the biggest smile. OHL was making him an offer. A very nice offer, unbelievable. I don't mean that it was more salary than we were anticipating - it was the relocation that was hard to believe. They were making it possible for the girls to finish the school year here, and much more.
So for the 2nd time, we are moving to Nashville. Of course we did not go the first time, we ended up in Atlanta. Then ended up back here. From that experience in 2007/2008 I learned that you never know what is going to happen.
So much to think about and plan for. Mostly it has been a hurry up and wait game. I keep going back to the shut down mode. If I let go, I roll over a million scenarios that seem like a waste of time. Trying to let it out one at a time, at appropriate times is my new goal.
All praise to God for bringing us through this experience without a scratch. Carter and I spent time together, he spent time with the girls. They were more upset that he got a job because he could not eat lunch with them at school or after Pre-K. It was a great time living in that "hold" world. This part, because of our personalities, will be the marriage strain. I am not good at being apart from him. We differ in our opinions on everything when it comes to moving. Knowing that, more praise will be thrown to God if we survive this part without loss of major body parts/organs.
Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"
I am pretty sure that I was "being still" in some sense of the meaning. It seemed there was no other choice. I stopped talking to God at length. Just mostly an every once in a while check in "hey! I'm still here patiently waiting for You to do Your thing". I feel more like a majority of the time I was playing dead or unconscious. Keeping it in perspective, that is an improvement for me. I want problems fixed yesterday and fixed correctly. Not so sure how much of it was peace and calm and how much was clenching and squeezing. It was done though, without my mouth ripping and tearing through this tough time.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this interesting chapter in our lives. Now I can go back in my hole for a few days - I finally finished this blog!