a day at a time

April 16, 2015 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels









Some more photos from our Spring Break trip to the Northwest.

It seems like it takes as many days to catch up from a vacation as the number of days you spend away. The importance of getting away from daily routines, no matter how long or far you travel to escape them, seems like a necessity more than ever, but I’ll admit – it’s disruptive in the sense that I always underestimate how easy it’ll be to swing right back into things. A week in and I still feel “off”.
But I suppose that’s the idea of a vacation, right? You don’t come back quite the same. A good vacation is returning to the more mundane and tedious aspects of daily life with a fresh perspective. Or one would hope. But it also takes work because it’s easy to slip back into the nonsense that you needed a break from in the first place.
These days, I feel like I’m walking a bit on egg shells. Emotions are unpredictable. It’ll be the one year anniversary of my brother’s death in 6 weeks, but the months proceeding that day were also difficult times. I’m reminded of this everyday lately. Certain dates are burned into my head and I check them off one by one as we pass them on the calendar, exhaling with relief to have gotten past them. But almost a year later, “moving on” hasn’t been possible for a few specific reasons that I can’t talk about. I just want that part to be over; I never thought I would find myself here. But I suppose that’s how life often works. It can veer down a path and fling you so far off from where you thought you’d be. How we deal with the cards we’re dealt with is up to each one of us. But I’ll survive because I’m a survivor.
It’s almost midnight. Another birthday, another milestone to check off the calendar. I’m secretly happy that my birthday doesn’t fall on a day where I’m in the office – not because I wouldn’t like to spend it with the people I work with – I would. But I want to spend it alone more. Does that make my transformation into an old lady, complete? I’m close! I can feel it! But 6 hours alone before the girls get home sounds like the perfect way to spend a birthday to me. Because then there will be dinner and cards and cake (Miss C made me fill out a cake survey the other day) and let’s face it, celebrating our birthdays is just as much for them as it is for us at this point, am I right? I can already tell…I’ll miss it when the kids are gone.

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  • Payal April 17, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! Hope your days get better and brighter.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 1:52 am

      thanks for the birthday wishes!

  • angie April 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

    happy birthday, jenna. hope you have a good one by yourself as well as with your family. 🙂

    i feel like it’s really not about trying to move on anymore as time goes by, but more about moving with the memories and just let them absorb with our lives as we live on in hopefully a more meaningful and positive way. at least that’s what i try to do most of the time.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 1:56 am

      thanks Angie, for these words and for the birthday wishes.

  • Susan April 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I think it takes over 5 years to get over the passing of a loved one. It all depends on when it happened. the hardest is when it happens when you’re a young child, the memory never fades. it stays . . .
    Happy Birthday! Must be nice to have your daughters wish momma a happy birthday! hope you enjoy your time off.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 1:58 am

      thanks Susan. I’m not sure I agree that it might be hardest the younger you are, but it’s an interesting perspective.

  • Onirical April 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! May you have blissful hours spent alone and a fab cake eaten with loved ones. x

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 1:58 am

      thank you. It was a fabulous cake!

  • Neeny April 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Happy birthday Jenna! Have a lovely relaxing time with your family. I’ve been back at work for a week after a break and I am still in a holiday mood because the weather’s been so nice here.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 2:00 am

      thanks Neeny. Hope you had a nice break!

  • Leila April 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Happy birthday Jenna! Just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share little bits of your life with us through your blog. You’re often able to articulate things I myself feel but can’t clearly put into words, and your insight has always been really comforting in the years I’ve been reading. Hope you have a lovely birthday with your family.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 2:01 am

      thanks Leila for your nice words.

  • Jen April 19, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    “But that’s how life often works, isn’t it?”

    This is true. But I hope that despite this reality, you’re giving yourself permission to feel, even the bad and ugly feelings. I think it’s easy to minimize our own feelings, or even worse, sort of beat ourselves up for feeling certain ways because, gee wiz, isn’t this just how life works? Everyone goes though X, everyone experiences Y, so what right do I have to be so sad/angry/tired/etc.? I know I am often guilty of this, and end up stuffing down my feelings rather than just letting them be (which I am finally learning is essential in order for the feelings to eventually lessen and pass). Anyways, I’m sorry if I’m projecting. Happy birthday, and I hope that the coming year brings you closer to peace.

    • Jenna April 20, 2015 at 2:16 am

      Yes, we do sometimes tend to minimize our feelings because “that’s how life is”. I’m definitely letting myself feel though – emotions are still so complicated and part of the process I suppose. It’s partly wanting to take it all in, but also wanting to start moving beyond them – but all in good time.

  • Renita April 20, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Happy (belated) birthday !!

    • Jenna April 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

      thank you Renita!

  • Julia April 21, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Jenna, my family experienced a sudden, tragic death right around the same time you lost your brother. My two year-old nephew was killed by a distracted driver. I can say from our experiences the grief is a spiral, not a straight trajectory through to some other side where everything feels ok again. I have learned to accept that deep sadness will always be there, that there will always be a huge hole, and that we will never not feel my nephew’s absence as our family grows and moves and changes shape. I have also learned that we are never so lucky as to “just” have grief…these kinds of losses can expose all sorts of cracks in families, all sorts of differences in how we grieve, what our needs our…all kinds of memories or hauntings of what could have been, what should have been. Almost a year later, no one in my family, and certainly not my sister and her husband, is anywhere near being “over it”. Sending you thoughts of courage and strength as you continue to day each day as it comes.

    • Jen April 22, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Julia, I am so, so sorry for your family’s loss. I have a two year-old nephew who is one of the great loves of my life, and I teared up reading your comment. Strength to you and your family as you navigate through the twists and turns of this tragedy.

    • Jenna April 22, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Julia, such a heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry to hear this. Your family will be in my thoughts and thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me. I hope we can both find some peace.

  • Suraiya April 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Happy Birthday to you, Jenna. Thanks for being a source of inspiration and reflection. I hope your day was lovely. Cheers from Chicago!

    • Jenna April 22, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Hello to Chicago! Thanks for the birthday wishes Suraiya!

  • Lani April 21, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I have to say, these are some of my favorite pictures of yours. Would love to see a PNW calendar added to your current choices.

    • Jenna April 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Thanks Lani!

  • Jane April 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    A belated Happy Birthday to you and I hope you enjoyed your day.
    Also wishing you well over the next few weeks. Anniversaries are difficult no matter how many years, for all concerned.
    Take care.