All these years I used to think that the term midlife crisis was simply a title people who were in their forties would use to describe a bad decision and was basically a bunch of bunk! However, as a forty year old wife of a Senior Chief who is a CMC, mother of four teenagers, Director of a CDC, and Director of the Children's ministry who is also working on her Masters...I believe it is true!
OMG!!! With all the stress and pressure I have in my life right now I feel like I just may lose my mind (although I refuse to lose the mind of Christ) Let's see where do I begin? Well we are up for orders again...well we really aren't...but have been given a harsh nudge in the direction of picking a boat, as there is going to be a major shifting of senior leadership here on the waterfront beginning at the Force Master Chief and working its way down. This means that there are going to be several COB billets opening up on the waterfront, and they are going to need them filled. So we begin the process of having to choose a boat to be our family for three years. Those of you who have been following me for years, or are close friends know that this is no easy task....for Rick....he checks the schedule, the crew, the upcoming changes in command...and a whole host of other things that he will review. He will change his mind at least 400 times, making all of us crazy. Oh, and let me add that now he is also scrambling to finish his Bachelors before he goes to another command...which means he is cramming way to much homework into a small window. All while attempting to complete all the projects in the house he wanted to complete before he was deployable. I have begun to hate Home Depot!
Four teenagers...I have no idea where to begin on that one! Brittany is doing really well in college...after a rough start and the possibility of loosing her scholarship and she loves her job. However, she is struggling with passing her road test! Three times and still no luck! Joshua turned 17 Monday and Rick refuses to let him get his license until he shows some maturity (ummm...does this mean I should revoke Rick's license???) He has a job...at Mom's Soul Food Kitchen...the white boy is cooking your soul food:-) He is faithful to his responsibilities to include the Usher Board, his job, school, and of course his beloved football! I really am proud of how he is committed and responsible to the things in his life...I just wish he would be nice to the people he lives with. He is so incredibly grouchy! The alarming thing is that he really is not engaged in this whole I am graduating from high school in a year thing...so I am going to have to take the reigns on that one...because I refuse to have him at home everyday playing Xbox in his underwear! Becca is very passionate about REAL an anti-tobacco movement and speaks in the senate to the representatives of Hawaii and does interviews for local news shows. Zachary is still playing football..tackle...flag does not matter to him. He was in the symphonic band but gave up on it.
All of the above have one thing in common....they need a ride where ever they go. They take the bus every once in a while but for the most part I am their driver! Add to that the stress of raising four people who are starting to spread their wings and want their independence...but still need guidance...guidance they don't want. Don't forget to throw in a Senior Chief that would like to see our home run like a submarine...and his children to act and listen like his adult sailors do....this is a recipe for disaster my friends. Most days I feel like a a referee!!!
I love my job....but the Good Lord knows that there are days where people take me to the edge of the brink. Working within the military community has its challenges...we are undergoing major budget cuts and deployments, the whole lifestyle is extremely stressful and that stress comes out in different forms...often times we see it as when we are getting screamed at when we ask a parent to pick a sick child up, or we enforce a major regulation...we try not to take it personally...but after so many times in the day it starts to wear on you. We are also renovating our building. This means I have to move all of my staff and children to another building for six months. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, in doing this I am cutting my spaces down and cutting my hourly program down a two thirds...which is scary because I cannot keep up with the demand now. My staff is stressed because we will be combining some rooms for the move and there are a lot of things up in the air. I can't blame them, at the same time I have no answers for them right now either, so I pray they can hang on for a while with the unknown. I have an awesome staff...and I think that there may only be four or five who hate me as opposed to the entire building...progress!
I have 13 months left in my Masters program and honestly this program is easier than I thought it would be. However, because and I are both in school we often take turns driving to football games and other activities so the other one can do homework in the truck. Children's Ministry is great, although I took a break fro a while it seems that we are back on track and so is the rest of the ministry.
I have come to the conclusion that we need a maid...because my kids already think we do! I am tired of cleaning up after grown people. I can clean all day Saturday and by Sunday evening they have trashed the place. I don't know how many times I can say the same dang thing...clean your room, get your stuff out of the front hall way, do your dishes, clean your bathroom, sweep the floor.....I can't take it any more...there people are ridiculous!
So all of the above, combined with the things I have left out to protect the innocent (and my job) has made me understand that we may all be presented with a possible midlife crisis situation...HOWEVER it is how we respond to the situation that determines whether it will be later considered a crisis or a victory. It is a minute by minute decision making process...often painful. There are times I would like to walk out the front door and not look back. But when that thought occurs I need to dig deep and ask God to help me.....and eat some chocolate!
So my friends if you find yourself at the end of your rope (although after talking to the Joint Base Master Chiefs wife Friday at the Sub Ball I am no where as close to the end of my rope as I will be once he takes a boat) dig deep and embrace the mind of Christ...because while we may be going crazy...God never did or will!