Vacation (all I ever wanted)

Yesterday morning, while I was getting ready for work, my daughter woke up and came to me right away and said, "Mama... I don't feel well. I think I am going to be sick..." And it turned out that she definitely was and did get sick. (TMI? Sorry about that.)

I did "the usual" for when this sort of thing happens:
  • I called out of work
  • Got my daughter back into bed to rest and relax
  • Started making soup from scratch (this time around it was phở tái) because it is the epitome of comfort food for my family. It took me a little more than seven hours from start to finish (of going to the store and then cooking it) and now we have leftovers enough until people probably are able to start feeling better...

Amidst all of the cooking and checking in on my daughter, I did some work from home stuff (I run a little etsy shop with the help of my daughter that helps us out a little bit with our already tight budget)(It's also a practical and fun activity for us to do together.) While I did what I need to do, I started thinking about how much I would love a vacation because I haven't had a REAL vacation in probably over a half a decade. Maybe it's been even longer than that. Not sure. That's what my life is like though despite how it might seem.

Even from before my daughter was born, I have always been a sort of workaholic. Ever since I was legally able to work a job (at about 15 years old - I'm almost 40 currently), I have been working (at minimum) a full-time workload. That means, since I was about 15 years old, I was going to school and/or working at least 40+ hours but typically? It's been much more (+) 40 hours...
  • When I was in high school, I would work in addition to going to school and in addition to the myriad of afterschool activities I had. Sometimes I would work two jobs to fill up the hours that were not school hours. 
  • When I completed my undergrad college studies, I had to use my parents' financial aid information and (thus) didn't qualify for the sort of financial assistance that I could have despite the fact that I didn't actively receive any sort of the financial support that financial aid said I should be getting. Thus, I had no choice but to go to school full-time and work (at minimum) but usually full-time plus part-time. 
  • When I got out into the working world (meaning: I graduated from undergrad), I worked full-time and part-time. I usually worked seven days a week in order to pay my bills (including my undergrad student loans) as well as try and have the most independent life I possibly could have.
  • I worked full-time plus part-time for the better part of my 20s until I married and ended up having my daughter. 
  • Even when I was pregnant and then had my daughter and eventually started grad school (I was teaching in middle school and eventually high school) and I worked full-time plus some part-time and was a mother and dealing with a domestic violence and abuse situation I never would have thought I could get myself into even accidentally. It happened though. 
  • And then (a little more than three years ago), it became official and I was a single mom. And I just kept doing what/how I always knew to do. And I am so tired because that's what I have just kept doing. Thankfully, family has really stepped in to help me because they have (finally) been able to see what a toll it has taken on me despite the fact that I just keep doing what I do.

I do my best to not be discouraged even if/when I experience setbacks and I have certainly had plenty of those. Just the other day, I had to deal with a person (at work) who I always have to deal with because (I suspect) they are just plain unhappy with their life, and, thus, they see that as reason enough to make other people feel as bad as they do. It's an annoyance dealing with them but *shrug* it's a necessary evil to deal with them as regularly as I have to. Oh well... I honestly don't have to deal with them because I know that in the big picture of life? Life will deal with them accordingly. 

Last evening, when I was in the middle of just trying to do what I do, I came across a rainbow and it completely caught me off guard. It's amazing how well timed it was because I was headed to something for my daughter that (last year) I couldn't do because of our personal situation...

Last year, at this time, I was in the process of trying to relocate my family so that we could have the fresh start we all desperately needed. It required things of me that I barely had (this especially included financial means). I could barely afford the basics let alone the school supplies that my daughter needed. We had been doing homeschool and doing schooling that way requires much different things than doing the traditional route of things. 

Because of timing, my daughter just barely missed starting when everyone else was starting. Also, we could barely afford to buy what was on the school supplies list and I economized the shopping trips to get things as much as possible but it wasn't easy with the specific requirements (down to the brands) of things that were on the school supply lists. (I don't say this against the teachers at all. I know the difference certain brands make for stuff lasting through a whole school year because I was previously a classroom teacher.)

This year though? It's different and I am so thankful...

And, it's different despite the fact that my daughter's father has done minimally (at best - and I am being generous even with that) to "help" meet her needs whether it's academically, financially, mentally/emotionally, etc. 

At this point, I accept that this is how it is and honestly? It's not that much different than when he was a more immediate presence in/of our family for as long as I tried to make it work despite the domestic violence/abuse that was there from the beginning. I'm almost even indifferent to how/what is said about me, my situation, my ex, etc. etc. etc. anymore by anyone who thinks they know our situation - this includes my daughter's father. 

Despite everything aforementioned, I maintain that I am very privileged to have the life I have.

I maintain that no matter what, my daughter and I are incredibly fortunate for being able to get out of where we once were.

Even though I would love a "real" vacation, I don't know that I would know how to actually enjoy such a thing. For as much as it seems like it's not so, I have been working for so long and so hard that even if I were told that I could go anywhere for any kind of vacation, I don't know how/what I would say for such a thing.

Perhaps it's because I've been so used to things being a certain way that has been unchanging for so long, I have accepted that this is how/what it is like.




Well, no more.

No more.

I'm ready for much needed changes.

It's time.