Have you ever wondered what you would do if money weren’t an issue? Go on, of course you have. Who hasn’t thought about what they would do if they won the lottery?! My weird-ass husband says he would keep his current job, where he has been for twenty years … BECAUSE HE LIKES IT?! I mean really?!! I always thought if money were no issue, I could quit my job I would want to travel, take pictures of traveling and write about traveling. When I wasn’t doing that I would go to the IWK and rock babies. And I would take pictures ALL the time. I would pay off the bills of my nearest and dearest, and buy a big house where we could all live together and role play ALL THE TIME. Sorry husband, you have to wait until you get home from work, like a SUCKER.
But a weird thing happened to me in 2018. After my significant mental health breakdown my husband and I sat down and looked at our life, what we have, what we NEED, what we want. We discovered that although it is still a bit of an issue, money is not actually the impediment it once was. So with more than a little trepidation I left the world of the gainfully employed. I know a few women and at least one fella who stay at home by choice, but almost universally those people are parents and they are home with the much more difficult task of taking care of children. Fifty years ago I would not be such an oddity, but today I am a unicorn. When I explain to people that I am staying home full time I can see the wheels turning, equal parts envy and audaciousness.
I know it’s unconventional, but wait until you know some more stuff about me! We can afford it with a little sensible belt tightening and frankly my mental health is worth the sacrifices we make. I have a caring, supportive husband who is letting me take the time to chase my butterflies.
So what am I doing with that time? What are my butterflies? Well at the moment I am still taking things one day at a time. Lately I have been struggling. As you may have heard I have a serious illness called depression and anxiety. Some days I am 100% fit as a fiddle, clear headed, energized, happy. But some days I can’t drag my bum out of bed. I can’t find the silver lining or the joy. I have gotten really good at bailing on plans, finding reasons I need to stay in my home. Some days I feel like my body is filled with lead and I ache so much but I don’t know where. At it’s very worst my illness convinces me that I am worthless and unlovable, that I am broken and there is no fixing it; that I should quit. That’s not where I am these days, thank goodness, but I have had a string of bad days lately. So I am doing what I have been learning to do in the last year. I am taking care of myself. I get out of bed (almost everyday) and I put on real clothes. I do some chores, I take my meds. I try as much as possible to nourish my body. I challenge my brain when it tells me things that are negative or scary and I plan for the coming days and weeks when my butterflies are bigger and more substantial. For instance this BLOG!
So why a blog you ask? Do people even do that anymore? Isn’t that so last year? Well maybe it is, but truthfully I don’t care that much about being current. I have blogged on and off many times over the last decade, I have found it a very good therapeutic and creative outlet. My first blog started as a means to share a little bit of my life in Canada with my brother who lives abroad. And that in a sense has remained the best part of the blog experience, sharing the bits and pieces with the world at large. Not to show you how beautiful and perfect my life is, but to show how broken it is, and still beautiful. I want to share with people my struggles because I think the more we talk about mental health the more we normalize it. I want to talk about all the things that are right and wrong with my marriage because I am tired of people thinking that a “good marriage” looks like a Disney movie. I want to share my photos with you because I think I make beautiful pictures and I am proud of that, I want to share how I see the world (and maybe make a dollar or two in the process. I mean I still have to eat, right?)