Maybe a year ago my husband started talking about moving us to Puerto Rico. It started as little conversations over dinner, here and there a mention…just dreaming. Then, one day I realized . . . OMG. . . he’s serious.
I was instantly mad. I pitched a fit. I had a 3 day tantrum. I didn’t yell at him, but I did not hide my anger and sadness. For 3 days I barely slept. I thought of nothing else. I thought about all the wonderful things we would be giving up. I love Denver! I love having four seasons. I love the kids’ school. I love our home. We have some really great, close friends. Mostly, I love the comfort of knowing where I am, where my things and people are, and where to find what I want. I love what I know. I do not like, not knowing.
It was a potentially lucrative financial decision on his part, and I understood that. He is the financial provider of this family. He works hard to do a LOT for us and if this would allow him to do what he wanted, I should be supportive. This is why I was mad. I didn’t WANT to be supportive, but I knew I needed to be. I didn’t want to be a dead weight sourpuss that sucked all the air out of his sails. I knew, deep down, almost instantly, that my objection was that it would take guts. I didn’t want to have guts. It would make me, US, uncomfortable, and I don’t like being uncomfortable. This however, was not reason enough to squash his dream.
It also COULD be, “the greatest adventure of our lives”.
On the 4th day, I came to him in the quiet of morning, before the kids were up, and said (through tears), “You are the leader of this family. If you want to go, we go. But I want to see it. You have to take us there.” He nodded his thanks and we found a week in our schedule to make the not so easy trip.
The kids also did not want to move there but were happy to be going on a trip. Izak fell in love with the surfing and wildlife and Nadia was happy to be in water (pool or ocean) all day long. The community was super welcoming and every box was getting checked off as the week progressed. We even looked at houses. I became more and more resigned to the fact that we would in fact be moving here. I envisioned us there, how it would look, what our lives would look like. I talked to God a lot. I truly let go and let things fall as they may. I somehow found a little comfort in knowing, God has a plan, and I do not get to be in control all the time. We talk about this, but when your life is facing a big flip like this, it is difficult to do. And I will say, I did it. I didn’t really have a choice, but I did it.
On the last night, Ali had a business meeting and Izak sat and listened through the whole thing, while drinking tea. He was engaged and listening and suntanned… All of the sudden he came to me, nestled into me and cried, “I don’t want to move here!” I pulled him away from the meeting and took him outside. We talked about the scary nature of this proposition. This kid has slept in the same bedroom his whole life. He is not a fan of change. A little part of me was excited for this challenge. I KNOW that kids need to learn that they CAN DO HARD THINGS and the only way to learn this is by doing hard things. This would be his chance to learn how strong and tough he really is.
To make a long story short, Ali loves his work and those he helps by doing it. It turns out that he would not be able to serve his clients to the level he wants to serve them, from there.
I felt like I had been tested, and passed the test. I have had talks with Izak about being able to look back on a difficult situation or time, and being able to be proud of the way you handled it. When I was having my pity party, this is why I was mad. Because I knew the woman I want to be, the woman my husband deserves, is encouraging. Agreeable, at least. Not selfish. I knew the woman I want to be, would be supportive. . . a lifter up of his dreams, not a dead weight. And the selfish part of me wanted to stick my heels in the ground and DRAG until I wore him out.
Izak has spent very little time away from us, unless with close friends or family. Because of Covid and chance, he ended up having TWO week long sleep away camps this summer. He dreaded the first, and didn’t make it the whole week before I had to go get him. Honestly, I wasn’t sad about it. We missed him too! He is soon heading to the second, and he has been “dragging his heels” about it. We had a great talk today about attitude and how it helps our mood. It is OK to be uncomfortable. It is ok to be scared, nervous, fearful… but he is going either way. So he can choose to go with a hopeful attitude, or a poopy one. I do think he is choosing hope.
These tests in life are opportunities. They don’t come around often, hopefully. But each time we survive something scary, we gain confidence for the next attack. The next time you are facing something scary or uncomfortable, consider handling it in such a way that you will be able to look back on it and feel proud of how you handled yourself. And maybe remind yourself throughout it, “I can do hard things.”