Ok, so despite my initial freak-out when not getting a teaching job, this little break I decided to take this semester is so starting to prove to be well worth the extra $10K in student loans I took out to make it happen. (Hey, it's for my academic and spiritual growth, so it's priceless, right??)
For reals though, I have never been more happy in my life. I'm surrounded by nothing but phenomenal people, I'm singing my heart out, I'm writing down my soul, and I have a husband and two kids in my life who I love more than I knew was possible. I get to meditate for hours and have the time to turn my house into a comfortable home (wait till you see my feng shui pictures...). I have plenty of time to do things that truly fulfill me. I have plenty of time to study and learn about all the things that interest me. And most importantly, I have plenty of time to be in the quiet to sort it all out.
Things really are going great. We're settled in our new home, we have a nice routine with the boys, and this tiny mountain home just radiates with love. The boys are both doing awesome. I'm starting to tutor Matisse once a week on his reading, and things are going really well. He's getting so grown up and amazes me every day. I've really started to cherish our one on one time together. Julien is still as silly as ever. He's doing great in school and is becoming a whiz on iPad games. ;)
Dustin is stronger and happier than I have ever seen him. He's such an amazing father and those boys adore him. He's enjoying his new job as an electrician. A bit of a change of pace for him, but he's settling in and feeling confident. He's started to learn a bit of tai chi and falun dafa for when he meditates. It's drastically helped with his depression. So much that we are going on month three of him being off antidepressants.
For those of you who don't know, Dustin's struggled with depression since he was a kid. When he was 15, he was prescribed Zoloft to help. He's been on it (or something similar) since then. He's tried several different strategies in the past to try to get off the meds, but he's hasn't been able to go a few weeks before he can barely get out of bed and goes back to the pills. We'd come to accept that he needed them and that was ok. Just like diabetics need insulin, those who struggle with depression need something to balance the chemicals in the brain.
Since moving to Asheville, we've become more conscious about what we put into our bodies as well as the power our bodies hold. If everything we believe in is true, then managing depression without the use of meds is possible. So we're trying it.
I am so, so, SO proud of Dustin. He gets up early every morning to do his meditation, and then he does it again every night before bed. He's good at recognizing when the negativity arises (as opposed to being in denial and getting defensive) and he's learning to change his thought patterns to make it go away. He's never been off Zoloft this long since he started taking it, and he will tell you today that he's never been happier. Yes, some days are a lot easier than others, but we work through the bad days together. And yeah, he's a bit more emotional these days (Oh, let's face it, we've both been sentimental bawl-bags lately...we can barely look each other in the eyes without tearing up). But he's also more connected and more in-tune. He's finally realizing his worth and taking the time to take care of his basic needs, to heal from within. He's surrounded by so much love and positivity which helps, too. :)
So yes, we're doing great. Still working on the baby-making. All these lifestyle changes we're making is definitely going to help in the fertility area. Let's face it, this is probably the first time in two years that I have not been completely and utterly stressed out nonstop. ;) It feels good to slow down and breathe.
On another baby note, my big sister Stacey IS pregnant! This is so so exciting for her and her husband Kyle. A bit unexpected, but a happy surprise. And no, I'm not a crazy emotional mess over the fact that almost EVERY woman close to me is pregnant right now. Of course it's hard and I'm uber jealous, but I love them all so much and am so happy for them. Another post is in the works about all this "surrounded-by-pregnancies" thing. ;)
Whew, well I think I've rambled enough for the day. Gonna go take these pups on a little walk since it's GORGEOUS out (low 50's and SUNNY!). I'll leave you with some pics I took this morning. Matisse and I have about a half hour to kill between when we drop Julien off to school and when he can be dropped off. So we took a little detour this morning. We put on some Imagine Dragons (yes, Matisse's favorite album - amazing, I know) and drove up a mountain. And this is what we saw. :)