Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I have been pretty conscious of my own happiness level lately. Why? Most notably because I am happy. This has been quite a year for me... and mostly not a good one.

Just about a year ago is when Mr F's parents came to visit... and I infamously blogged about their visit... resulting in...well... a catastrophic shit storm.

Mere weeks later Mr F was offered the job in Asheville and we literally went from living a normal life (cluttered, hoarding issues included) to selling our house and buying a house and moving 600+ miles in less than 6 weeks. That was a time of incredible stress... that was only bearable due to the tremendous amount of pressure and resulting adrenaline.

Unfortunately things didn't really take an up turn after we got settled in. I entered a pretty low point and was definitely suffering from situational depression having lost all my friends, family, routine... and... my therapist when we moved.

I stopped working out and watching what I was eating, and while I miraculously didn't balloon to twice my size, I forgot how important those things are in terms of feeling in control of my life.

Oh and there was the freelance and financial hits from Mr F's job to process... and our new crazy budget to contend with. And the weekly stress of cutting back without ever getting a reward (a new and humbling life circumstance).

Then I broke my tailbone... and the ensuing depression and unbearable pain... for MONTHS. Oh and the medical bills. And the not working out... or even sitting down... or having fun. For MONTHS.

And then we lost our health coverage. Remember that?!

Mrs F where is the light?

I'm getting to it.

After all that we still had to struggle with our taxes and settling bills AND selling Mr F's car (which we owned outright) just to keep ourselves out of debt. Which we did.

And now there is light.

Seriously. I no longer hate Asheville. Would I pick it? No. But I'm not unhappy here anymore. I can see the advantages... and... for now there are some. My children are happy and healthy (whew!) and Mr F is fulfilled at his job. And while we are not financially where we want to be we are emotionally where we want to be... and not everyone can say that.

Our marriage is better than it has ever been. Proving that personal fulfillment is very important... even if it isn't your own.

And in a way I am fulfilled... because I want to have a happy family... and I do. And I am cognizant of it.

And I'm proud of myself. I have been working very hard to keep this ship afloat even during times that it felt like we were drowning... and I did it. I did it by myself and I saved us. We're floating. And that is fulfilling too.


Haley said...

Wow, when you list the challeneges you faced over the past year, it really is an amazing accomplishment that you came out stronger and happier on the other side. I'm so happy for you that the sun is starting to shine again! Getting through the past year proves that you can handle anything thrown at you -- you should be incredibly proud.

Christy said...

I wish you could tell me how you got there. I feel like I "should" be happy and fulfilled, but I don't think i am. I have transferred some of my own unhappiness to my marriage and have contemplated things I never thought I would. I know i need to figure it out and fix it, but I don't know how.

Sorry to make that all about me. I am really happy to hear how well things are for you!

Shannon - said...

great post. you are such an inspirational woman! Seriously - my hero!

Supermom said...

I was really glad to read this Mrs F!!!

Michelle :)

Marie said...

I am so happy for you. Its a wonderful feeling to just be happy...especially after the last year. (and seriously--all that in one year?? thats crazy!). It seems like everything is finally falling into place.

Mrs Furious said...

Oh I'm sorry. I don't know what to say except that when I was unhappy I didn't feel this way (obviously) or expect to. But a couple of things lined up to alleviate a lot of back ground stress: sold Mr F's car which gave us a small savings for emergencies, paid off the Lowe's card & medical bills, finalized Kid's school placement. All those things were "unknowns" and it almost didn't matter what the result was I just needed for them to be over.

Also whatever you are contemplating I have probably contemplated it... and probably will again. I have actually been thinking about that... and trying not to let myself get blindsided by hard times. They happen and will happen again. Just because I'm happy in my marriage doesn't mean I won't struggle with staying that way. You know what I mean? Or that I won't want to divorce Mr F for writing checks without telling me (TODAY!!!). But I have also worked hard to lower my standards. (seriously) And I am still working on letting myself enjoy the things I enjoy without stressing so much about what isn't working. I'm not always great at that. And a huge thing is that Mr F is fulfilled with his job... a component that he has not had EVER and the result in his happiness and frustration level (at home) has really reverberated through out the family. It's a huge change. Definitely not as much of a jerk ;)

Me, Myself and I said...

You are an amazing woman! The "show off your house video" - BRAVE. I am in the house cleaning business. Let me tell you - my house more often than not looks exactly like yours. BUT - thanks to the chicken pox vaccine - resulting in chicken pox for youngest.... My house is cleaner!!!

Anyway - back to you. I wish I could be so open as you. I think that is a great quality. I very frequently find myself biting my tongue and holding back. Goals to work toward I guess.

I am so so happy you are happy!

julie said...

You are indeed a bad ass. You had a hell of a year.

You should be proud of yourself. I know I am:)

gooddog said...

Wow. It was wild to read that all laid out. You have been so perseverant! That's awesome. Congratulations on being in a good spot.

It was striking to read as hubby has been rethinking his work because while we are doing OK (not spectacular btw) on $, our family and marriage are taking a beating because of the 70 hour CPA workweeks. (Which have not stopped since 4/15 and they won't.)

We are seriously rethinking life and possible making changes and cutbacks to make our lives together better. The change can suck but maybe we'll come out better for it?

Congrats to you today. Stay dry.

Mrs Furious said...

Boy has it been a rainy season!

Did you read what I wrote at the bottom of my response to Christy? If that applies (re: hubby being happier doing something else) I say go for it. I cannot stress enough how that one change has made such a huge difference... enough... that despite all the shit that came our way we are still happier. So it's a big deal... job stress/fulfillment, etc.

Mrs Furious said...

"Getting through the past year proves that you can handle anything thrown at you"
Hey! Don't jinx me!!!

Oh thank you.

I'm happy to finally just be happy. It's been a LONG year.

For whatever reason I do think it is falling into place. I think letting go of the anger is a big part of that... but also something about going back East made me see some positives in our life (now... versus what it might be like if we did go back to NY) and I had to kind of take the moment to see that in some ways things are better... and let us all enjoy them while we have them. I guess it just changed my perspective.

Mrs Furious said...

Me, Myself & I,
You know it's kind of funny about the house. I did something similar last year and actually got some flack for it... and it hurt... more than it should have and I let myself feel judged and less than... I got defensive. This time, while certainly I get frustrated by our house and would like to live in a cleaner more organized environment, I went into it knowing that if someone said something that it comes out of their own insecurities and that my house is my problem... and a reflection of my weaknesses and my strengths (we're strong in collecting ;). And surprise surprise no one said anything negative.

when it comes to the money stuff I really am proud of myself... because I went into thinking that it was beyond my skill set and even with some negative apprehension coming from Mr F but I did it... and finally taking total control has really paid off (literally).

gooddog said...

Yes, I like the "definitely not as much of a jerk ;)" part of your reply to Christy. Fitting here somedays...of course, he can say that about me too after long days.

Also, who knew that that trip to NYC would bring out some of the good about AVille to you? So glad you guys went!

The only redeeming parts of all this rain are not having to listen to the weathermen talk about drought and all the green, green, green.

Mrs Furious said...

I know... I was a bit surprised my ownself... I would not have anticipated it but I have definitely felt 100% better about living here since our trip. Go figure.

And I hear you on the both ends of the long day jerkiness.

Mr Furious said...


I love you, too.

It's hard to believe it was exactly a year ago that I first saw this house—and KNEW it was the one for us, btw. (For what's that's worth)

It's true that a lot of things have come into sharper focus recently: Partly because of our trip; partly my conversations with other people; but mostly because we've seemed to make it through the tunnel and that light wasn't another train.

April is usually the worst, most trying time of the year for us. My freelance work—while necessary—always had us owing taxes. Big time. The loss of that work has had an immense negative impact on our financial situation—holes were easier to dig out of with a sizeable check on the horizon—but that loss has added in other areas. Firstly, we got a tax rebate—unheardof in our marriage. But the absence of that work been a tremendous relief in the pressure on me and demand on my time. My day job is more demanding, but infinitely more fulfilling.

The last few weeks have been the absolute highlight of my professional career—and don't forget—I'm old. In twenty years doing this, I've never been able to feel such a total sense of pride and success as I do right now.

Sure, parts of this job have been a nightmare, but the pros have waaaay outweighed those cons.

I'm glad we moved, thankful for my job and our happiness, and have never felt better in my marriage, career or life.

Elizabeth said...


I'm so glad you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and that Mr. F is happy in his job. (That cover was fantastic btw)


p.s. I"m in NYC visiting MaryBeth for the week, any advice/things to do/see I might not think of otherwise? Secrets from former Natives?

Marie said...

"mostly because we've seemed to make it through the tunnel and that light wasn't another train." that line!!

Amy said...

Rachel, you're amazing. I think so much of you which is funny because I don't "know" you. You motivate me in so many ways. I enjoy your blog so much and you're truly one of the most REAL people I know. thanks for sharing your trials with us and helping the rest of us out there to know we're not the only ones who struggle with life. i consider you a friend. :)

Amy said...

sorry, i'll call you Mrs. F from now on.

Andrea said...

Ive been running like a chicken with its head cut off not knowing where Im going or what Im doing, it moved me to tears to read this and everyone's comments. Im really glad to hear your happy.

carrie said...

Yay for lemonade!

Mrs Furious said...

LOL that is okay... since it's my name I didn't even notice.

And thank you. Maybe someday we'll come out your way. We've been talking about making a big cross country trip (once Baby sleeps through the night... so... who knows... it could be a few years!).

I liked that line too.

Oh thank you :)

Yes. finally.

interesting. I'm sure MaryBeth knows what to do... you've been to the Botanical gardens I assume... if not... go. I'll put my thinking cap on. Of course I'd spend the entire time at Two Boots drinking Sangria... but that's just me ;)

P.O.M. said...

I think that is why I"m drawn to you/your blog. Because the reality is that shit happens to all of us. It's how you deal with things that makes you or breaks you. And in your case, it sure has 'made ya' happy! It's refreshing to see that you deal with things as they come.

Mrs Furious said...


Kiki said...

It is great to hear that you are in a great place, it's hard when you're in a valley to imagine the peaks...especially when we've been to get yourself back up is always the've handled this past year with grace, humor, introspection and most of all an unwavering commitment to the health of your family. Keep going you're an inspiration!!! Keeping you in my thoughts, every day!!!

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