“So never mind the darkness, we still can find a way.. ‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever, even cold November rain.” – November Rain by Guns N’ Roses
It should be from the time I lost my first child that November became my least favorite month… I’ve tried various ways to escape the sudden waves of sadness, but my body always stays honest, and all sorts of physical discomforts start to pop up during this time. Maybe it’s the seasonal changes and the onset of the flu season that happen around this time, so I keep blaming these normal physiological responses on innocent November.
This year, this phenomenon started unusually early. Two weeks ago, Hee started wheezing, then Ree had a mild cold, and Vee had a headache and discomfort. Besides Hee’s asthma causing severe coughing, which led us to take him to the doctor, the girls quickly recovered without the need for medication. And just when they were doing better, my dizziness started, which made me unable to work in front of computer for several days. Every time I looked at a computer or my phone, the world would start spinning. It happened over a decade ago when I went to see a doctor, and he said it was a symptom of aging, which means I’ve been aging for over a decade now.
Then, a week ago, our stray dog Hope, whom we adopted in April, ate something he shouldn’t have, and one night he started spraying feces in his crate. Vee and I had to endure the stench and drag the crate and Hope out into the backyard to clean it up, and it was already dawn by the time we finished. We thought that to prevent him from making a mess in the crate, we would bring him into the guest room to sleep for a few nights, but he ended up soiling the entire room. For four days straight, he would go wherever and whenever he pleased, leaving piles of mushy poop every couple of hours, and we couldn’t get him outside fast enough. We took him to the vet, had blood tests and stool tests done, spent nearly five hundred dollars, but we couldn’t pinpoint the cause of his diarrhea. However, after taking anti-diarrhea and antibiotics, his condition improved significantly. At least he’s not spraying feces inside the house in the middle of the night anymore.
So, for a whole week, with severe sleep deprivation, my mental state deteriorated significantly. I still had to get up early every day to take the kids to school, feeling drowsy and sluggish. And this is how I ended this wretched October after we celebrated the haunting Halloween. I wondered if November could be any worse. I asked God and myself. I jokingly told my friend that we should celebrate for the entire month of November… perhaps we really need to do that to cover up all this overflowing negative energy.
The 90-day home cooking challenge declared a failure after 28 days. With my spirit flagging for several weeks, I continued to cook at home sporadically, but my motivation to prepare meals every day is slowly fading. The 50-day hand crafts challenge that Ree and I planned has also come to a standstill after just six days. One day, when I was talking to the kids’ mom about the kids, I could sense her skepticism about the challenges I’ve set for the kids and myself, and each failure seemed to confirm her doubts. Many times, I wonder if we should just give up after failing? I asked Ree this question too… she shrugged, no answer. I guess the kids are all afraid of failure and don’t dare to continue.
My answer is to adjust our mood and start over. Looking back on my youth, I’ve been questioned by everyone, including my loved ones, for most of my life. I’ve never really succeeded in the eyes of others. Should I care about these judgments? To say that I don’t care would be untrue, especially when hurtful words come from loved ones. That’s why I need to adjust my way of communicating with my children and give them more encouragement rather than pressure. Hurtful words may not block the path to pursuing dreams, but they would make us waste a lot of time trying to please everyone. Failure is just a process; in failure, I extract lessons and learn how to make the next failure less painful and easier to bounce back from. Success is not the goal; after all, the definition of success varies from person to person. I just want to experience this one and only life to the fullest.
We’ve finally entered the season for making fires, and today we sat by the campfire, discussing about challenges, about failures, about the month of November, and about new beginnings. We’re going to continue to take on challenges! We might tweak some of the challenge formats, but we still hope to involve more people to boost the motivation for my kids and me. Let’s Go~