When I went to Petco last Friday I was thankful I didn’t have the money for a turtle. It’s not that a turtle is expensive, but setting up their habitat is, and I knew that was money I didn’t need to spend. BUT – I liked a turtle in the store. It followed me everywhere I moved. It looked up when I was looking over the top of the tank, under the water when ducked down below, and from side to side when I would move. He or she was cool! I have always liked turtles – maybe because I have always been a little slow.

I have stayed away from the writing scene for a while. The election took a lot out of me, and the negativity didn’t end when it was over, and I was so sick of hearing any of it so I went into hiding. Life has continued to get more and more difficult for me as time passes, and the stress finally made my need to write hard to ignore. So, back to writing and publishing I go.

My job will be non-existent at any time. The company sold its operations in Colorado, and the few who are left employed with the company are on borrowed time. My boss quit or was fired on Wednesday. I don’t know which it is, and I am on vacation right now, so I won’t have the story until next week. I have no idea who my boss will be, but I don’t think it will really matter when I do know. Again – I am on borrowed time.

My daily accomplishment is usually that I haven’t killed my oldest daughter. She is “special” right now. Much like many people in this world – she is struggling with wanting to fit in without fitting in. It’s like she wants to fit into the box while she is a circle, but to get in you need to be a square, and she has no interest in having pointed edges. She is messing with her health in scary ways. She is diagnosed as bipolar, and taking several medications to help her, and has decided to smoke pot on top of it all. She says she is just trying feel better, but is ignoring that she is making things worse, and I thank God daily that I allow her to live. Well, her decisions are catching up to her. She was fired from her job last week, and she is failing her senior year of high school. Life for her is out of control, and until she chooses to control it – life will stay that way. I have shown her real-world examples of the value of earning her diploma, and told her she will regret it the rest of her life if she doesn’t finish, but it is up to her to get it done. Last year she did excellent at school, worked at a different job, and only had a nutty boyfriend for me to complain about. A job change from a movie theatre to a sandwich place lead to smoking pot, dating a girl, and failing high school. Ummm… can I have the boyfriend problem back please? That was an easier problem to deal with.

My daughter didn’t date just any girl. Nope! She likes things as complicated as possible. She chose to date someone she works with (something I have always told my children to never do) AND she is 22 with my daughter only 17! REALLY?? There is huge difference between dating a girl who is 22 and a guy who was 22. I tried to warn her, but I am the idiot who doesn’t know anything like all parents of teenagers. The girl dropped her and she was fired the following day. Coincidence? I doubt it.

I think losing her job is a blessing. It gives her all the time she needs to concentrate on school, but this was a major blow to her ego too. Drugs are not allowed in my house, and she has two younger siblings watching what she does, so she has been warned that her 18th birthday will be spent moving out. She doesn’t want that and swears she is going to give it up. I guess we shall see. March will be here before she knows it. Anyway, smoking pot on top of the medications she is taking is dangerous. Her doctor warned her, we have warned her, and last night might have been a wake-up call.

I was up late reading a book by Dee Henderson titled Taken. This is my second book for the author and it will not be my last. Anyway, about 11:00p my daughter came into my room terrified. There was a man sitting on her desk and he wouldn’t go away. She complained that Scurvy (one of our dogs) wasn’t barking to make him leave either. This was a very real situation to her. I walked into her room and told her no one was there, and there was no way Scurvy would let someone be there – ghost or otherwise. She said “but he was here.”

“Okay” I replied “why isn’t the chair pulled out?”

“Because he was sitting on top of my desk.”

“Okay… then where were his legs?”

“He was sitting Indian-style so his legs were on the desk.”

She then turned to look at her desk and started to see it would be tough for a man to fit on her desk that way. The conversation helped bring some reality into the picture.

“It was a dream. That’s all. Your brain was starting to sleep and dream, you were startled awake, and reality was blurry because of it. That’s all. Scurvy won’t let anything happen to you and I will be awake for a while if he comes back. Come get me if me does.”

I didn’t see her again so he must have stayed away. I am thankful for that!

It was tough seeing my daughter look like a scared 5-year-old at 17. I know with her condition, if she doesn’t find the will to be strong and avoid temptation, her mental health will get worse. It sucks being a mother knowing I cannot fix any of it. I can support her when she asks, and cheer her accomplishments, but she must make the changes to truly be okay. Have I mentioned being a parent sucks? It does sometimes. Locking them in a room from 13 to 25 years old seems to be the only way to avoid how tough it is.

I am not sure I can handle losing my job on top of all my family stuff happening. I am supposed to be a support, a pillar of strength for my family, but losing my job will surely weaken that ability. Did I mention being an adult sucks too?

So, who am I? This is a burning question I have had most of my life. I know what I have done, and who I have been, but I don’t know who I am supposed to be. I went to college years ago because I was hungry for something different, and I wanted to be something more, but I never found the more. Now here I am – a wife, a mother to 4 children, and they need me to be more soon, but how can I be more without knowing who I am or where I am going? Am I 17??

I am a strong person for other people’s problems, but I am weak and broken for my own. I feel like the punch line to my own life story. Or I am just slow – and that is a contributing factor to my love of turtles. So here is to being three steps behind… and having faith God has a plan that will make it all make sense – someday.