homekeeping 6

It has been a while since I’ve written a homekeeping post.  I miss the format – loose, random thoughts on where we are and where we are headed.

I just reread homekeeping 5 this morning.  Wow.  What a difference six months can make.  Blood, sweat, tears and a lot of cussing later, and we seem to be in a good place.

Knock on wood.

It has been almost three months since Mark and I had the marathon chat session about the kids and his relationship with them.  I did not perform miracles that day.  It would be nice to say that I was able to reach him.

Honestly, I think Mark hasn’t changed one iota.

We have changed.

I still hear the voice when he comes to the house.  Jen takes it in stride now.

I still hear him say things to Will like, “Hey, you sure you want to take that snowboard out to the park?  Nobody really likes snowboarding, do they?  Wouldn’t it be more fun to ski, instead?”  The difference is that Will doesn’t react.  He simply says, “Dad, I like both, and right now I want to snowboard.”

We have changed.

We have developed the tools we needed to deal with what Mark dishes out.

There’s a sense of empowerment circulating around this little house.  There was helplessness in waiting for Mark to change.  We now see that we have the power to adjust how we react.

We aren’t his pawns.  We have stiffer spines.

He is being civil and polite.  He is still not demonstrating a real interest in all things Jenny.  His interest in Will extends to skiing only.

He can’t do any more than that.

The kids are learning to accept that.


My biggest lesson in this whole mess is that no real progress can be made unless I set and keep boundaries.

I’m looking around now, to see where I could benefit from the creation of more healthy boundaries.



In our house, fresh starts include some serious clearing out of the crap – the physical stuff.  Jenny and I spent yesterday going through closets, pitching, reorganizing and generally clearing the slate.

My motivation came from this fine post from Andrea at amultitudeofthings.com.  I printed her list and taped it to my kitchen cupboard.  I had planned to pitch the list when I was done clearing things out, but there’s some good stuff on the list, that isn’t as tangible – relationships, ideas, and thoughts.  I’ll be keeping the list for regular reminders.



I used to do a little yoga when I was married.  It was one of the things I did in addition to St. John’s Wort, lots of wine, walking, talking, venting, and doctoring to try and make things work.

I don’t think I’ve done yoga since.

I miss the time for just me.  I’m going to try that yoga thing, again, that everybody talks about.  Maybe it’s a good way to maintain the level of harmony in the house.



I’m feeling optimistic about things.

  • Is it the start of a new year and the promise of new beginnings?
  • Is it because things seem to be better with Mark.  (Knock on wood, again.)
  • Is it that I finished the first draft of my first book?
  • Is it that things are on a bit more even keel with the boy in the kevlar vest?
  • Is it that the kids are jazzed about getting back into the learning mode?

Hell, it could be all those things or none of those things.

I’m not going to over-analyze.

I’m going to enjoy this peaceful, harmonic little phase we’re in.

It’s not my first radio, as Jenny likes to say.  There will be more rough patches ahead.


Dare I say, we’re getting good at this.


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  1. I found you on twitter and you sound like a very strong winner. I like the way you are making things better for you and your kids.
    What I had to finally realize with my X was that he was who he wanted to be. Then I could move forward.

    Sounds like you are ready for anymore rough spots. Life can be full of them, we just have to learn to slide with the curves.
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. It’s amazing what happens when we focus on what we actually can change, isn’t it?

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    There’s a quote that goes something like… People will always show you who they really are.

    I think I kept hoping that what I was seeing wasn’t really who he was. How dumb was that?

    Thanks again,


  4. Susan,

    And it’s particularly gratifying to see that it really works – when we change ourselves.

    Talk about empowering!

  5. FiringOnAllSyllables

    So happy to read this! You sound so strong and happy. I think you’re right about other people not changing, but what matters is how we react to them. What a great, empowering start to the year! x

  6. Hello there, FOAS!

    Ah, yes. A tough lesson for me was figuring out that I’m the one who has to change. Glad I’m helping my kids to see that sooner.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  7. That post made me think of this:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  8. Tina,

    Yes, I think of that often. I struggle with knowing which things I can change, and which things I can’t.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some kind of guide? Oh hell, knowing me, even if the guide said, “You can’t change X,” I’d still give it my best shot.

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