I decided to go to the knitting club last night because of my terrible morning. My son was starting work at 9:30 and I was to start at 10:30. He left for his job and then came running back home after the van died around the corner. He was hysterical, worried about being late and not wanting to lose his job. I took him to work and then had to deal with the aftermath - the van was almost in the middle of the side street with the flashers on. My son had failed to mention that the van was practically in the middle of the street - I was grateful I hadn't been ticketed or towed!
So now I had to deal with moving the van to the side of the street, getting dressed and to my job within an hour. I got my youngest son out of bed and the two of us were unable to move the van ourselves. It was icy and neither of us could steer the wheel and my poor son was unable to maneuver the van backward. A nice maintenance man from the apartment complex next to ours took pity on us and assisted. He ended up steering the van while my son and I pushed. Then I slipped and fell on the ice - a total wipe out according to my son, which he said he saw coming.
We got the van moved safely to the side and I made it to work not on time, but not late enough to cause a problem. Then I got to start my brooding and worry about what is wrong with the van. It has been giving us trouble with starting but the gas gauge is also broken (sometimes) and my son told me it had stayed at the same position (above the halfway mark) for the past four days and he hadn't filled it. So, I am hoping that we simply need to get one of those red containers you see the poor people walking with on the side of the road and put in $5.00 of gas and see if it starts.
But what got me really moody and sad was the reality that yet again, I am picking up the pieces when something goes wrong and trying to figure out the solution. It was at this point that I definitely decided to go to the evening's knitting club. In the past, I would have been so down and out with the morning's events that I would have canceled. But the way I was looking at it was that this was the day I really should go to the club - when things have gone wrong and I am in need of a pick-me-up. When we keep waiting for all our ducks to be in a row before we can be happy or do something, then I think we'll be waiting forever.
And so despite having a crummy morning and then worrying about fixing the van and then being upset that I have no more energy to keep functioning as an only parent I made the decision to just go to the knit club and not put it off another week, when hopefully next week would be "better."
I walked up to our building entrance and ran into the nice woman who hosted the Christmas party I attended. She invited me to go out with some of the residents to a nearby sports bar New Year's Eve. I talked with her a little about my hectic morning and she commiserated with me having raised two daughters on my own. We both concluded that the nice maintenance man was a blessing because my youngest son and I would not have been able to move the van on our own and I didn't have the time to get it towed and get to work. She just encouraged me to keep going because in the end that is what we have to do - keep at it for our children.
At the knitting club which meets at a bakery cafe in the next town over, I was introduced to the 20-some women there (I was the youngest besides a member's granddaughter). I worked on my door stoppers/draft dodgers and turned out to be the fastest knitter among the group. The cafe owner treated our group to a tray of cookies fresh from the oven (he bakes something every week). We talked a little and he told me that many of the group members including himself are Facebook friends and involved with each other's lives, watching out for one another.
I am glad I went to the knitting group and plan on going again next week. I am enjoying knitting my draft dodgers, which are my Christmas gifts to myself. The cookie hot and fresh from the oven was divine! It was nice to meet and interact with new people. It was empowering to finally go out and do something just for myself instead of having the activity revolve around the boys. It was also exhilarating to go to an event without knowing anyone and have it turn out well. It gives me some confidence to go to other activities in the future.
One of the things I learned this year is that we shouldn't put our happiness on hold until our lives become better or more stable. If we do this we'll always be waiting to be happy. I have a feeling that my seeking happiness even in the midst of hardship will end up resulting in more happiness instead of the other way of thinking - that to be happier I have to already be somewhat happy.