Who I am

I’m a mother. A working mother. Someone who puts in 40 hours a week; sometimes more, sometimes less. I spend 8 or 9 hours a day away from my boys and worry the entire time.

I’m a person who despite having a good job, where I’ve been for more than a dozen years, we still live paycheck to pay check. We have lots of wants, some means and a little bit in the bank at times.

I’m a person who wants to see her husband succeed. I want to see him have a cow herd and not having to work a job just so we can have health insurance.

I’m a mom who questions whether or not a sore throat merits a doctor visit. Not every sniffle or sneeze does so, but I second guess my choice. I’m thankful I have health insurance when I do have a sick kid.

I’m a horsewoman, who hasn’t ridden in more than a year. For years and years, my mare was the center of my universe. Ask my husband. He knew he was second place for many, many years. Now, I don’t “have time” to ride. The boys need shuttled around. I have work to deal with and they want to ride. There’s only 3 horses at the house, so when dad needs to work, guess where mom stays?

I would love to stay home and take care of cows, horses and kids, but lack of confidence, lack of experience and a little lack of patience keeps me working in town.

I’m a wanna-be photographer. I’m trying to get a few more clients after taking engagement photos for one friend and family photos for another. I absolutely love taking photos and capturing a beautiful scene. I hope people like my photos more than I do.

Last week I wrote about being a rural voter after the presidential election, and how I disliked being called an uneducated and rural voter. After fielding more than a dozen comments on my blog, I had to get away from the computer and get some fresh air. As I was feeding horses, I thought, “Who am I?” I always thought I was a writer, a photographer, a hard worker and I’m just me. I don’t like being called uneducated—especially since I’m still paying my student loans from my time at Oklahoma State University.

I came back in the house and wrote the above six paragraphs in about 12 seconds. Ok, maybe not that fast, but they came out on paper pretty quickly. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned who I was/am/were/will be. But who does it matter to who I am? Mostly me. I do my job, keep my head down and try not to cause much strife. I’ve changed over the years, and I hope the only one who is bothered by that is me. I’ve just got to be me.

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You just never know

This morning I’m trying to do some background research for an article I’m working on while trying to work at home with two little boys. I have my moments of peace and quiet (one’s napping and the other is watching his show) where I can get something accomplished. But my brain keeps going other places.

Last week my 37-year-old cousin, Crystal, had what they are thinking was a stroke and a subsequent aneurism following a run. Crystal’s been running for the last couple of years and competes in marathons and 5K’s. (I’m not anywhere near an athlete, so if I have these wrong, forgive me!) Crystal and her husband have to small kids and although we’re not as close as some, I still feel for her. She’s my family.

Growing up, I remember playing in the basement at Grandmother and Grandpa Roy’s farm. Her laugh was contagious and could be heard throughout the space. Last year when I attended another cousin’s wedding, Crystal and I had time to catch up and it was pretty darn good to get to know her again. Although because of Facebook, it feels like we’re still connected because I got to read her posts and see her photos.

Crystal had brain surgery on 4/11 to help fix the aneurism and has been sedated ever since. She’s got a long road to go, and family and friends are standing behind her and praying for her. They’ve also stepped in to help her family.

They’ve created a t-shirt campaign to help with expenses. Find more info here. They’ve also set up a Caring Bridge site with updates on her condition. In addition, a GoFundMe has been set up. And, there’s a Facebook group to follow her progress.

Earlier this week I read a blog post from a friend of Crystal’s and it was beautifully written by one of her runner friends. You can genuinely see the care in his post.

After reading another cousin’s post about Crystal on social media last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was starting to worry. (And I’m a top-notch worrier.) Finally my thoughts slowed down and I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to take care of her and the family. I prayed for the strength and knowledge of her team of doctors and nurses. I prayed for my Aunt Sharon and Crystal’s brothers and their families.

Because of Crystal’s seemingly healthy lifestyle and having this happen to her it makes me question my own genetics and habits. But I do know that you just never know when it’s your time.

#Crystalstrong

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