Life, Parenting

Things I Carry

Today I carry the weight of a dear friend who discovered she can never have children. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was pregnant with my third. I carry my cell phone in case she calls. I carry my tattered SUV car keys and ginger lozenges to help ease my morning sickness. I carry a legal notepad because I need to write this stuff down. My notebook carries all my worries, my fears, my kid’s birthday party ideas, my mother-in-law’s Guinness stew recipe, and future baby names. My notebook is like an assorted box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll find. But, I carry it because I need to, it is a place of refuge.

I carry shea-butter hand cream, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and a used gift card from Barnes and Noble. I can’t part with the card just yet because you never know if it truly has zero credit or not. I carry mints from a restaurant my kids love to go to on Friday nights. I carry a general mistrust of all restaurants and their mantra about serving 100% pure beef. I’ve read dozens of government USDA recalls on meat products to believe otherwise.

If life was only this colorful and light all the time.

I carry my checkbook in case the mortgage bill comes in. I carry the weight of a thousand things I must do in this house like clean out my husband’s sock drawer, organize my photos by date, sort through the pile of Legos, and empty out the hamper for the things it will carry tomorrow.

And then, I carry the shame that these superficial concerns occupy my mind while other people battle for their lives. A family friend was recently diagnosed with fourth stage breast cancer. She has a seven year old daughter. Another friend just got served divorce papers from her husband. She was already on the verge of becoming an alcoholic. A fourteen year old girl was abducted and forced into human trafficking by a man twenty years her senior, a story that ran in my local paper. I carry a vision of her face with me still and can’t help but wonder how humiliated she felt selling her body for sex.

Her bag must have been heavier than mine.

In life, we carry things that weigh us down. For some, it can translate into more tears than smiles. As for me, I am humbled by all the blessings in my life, for all the love and good health bestowed upon my family. How about you? What are you thankful for?

About Anka

Spent forty grand on a journalism degree just to learn that truth is stranger than fiction. Now I spend my days changing diapers and pairing socks. If you're looking for a place to commiserate, then come join me at keepingitrealmom.com. It's kind of like a playdate, but for grown ups.

Discussion

68 Responses to “Things I Carry”

  1. Amazing post. It’s humbling, inspiring, frightening and exactly real. Thank you for sharing it.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 6:10 am
    • When you put your life in context, it can truly be humbling. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 8:50 am
  2. This was so good. I too am reminded by my own blessings. I worry about money because my husband is out of a job and yet on his way to potentially huge potential stuff with his father who was diagnosed with cancer but seems to have beat it! I am sure you know of Bill’s blog unshakablehope… here, he has ALS and yet every post is encouraging. He types with his eyes! Each message is more powerful than the last. You are so right Anka. Thank you for your reminder today. I woke up with a headache. Big deal!
    XOXO

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 6:25 am
    • Diane, we all have worries. We’re human. But, just think of your own huge blessing, your father-in-law beat cancer. That’s a miracle! As for Bill, I’ve never visited his blog before but I will make an effort to do so now. Hope your headache goes away quickly, too. It’s not a caffeine withdrawal is it? ;)

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 8:53 am
  3. This was great. I needed a reminder this morning to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have two of the best kids around. After being uncertain for months, the husband’s job situation came out to the best possible outcome. The weather is gorgeous. I will never get rid of my worries, but I do need to focus on the things that are going right. Oh and I have the same Macbook! I’m always thankful for my Macbook!

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 6:38 am
    • I’m delighted to hear that your husband’s job situation went in his favor. And yes, you are certainly blessed with your two babies. As for the Macbook, I wish it was mine. That image is from another source. But, a girl can dream!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 8:55 am
  4. Amazing! Thank you for sharing your life weights. I’m happy for health, life and family. You have now made me realize that maybe it’s time to lighten my load.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 6:58 am
    • Life weights aren’t fun, they really can bring you down. But, when you put things in context and really stop to count your blessings, suddenly those concerns don’t seem so BIG. I’m happy to join you in lightening your load!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 8:57 am
  5. I can’t put my finger on what it is about your writing…but it just mesmerizes me! Simple things, funny things and serious things. You handle them all so eloquently. You make me smile and you make me think! You are so talented!

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 7:03 am
    • Melissa, I think it’s more like you make me SMILE! You have got to be one of the most sincerest people I know. That’s why you are loved by so many. Thank you my friend for your encouraging words!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 9:01 am
  6. Very nice post :)

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 7:11 am
  7. What beautiful writing… Excellent… :-)

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 8:00 am
  8. I am thankful for as many things as I bemoan–so, I need to work on that! The attitude of gratitude is key, and I am really so fortunate…in so many ways. It is all about training your brain to “think right”. I figuratively grab myself by the shoulders when I start to be a Negative Nellie, and redirect with all my might. The only one who can do this is you–and by you I mean me, naturally (orbit orbit) :)

    Super fun and bright post, Anka. You have a knack for picking relatable topics, and your stellar outlook really comes through. I always have a smile after a visit here! :) <<see?

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 8:33 am
    • Charron, I knew we had a connection way beyond our long hair. I often refer to myself as “Negative Nellie” as well. And, I couldn’t agree more with you about training your brain to think right. So much of the battlefield is in the mind. By the way, I always have a smile when you visit here, too! :)

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 9:04 am
  9. you know, I just scanned upward on your comments, and that final thought of mine seems to be the consensus! You should totlly write a book. Like Erma Bombeck but funner, younger, prettier and more hep!! …you will be having some time at home in the near future, too, hint hint…

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 8:34 am
    • Who needs chocolate or wine to feel good? I could just spend a few minutes talking to you–that’s ALL the pick-me up I need. Charron, your admonishment to write a book, especially Bombeck style, would be a dream. I think this may be the nudge I need. Thank you my lovely friend!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 9:08 am
  10. Exceptional post Anka. So full of powerful emotions. I have to reread it. Again. Again.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 9:29 am
    • Thank you, Colleen. Sometimes it just feels better to let it all out. To remind ourselves that life is short and our days are numbered indeed. So, we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 3:59 pm
  11. Lovely post. I’m going to say one thing though, the weight we carry is what it is. It doesn’t become lighter because someone else’s load is heavier. If we’re lucky, we build our muscles and get stronger.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 9:37 am
    • You make an excellent distinction. I agree that someone else’s load doesn’t necessarily cancel out a lighter load. But, what it did for me personally, was create a moment of pause in my heart. It prompted me to count my blessings.

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:05 pm
  12. Anka, I have a lot to be thankful for too. It’s good to keep this all in check. Sometimes I feel weighed down by all the material things.They truly seem like junk. They are things that we must get to everyday, like the never ending laundry. Beautiful post.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 10:02 am
    • I like how you put it, Amy–”the material things really do feel like junk.” It’s often in the mundane things that we find moments of pause. Although I do not always count my blessings as I kneel over to put in another pile of laundry. But, at least I am in good health to do so. Sounds like you have an ongoing battle with laundry too!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:13 pm
      • It’s bad right now. My child has a bed wetting issue….the laundry never stops!

        Posted by | April 10, 2013, 7:23 pm
  13. lovely post and so true for all of us, any true friend would always be happy for you, and probobly a little cross that we felt like that! xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 11:19 am
    • You’re right! Any true friend would be happy to hear my big news. I just errored on this side of caution and decided to tell her at another time. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to hear from you!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:16 pm
  14. beautiful post Anka, and thank you very much for reminding us about what to be thankful for! My son, my husband, my mother, my father and my brothers; we are all in a good place right now and I need to be thankful for this and live in the present! very well written Anka! :-)

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 12:16 pm
    • Ingrid, I’m happy to hear that your entire family is in a good place right now. I also hope that you and your little man are catching up on sleep. Perhaps a little sunshine is even peeking through in your part of the world! :)

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:41 pm
      • thank you very much Anka! :-) indeed, we had sunshine but just heard in the news we are expecting more snow tomorrow ;-) & hope you are taking good care of yourself! :-)

        Posted by | April 10, 2013, 5:51 pm
  15. I’m thankful for everything. Every day. Even though inside I’m very sad.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 1:49 pm
    • You strike as someone who doesn’t overlook the small stuff. With that said, I’m sorry to hear that your heart is heavy. I hope you come up for air very soon.

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:24 pm
  16. It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day we forget to stop a moment and count our blessings. I’m fortunate that I have a daily reminder to stop and make that time. It comes to me every morning at 5:30, when the phone alarm goes off next to the bed, illuminating my wife’s face. It seems that most everything I am thankful for in my life begins there, from the things that make me smile and laugh out loud, to the quiet moments once the kids are asleep, and walking together through all the hills and valleys in between. You don’t think about how steep the climb is when you’re too busy appreciating the view. Thanks for this post, Anka, and giving me a reason to stop in the middle of the day to count my blessings :)

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 3:05 pm
    • It really is about the simple things, Ned. Like you said, waking up to the person you love, watching your babies sleep, and navigating through the twists and turns of life. I guess I needed a gentle reminder to be thankful for the little things. It’s so easy to have a grumbling heart. But then, you hear about ‘real’ problems and suddenly life isn’t that bad after all. Glad to hear your life is full as well!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:49 pm
      • Thanks, Anka. We all need a reminder from time to time. Your post was a wonderfully gentle nudge ;)

        Posted by | April 10, 2013, 4:54 pm
  17. As you say, we all carry things in our backpack of life as well as what we carry in our every day totes i.e. lip balm, etc. I’ve noticed that we often have people in our lives who are willing to share the load and we either don’t pay enough attention or think we are capable of carrying the weight all by ourselves. It is amazing when we can stop and see what we really have in our backpack as you have done. Good job.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 3:23 pm
    • Another great analogy, Nelson. It’s true that people are willing to share your load, but often times we don’t realize that help is available. Or, like you said, we think we should just carry the burden ourselves. I feel fortunate to have such a supportive family. Also, it’s been wonderful connecting with others through this blogging community!

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:31 pm
  18. we all have our bags. but things like that, make our bags seem lighter.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 3:36 pm
    • It’s true! Some days feel like I’m climbing uphill with a forty pound boulder. But then, I am quickly reminded that so much of life is about perspective.

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:25 pm
  19. The less we carry, the faster we move through life.
    It all depends on how you look at it.
    Some of us may want to move fast, the rest of us may want to move a little slower and cherish every moment. :D
    Guess it all depends on what kind of person we are.
    Lovely post, honey! Hold on to those baby names! Keep crossing them off and starring some as you go along. & Happily wait for the 2nd trimester (when the morning sickness hopefully subsides for a bit!) ;)

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 3:49 pm
    • I think I fall into the category of wanting to move a little slower and cherish every moment. I’m trying to be more present with my husband and kids. Life really does zoom by so fast, especially when you hit a certain age.

      As for the baby names, I keep a running list. Though my husband’s already requested to have an option to “veto” a name if he doesn’t like it. I suppose I should grant him some leverage. Thanks again for the well wishes. I just keep sipping my ginger tea. Only one more week until I begin my second trimester. Woo hoo! :)

      Posted by Anka | April 10, 2013, 4:39 pm
  20. Even though I’m bad with kids, and I don’t so much yearn for them as know I’d regret not having them, it is still one of my fears that I might be unable to have children. If that came true then what I don’t really want would become a hopeless and all-consuming desire.

    So I’m thankful for my easy life. For having a good match in my boyfriend, for never having anyone near me die, for not yet having any reason to think that a baby might be an impossibility.

    Lily

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 6:15 pm
    • Lily, thank you for being so honest about one of your hidden fears. I truly hope that will never be the case for you. I hope you continue to find great joy in all of your endeavors. It sounds like your life is already full of many rich blessings!

      Posted by Anka | April 11, 2013, 8:05 am
  21. Wow…Just Wow! LOVED the blog.

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 8:11 pm
    • Thanks, Kerry. I’m trying to stay in a place of thanksgiving. Hope you are doing just dandy on this fine Thursday!

      Posted by Anka | April 11, 2013, 7:39 am
  22. wonderful post, Anka. So real and honest…

    Posted by | April 10, 2013, 9:43 pm
    • Thank you. I’m just trying to be thankful for the little things–live in the moment. Hope you and your men are doing well!

      Posted by Anka | April 11, 2013, 7:41 am
  23. I just wanted to say congratulations on bub #3 being on the way. What a great joy to be carrying.

    Posted by | April 11, 2013, 2:36 am
    • Aw, thank you! It’s a tremendous blessing indeed to be carrying another little life. Though I’d be lying if I said it’s all rosy. I can’t wait for my morning sickness to subside!

      Posted by Anka | April 11, 2013, 7:43 am
  24. Just beautiful! Thank you for posting. I’m so happy to hear that you’re expecting again.

    Posted by | April 11, 2013, 9:28 pm
    • I’m excited to add two more feet to our family as well. We have so much to be thankful for, especially in light of recent events.

      Posted by Anka | April 16, 2013, 4:21 pm
  25. beautifully written, and congrats :)

    Posted by | April 12, 2013, 9:46 am
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Barbara. We have so many things to be grateful for, especially in light of the recent tragedy.

      Posted by Anka | April 16, 2013, 4:20 pm
  26. Lovely reminder to be thankful. I had a good friend once who couldn’t have biological children (although she had three beautiful girls through adoption) and I remember how hard it was to tell her I was pregnant. I’m grateful for my husband, his job, my four happy and healthy kids. I’m grateful that I’ve survived the growing up years with two of my four kids, and also grateful that I’m done with the early years:)

    Posted by Miriam | April 14, 2013, 9:05 am
    • Miriam, I’m sure it was difficult to relay the news of your pregnancy to your friend. Fortunately, she was able to adopt children of her own and pour her love out on three beautiful babies. Also, I would be grateful to be done with the early child rearing years too. I’m just gearing up for round three here very shortly. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Anka | April 16, 2013, 4:24 pm
  27. Excellent reminder! We weigh ourselves down with trivial complaints when so many are truly feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders (or in their bag). Hope you’re well my friend!

    Posted by | April 17, 2013, 12:00 pm
    • I’m trying to stay in a place of thanksgiving, to remind myself of all the blessings in my life. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of grumbling and complaining. As for me and how I’m feeling, the morning sickness is still kicking my butt. I’m wrapping up twelve weeks today so hopefully it will subside soon. Thanks for asking my gracious friend!

      Posted by Anka | April 18, 2013, 12:17 pm
  28. I’m thankful for my family and my blogging friends of course!

    Posted by | April 18, 2013, 11:54 am
    • Two great things to be thankful for–family and friends. Being surrounded by quality people is so important during a time of need.

      Posted by Anka | April 18, 2013, 12:14 pm
  29. Very deep post Anka. Very all written. Congrats on baby number 3. I’m so sorry about your friend.

    Posted by | April 18, 2013, 9:52 pm
    • Thanks for the well wishes! I’m hoping my morning sickness dies down soon. As for my girlfriend, she is a very strong woman. She is also a woman of faith. I’m sure she’s full of unanswered question, and yet, I know she’s leaning on God even more now. How are you holding up with that gorgeous little girl of yours?

      Posted by Anka | April 19, 2013, 5:18 pm
      • I am finally getting back into the swing of things! I must say going from 5 to 6 (practically 4 to 6) has been really tough!! I went to your site and saw that I have missed several posts :-( Totally missed everything! I love to read so I will be catching up. Morning sickness!! Yikes I had all day, all pregnancy sickness LOL I can stand not to do that again! But knowing me I probably will lol…cant wait to catch up with your blog :-)

        Posted by | April 19, 2013, 6:26 pm
  30. I read this again. I tend to do that…. rather than missing what I may have by not coming back.
    I love a good metaphor as you know and this one resonated with me so much! I loved this one. Prayers for your friend.
    xoxo

    Posted by | May 5, 2013, 4:51 pm

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