Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wonderful Surreality

If anyone had asked me to imagine how much our lives would change as a result of becoming a CNA, I don't know that I could have done it justice. I know I knew that our lives would change. I just didn't know how different things would look.

I passed my state CNA exam without a problem back in October. I'd been pretty nervous leading up to it. I let nerves get the best of me and would mess up during practice sessions. I was a wreck! But the morning of the test I was able to have some quiet time with the Lord and relax a bit. I realized I had the stuff down, and I ended up being more nervous for the gal who tested with me than for myself. I had to laugh at how anticlimactic it was when I was finally done. I'd definitely worked it up to more in my mind than it actually was. I was just very thankful that I'd put in the time to practice, so I had no problem with the test.

I'd been hired a few days before my state exam, and that was a completely different reality for me! I hadn't even seen an employment application in decades, let alone actually filled one out! I went through a plethora of emotion during the process. It was like I was seeing the ocean again for the very first time...shock at the enormity of it all, stunned by the wonder, and in awe that it actually existed. And that was nothing compared to what was yet to come.

Hopper had her surgery the end of October, and it was indeed life-changing. Not only is she doing much better physically, but it has made such an incredible difference in her attitude, anxiety, and mood! We knew that a lot of her anxiety stemmed from having the surgery hanging over her head for the last 8 years, but we didn't realize how much of it came from that. She's like a different person. Well, not a different person, but a better version of her self. Like she was before she had this surgery hanging over her head. She's happier, more silly, loving to joke around, loving to laugh, and much more relaxed. It's like we have the Hopper we used to know back. It's been wonderful to see what a huge change this surgery has meant for her!

Scooter had her surgery a couple weeks ago. She's healing up much better than expected, and she is so glad to have it in the past. She's also thrilled with what it will mean for her future, so she's a happy little camper! She dances around the house all the time now, and it's wonderful to see! She's a bit bummed this morning, because Hopper finally got to go back to work today, and she has to wait until Monday, but I'm anxious to see her dance moves then!

Besides the surgeries, the thing that has had the biggest effect on our lives is my job. Because I get so many hours per week between the two girls, I'm making more than Hubster did. We knew that we no longer needed to rely on the extra cash that being on call provided, so we knew that a job change was coming. He put in his notice, so he'd be done when he came back from the vacation days he took for Hopper's surgery. Little did we know that they decided to just move the date up for his departure without telling him, so it was a bit of a surprise when he found out he didn't have to go back in for those last few days of work.

And I can't tell you how wonderful it's been to have him home! He's going to look for another job after the first of the year. It may be full-time. It might be part-time. But it will not involve call. At all. We've had too many holiday celebrations interrupted when his pager went off, and he'd have to leave. He put in his time. He was on call 5 to 7 days each week for the last 17.5 years. So it has been a dream to have him home so much, and we've really seen the positive difference it's made on the girls. On all of us, really. We're all much more relaxed. And happy. Definitely happy!

Once Scooter goes back to work next week, we'll both be working on dehoarding together. We'll work on the stuff on the back porch and in the garage and try to get it done as quickly as possible. Then what's left will be more manageable. I still have to finish the study, (the only room left on the main floor than needs done), and then I'll work in the basement and try to get it finished up.

We finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, and this time, it isn't a train!

We feel so incredibly blessed and we are beyond grateful. I thank God for His mercy!

May you each have a blessed Thanksgiving!