High Hopes

The greatest decision I made for myself this year was to give myself a break. (More accurately, a mental break as I'm still too darned busy for my own good at times.)

This has happened in multiple ways: going back to wearing baggies, taking a break from racing, and to making changes with Josie's Bike Life to ease up on future stresses.

All in all, I have been feeling positive over my choices, but life can't be easy...can it?

This year, one of the bigger things I have been wanting to get off my plate has been my dad's estate. It was all-consuming last year as I struggled to navigate a map of twists and turns with no real direction.  It's like someone dumped a bowl of sauce covered noodles on the floor and said "Clean this up!" without giving you anything to clean it up with. This year it seems to be trying extremely hard to keep sucking up my emotional reserves. I've broken out my metaphorical "big guns" and have been practicing self-care, and it's helped, but it doesn't completely negate the obvious.

The decision to sell the property was not something I made lightly, but after I had spent more time down there, I knew it was the right decision for me. I wanted to take the remaining time I had with the property to build up some positive memories. Explore sections of the woods I had never found before, look for morels, take pictures of wildflowers, and spend time with Travis that didn't involve cleaning up years of dust and raccoon turds.

Then the realtor broke the news that the water test came back worse after the well was shocked twice. Of course the well would have to be bad. Why would the well actually be good? I mean, really? I spent money on a new (and super fancy) septic system, I updated the electricity, so why would the well actually be in okay condition?

I sighed.

"Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing"

I have been told that Dad had hoped for improving things around the house when he retired.
It still doesn't take away the sting of reality...the ugly truth of my having to deal with extreme neglect.
My dad was not a lazy man, he kept himself busy with what he enjoyed. I mean, I can't blame him because I find myself guilty of the same thing. I'm just not guilty of it to the degree that he was. However, his avoidance of doing the necessary adulting left me with a literal pile of crap and a lot of emotional and mental exhaustion.

It sucks. 

I always suspected that I would be dealing with a handful when my dad passed, but I never expected it to be the degree it was. I wasn't expecting to have something more than mess. I was mentally prepared as much as I could be for the "stuff" but I wasn't expecting everything else, that is relatively major when it comes to a home, to be in such a state of disrepair. 

One thing after another, after another. I'm the classic case of "if it can go wrong, it will." This is part of why I do not buy lottery tickets. 

"Didn't know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million"

It's challenging because I find myself in this awkward place of wanting to be mad at my dad for what he left me, but I miss him terribly.
I'm seeing parts of him that were hidden from me for many years, and that unearths a lot of emotion.
I want to be angry, I want to cry...I have every right to be frustrated because it's what was left for me. I don't want my memory of my dad to be tainted with what wasn't his best quality. The only way I keep myself from flipping my lid is to focus on the positives...or at the very least, try and find amusement in the sh*tshow that has been my last year.

I've been navigating this uncharted territory, tackling obstacles as best I can. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm going to keep going forward, even when it feels like the light is moving away from me.

The biggest lesson of all of this is that I've had to accept that I need to be gentle with myself. There is a lot for me to process on all sides of the situation. I have to accept that my dad is part of me, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to possess all of his qualities. I'm ME. My decisions are mine, and I know that even if there are similarities, there are enough differences for me to acknowledge that we were two different people.

"Burn your biographies
Rewrite your history
Light up your wildest dreams"