Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Life Without Our Mr. Level-Headed

Mr. Level-Headed flew out one week ago. I think Avery summed up how we are doing the best.

Mom, I am surprised that it isn't very hard not having dad around. I thought that without him our house would burn to the ground or some other disaster would happen. Even though it isn't hard, I miss him. I really miss him.

Me too, Bud.

And there you have it. Our house has not burned to the ground. I have managed to pay the power bill and pick up the mail twice since he left. I even put the closet doors back on my closet yesterday afternoon all by myself after an extended period of not wanting them up. We are managing quite nicely, but OH. MY. GOODNESS. we miss him something terrible.

I love comparing life to running a marathon. Sure, I have never run a marathon before, but for me a 5K is like a marathon and I have done that plenty of times. Last week felt like the beginning of a run. I was determined to do it and to do it well. I was excited for the challenge and like the beginning all my runs, I let my optimism get the best of me and started out at too quick of a pace.

This week feels like I am a couple kilometers into my run, and I am painfully aware that there are far  more kilometers ahead of me than behind me. The magnitude of what I have set out to do has hit me. I have slowed down my pace to preserve my energy so that I can get over the hills I now see before me,and I am trying to settle into the rhythm of this run. I am uncomfortable, and there is an ache in my heart, but I know that if I keep pushing forward my body will acclimatize to this challenge. I will become stronger.

Last night was the first night I cried. I had to pick Elliot up at the high school after his soccer game in St. Stephen. It was a long, dark drive to the school and without anyone else in the car, I had too much time to think and so the floodgates sprang open. I cried hard, and then I got angry. I always get angry after I cry. I think anger is how I rebuild my courage up. It is my armor and I rely upon it to protect my soft squishy bits. So, after my cry, I slapped the steering wheel and hollered:

I hate you New Brunswick! I. Hate. You. Why can't you get your act together and start thriving?

Yeah, I went there. I know it is the most politically incorrect place to go in New Brunswick right now but I went there. Currently, everyone is shaking their poms poms and cheering New Brunswick on.

Yay, New Brunswick! Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra!

And frankly, it drives me crazy. Irving has lined our highways with billboards celebrating all the jobs they have created and all the people whom they have "saved" from having to move away from their beloved home. Well, we had one of those jobs and guess what, we couldn't pay all our bills and so my husband had to move away, Thanks. 

ra-ra . . .whatever

Years ago, before we had kids, I begged Mr. Level-Headed to move away with me. I wanted to go out west. I wanted to experience something different. I wanted to experience life in a thriving city but Mr. Level-Headed is loyal and he refused to give up on his home province.

Krista we can build a life here. This is our home. Our families are here. We can do this.

Well, eighteen years later, after a really good fight, Mr. Level-Headed was proven wrong. And for the first time in my life alongside Mr.Level-Headed, I don't feel like celebrating this rare occassion. I don't feel like rubbing it in his face, or doing my obnoxious I-was-right-and-you-were-wrong dance . . . as cute as it is. Nope, not this time because this time I really wish he hadn't been wrong.

New Brunswick, you sure are pretty, but, man, you suck!


  1. Krista, I'm so very sorry for the pain you're feeling and I can absolutely relate. For years I've seen one economic blunder after the next seemingly rob me of an opportunity to get a foot in the door teaching. Then, as I finish half of a nursing degree- bam! No more work for nurses, short-sighted as always NB thinks that the health care will revolve with lpns and psws by themselves (and an RN doing paperwork in the back somewhere ). My frustration grew and burned for years until I began to lose my optimism. Such that I blamed NB and their lack of insight, cowardice and ultimately blamed the province for my family's situation... so I moved west. I brought my family out here so that we didn't have to send Donnie off alone. Now I'm here and while NB might be celebrating, people here are emanating a type of hatred that reminds me of deep south- pretty civil rights movement. Philosophically, I long for the easy, open and kind nature of the east. Since I've been here, I've had to explain why such deep prejudice and racism still exists to the kids weekly. The complete lack of environmental concern or care is appalling... evidenced by batting diesels climbing up your bummer. The pace out hee is so fast and the rate of broken families is alarming. .. men are still gone out here. I'm sure Mr. Level Headed has more opportunities to avoid this being a white collar chap :) but Donnie says the work force here is full of self entitled people ranting about what they deserve, without wanting to work for it (he's a boss and has more direct experience). Long story short- our living is about twice what it was at home, Donnie is actually making less!!?? because Alberta is very much in recession, and we are surrounded by people who seem completely devoid of happiness... unless it's a showy new truck. NB there is time for your family when you get home, and absolutely the standard of living is lower, but the west is not a happy family - centered place. I've never in my life been surrounded by a majority opinion that is so utterly backward that I, Rickie, do not join a conversation! Ignorance is everywhere and it's hard to shield your kids from the hatred that is so casually discussed at dinner tables. I fully appreciate your distaste for the economic situation in NB but I strongly suggest you look into Europe or maybe areas of the state's that are doing better because right now I'm in the exact same place but so much further behind that I was... economy sucks here too, all sub lists ate closed, etc. So that dream that was Alberta, might exist in a city center 10, 5 years ago but the trouble is: you still have to live here. I feel like covering the kids ears and sheltering them from the world here... I have to actually explain to Waylon that he can't discuss the election! I'm sad to be here, my kids hate every second and Donnie and I feel like we're swimming with sharks. I was you 6 months ago... I hope I'm not too forward, but I would have loved perspective. I'd be a bit poorer surrounded by happy people any day. ♡ you're doing an incredible job and this stress will pass and you'll miss the early morning snuggles. If I were there I'd come and give you a break, and a good debate about the merits of country mouse vs city mouse :) please don't hesitate to call if you need to vent

  2. Wow! Thanks for your honesty, Rickie. I am sorry you and your family have not found the greener pastures you were looking for. Ugh! So frustrating. I guess there really is no place like home. I just wish my hubby could be here too, but that is life. It is hard and it requires sacrifice. Miss you! ❤️