On quitting

I’m not great at quitting things.

I realized the other day that I’ve been slightly overcommitted with my time for as long as I can remember. It’s just my way of life, apparently.

Being busy runs in the family – I think we have a hard time saying no to things. Whether we’re busy with jobs, school, nonprofit boards, social action groups, church, advocacy, clubs, you name it – our calendars are packed. Even my grandmother just recently stepped down from her position on the board of a nonprofit.  When I was in college, I was a part of multiple clubs and on the executive boards of two of them, all the while being a double major & working/interning/student teaching. I get exhilarated looking at a full planner. But, also exhausted.

When we moved to Dayton two years ago, I got a job about three weeks after arriving – before we even had a house to actually live in.

Yesterday, I gave my two week’s notice at that job.

I’ve loved that job, I’ve hated that job, but most importantly, I’ve made incredibly close friendships and learned about what it means to adult at that job – to live in the real world, interact with everyday people, deal with intense frustration, share in the joy and sadness of others, and just plain work hard. I didn’t expect to stay in this job longer than a few months, but, here I am.

At the same time that I’ll be leaving this job, I will also be leaving the board of my local Air Force spouses group, of which I have been a part of for a year & a half. I joined the group right when I arrived, and in true Fogarty fashion, joined the board just a few months later.

If it weren’t for this spouses group, I would not have met so many incredible women who inspire me on the daily.

I would not have learned what it really means to be a military spouse.

I’ve learned so dang much about military life in general through this group – this new world that I stepped into when I said my vows would have been a much scarier place without this group. Being on the board meant that I was able to form deeper friendships and, frankly, learn about life from these spouses – both “seasoned” and new.

I won’t be leaving the group itself, but stepping down from a leadership role is something I’m just not used to. Being on the board of a group, something that I’ve done since high school, makes me feel like I’m in control {if only slightly} of the direction of the group that I attach my identity to. Being in groups like this is also how I make most of my friends.

Without being on the board & so closely tied to this group of women, I will have to be more intentional with developing my friendships, or acquaintance-ships. Not a word, not really a phrase, but it feels oddly accurate for military life.

I “know” a lot of people, but would they actually call me a friend? I have my doubts.

Ah. It’s so odd to be leaving two big things at once. It feels scary, it feels so so sad, but it feels freeing. I can take a second to breathe. {and maybe clean the house…} I feel guilty for not being a part of these things, and nervous about having to intentionally seek out social time outside of the realm of meetings & arranged events. I have to figure out my identity as someone who is less involved, less busy. I have to quiet those feelings of guilt for having free time, which is a commodity that many many many folks do not have.

Really though, I need to remind myself to quit explaining & reasoning away my choices.

I am so endlessly grateful to the people that I’ve met at my job & on the spouses board for the impacts they’ve had on my life – great, small, & everything in between.

I may currently have a giant mixing bowl full of feelings sitting in front of me, but I trust that things will turn out just fine in the end.

On radio silence + the new normal

As you can tell, I cut my #summersnaps a little short this year. Partly because I just wasn’t loving the format of small photo dumps every day on the blog {cluttered!} and partly because of the new puppy craziness. Mostly though, it was due to our ailing cat, Samson.

In case you haven’t seen my Instagram posts, we found out a few weeks ago that our big pile of love, Samson, had pretty terrible kidney failure. The vet gave him no more than a month to live, but was even surprised that he wasn’t in a coma when his blood tests were taken – his levels were that bad.

My heart lately had been swelling in size due to love for our new sweet pup, and simultaneously was shattered into a million & one pieces with the news of his.

On August 7, we had to say goodbye to the sweetest, goofiest, and most loyal & loving cat that has ever existed.

Those weeks between the news of his kidney failure and the day he left this world {but never our hearts} were a blur of heartache and so many tears. He was not the same cat at the end of his life, and he made it abundantly clear that he was in pain and was suffering immensely – which was so hard to watch. We were lucky to have a very caring vet who mourned alongside us, and found a beautiful pet cemetery where we could bury Samson. We were also so lucky to have loving people surround us during the rough few days after he left us. There’s nothing like loss to show you who’s in your corner.

His absence will be felt strongly for a long while, which is a testament to how much he loved us in the year we had with him. He was the best cuddle bud. I’m so glad we got to know him and love him.

Do me a favor and search “Samson” on this blog, and you will see some wonderful glimpses at his life with us. And so much love.

So life moves on, and we’re figuring out our new normal, crazy pup & all. I was having a hard time for a while putting into words what Samson meant to us and how deeply we are still feeling this loss.

Add a wild work schedule, sickness, & some travel on top of all of that, and this space has been awfully neglected. You should have seen the plans I had for this month’s blog posts!

But tending to my sensitive heart & slightly shattered soul must always come first.

I’m back now, with plans & lists as always. I’m very glad to have a supportive partner in all of this, and to still have a cuddly cat who always wants to lick my face. Keep your eye on this space for some good content and possible changes soon!

#summersnaps day sixteen – sleepy pup

Today was our first full day with the newest member of the family, our pup Moose! Potty training is definitely not as simple as those YouTube videos make it sound… and he hates being alone for just one second – but we’re getting there!

day sixteen

March madness & military life

March has been a wildly busy month – but I think I say that about every month!

It has been a month filled with learning, new projects, stepping out of my comfort zone, lots of coffee, family visits, & goodbyes to good friends.

Continue reading “March madness & military life”

Forty truths & no lies {about me}

Hello there, dear readers & people that I actually know in real life! I love you all!

This is going to be like those beginning-of-the-year icebreakers that everyone actually hates, except I’m the only one talking and it doesn’t suck.

I’ve picked up a few new followers over the past few months & thought it was about time to do a proper introduction of myself.

Standing in the snow & wearing my LuLaRoe, as usual.

And what better way is there to do that than dumping a bunch of random {and some fun} facts out onto the interwebs? I can’t think of anything, so here goes! Continue reading “Forty truths & no lies {about me}”

My husband took my last name when we got married.

Did that get your attention?

It’s a long-standing tradition, dating back to who-knows-when, for women to take their husband’s last name when they were married. In much of history, wives were considered the property of their husband, and taking on their last name was just one little part of that. Even in our relatively recent American history, married women were unable to get a credit card unless their husband cosigned, even up until 1974!

While marriage is an important institution, one that has (slowly) changed along with our society, it has such a deep history connected to female oppression and male ownership of women. The assumption that a woman will change her last name to that of her husband is a part of that history. It’s also super heteronormative.

Okay okay, I know I’m not writing an essay for a women’s studies class. 

It can be a beautiful thing to take on someone else’s last name. It shows that you’re creating a new family unit, that you are a part of someone else’s life so deeply and truly, and it just generally signifies marriage and lasting commitment. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the desire for a woman to change her last name, but I do think that it shouldn’t be an automatic, this-is-the-only-way-to-do-this notion.

So, when Ben and I got married, he took my last name.

Continue reading “My husband took my last name when we got married.”

busy bee

Oh hello there.

It has been a busy week!! How busy, you may ask? Well, all of these things happened in the past week:

  • I accepted a second part-time job {that I am SUPER excited about}
  • I worked a Christmas Eve closing shift at the coffee bar {people get a little, um, difficult to deal with around the holidays…}
  • Ben & I flew to DC on Christmas morning to see my family
  • We had a packed 3 day trip that included lots of food, movies, & sitting around the table and telling stories
  • We flew back to Dayton, & with delays, didn’t get back home until 1:30am
  • I worked the next day
  • We unpacked & packed up again…
  • Aaaand now we’re in Cleveland for 3 days visiting some of Ben’s family!

So yeah, just a little busy.

I’m looking forward to starting my new job next week and hopefully finding a good routine to settle into. One of my favorite Christmas presents that I received was an Ink & Volt planner – I have loved planners for as long as I can remember – and I’m excited to use it in the new year. I have a gut feeling that 2017 will be a year full of change and growth and exploration. I think it’ll be a year of being busy and I just can’t wait.

Resolution revolution

Every year, I make resolutions & barely keep them past week two. I want to change that by not making any resolutions at all.

{I think I wrote a post on this a while ago, buuuuut I’m fairly sure it got lost in the transition last week and I’ve been too dang lazy to figure out how to find those posts again… so here we are.}

It seems odd to think about starting the new year without making specific “resolutions.” It’s a family tradition to get together on New Year’s Eve (or a few days later… or a few weeks later…) and go through a multi-page document that my dad puts together, where we write down our favorites & memories from the last year, and make resolutions and predictions for the year ahead. As we’ve all gotten older, the predictions for each family member have been more and more similar from year to year! It’s always fun to go back to see the previous year’s predictions and to see where we were wrong or right.

For me, though, it is so disappointing to look back on those resolutions, year after year, and not be able to check off any of them as completed or kept.

Even if the year has been full of love and laughter and emotions and growth and all of that good stuff, it still makes me feel strangely inadequate to know that I wasn’t able to stick to these lofty resolutions that would’ve apparently made my year so much better and worthwhile.

So I’m rethinking my need to make resolutions this year.

Continue reading “Resolution revolution”