I’m starting to wonder if the only way I’m ever going to be allowed to take a break is just to go ahead and schedule some sort of breakdown. I honestly don’t see how I’m going to have time for it otherwise.

It’s been a helluva new year so far. I can’t really go into detail, but there are some really heavy things weighing on us, and we’ve been doing the best we can to manage them. And maybe if it was just one or two things hitting us, we might have been able to escape unscathed. Instead, Stevie and I are feeling crushed beneath the weight of everything hitting us all at once and it’s just about all we can do to hold onto each other and our sanity out here in the middle of the shit storm.

But even with all the stress and the issues and the obstacles, there are still work events and obligations, Cadence’s school and swim and soccer lessons, Henry’s next feeding and nap and diaper change. There is still dinner to make, laundry to do, toys to put away. There are still friends and family coming over, bills to pay, performances to attend, and miles to go before we sleep.

And miles to go before we sleep.

In the brief moments of clarity–somewhere beneath the sleep-deprivation and the oppressive weight of the recent stress–I wonder how I’ve managed to keep going. I imagine it’s only because through the years I’ve developed the ability to compartmentalize. I set aside what I need to set aside–if only for a moment–so I can keep moving forward, keep crossing items off this infinite to-do list. I keep going because I have to. I keep going because I need to.

My work trip to San Diego this past week and the weeks of prep leading up to it was, in some strange way, exactly what I needed to keep going. It gave my mind a whole lot to keep it occupied so I couldn’t dwell on some of the other things that were happening. Instead I’ve been dealing with all of the crises in short bursts. Like a pot on the hot stove just beginning to boil, I’ve been giving them just enough of my attention to keep them from boiling over, stirring away the bubbles and foam and managing to turn the heat down just a tick before shifting my attention away again.

But even if I’ve managed to keep it all from erupting into flames, I haven’t really managed to keep myself from getting burned. There have been a few mini meltdowns and tears and I’ve definitely been a bit more on edge these past few weeks, but still I keep going, keep moving, keep believing that I’m going to make it through all of this, just like I’ve made it through every other hardship life has thrown my way.

It can’t rain all the time. Even when the forecast is this dismal.

My work schedule was packed so full this past week, I didn’t have a chance to sit down at all to write, and that probably didn’t help. I tend to do much better dealing with the hard stuff when I’m able to put pen to paper.

You’ve got to let it in and let it go.

Stevie got that advice from his sister-in-law this past week, and that’s precisely the philosophy I try to live by, the philosophy that has helped keep me sane and keep me going, even through the tough times like these.

Let it in, and let it go.

And then keep going, keep moving, keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

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About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

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