What a roller coaster ride the last few weeks have been. I have seen some small personal successes (caught two fish a couple of Saturday's ago!) and have had some rather rough times as well (I had to tell my kids that there was no way we could afford to bring them out this summer). I have sat down to write on many occasions, but nothing would come to me, so I would close up the laptop and move on. Tonight I am forcing myself to put something down simply because I know if I do not write something soon, I might as well pack it in for awhile because I could go months without adding anything.
As I mentioned, two weeks ago I had to disappoint my kids. They are both old enough that I hope they understand, but I felt like such a failure telling them they could not come out. I know they had both been looking forward to it. Now we have to shoot for Christmas or next summer, but after that the visits will become fewer as they both begin growing into their own lives, especially Graeme. I have not seen seen them since February '09, and now it could be June '11 before I see them again, if then. So many things have happened in the 16 months that made it financially impossible. I knew it would be hard to tell them, but I had no idea just how hard until I had them both on the phone. It may sound harsh, and it is certainly something I need to repent of, but at that moment I hated my ex for the fact that I even had to tell them. I felt like it was another disappointment for them in a long string of disappointments.
Merilee and I decided that we would keep the reservation for Yellowstone as we both need to get away. Four weeks from today I hope to be sleeping soundly in our tent after a long day of hiking around the wonders of that amazing place. I have five nights reserved in the canyon campground, but we may only stay two and then head up to Glacier. We haven't quite decided because that would mean an additional 300 miles, at least, one way. Maybe we'll just try to see more of the Tetons. I also traded back two days I had requested off so that we can go down to Capitol Reef the last weekend is September. That is becoming an annual trip for us. Nothing like heirloom apples right off of the tree. We will probably take one of the days there and go down to Bryce; the last National Park in Utah we have not been to together, and Merilee's favourite. Then we have Arches in October. It doesn't begin to make up for not seeing my kids, but it will allow us both some time in the beauty of nature. I especially look forward to Arches. I so hope to feel the peace of that place.
I have been trying very hard not to let all the negative things get me down, but it has hard. I try not to let my work get to me, but it can be such an emotional drain sometimes. I keep asking for some guidance, some direction in my prayers, but I do not feel like any has been forthcoming. I continue to read my scriptures every day, and I am trying to feel closer to the Lord, but all I really feel is emptiness and I don't understand why. I suspect it has something to do with being depressed, but I keep trying. I get up every day and I count that as a small victory. I try to focus on those little successes, because the big ones seem so very few and so very far between of late.
I just finished reading This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am in this reading group with some guys in the ward and it was the book everyone picked to read for this month. I had nominated others, but this one received the most votes. It was an interesting book in that Fitzgerald, in a way, seemed to be experimenting with his literary voice. I was reading last night and I found that I could relate to Amory Blaine's personal struggle. Our circumstances are vastly dissimilar, but he struggles with who he is, in both his creative pursuits and in life as a whole. I could relate in that I sometimes feel as if I have never found my niche; my place in the world, if you will. I had such plans 14 years ago, but divorce and distance from my kids changed so many things. Today I try to express myself creatively in words and through photography, but the words which came so easily a few years ago seem to be hiding in some dark corner of my soul and I am having a hard time finding them again. I feel like if I could only find them again, I would have hard time staunching the flow. I enjoy my photography very much, but I long to share it more and I am not certain how to do that. I plan on entering something in both the Utah County and Utah State Fairs this autumn; perhaps that is a start, or at least new avenue because I do have my Flickr site. Maybe this is what people mean when they talk about a 'mid-life crisis'; I don't know. What I do know is that somehow I continue; somehow I endure, but certainly there must be more than just enduring.