I’m struggling. I’ve been very careful to keep politics and other sensitive issues out of my blog. We all have our opinions, of course, but I just don’t think this particular blog is the right place for that kind of discussion.
So I’m going to try to keep this high-level on that front, but there’s something that’s affecting me deeply right now.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know about the shootings that have been happening in our school systems. And like most of us, I’m utterly filled with disbelief when these things happen.
The recent shootings at the high school in Parkland, Florida on 2/14/17 are no exception. I was just in awe and felt tremendous grief for everyone involved.
I have my opinions on what I think needs to be done, but that’s not what this post is about. This isn’t the venue for that.
What it is about, however, is how unstable my emotions are right now.
As humans, we tend to get to a point where we get numb to situations as they keep repeating themselves. Unfortunately, I think sometimes we tend to find that’s the case with some of the terrorist activity that continues to happen day after day.
However, school shootings seem different to me. And for some reason, I just can’t seem to let this horrible incident go. Although these travesties have happened before, I just can’t stop thinking about this one in Florida.
I thought I was fine for a few days, but I’m not. I’m truly struggling with processing this. I feel like we’re never going to have a good solution in place to fix these type of episodes – there’s too much red tape and corporate money in the way.
But I’ll be honest – and this is very selfish – most of my attention and thought process is really in regards to my own daughter. She’s currently in the second grade.
Could this happen at my daughter’s school? Absolutely. Why would it make any difference? It just takes one bad apple to cause this kind of devastation.
And yes, I know the odds of something like this taking place at my daughter’s school are low. I also know that the chances of her getting hurt or killed during an incident like this are even lower.
But here’s the thing… I don’t care. She’s my life. She’s everything.
She’s such a good kid – she’s smart and funny and kind to others. It really blows my mind to think about how wonderful she’s already turning out to be.
Some of you might already know her as the better author on Route to Retire. She was the big contributor a lot of you seemed to enjoy with her post, Like Father, Like Daughter…
Like every parent, I would be devastated to lose my child. I can only imagine what the parents of the kids in that school have been going through.
Right now, all I want to do is be by my daughter as much as I can. For about a week now, I’ve had her sleeping in bed with me. Poor Mrs. R2R is stuck on her own in the guest room!
I lay there next to her while she sleeps and I just feel at peace – like everything’s right in the world for the time being.
I decided the other day to sit down and talk to her about what to do if something like this should ever happen at her school. It’s not something you want to have a conversation about, but I think it’s important.
It’s a delicate conversation. She’s seven – you don’t want her to be scared and start having nightmares, but in all reality, there needs to be some fear about this. I wanted to cry the whole time I was talking to her.
The conversation went as well as it could. But as parents, we should not be in a position to need to have this discussion with our kids.
If you’re a long time reader, you might know that unbeknownst to most everyone I know, sometimes my emotions can be a roller coaster. I’ve never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I don’t know if that’s even what I have, but I do know that my highs tend to be a lot higher than normal and my lows tend to be dramatically low (and well hidden).
Over the past couple of decades, I’ve gotten a better handle on controlling these emotions (particularly the lows) to a point. I’m usually able to take a step back and see things for what they really are and can recognize that any bad moment is actually just a small detail that will eventually pass.
However, it doesn’t stop me from getting in my car, thinking about something, and just welling up in my car. Hell, I’ve been pretty much crying throughout this whole post!
I don’t want to turn this into a pity party, but I want you, as my reader, to know that I’m stuck on a real low lately and I’m struggling on getting back to “normal” (whatever that is!).
Struggling with Route to Retire
Maybe this isn’t a great place to talk about this whole topic of me being in an emotional rut. However, since it’s affecting my blog, I think it actually makes sense to bring it up.
I’m going on three years with Route to Retire and I haven’t missed a single week of posting. I still have so much content I plan to share with all of you.
However, I’m struggling even thinking about this right now. I just can’t seem to get my mind going with content that makes sense or seems important.
I had one of my few friends who knows of and reads my blog just ask me if my last post was kind of a filler. That made me laugh – obviously, he wasn’t impressed!
But he’s right.
I can’t seem to focus right now. And it’s affecting my writing.
I’m sure I’ll get back on track soon, but please try to tolerate my moods a little bit while I get my mind back in the game.
The Move to Panama
Many of you know that I’m planning to quit my job at the end of 2019. I’ve been after that for a long time and FIRE can’t come fast enough.
And, although the big reason that I want to be done with my 9-5 is to be with my daughter, it’s now escalated quickly.
I don’t want to say that I’m necessarily scared for my daughter’s safety right now (although it’s on my mind!), but rather that I just feel the need to be with her right now.
Then, shortly after I quit my job, in the summer of 2020, we’re moving to Panama.
What’s funny about this is that I’m starting to see Panama as a sort of safe haven. Not because it’s Panama, but because it’s not the U.S.
I definitely love my country, but we obviously have some problems here that need to be fixed. Gun control and health care are two big ones that quickly come to mind. And guess what – those aren’t a big problem in many other countries… including Panama.
So now, more than ever, I’m looking forward to getting out and moving out of the country. I feel like I’ll actually feel safer in a foreign country that we barely know over the country I’ve spent my whole life living in.
How crazy is that?!
I’m really struggling right now and haven’t been able to get past it. There’s a pit in my stomach thinking about the evil in this world. It’s hard for me (and probably a lot of you) to fathom how malicious some people can be.
Look, I’m just stuck in a rut, but I’m going through the motions and I’ll be just fine in due time. I’ve been putting on a facade at work and elsewhere, but I’m hurting inside.
And I’ll tell you what – after getting my thoughts out here, I’m already starting to feel just a little better. I hope that I’m on the upswing. So don’t worry about me, but this is something I just needed to get off my chest.
For the time being, I’m just going to focus on spending more time with my daughter and just hugging her a little tighter every day.
I don’t want to turn this into a discussion on gun control so please don’t blow that up in the comments. There are much better places to talk about that – and it’s definitely something we should continue to talk about and fix.
In the meantime, let’s hope the big money can stay out of interfering and we can come up with a better solution in our country. Our kids deserve it.
Thanks for reading!!