I Can Do This!

The past two years have been challenging for most of us in several ways. Some challenges were temporary, and others seem to be permanent. Some have caused hardships, but others made us stronger. I posed this question to my fellow bloggers, “What are some challenges you’ve encountered that you were unsure you could handle but then surprised yourself?”

I can think of several, but here are the major ones I’ve encountered.

Having and raising children.

I don’t think there’s a parent alive who wouldn’t agree that parenthood is a huge challenge. I always knew that I wanted to be a parent, but during the nine months before my first biological daughter was born, I experienced a lot of anxiety as I doubted my ability to handle the job. What if I forgot to feed the child? Or what if I accidentally left him or her someplace? There were so many things that could go wrong. 

My mother apparently had the same misgivings about my child-raising ability as I did. For the first month after I went back to work, she came over several times a week to make sure I didn’t accidentally leave the baby home. I never forgot to take her, but there was one day when I left my purse at the babysitter’s house and took the diaper bag to school. Fortunately, all my children made it to adulthood.

Writing a book.

I’ve always liked writing stories. As a child, I would staple sheets of paper together into a book and write. One summer, some friends and I decided to publish a neighborhood newspaper. In school, when teachers would tell us to write a story, I’d fill pages and pages with adventures and descriptions while my friends complained that they couldn’t think of anything to write about. That went by the wayside when I went to college, started teaching, married, and raised kids. But then I discovered reading was a great way to escape from everyday stress. Occasionally, I’d read a book that was awful and said I could do better. Finally, I decided to go for it and joined a writing group. And then I joined another one. And then… I finished a book. Now I can’t imagine not writing.

Navigating life as a widow. 

Since New Year’s Eve, things have definitely changed around here. My daily routine looks different. It’s a lot quieter, since I only turn the television on during Jeopardy and when there’s a show I really want to watch. For the last five months of 2021, an oxygen machine running was a constant noise that I sort of got accustomed to hearing. And there’s no one around to talk to unless I pick up the phone or call someone on FaceTime or Zoom. I have to make all decisions myself, and sometimes I don’t feel like making them.

On the other hand, some things are simpler. I have only my own schedule to worry about, my own appointments to make, and my own bills to pay. When I go somewhere, I don’t have to keep calling home to check on someone else or worry about whether or not certain things were done. When I purchase something, I don’t have to consider someone else’s likes or dislikes. 

I’ve never considered myself dependent on another person – not since I was a child, dependent on my parents. But seeing how my mother and other strong women in my life change drastically into weak unmotivated people after losing their life partners, I wondered how I would cope. My husband and I had a good partnership, so after forty years, it’s an adjustment to fly solo. But as I’ve done with other challenges, I’ll manage.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
This entry was posted in author's life, blessings, careers, Daily life, Dealing with stress, experiences, Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to I Can Do This!

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Patricia. You’re doing so well – I’m glad you’re finding a new rhythm.
    All the years I was married, I didn’t think I would ever cope with getting divorced. I didn’t expect it to happen, actually. It was really hard at first, but I’ve learned to cope and actually enjoy my independence and freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      The unexpected challenges are the hardest, aren’t they? My husband was ill for a long time, so I had more time to prepare. Plus, my children were all adults, so I didn’t have to worry about caring for them. But a major change like ours is difficult to imagine, and that’s what makes it scary. I’m glad we’ve both emerged stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    From my vantage point, I’d say you’re doing a TERRIFIC job adjusting to life after the loss of a mate. And on that matter, let me say that I greatly admire how you handled things during your husband’s final months, dealing with the funeral and related things, processing your grief, and beginning the journey of moving on. Many people expend significant energy to let everyone in cyber-world — particularly facebook — know how horrible they feel, how stressful things are, how exhausted they are with coping. [That’s not to knock people verbalizing their woes in a healthy manner. But some folks go overboard on the broadcasting of those feelings.]
    You, on the other hand, hardly mentioned those woes, except sometimes in passing. Even though many of us realized what you were going through and how much you must be hurting. I think that took a lot of maturity and courage.
    Love this line: “…took the diaper bag to school…”


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks so much, Jeff. Those last months were exhausting and scary, but I guess I had enough people around me that I didn’t feel the need to let everyone in cyber-land know every detail.
      I’m sure there were more moments when I failed as a parent, but the diaper bag snafu was the first one that came to mind. I felt sorry for the babysitter!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Jeff. Patty, you are one of the most capable and accomplished persons I have ever known. Don’t doubt yourself. Anything that you put your mind to you can do. I am sorry for what you have had to face this past year and what you will continue to face, but you have a full life and , changes happen. Enjoy all that you have. (You will be united with your husband, father and others soon enough.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I agree with the others. From all I have seen online, you are doing a remarkable job at coping with a new life. I’m sure it’s been hard, sad, and scary, but you’re a strong woman. I know you’ll succeed with grace.

    Liked by 2 people

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