Holding Down the Fort

Above: My high energy kids playing. No down time for me…

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve returned from Santo Domingo. I came back late on March 24th and the next day was the beginning of Spring Break for my kids. Dive in…

Three days after I got back my mom flew up North to help out my brother’s family. She’ll be gone another month or so.

Still reeling from my trip, I found myself alone with two kids, both out of school, and a mountain of work that couldn’t wait. It’s my fault that I didn’t look at the calendar when I planned the trip, coming back at the start of Spring Break wasn’t smart when I knew my mom had to leave.

So set the pace of the past four weeks. The kids are back in school thankfully but I have been carrying a heavy, heavy load and there is no sign of it easing. It’s tempting to feel sorry for myself that I don’t have anyone here to help me — but instead I try to be grateful that I have work and I can begin to build a new life here after returning with nothing.

I have clear goals. First I got a car and now I’m saving for my own place. I need to move by August 1st so I can get the kids into a new school and settle in. It’s an ambitious goal as I have nothing saved yet and I need not only the money for the move but some buffer since I have only myself to rely on, for now. I work as much as I can to earn what I need and to be sure I have the income regularly to support my family. As we wait, I have to live as a single mom and make it happen

So in these past four weeks I’ve barely had a second to breathe, to stop, to rest. Every minute I’m not caring for the kids I’m working whether it is early in the morning, late at night or in between. Meanwhile, I’m holding down the fort at my mom’s house, all by myself. Her house is a challenge, high-maintenance, so even relatively simple tasks take extra time. To do the laundry I can’t just pop it into the washer and dryer, I have to walk out to the shed, climb up on the cement block “stair”, balance the basket on the bikes and load the washer. Then, no dryer so one needs to hang the clothes outside, just be careful not to drop anything in the dirt or you have to wash it all over again. And watch where you step because it’s easy to fall. Not a good scenario for someone with knee problems. That’s just the laundry, don’t get me started on the compost…

The point is that right now I’m being tested, pushed, like forged metal in the flame, to see what I’m made of. Can I adapt? Do I want it bad enough? Will this process make me more resilient or beat me down? I’m doing it, one minute at a time, so I am not beat yet.

For now there is no time for my nourishment, it’s all about giving and preparing. The time will come when I can have the freedom to create, to play, to dream, but for now, I buckle down and keep moving forward.


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Eliza Alys Young, aka CreativEliza, is a free spirit, world traveler, creative expert, and part of multicultural family… Eliza shares her time between the US, Dominican Republic and beyond. When she is not caring for her high-energy kids, writing her poetry or for her blog, creating art or cooking up a storm, she is designing for her own company, Design Intense.

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