Through Life’s Ups and Downs: Exactly Where I Need to Be


Through Life's Ups and Downs: Exactly Where I Need to Be Duluth Moms Blog

As I write this, this morning over a group text my aunt said, “What a profound blessing to be exactly where you need to be.”  

In context, she was talking about my sister-in-law; she is currently with her fiancé in Italy visiting his family. This morning they learned that his dad is near the end of his life. My sister-in-law is exactly where she needs to be: with her fiancé, supporting him and his family as they lose someone near to them. Time is so precious and they happen to both be in Italy visiting when this occurs. 

Despite the fact that my aunt’s words were not intended for me, they also ring true in my life right now. 

Life’s Challenges

For the past few weeks my husband and I have been waiting for our building permit to be approved for our new home. The building process so far has been agonizingly slow at times. At first, in the spring, we were waiting for dry weather and then waiting for the permit. If you’ve built a house before, you probably know my pain all too well. I am a complete newbie, but am lucky to have my husband who is our building contractor on the project. 

Also, for the last month my husband and I have been in a rocky place in our marriage. Communication has been a struggle and we have not been physically connecting, if you know what I mean! (Wow, I can’t believe I’m sharing that!) 

Finally, wounds from past trauma have been ripped open in the past few weeks and it seems as if I am starting over in my recovery. In talking to my therapist about this, she even used the word “depression.” She said that I needed to focus on daily actions to continue healing and combat the symptoms. This was a bombshell. I knew I was dealing with anxiety, but not once has she used that word. 

Happy Life Events 

All of this shifted in a matter of days. In terms of my marriage, we were able to connect again emotionally and physically. We talked about my husband’s fears and I made an effort to be physically vulnerable with him. If you read my other blog posts, you would know this is extremely difficult as I’m recovering and healing from sexual trauma. 

Also, as I write this, we found out this morning that our building permit is now approved (woohoo!) and we can officially move forward on building our home. We are behind on our schedule, but still confident that we can complete building before the dreaded winter months here in Duluth. 

Lastly, I’ve also recently been able to connect with friends and make new ones. Which on the list of priorities, my social life is dead last. I was able to connect over the phone with my best friend who lives across the country, physically see two other best friends who live in the Twin Cities, and befriend a complete stranger (which is not my thing at all). 

Fred Rogers once said:

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”

Perhaps the universe was trying to tell me to slow down and focus on human connections and relationships. Working from home for over 11 years (and being a mom of a busy toddler) has made this woman feel like a turtle who wants to stay in her turtle shell most of the time. 

Life’s Waiting Periods 

Sometimes in life we are in a waiting period (like for me, recently), but it’s in those times I now realize how much we can grow. 

Those are the times that stretch our capacity for hope. 

Those are the times that strengthen our emotional and physical connections with others. 

Those are the times that provide us with a laser focus of what’s important to us and what’s not. 

For all of this, I am grateful. I am in fact celebrating life’s waiting periods. I am celebrating everything that has tried (yet failed) to devour my inner spirit of joy, hope and love. 

Relationships and human connections are more important than anything in life, even building a house. A house does not define me and never will. A house is merely a place; it’s the people that make it a home. “There is no place like home,” as the quote goes by L. Frank Baum. I know this analogy is used a lot, but it’s so true!

Now, that I feel all is well with the relationships around me for the time being… I feel ready and confident to take on building our dream home. In fact, it seems as if I am exactly where I need to be. 


  1. “I am celebrating everything that has tried (yet failed) to devour my inner spirit of joy, hope and love.”


    Very inspiring. Your writing is so incredibly relatable.

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