For the second year in a row, I'm dealing with the craziest emotions. You see, it's that time of year again - NFL training camps are commencing all over the country. On the one hand, I'm excited that the season is getting ready to start. On the other hand, every time I read friends' facebook status updates about their husbands packing up and leaving for camp, it's just another reminder that we're not going through that same summertime ritual again this year.
Amazing how things can change, and quickly. Just a couple of years ago, this time of year was full of anticipation and excitement. The stress of camp is unbelievable - at least it was for us. There was always a question of whether Ryan would make the final roster. I'd worry endlessly that he'd get hurt. But, my goodness - the joy and happiness that came with making it through training camp and onto that 53-man roster was amazing. It made all the stress worth it.
Now going into our second season out of football, the stresses are completely different. After living off of our savings for a year-and-a-half, money is a big concern for us now. I've certainly been delaying the inevitable - I'm going to certainly be looking at returning to the workforce full-time by year's end to make sure our bills our getting paid. Thank goodness I've got my legal career to fall back on - although finding a job in this market with a significant work gap on my resume won't be easy. And honestly, the thing I'm surprisingly struggling with the most is having to leave my babies. If you had asked me ten years ago how I felt about being a stay at home mom, I'd tell you straight up that I was a working woman and that my place would be in an office somewhere, not at home. Now that our situation is going to necessitate me working, my heart is heavy knowing that I won't be the one dealing with and witnessing little milestones, smiles, laughter and even snotty noses.
As usual, I get the question often - "So what's Ryan doing these days? Is he playing? What's his plan?" And as usual, we're in a holding pattern with his career yet again. Ryan met with his agent last week who assured Ryan he's still on team radars. That being said, there are no teams offering free agent contracts or showing interest in Ryan attending camp. Like last year, we'll be waiting for injuries - that is the only possibility of Ryan even getting an opportunity to POSSIBLY play this year. There are no guarantees. What is guaranteed is that this will be the last season we can afford to play the "wait and see" game.
No doubt we are nearing the end of our NFL chapter, and it's a hard chapter to finish out. I wish this story of our lives was more like a best seller - one that you don't want to put down because you can't wait to read what happens next. Instead, life is reading more like one of my legal textbooks these days - slow, arduous, and unbelievably uneventful.