The day after Christmas for me is always a day of resting. I need a day to recover from the craziness and hype and roller coaster of THE most anticipated day of the year. This year was no different, of course. After waking up several times throughout the night with nightmares about alien invasions, ghosts, interplanetary relocation, and failed wedding ceremonies (I have no clue where any of it comes from) I got up this morning just long enough to eat some breakfast, take some cold medicine and go back to bed. When it was time to get ready for church, I did make an attempt at getting ready (really! I tried!) but in the end, I decided to stay home and meditate on the blessings of NOT sharing (you know, things like bad moods and your cold.)
I hate missing out on church. I have already mentioned how much I love The Pastor and His Wife as well as all the other people in town. However, I have learned not to beat myself up over the things I am not able to control. Over the last year, especially, I have taken a much different view on things like "rest" and "pain relief" and "obligations." I used to feel guilty about everything I couldn't do and all the things I didn't do well enough. Some people have begun to believe that FM might be a condition born out of that type of self abuse. There isn't any scientific evidence either way, but letting yourself off the hook for things you can't control can't be a bad thing, can it? All I know is when I worry about exhaustion and pain, I become sidetracked and ineffective. When I allow myself the time to rest when I am tired and pain relief when I hurt, I don't need either of those things nearly as often.
The rest of the world might not feel the same way. I'm sure more than a handful of people might judge me harshly for skipping out on things like church and school performances. One the outside looking in, I can see how another mother might be disgusted if I were to give details about what pain medicines I take daily and how often. I've had doctors who frankly thought I was making all this up (they didn't actually say it, but they wouldn't really help me either). Oh well. If they must feel that way, they must. We will just have to agree to disagree. As much as I want to be a Star Citizen and a Kool-Aid Mom, my health has other plans. The "best I can be" tends to change from day to day, and even hour to hour. The world will just have to be satisfied with the best I can be at THAT moment.
That sounds like a "who gives a crap?" attitude, and I'm sorry for that. But only a little. Right now I feel good and happy.
For the last week, I have absolutely adored having DH home all day. I have been able to rest without guilt and as a result, I feel better than I have in months (if not years.) He and I have been busy with separate and coordinated projects most of the time and the girls have been pretty much been left to care for themselves. It was nice, though, to be able to play "tag team" when someone needed something or when it was time to work through chores. Because there was more than one adult here, I've managed to do something I needed to do for a long time. I was able to wean myself off of two of the three medicines I've been on for more than three years. (public service announcement: I didn't quit cold turkey or without a doctors advice. Don't ever stop taking prescription meds without the advice of a doctor. Just sayin') Adjusting meds sucks and even though it is needed, it can be extremely difficult without an extra person around to take care of business. It is more than just having an extra set of hands to help, though. Having a CHEERFUL extra set of hands is what makes the difference.
Reconnecting with the love of my life has been a special treat, too. A line from one of our favorite songs is, "I get the joy of rediscovering you." Truly, it is a joy. I miss him like crazy when he's gone, or even when he's home but not "here." As much as I hate the loneliness, though, the reunions almost make up for it. In the same way that you need rain AND sunshine to see a rainbow, I guess you need separation AND togetherness to truly appreciate your loved ones.
Just because I know this, doesn't mean I like it, though.
For the last few days, I have been daydreaming about different ways our life could change so that DH could be around more, or so that we will at least be able to SEE each other when we are both awake. Might he find a job that would be closer, and have better hours? Could he pursue getting his degree so that he could become a teacher? Should I focus on making more out of what we have instead of trying to pursue a degree of my own (so I could make the most of whatever time he does have at home?) I guess the daydreams have been reminding me that I am happier (and so is everyone else) when we are all together.
That brings my thoughts right back to my school again and I start to feel a lot less confident in the whole "releasing the guilt" thing. I have one more week of vacation before I head back to school. I will be attempting a morning class schedule instead of the night classes I was taking before. I should be in school the same time the girls are so I will be able to make better use of the daytime hours (when I seem to have more energy.) However, I am increasingly afraid of having to be up and behind the wheel regularly before 8:00am. I have failed miserably at that in the past, but I will have to work on it if I want anything better than what I have now. I have let my fears shape my life and my plans and I have given them way too much power over me. If I keep allowing the fear of failure to limit my success, I will never go nearly as far as I am able.
Still, I wonder if I am fearful or if I am merely being intelligent? Am I smart to acknowledge my limitations or am I selling myself short by refusing to push myself as hard as I am able?
I have one more week of rest to figure it out, I guess. After that, I hope I can take it one day at a time.