I had a list of things to accomplish while I recover from my vocal cord surgery on 3/3. I have been unable to work, preserving my voice for exercises given by my therapist, and brief conversation. But, aside from the inconvenience of not speaking, I have felt pretty well.
That left me with a little time to get a few things done.
I could not push it physically, but I sorted papers, shredded, sent Emails that were overdue, and generally handled things that had fallen by the wayside during the busy nature of life.
I discovered, much to my disappointment, that my attention span for reading has decreased exponentially since spending so much time at a computer screen these last few years. I vowed to get to work on that.
I also discovered that I have an account on the family’s “Netflix” and I learned how to sit still long enough to binge watch some “Law and Order.”
There was time over these three weeks for some honest self-reflection as well.
Sometimes it’s painful to put truth right in front of our own faces, but I had the time to do the work, so I went for it. I already wrote about isolation, and I had some time to think more deeply about what role my own actions play in that. I was able to reconcile that some of it is unavoidable, and some can be mended by me. Balance. I’m on it.
I also took a hard look at my own emotions and how they affect my house.
It is so easy to get “stuck” in the role of caregiver. It is so easy to live a task oriented existence, making sure things get done, and arranging the logistics of life. We may only have one child, but you add into the equation, two of us with a genetic disorder that involves countless appointments, surgeries, therapy and follow-ups things get dicey quickly. Add in that every appointment in NYC is a MINIMUM of 4 hours, and sometimes 6 or more, and the billing that comes with these appointments is at least a part-time job on its own, well, your head can spin. Then, you think about the issues that surround friends and family, illness, disease, financial hardship, emotional distress, and your heart can hurt. When you join that with “regular” stuff, like 2 working parents, a scholar, athlete, theater buff kid, food sensitivities, prescription medication, and anxiety all around – well, it can easily become all-consuming. And it did.
I sat in my office one day, looked around and realized I was unhappy. That was a tough realization.
I am not unhappy with my husband, or my daughter, or the countless blessings in our life. I just became so consumed with getting things done that I forgot myself. Literally.
Sometimes its good to reflect. It’s the only way to get things done.
Last week my sister sent me a box of essential oils. I was skeptical. I bought a diffuser. I feel like peppermint in the air while I work is good for my soul. So is trying something new.
Tuesday I went to Kohl’s. A quiet activity easily done alone. I felt the tension start to release. I picked up a few things for me and for the house. I went out because I WANTED to.
Something amazing happened Tuesday. My husband and my daughter both remarked that I looked happy. I had a story to relay at dinner that was about me. The mood in the house was lighter.
Wednesday I took a nap in the middle of the day. Because I could. Again, I found myself with a little less pressure in my shoulders.
That night I promised myself and my family, no matter how busy things got I would find a way to spend 15-30 minutes every day on SOMETHING I could say truly made ME happy.
I’m a work in progress.
I chose to do a deep cleanse on Thursday and Friday. I was working on my mind, but I had to bring my body along. It had been too long. I had gotten a little lazy in my habits and in my routines. I have this incredible nutritional system at my fingertips and in my home, and sometimes I forget to use it to its full potential.
I woke up this morning having released 5.1 pounds of junk. I started the day with a protein shake full of strawberries. I shopped with my girl this morning. Then, I got to listen to her singing lesson. Now, they watch a movie while I get to write. Then, my little family is off to dinner together.
This week the spring plants that sprouted on 3/3 started to really grow.
The caterpillars that came in on 3/2 have all become butterflies today.
Maybe we all used the same period to try to transform a little. Nothing like a few new butterflies to remind you about new beginnings.
I am focused on this journey now. I may falter along the way, but I will hold true. This feels right. This feels good. And when I feel right and good, it is much easier to remain