Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Today I Am a Grown Up

When I was young, I was very disciplined all on my own.  I would decide on something and then make it happen.  One year I wanted to be able to do the splits so I stretched for 15 minutes every night.  I think I was about 13?  One summer I wanted to be in good shape so I worked at our half mile laneway until I could run it, both ways.  Maybe I was 15?

When I was about 14 I decided I wanted to be  a better writer.  I made myself write every day.  Before I let myself go to sleep at night, I made myself write.  It was really kind of a journal of my life, but in short story and poetry form.  I wrote into the Western Producer and some of my work got published in there.  I still have the clippings.  It made me so proud.  But it also helped me make sense of my world. 

Yesterday I felt like a grown up, for the first time really.  I felt tired and worn in a way that sleep can't fix.  It was one of the longest and hardest days of my life.  It turns out that I still try to make sense of my world by writing.  But some stories are not mine to tell.  My emotions have no right to what I see.  The way I feel merely dips a toe into the pool of grief.  So I write. 

The quiet seeps in,
For months the quiet
licked at the doors
surrounding the six
Until the quiet retreats
 leaving them five.
The hollowness surrounds them
mired in their souls
Heavy hearts and feet
trying to fill the space
the quiet left behind.
Memories of happiness
are all that is left to find
Joy eludes, it's return unknown...
The quiet retreated
and left them five. 
As we enter into 2014, hold your loved ones close.  We only have a tentative grip on what we think is our life as we know it.  Don't pay this lip service.  Instead of focusing on the external, like a new diet, maybe resolve to cook with your family each night.  Planning menu's, shopping trips, learning new skills, trying new recipes and preparing meals together accomplishes so much more.  And probably accomplishes the weight loss goal in the process. 
The things you have no time for are your choice.  Don't make the assumption that because you are there that your family knows you love them.  Tell them.  Make 2014 the year that your family learns and believes how much you care.  They are not one in the same.  Make them believe.  (This is especially difficult with teenagers.  I know I have two and they don't see any value in anything I say.  Getting them to believe is the hard part.)
I believe in humanity.  I believe in hope.  I believe in trust.  I believe in spirituality. 
I believe in love. 
Happy New Year Everyone! 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Without Me

This year I looked at things in a different way.  And I have learned a lot.  Being sick was truly an experience that, although if I get through I never want to do again, that has changed a lot in my life.  It has opened my eyes to what I thought I knew some of.  And it turns out I did know some, some I had no clue about. 

This is one of the things I did not know.  Roles in a family are not static. It may seem like I was a bit on the slow side not to realize this, but I didn’t.  I saw my role as a wife and mother as something that was unchanging.  You are always a wife and mother right?  You know why young kids don’t want their mothers to leave their sight?  It’s because they sense at an instinctual level that mother figures are the glue that hold everything together. 

I thought that even if I couldn’t do the meal cooking or the cleaning that I would still be a wife and mother right?  Wrong.  What ends up happening is the kids (teenagers in my case) begin to look after themselves.  They cook a few meals, make their own plans and start telling you what they need you to do.  “Come pick me up at six.  Don’t forget and if you are going to fall asleep, be sure to set your alarm.”  Poof there goes my hold the kids. 

“I need you to sign this, no I filled it all out, you just need to sign, it’s for my field trip remember?”  “I’m leaving at eight.  Don’t forget.”  “I just cleaned the microwave; don’t forget to put a cover on stuff.”  “I need more hangers, I just finished the laundry.”  Poof there goes motherhood. 

My mother reads this so I can’t go into what happens to the wife part but rest assured it suffers.  Everyone is doing their best to get through.  And I will be forever grateful for how my family has pulled together.  I am amazed at how well my husband and kids did with everything that needed doing. They did all this while going to school, work and attending to the rest of their lives. 

I saw my control slipping away.  And it scared me.  Really scared me.  On days when I didn’t feel like death warmed over I noticed that they seemed to need me less.  The kids started getting Derek to sign stuff.  They all started to make their own decisions without a consult.  That felt odd. 

We all know that being a wife and mother has a certain element of control that most women I know have.  Some women won’t let their kids do laundry or dishes because they won’t “do it right”.  I was never one of those women.  I thought that if something was done wrong, it meant they needed more practice.  But it still felt like I was slipping away.  Not something that I would have thought was going to happen. 

I am really glad that I taught my kids a lot over the years.  My kids knew how to cook and do laundry.   I didn’t have to teach them while I was sick.  The one that I dropped the ball on was my husband.  I did the shopping and the banking.  I did the meal planning.  I made the phone calls.  I organized.  He had a lot of things to learn.  And I had to learn to let a lot of things go.  I installed the same password app on his phone as mine.  I copied all of the passwords to his phone.  It became apparent to me that I had to adapt. 

We say things like “I don’t know what they would do without me.”  “This family would fall apart without me.”  I realized that my family should be able to go on without me.  In fact that should have been my goal.  It was with my kids.  I was preparing them for the “real world”.  But my family was ill equipped and it was my fault.  I hope that now that I have learned these things that I can move on to teaching my family.  They need recipes written down.  Pictures organized.  Old stories retold maybe recorded.  My husband needs to know passwords, where our insurance policies are and everything else it takes to run this house.  I need to let go. 

I have to teach my family how to go on without me.  My family should not fall apart without me.  They should be able to pull together and do everything, and I do mean everything, that needs doing.  I hope it doesn’t happen for a long time, but none of us know when that is.  We all need to face the reality that our people are going to need to know how to function without us.  Make sure they know how. 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Hidden Wisdom-Really Really Hidden

And here I sit.  Friday night in old lady town.  The line starts just behind me.  Oh wait no line, I'm in bed at 8:10.  And actually quite happy about it.  I have apparently reached the age where this is a pretty good night. 

Sometimes I think back over the years.  When I was young and in an endless pursuit for fun.  When my kids were young and I questioned whether or not I would ever have fun again.  When I worked to build a business until the days ran into each other and my world was about other people having fun.  And now I sell insurance which is the kill joy of everyone else's fun! ( LOL Kidding.  I really like my job.)

Life changes on us and we lose track of time.  I never notice it until there is a milestone with the kids.  This week my youngest passed the test for her learners.  I can't figure out where the time went.  I know we all go through it.  My parents said it and I'm sure their parents did.  When my boy got his licence, it seemed like life sped up.  Now as the second one draws closer, I think we will be going at Mach speed. 

Graduations, wedding's, first born's you name it.  All the stuff I never really gave much thought.  This is the crazy part.  I feel just as clueless as I did before they were born. 

I still say stupid things, get pimples, lose my temper, cry for no reason like a teenager.  I always thought I would get wise and respectable.  Instead I'm me.  LOL

I am on a mission to think in a more positive way.  To live without judgment.  I am hoping that it will continue to open my life up to opportunities.  I am pretty sure what I am going through now will end up helping me along the way.  Maybe I will end up wise...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

It sounded better in my head!

I know lots of you have been asking about how I have been doing.  Here is a brief update.  I have tried Lyrica which does appear to help with the pain some.  I have been able to sleep now with some night time Tylenol or Advil and the opposite in regular whatever.  (Do not try this at home.  After 20 years of migraines, I consider myself a professional.)

My tremors are the same or worsening it depends on the day.  When I am really tired the tremors get worse.  My shoulders come up off the bed, my knees will lift.  Sometimes it’s like I have a contraction in my stomach (?)  I know it sounds weird but this will pull one leg up and the opposite shoulder towards each other.  Like a sloth doing criss-cross crunches.  I tell you this for three reasons, one to let you know how I am doing, two let you know what I am doing if you see me in public flopping like a fish and three to explain the following story. 

 As you all may or may not know, I am very involved in a charity called “Forever Friends of Hope”.  We had a large function on Thursday night.  It was awesome.  We had entertainment, a fantastic meal, beautiful prizes and a great time! We had a great turnout with lots of the partners of FFOH.  These are people that have worked with us in the past, like Helen from The Pink Tree in Regina. 

One of the women that attended is active in the Saskatchewan Breast Cancer Connect.  She will know who she is.  She is a wonderful and gracious lady who approached me to ask how I was.  So I told her.  I was explaining the tremors and how animated I get when I relax.  I have always had a sense of humor and this time of my life is no exception. 

So here is how it went down.  In my head at the end of my story, I sarcastically said, “I must be really relaxing to sleep with.”  What came out of my mouth was “I must be really good in bed.” 

I have embarrassed myself before.  I will again, I’m sure.  But I wanted her to know that I usually hide my perverted sense of humor a little longer. 

Have a great day everyone!