The World at my Feet

I feel like I have the whole world at my feet right now with infinite possibilities.  Why you may ask?  It’s officially Spring Break at my son’s elementary.  We want to do everything – play dates with his friends, bowling, a little kite flying (if the wind will materialize), camping, baseball, a trip into San Francisco, etc.  So many things and only one week to do it and did I mention that we have to do it on the cheap.

While I feel like the possibilities are endless I also have to be cognizant of my Fibro.  If I go full throttle ahead this body of mine is going to eventually come to a complete standstill whether I want it to or not so pacing is the name of the game.  We’ll be starting off low key – an adventure of some kind with Daddy.  Perhaps a trip to the movie theatre to see Home followed by ice cream.  Tomorrow is an unknown but am thinking either a play date with his buddy Caden or a trip into the city.  Wednesday we’ve lined up bowling with his buddy Tommy in the afternoon and if the wind cooperates maybe a little kite flying in the morning.  Thursday and Friday may be the perfect time to get in a couple of nights of camping returning home on Saturday and a day of rest for me.  Sunday is Larry’s day off so am thinking we could head to the beach for a picnic and more kite flying.  And if it’s in the budget I would love to do Six Flags on Monday before he has to return to school the next day.  He and Larry both love the roller coasters and I love all the animals.  It would be a pretty full week but with low-key activities so I think I could pull it off without to many repercussions.

I really dislike being limited by my body.  It makes me mad and I have to stop and reassess just how lucky I am to be living this life, to have this time with my family.  That life truly is good.

Life Goes On

I’ve been absent for almost a year.  Life went on, but I feel as though I was just wandering through and not paying as much attention as I should.  It’s coming up on what would have been my mom’s 76th birthday this week, and almost the one year anniversary of her death.  I look back and see all the wonder that she bestowed in my life, the skills and abilities to survive.  And thrive, if I put in the effort.

It’s been hard.  The stress of it all exacerbating my Fibromyalgia causing me additional aches and pains.  And in the midst of it I realized that the pain meds, the short acting opiates, that had been helping me in the past had ceased to be affective.  In this western world of medicine I live in I knew it would be tough to get my team of doctor’s on board with my desire to stop taking them and so I circumvented them altogether.  Tapering myself off little by little like I knew they would have me do if I had included them in my decision.  It took 10 weeks, with bouts of nausea and light headedness throughout but when I came out the other side I felt clear-headed for the first time in years.  Some of the forgetfulness that I’d always attributed to my Fibro lifted and I was able to focus on my life, on what I wanted.

The first thing I had to do was to begin learning all over again how to pace myself.  Accept that I can’t go full throttle all the time, heck even most of the time, but I could move forward if I paced myself.  Little by little my house is becoming the home I’ve dreamed of.  My involvement in Joey’s world has tripled, now not only volunteering at the school, but with Cub Scouts, and Daisies for my niece to be a part of the girl power movement, and baseball.  This year I stepped back, we stepped back, and instead of coaching and managing we are simply parents rooting our son in a pastime that’s overflowing with fun.

I still find myself plagued by pain on a daily basis but it’s no better or worse without the pain meds.  The only real difference is that I feel as though I’m taking my life back and making it into what I want it to be.  In total, family.  It’s what’s most important, the one thing that brings me constant joy and that is not something I just want to coast through.  I want to be devoured by it, immersed in all it’s juicy details.  So far I’m being pretty successful in that pursuit and it suits me to perfection.  I’m back to dating my husband again and going on random adventures with Joey and in doing so, life goes on.

What or Who am I?

This topic comes up for me all the time and it is confusing to me. “What do you do?”. How does one answer that when they are a Homemaker – I’m a chauffeur, a cook, a baseball manager, a sometimes writer, a teacher, a laundress, a domestic engineer, etc. I am not one thing so how does one fill in the blanks or do I just leave the space empty? I mean seriously it is a confusing question. When I answer Homemaker people generally follow-up with “But what do you do?”. What do they mean by that? Is Homemaker not enough? I am raising the next generation. I’m teaching how to be a responsible and kind individual. I am exposing my son to new opportunities and adventures. I am his personal cheerleader. Do I get paid for all I do? The answer to that question is no, not if you’re talking financial compensation but I do not feel that devalues what I do. By the way I do get compensated by my husband and son with acknowledgment and thanks for what I do which I appreciate very much.

At the same time my son is always asking me why I don’t work like Daddy. WHAT? I explain to him over and over that I do work and contribute to our household. I make his life simpler and his Dad’s to. I contribute to my community by helping out in the little league and volunteering at his school when I feel up to it. I also just signed up to be a Daisy Troop Leader with the Girl Scouts – Heart of Central California even though I don’t have a daughter. I do this to contribute to my community, to help the girls in that community grown into the best version of themselves.

As for money, I too contribute financially even though I’m disabled. I’ve worked continuously, often at multiple jobs, since the age of 12. Is it by design that I had to go out on disability when I was only in my mid 30’s? No, it is not a choice I would have made but I’m making the best of it and the silver lining to my predicament is that I get to be a stay-at-home mom to my son.

So am I just a homemaker? Yes and no as I am so much more than the sum of my parts. What do I do you ask, I LIVE, I BREATHE, I LOVE.

A Grateful Heart

My friend Jill posts each day on Facebook a fortune cookie quote. Todays fortune by Melody Beattie really resonated with me as it read, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” I have found this to be so true and yet it is not something I just automatically do. I have to really tune in to being grateful for all I have to notice the small things that make my life that much sweeter. One example of this is that each morning during the week, without fail, my husband brings me a hot cup of tea. Doesn’t take a lot of effort and he probably doesn’t think anything of it, he just simply does it because he knows how much I enjoy it and that it starts my day off on the right note. I always say thank you but I don’t always savor the act and his generosity of heart in doing it and that is where I miss the opportunity to acknowledge my gratitude. This is something I’m really trying to work on as it will not only benefit my life but those around me as well.

Our hearts are full of good fortune

Our hearts are full of good fortune

I believe gratitude is infectious. When I see people exhibiting their gratitude it makes me sit up and take notice, of the act they are grateful for as well as the acts in my own life that I need to be grateful for. Last night my son came to me while I was on the computer and exclaimed, “Momma I set up a whole war in my room using all my guys. Will you please come see?”. I was busy, trying to get some things done but the light in his eyes drew me in and so I responded in the positive that of course I would come. The smile that lit up his face was worth a million bucks to me. We wandered into his room and sure enough he had the massive green army on one side and the smaller beige army on the opposite side of the plastic bob-wire fence, tanks at the ready and the green army’s jet ready to take flight. It was pretty impressive I have to say. He explained to me why he’d set up each area as he did, what he thought was sure to be the outcome of the war, etc. I was so impressed by his creativity. I laid down on the floor and said, “Let’s go… it’s war!” and started to pick up my beige guys (of course I had to let him have the huge green army since they are his to begin with) and attack his green ones. His joy was evident and soon I was under siege and getting massacred by a multi-force attack. The bob-wire fence was being mowed down by his tanks, the jet was swooping in and knocking my guys right off their feet and wouldn’t you know it just when I was down to two guys in swooped another force from the hallway with an alien orb that took out both our armies… it was Daddy. I guess he couldn’t stand all the fun Joey and I were having and just had to get in on the action. My heart was full with gratitude for the familial moment in time and the love and camaraderie we were sharing. It’s moments like this that I want to take stock of, to hold in my heart, and to be grateful for on a daily basis.

I used to keep a gratitude journal at one time when I was very depressed just to help me focus on whatever joys may have been present in my day. Some days were much harder than others to realize and acknowledge five things that I was grateful for but what I found was that there were always at least five when I really took stock of my day. It might have been something as simple as the sun shining that day, or a phone call from a friend. It could have been an unexpected card in the mail with $20 telling me to have lunch on them or to treat myself to a new book. It didn’t matter really what it was so much as my ability to see it with clear, unobstructed eyes and heart. I often think that I need to take that practice back up, to jot at the end of each day five things that have touched me in a positive way that day. I know when I do this that indeed my denial can turn into acceptance, chaos can become order, confusion is transformed into clarity. I know that gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend and I for one am very grateful for the ability to be able to acknowledge that and to make sure it is implemented in my life. How will you acknowledge all that you have to be grateful for today?

Share Your World – Week 1

In my effort to write more I am committing to doing the Share Your World challenge for the entire year this time. So here goes with week 1. (Thank you Cee for doing this as it gives me ideas and topics to expand on.)

Share Your World – 2014 Week 1

What are some of your favorite type of proteins to eat? (meat, eggs, soy, cheese, nuts)

So simple for me – cheese. I love soft cheeses, hard cheeses and have passed that love along to my son. We love nothing better to go into those high-end stores and try the samples offered.

Are you a morning or night person?

I used to be a morning person but am finding as I age I’m becoming grumpier in the morning until I have that first cup of sweetened hot tea. Can’t say I’m a night person though either. I’d have to say I’m a middle of the night person now as I often have insomnia due to my pain levels and that is when I get to have my quite time, reading and catching up on shows I like to watch.

What is your preferred hot drink: coffee, tea, water or other?

I’m a water and tea girl. I try to stay hydrated all day as some of my meds are really dehydrating. Tea is my favorite drink though and I love it hot, cold, blended with ice – you name it and I’d try it. I’m not fussy when it comes to it either but have to say simple black tea is my favorite though I love to try new teas that are loose leave. I enjoy the scent of those almost as much as the taste.

Out of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing) which is your favorite?

Touch is my favorite. I’m a tactile person and always feel as though I can get to the heart of something if I’m just able to touch the source. The remainders are important to but I’d feel bereft if I lost my ability to touch – people, things, it’s all so important to me.

Ads – Really?

Just want to apologize up front for the random ads that may appear on this blog and to state that they are not of my choosing nor do I endorse any of them.  WordPress has added them in to assist with the cost of running this site, which I totally get, and in order for me to have them not shown I am required to pay a fee of $30 per year which I am not willing to do at this time.  So, I hope they prove to not be a huge distraction and am wondering how other bloggers out there feel about this change to the format.  What are your thoughts on the subject.

Creative Changes

It’s a new year and I’m hoping a new me.  Having said that, I’m going to be making some changes in 2014 beginning with more writing.  I’ll still be focusing on finding and enjoying the simple pleasures in life but will also be speaking off the top of my head on random subjects or writing topics.

While Fibromyalgia and chronic pain play a big role in my life I’m coming to terms with the fact that it doesn’t have to define my life, only I can do that.  In doing so I’m going to really open my focus to seek out positive experiences, adventures and ideas that will enhance my life and the lives of my family.  I know these changes are not going to happen over night, nothing good ever does as it takes time to mine what’s out there and determine what is worth seeking out and holding on to and what is truly garbage and adds no value whatsoever to ones life.  I’m sure there will still be good days and bad days but I’m going to work hard to make them the kind of days that I would most like.  Days that are filled with wonder, and love, and a whole lot of laughter.  So stay tuned to see just how I shake things up in my own little part of the world.