Sunday, January 27, 2013

Struggles...Are my Ally.

This month has been rough. About two weeks ago Hubby and Friendly both came down with the flu. Thankfully, Friendly's case wasn't too bad. She had a high fever (103+) for 3 days and a cough, was miserable but kept comfortable with Motrin. Hubby on the other hand was laid flat; high fever, horrible cough, and knocked out hard core for several days.
 Which left me solo parenting, dealing with a sleepless and teething baby, and praying I wouldn't get the flu too.

I didn't get it (wohoo!) But I came down with some thing else this weekend (sinus infection? virus? I'm still trying to decide). I am not nearly as miserable, but enough to be laid up on yesterday for the Pip Squeaks first Birthday.

Being sick, has also given me time to think- a luxury I haven't had in weeks.

What was I thinking about?

 Mostly how unfair it feels to me. Finding balance is such a struggle!
Sleep deprivation is super hard on any body...But especially mine...I try to brush it off...Soldier on, but it sucks. Add to it long standing autoimmune issues, anxiety and SAD and it has been an uphill battle for me this past month.

I read some thing a friend shared the other day that really impacted me.
It was about viewing the things that you struggle with as an ally. I have spent most of my adult life resenting, ignoring, or denying the issues I face. Why do things have to be so hard? Why can't I just relax? Why do I get sick so easily? Why do I have to be so intentional to stay sane? It isn't fair!!!

You know what?

If it weren't for all those things I wouldn't be on this awesome journey... It started with the birth of Roo...

If I hadn't had a traumatic birth and postpartum time with my first born, I wouldn't have found out how strong I am, that I have spirit and guts,
that I will never fail if I keep trying. That I can accomplish and over come. That I have choices. That I have a strong and loud NO, that my body is my body, and my baby is my baby.
That I can breastfeed if I want to! After a 2.5 month battle to learn to nurse - we over came! Roo and I NIP at the park (4 mos old)
Because she was highly sensitive, high needs, and fussy, I did a lot of reading and discovered attachment parenting...Which encouraged me to babywear. Which lead to me learning to sew so I could make cute baby carriers. A new skill!

I briefly had a little sewing business too!

Attachment Parenting meant... following my instincts, home birth, to a triumphant HBAC.
Holding a very new Friendly!
 Having a Home Birth lead me to new community, to a friend who introduced me to gluten free eating, which got my autoimmune issues and (unbenownst to me then) depression under control. (it's amazing how much better you feel when you aren't depressed - especially when you didn't realize you were depressed!). We changed our diet to gluten free....

Gluten Free eating...lead us to clean and whole traditional foods which has brought even more healing to our bodies, and I am sure will continue to not only lengthen but also improve the quality our lives for years to come.

Eating better just confirmed what I learned with my first VBAC- I discovered how strong my body literally is. I pushed out an 8 pound baby who came out with her arm over her head and head presenting ear first. I AM STRONG! Her birth lead me to running and a love of exercise which brings awesome endorphins which helps manage anxiety. Also it taught me that I can tackle things, like knitting. I have always wanted to learn, I was determined to learn- and thanks to youtube, I did! Also, knitting is hugely relaxing to me and also great for anxiety!
picture that represents introversion, right?

Knitting gives time for reflection, it recharges me... In the midst of all these other things I learned about introversion and what it really is: what drains you and what energizes you.  I learned to embrace my need for time alone, it isn't a personality flaw- but a gift. I am a different kind of person, and that's okay. If I hadn't realized my intense need to recharge in this heavy season of being outside of my head (ie, parenting my children), I wouldn't have seen my need to step out of social commitments that take time away from rest. Rest which enables me to do all the other things I need to do to be there for my family.
You know, I can't always stay in perfect balance. Stuff happens. But when that stuff does happen it's just a wake up call to step back and look at what I need to do to get balance back. And some times, things are just off kilter, and they will even out.
 If it weren't for that realization I wouldn't have discovered thankfulness.

Yes, some times things are quite a struggle. Yes, it doesn't always seem fair. But I am so THANKFUL that I have tools to cope! That I have gotten to a place of health that I can see that we just might be in a short season of "off kilter", and accept that it will be okay. I can relax. I can go into survival mode. I am not giving in to any thing if I let the kids live in their PJ's. If we stay home more. If I can't  join a friend in an project or idea (right now).
watching I Love Lucy, snuggling napping Pip, and knitting last week

Right now, Pip is cutting 6 teeth- she is fussy and miserable and needing a lot of hands on loving. Right now, I have some nastiness and I'm run down. Right now my kids are watching too much TV and I spend a lot of time reading, nursing the baby, and watching I Love Lucy. Right now it's winter and bitter cold outside and I miss the fresh air. Right now we're all a little short with each other and ready to have the sickness out of the house.

Right now, we're off kilter. But I can keep plugging along. I can take extra opportunities to nourish myself.

Yes, I need to be intentional-  I will probably always have to be more intentional than most- but that too is an ally... It brings wisdom because I've learned from mistakes when I've taken on too much. It has stretched me and grown me.

It is a journey and a process ...And thankfulness is at the center of it all.

My challenge for the week, to be thankful for one simple struggle every day...Not in a matyrish way- but in flipping it back on itself and finding some thing about it to rejoice in.

There is always a better way...What struggles can you make your Ally?
Cue random picture by Roo that makes me happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment