Balance with Extremes
Wow. It’s been a while. And an even longer while before that… Here’s what you missed in my life:
– my daughter turned one
– my pregnancy woes got worse
– I ended up in the ER
– I quit the class I was teaching halfway through the semester
– I started lying low
– I started cooking again
– then I stopped
– then I tried to start again
– then I just wanted to eat cookies
– then my belly got huge
– and I grew out one round of maternity clothes (while still in my second trimester)
– and I had a fashion crisis (turning 30, mom of almost two – where does that leave me in the fashion world?)
– so I decided to accessorize
– I wrote a few poems
– and made travel arrangements to Georgia to see the opening of the musical I wrote (next week!)
That pretty much brings you up to speed.
The medical issues have been in the forefront of most of my life over the last few months. Truth is, I did end up in the ER with stroke-like symptoms a little over a month ago. As the tech was scanning my head to make sure I didn’t have internal bleeding or clots or something else majorly wrong, my life suddenly came sharply into focus.
I decided right then to start cutting things out. I quit the class I was teaching mid-semester. I stopped making play dates with friends. I even stopped cooking for a few weeks (thanks to a few friends who brought us meals to keep us eating). I stopped e-mailing. I turned off my TV. And I make myself rest.
At least once, sometimes twice, a day, I make myself lie in the horizontal position – sleeping, watching tv, something mindless. My body was obviously screaming for a break, so I made myself answer the call. I took extreme precautions to make rest and family my very, very first priority – every day.
I have also been getting migraines (apparently, that’s what the stroke-like symptoms were, too – these are not just the average headache), so I’ve had to limit a few things. I discovered that certain forms of light can really trigger the onset of these buggers – TV, computer, headlights at night. So for a while I stopped watching TV and getting on my computer and driving at night.
Sounds like fun, huh?
Not so much, actually. While I would love to be running around doing holiday shopping and rustling up Christmas goodies in my kitchen from scratch, I’m embracing the reality of my life right now – one of simplicity and, well, extreme rest.
I’m finding that balance for me means taking those extreme measures to give myself tons and tons of down time until I don’t want to rest anymore, then give myself some more. It’s not only what the [ER] doctor ordered (and also the neurologist that I saw and my OB), but it’s also what my body is telling me to do.
It’s hard to listen to our bodies and be honest about what they are telling us – especially if it’s an unpopular choice. But often, we can find the balance that we need by slowing down and paying attention. Not all of us end up in the ER, but sometimes the wake-up call comes as a morning headache or an after-dinner belly ache. Pay attention to those signs – it’s your body’s way of telling you what it needs…and what it doesn’t.