Monday, September 28, 2015

How to embrace your current season of life

There are many seasons of motherhood. We all have a picture in our head how motherhood would be. Right?Congratulations you are a Mom! After 9 months of waiting your bundle of joy has arrived. Each one is small and helpless and needs you for everything! Infancy is over in what seems like a blink! You then watch them crawl and walk to independence. The older they get the less they need you, or think they do. Okay who signed me up for this? This is not how I pictured it would be! I am lost in what I picture and what is really happening. I certainly didn't think I would be battling an invisible illness. It is hard and exhausting plain and simple. Good news! I am told it doesn't get any easier. Hey wait! What? Hmmmmm.......I think I need to re-evaluate this contract or at least look at the fine print. Is there an instruction manual, because I feel like I am doing it all wrong? Is what I have done or didn't do already set in stone? How do I relate to these spirited and unique children? Where do I get the energy when it is gone before noon? Sometimes I feel like my family would be better off without me.

These emotions above have left me feeling bare and lost. Maybe I feel this way about being a Mother because life is slowing down. The leaves are changing and so am I. I love autumn and when the leaves start to fall. I enjoy strolls to delight my eyes with beautiful colors of red, yellow and orange.It does mean, however, that the season is about to change. I am not a big fan of the winter. I feel very much like a bare tree or a skeleton of my former mommy self. My leaves have been falling towards the negative side of things. Up until today I felt these feelings were a bad thing that somehow I was empty or dead inside. This theory led me to a interesting question. How do trees stay alive in the winter? I do not want to go into too much detail, but trees do several things to keep their living cells from freezing or dying. They go into a dormant state. So even though when all the leaves have fallen, you see the branches of a gnarled and twisted tree, there is amazing things happening inside. We cannot allow ourselves to freeze our hearts or be afraid of change. We should allow ourselves to become bare and vulnerable so we can see those branches of our character. We see who we really are and what we need to change. This dormancy is a time prepare for new growth.

I always thought that trees without leaves were ugly or even a little creepy. Now I see their beauty.We may loose our leaves one at a time or in big batches. It is no reason to worry. It is time to look inward. New leaves will grow back. We too can come back to hope and come back changed. Another observation worth mention here is, if you look at a tree it appears to be reaching toward the sky. No matter what our struggles we must always be reaching and trying to obtain the best life has to offer us. It does mean we have to try and not give up. It is easy to give up but takes thought and action to try.
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

It is interesting to me that each time I write a post I am bearing my soul to you, my readers, that I usually end up with an idea or two by the end and feel uplifted. I want to really dig deep here and celebrate looking within myself as the air is more crisp and the vibrant yellow, oranges and red leaves fall softly to the ground. Knowing that it will produce leaves and fruit once again. I am excited about this project that just came to me. I am either going to buy a tree or draw one. Then, I am going to add a leaf for goals I accomplish or something that I have overcome. Later I can look back and see how much I have changed and it can be a reminder to embrace the changes. I hope it will make me feel better as a mother and to find a way to live my life through this illness. I do not like to feel like a failure or that I have nothing else to give. There is so much more for me to discover and embrace about these changes. You and I may have doubts and failures but we have to continue on despite them.What season are you in?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My life in ruins and that is okay

I am back! You won't believe where I have been or what I conquered to get there! It started on the last week of August. My parents flew in to learn the routine of what I do daily so that I could go to meet my sister and go to the UK! I still can't believe that I got to go and just got back on Sunday September 20th! Before I left my husband left to help a family member move. They stopped at our house Friday night to sleep and then drove again to California. I left the next day and met up with my hubby in California a few hours before he left to go home. It was basically a hi and goodbye.I was packed and ready to leave the country which was amazing! Crazy is what those few weeks were! What I didn't know was how a 7 hour time difference would affect my Fibromyalgia or if I could keep up the pace of a rigorous tourist schedule for over 2 weeks! Everyday for me is hard to get up and moving and if I push myself too hard I crash for days! Needless to say I was beyond nervous and missed my family so much! I have never left them like this before.

I left on this trip very frazzled and looking for a renewal of some kind. I was crumbling to ruins.Do you know what it feels like to feel like a burden to everyone around you? That is how I feel. It is very scary for me to admit that to you all. I didn't figure that out until this trip. When I got there I was expecting breathtaking views and history lessons. I did not realize how much I needed a break from routine and the stress of daily life. I did not expect that this trip would expose my greatest weaknesses and my need to change how I see and do things! All I could think about was how I needed a change, but what? I am still pondering on how to make this transformation.

Hmmmmm.........this might take my whole lifetime!

Speaking of transformations, I tried to do a little each day to get ready and change my sleeping habits.A few weeks before my trip I started going to bed by 9 p.m. and getting up at 5a.m.. I am not an early riser at all, but this was for the greater good right? It was hard but my motivation was strong. My hope was to help my body adjust better. I even downloaded Jet Lag Rooster to help me adjust easier. I was really surprised at how well I adjusted! The second or third day it was really hard to move, but I pushed on. A little over a week into the trip I couldn't eat anything without severe stomach issues, no need to be graphic. ;) Then 2 days before we could go home I slept the whole day. I couldn't go anymore!Nothing could wake me up either! I was grateful that most of my trip was without incident. It really was a trip of a life time! It was frustrating to not be able to eat for 4 days. However,for most of the trip I was able to find gluten free options and meals as well. Just like the amazing castles and things I saw ,I was a little bit in ruins near the end, but I am still here to tell my story. I am still standing! (Barely)

"We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we are afraid of the change, of things crumbling to ruins. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation"- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

So basically I am in a flare and I ignored all the signs that it was coming. We had a plan of what to do each day but driving in the UK was a big contributor to this flare I think. It was sooooo stressful! I also wasn't very careful with what foods I ate or taking any rests. Now that I am home and I have to catch up on housework and find my routine again. It is a slap in the face by reality. I am already struggling and frustrated. I don't want to feel that way. Grrrrrr! I just had the most amazing trip of my life!Traveling gave me a chance to experience something new. It would be a shame if I lost all what I felt and learned just because I was thrown back into life. It feels like I was thrown in an icy cold lake.

Reality check!

I have decided to take some real time to reflect and look within. It would be incredible to enjoy every day amidst the pain and realities I face. I don't want the only thing for people to see is what is left and have people feel sorry for me. I want them to look at me with awe and amazement like I did at these landmarks. Even Stonehenge draws people in with its mystery.

 So here is what I learned....
  1. Find the beauty in the ruins;be blinded by the beauty that is there.
  2. How these castles and houses were built amazes me!I want the same for my life. How can I build myself back up?
  3. Find time to relax and stop stressing!
  4. Keep things fresh and simple.
  5. Sample the flavors of life
  6. Adventure lies waiting. There is so much to explore!

The ruins of Urquhart Castle in Scotland

"Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along"- Rae Smith