When they say, “take care of yourself,” or “get enough rest,” it is a real thing. Life has just been a roller coaster lately. I’m trying to take care of myself and rest, I’ve been getting regular workouts in, drinking lots of water, eating mostly healthy, and trying to sleep.
Sleep seems to escape me. Even when I fall asleep, I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and my mind just goes…and goes and goes. I think about everything from my sister to packing lunches, loads of laundry, clinical trials, the 10 lbs I could stand to lose, the cat, the dogs, Christmas, basketball, stress fractures, a new van, and it just goes. I try to turn it off, I pray for sleep to come to me and eventually it does. However, I know I’m not getting enough rest.
It is a real thing when people tell you to get enough rest. Because when you don’t, your body doesn’t function normally. I am sick for the 3rd time in 2 months. I never get sick like this, ever.
I’m feeling better today than I did last night when I ran straight into a brick wall (figuratively). But to be honest the color of things coming from my nose tells me I’m fighting an infection. Against my nature, I decided I better stay home and take it easy today before I get worse.
I’ve been practicing #30daysofThanksgiving this November. Each day, I post on social media something I am thankful for. My husband, my children, my friends, family, sisters, daughters, nice days, good books, anything and everything that brings me joy. I’ve posted mine already for today. But I continue to think of more and more.
Rather than post multiple time and annoy everyone in my newsfeed and because Mary is totally vegging out watching Paw Patrol I thought I’d get to work on another blog.
I woke up in a soft bed, with warm covers, and a toddler’s leg hanging over my waistline. I took a deep breath in and although I could have stayed there for another couple of hours, I followed my husband out to start the day. I smiled at a couple of sleepy looking kids and asked about their ‘sleeps’ on my way to a hot pot of coffee waiting to be poured and mixed and my pumpkin spice creamer.
That’s it, those first 3 minutes are full of a lifetime of blessings.
My bed. This means more than you can imagine. There were seasons of my life that the same bed every night, in my very own room was not a thing. There were nights in shelters where after a couple of days I could sort of breath and adjust to a new normal and a new bed and new blankets, none of which were mine, to find out that a foster home had opened up and we were moving to a new house, in a new room with a new bed and new blankets, none of which were mine.
Time would pass and I’d adjust to the new family and new bed and then it’d be time to adjust again. Then in college, there were months that if I didn’t spend the night with Jason, I’m not sure where I would have slept. So to wake up each morning in my own bed, it is a blessing. Not only did I wake up, it was in my own bed. I am blessed from the very the start of my day.
The toddler’ leg. That leg belongs to the child that completed our family. She is strong willed, and competitive and caring, and hilarious, and spoiled and brings large amounts of joy each day.
The husband. My best friend. The man I love more today than I could ever have imagined on our wedding day. My partner in everything hard and sad and beautiful and amazing.
The kids. I spent my entire life looking for what it was I was supposed to be. I have a master’s degree, two bachelor’s degrees, a resume full of a variety of jobs, experience as an educator and a consultant. All of that, it was always just work. It took me awhile to figure it out, but the kids, they were always what I was supposed to be. I was meant to be their mom and that vocation of motherhood it gives me all the purpose and more than I could have ever imagined.
The sleeps. It means I have sisters. After years of living a bit separated, we have pulled together. One of my sisters and her children call it sleeps. It stuck with me and I now love to ask my kids the same question every morning that I know my sister is asking my nieces and nephews. I have family. It means that even if I wanted to be left alone and forgotten, it would never be possible. I have people. The ones in my house and the ones thousands of miles away and we are connected.
The coffee. It means we have electricity. It means that I have a kitchen with cupboards full of more than just necessities. The coffee will sooth my sore throat, warm me on a cold day, and reminds me every morning of the loving man I’m married too.
As I write all of this, I don’t forget that life is not the way I would have planned. If I was consulting on this plan, I’d put a little less broken heart, a little less uncertainty, a little less loss, and a lot more cure for DMD.
But if I were writing this plan, would I have included even half of what I’m thankful for. Probably not, I’m too human and too selfish and would not have thought of the blessing each of the lessons and people are.
Maybe I will annoy my newsfeed. But I love November. It gave me a sister, it gave me a son, if gave me the Chicken Noodle Dinner & Bazaar, it gave me Thanksgiving, and right now in the middle of my grief and this new bout of crud, thanksgiving is my lifeline.
When I count my blessings they are greater than my sorrows. Does a hot cup of coffee make up for the loss of a sister, or the fear of losing a medicine that is helping my sons? No. But, the lifetime of blessings that I can reflect on and count, it soothes my aching heart and even in the midst of my grief, my heart is a grateful one.