Giving Up Lent

Each Lent I take up rather than give up. I find taking up a practice that helps me become a better person or that spreads some love ... or both ... works better for me than giving up something for Lent. 

Except this Lent. 

This Lent, I'm giving up.

I'm giving up being down on myself when I don't get the things done that I want to do in a day.

I'm giving up worrying about things I can't control. 

I'm giving up putting pressure on myself to write more, do more, have a cleaner house, be more organized, and all the things that take away from me saying yes when my children ask me to do something with them. 

I'm giving up feeling like I should be contributing financially to my family, as it's just not possible for me to be gainfully employed at this point in time and it's a full time job managing my health. 

I'm giving up trying to explain myself to people who only want to convince me that they are right and that they know better than I do about myself or my…

Double Digits

This year is destined to make me feel really old. My youngest achieves double digit status today - ten years old! In several months, another child will reach the milestone of turning sixteen, followed one month later by her brother turning eighteen. Exactly two months later, another child will celebrate his thirteenth birthday and a few months later my eldest child will be twice as old as my youngest.

Alia has been counting down the days until her tenth birthday since the day after her ninth birthday. Leading up to her ninth birthday, she suggested we just skip nine and go right to ten. To say she's excited to be ten is a gross understatement. 

She has had a busy year. She found a passion for contemporary dance, spent two full weeks at Camp Calumet's Resident Camp where she sang and acted in the Drama Camp performance of Oliver Twist, talked her way into the cast of Epoch Arts Haunted House, and has dissected a pig heart. In the past year she has been diagnosed with hypermobilit…

To Want the Best

There's a meme going around social media that has a photo of a plate of nachos and text that goes something like: 
Marriage is sharing a plate of nachos and trying to eat faster than your partner so that you get the cheesiest ones.When I saw it, it broke my heart a little.

Is marriage really trying to get all or most of the best of something you share instead of your partner? Is it a competition? Is it selfishness? 

To me, marriage is sharing a plate of nachos and saving the best ones for your partner and then arguing over who gets the last best nacho because you want the other to have it. 

A loving relationship is wanting your partner to have the best, to enjoy what they have, to at the very least have an equal share, and at the very most have all of the best of what you have to offer. It's valuing the other person enough to be content with equal or less because you love that person and want them to have more, while not worrying about having less because you know your partner lov…

Girls Day Ouch or Counting Blessings

Things didn't go as planned. 

But the moral of the story, once all was said and done, was to be thankful that one misstep put things back into place and saved a lot of agony in the long run. But I digress...the plan...

My plan was to stay in my pajamas all day. And then maybe ... maybe ... shower and change into new pajamas after dinner. There were errands I needed to run, but they could wait, as my hip was incredibly painful and not quite where it should be and I haven't been sleeping well and really just needed a "day off."

And then...

Alia came to me and reminded me about her finger. She did this by basically flipping me off, although that's not what she meant to do. It's just that her middle finger on one hand isn't bending much and her knuckle and tendon/bone in her hand are painful and it's not in the correct position when she holds her fingers straight. 

I weighed the options as took a larger dose of prednisone and dragged my aching body into the sh…

To Give Up

At what point does one give up?

It is currently 3:04AM and I'm wide awake. At 9:00PM I was exhausted and ready for sleep, but in too much pain to fall asleep. Now, I'm at the same time physically exhausted, yet wide awake. I'm treading the balance between having enough time to get sufficient, although far from ideal sleep and getting just enough sleep to feel miserable for the rest of the day. I might feel better if I just stay up, but I also might not. 

For healthy people, this decision wouldn't be as complex as it is for me. If I don't sleep, my adrenal insufficiency has greater risk of rearing its ugly head in a very bad way. If I don't get enough sleep, same issue. The rub is, I can't sleep not only due to pain, but due to the steroids I take to treat the adrenal insufficiency. 

At what point do I give up on sleep and instead begin my day?

My limit is usually 4AM. After that, sleeping is futile if I have something going on in the morning. I just take my thy…

To Recognize Accomplishments

Sometimes reading through posts on social media is difficult - especially as someone who lives with chronic pain and chronic illness. 

Posts about people traveling, going back to school to further their education, accomplishing a milestone at work, training for a race, and the like are sometimes hard to read because I can't even dream of those types of things at this point. But sometimes even posts about everyday things like a dinner out or a busy day full of errand running feel discouraging because my illnesses are eating up our finances as well as my ability to accomplish more than one or two things in a day. 

It's not that I think people shouldn't post these things - I post similar when that's what's going on with me. It's not that I don't celebrate with others when they accomplish something or move toward a dream, because I do. It's the frame of mind coping with chronic pain and illness puts me in at times.

Some days it's an accomplishment for me t…

To Choose Hope

Some days you learn new things about yourself.

You could learn that you're tougher than you thought; or that you have a passion for something you never imagined; or that you really do not like radishes.

And some days you learn things you did not necessarily want to know about yourself, especially when that thing is yet another diagnosis. And especially when that diagnosis comes with your doctor giving you a doctor's note to put with your driver's license in case of emergency, and with orders to get a medical alert bracelet as soon as possible and to let everyone close to me know what to do should you become acutely ill.

I'm donning my new medic alert bracelet while I type.

It's wonderful when a diagnosis goes a long way in explaining how I've been feeling and why my health can go downhill so quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. And why I get incredibly sick when I get sick.

It's scary, too. I carry medical protocol in my wallet, just in case it's needed - a…