Sunday, January 20, 2008

Much better, thanks for asking

A brief medical update to let everyone know I am feeling MUCH better. I have finished my latest round of antibiotics and although I have not been back to the doctors yet for my follow-up, I am feeling about a million times better. That was an awful two weeks that I don't care to repeat anytime soon and I am shocked at how it affected me, it was strangling the life out of me.

I have still resolved though to love myself more, to cut myself more slack. This is monumental for me and still quite a work in progress. Reading, Eat Pray Love has left me craving for more like it so I am searching out similar books. So far I have been recommended, The Secret (which previously I passed on) and Simple Abundance, which I swear I have read before. Clearly, it is working, I am so focused and relaxed and all.

I wonder though who among us could really up and check out of their life to go on such a pilgrimage? It feels selfish to even think about doing something like that. I think this kind of introspection and searching for one's true core borders on decadence, this type of self-exploration is perhaps better left for the young and free. I am not saying this is not worthwhile decadence, just not a realistic pursuit for me in this chapter of my life.

The window of opportunity for this type of fancy free exploration has passed me by. You need to forgo all else in this pursuit and I think you would be hard-pressed to find many Mom's able to do this. Whether the reason is financial (who can afford to leave their job?), emotional (who wants to leave their kids and spouse for months at a time?), we need to find a condensed version of the journey. Yes, that is exactly what I need the Reader's Digest version of finding one's true self.

My husband has always been supportive of me not being around. He loves to take the girls out shopping or running errands alone. He relishes his time alone with them. He leaves me to fuss around the house in complete silence or occasionally steal away to have a coffee and read a magazine. He has been telling me for years to go away with the girls or even by myself. 'Get away for a while' he tells me all the while I am imagining just how their hair would look while I am gone.

Of course he can hold down the fort, but money isn't exactly falling around me in a happy rain so there is also that to consider. A weekend away however, is entirely doable. I have gone overnight once with the girls, but was back home in less than 48 hours - it was one night after all. And we stayed in the city, by my definition that is not really away. It was fun though and so nice to do what I pleased, but that is not even entirely true as I was with two other people. Thinking about it now maybe going somewhere alone is just what I need. It feels scandalous to even think about it, stay-at-home Mom's just don't up and leave the homestead do they?

I can hear your murmurs, "her husband says go and she is complaining" let it be known I realize I am grateful to have such a supportive husband. It is one thing to think about doing something and actually doing it. A huge part of me is wondering if I can get past the trepidation and do it. It is my own reservations here that is the fuel burning wildly and keeping me from doing it.

I have prattled enough for one post. If anyone has read any good books that they want to recommend let me know. Have any of you tried to check out of the homestead with the sole purpose of discovering yourself? I would be interested in hearing about it.

For you Canucks don't forget the CBC Test the Nation: Trivia challenge tonight...I was the winner of the Language challenge (not by much though) so we are having round two tonight.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Come out , come out, wherever you are

I just read that today is National (or has it reached international status by now?) Delurking Day. I am actually not too fond of the words lurker or delurker for that matter, it sounds like something you could be charged for. A lurker is someone who does not leave a comment, but reads your blog regularly.

I have a loyal bunch of blogging friends who read and comment with such tender care that I have never really give it much thought as to who is reading and not commenting. Lately though I have noticed that there are several regular visitors that are in the shadows - of my Sitemeter at least. Maybe they are too shy, maybe they just enjoy reading, whatever the reason I don't really mind at all.

Here is the but part, if there are any of you who do want to comment and say 'hello' please feel free, I don't bite (unless provoked) and I would love to hear from you. If you wish to remain behind the scenes that is fine too, I myself read many more blogs than I comment no worries.

Hmmn. To make this all a little easier here are some weird facts about me and a few other random bits to make the introductions a little smoother.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Funk and Love

Christmas and New Year's are safely over and now I cannot deny that I am feeling a bit like I am in a funk. I read with listless enthusiasm about increasing my volunteering and curbing my spending, and if it only were not so much trouble I might raise my hand. My energy has vanished along with the piped in holiday soundtrack.

I am not normally this blase about life, especially topics and causes that are important to me. Of late though, I have been feeling like the proverbial hamster in the wheel, running and running and getting pretty much nowhere.

It has been a long fall. Hubby has been diligent in his efforts to get in shape and not be one of those awful statistics. Heart disease runs in his family and he is determined to lose weight, lower his blood pressure and cholesterol so he will be a part of this family for many years to come. Rather than stick his head in the sand, much like my current approach to health, he is tackling this head on. Trips to the gym five days a week and healthy eating are putting him on the right track.

So why then is it so hard for me to do the same? Why at the end of the day am I lucky if I have managed to get dinner for the girls, homework done and the kitchen cleaned up. I had a bad sinus infection in November that has not really left it seems. Many nights I cough for hours and only in the wee hours do I rouse myself out of my comfy warm bed to swig directly from the Benelyn bottle. I went to the doctor Monday and the infection indeed was not really gone, instead vacationing south in the area of my lungs. The sleepless nights and general malaise are in a large part due to this on-going sickness. Not enough sick to get me a sick day, just bad enough to render me tired, cranky and useless. Mostly the useless part as I am often tired and cranky.

When is a funk a problem? I am naturally a bit of an anxious person and usually a bit of a downer to be honest. I like order and structure much too much and when I don't have the energy to support that need I feel out of sorts. The doctor much to my dismay did not order me to immediately hop on a plane to a sunny beach with a tonic for my nerves. My doctor was not worried at all about my funk, he was reassuring that once my lungs are better and I am getting some solid sleep (among other things) I will bounce out of this. I want to believe this, that everyone gets moody and sad sometimes, but still it scares me.

Looking back I know for a fact that I suffered Post Partum Depression after both of the girls. On the surface you would have never known it, but deep down I was struggling to remain even keeled - to remain in control. I was very close to asking for help and looking back I wish I did. It was a dark, panicky and scary time and I wish I had the information I have now, the resources I could have tapped into then.

Something that makes me a bit sad is that I am my most best self when I am totally removed from my daily life and grind, like when we are on vacation. Why is that? Why is it so hard to be that smiley, relaxed person in my own home? I don't really expect answers here - no need to panic about a clever and enlightened comment - even though my most loyal readers are truly so clever and enlightened. I just want to feel that light inside everyday.

I know that everyone gets down sometimes and I certainly experienced some terrible post-partum moments. Moments where I was sure I could walk out the front door and never look back. Fantasies of putting the girls into a taxi and sending them to Daddy's office. The thing is these were just moments, one of thousands of moments in any given day. Days that stretched on into infinity day - after - day - after - day. Many of those moments were sheer bliss, some were so deep I was sure I had pierced my core and yes, some so scary I was sure I could not do this another minute. Motherhood is tough much of the time, not always a great place for a thin skinned gal like me.

So this brings me to the fabulous book I am reading which I am sure everyone has heard about, I mean the author has been on Oprah and all, it is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and I am so loving this book. I am fascinated by someone who just up and checks out of her life on a quest for inner peace. The book is a bit fragmented in parts and she does come across as a bit of a whiner sometimes, still she captures so well the idea of quieting your mind to let in love, specifically God's love. What God it is doesn't matter, it is the idea of creating a space within yourself to let yourself be loved. I want to feel that peace too. I want to be good enough in MY mind to let that love in.

Being hard on myself is kind of my calling card I suppose. I know I can always do better and it bothers me. Today though I am resolved to being nicer to myself, to opening up my heart for more love - from everyone. Call it my New Year's resolution - to love myself more. I can't really think of anything better to resolve.