It’s just after 7:00 on a Tuesday evening…and I wish I could go to bed! But I am here at Sarah’s gymnastics class (which, in my mind, is an indicator of progress, since I did not feel like I could drive at night, by myself, until mid-January!) for another hour or so, computer in hand (i.e., on lap!), and decided to try to give a quick snapshot of what a day in my life looks like at the moment. Not because I am under the illusion that my life is more fascinating than anyone else’s (HA!), but simply because it is so different than it was before…and also because perhaps this will help “people” (anyone who is interested!) grasp what my day-to-day reality is like. Perhaps it will help me grasp it, too! Sometimes it is still hard for me to “get my head around” this current reality…..
During the week I usually get up around 7:00, at which point everyone else around here is already up and doing their thing (hooray for ever-increasing self-sufficiency!). Once they all get out the door to work and school, with minimal assistance from me (and again I say, hooray! 🙂 ), I try to take our little dog for a short walk (a mile or less, usually!) hopefully with my walking buddy and good friend Susan. Then, more often than not, I have coffee (full-strength decaf these days!) with a friend for an hour or two….!! That has become one of my favorite ways to NOT expend too much energy! 🙂 After that, I try to figure out how I will spend the remaining two or three (hopefully…) “good” hours I have left in the day….! For the most part, I try to (seem to need to?) spend that time by myself, not feeling like I have the energy for many interactions with others…. which still seems hard to grasp…and yet it is unmistakably real for me….?! Not to mention, those are really the best hours I have in the day for anything I really do need to get done…. If I need to go to the grocery store, that’s what I will do (yes, hoping to avoid running into anyone I know!). If I have any kind of appointment (doctor, dentist, counselor, etc.), that’s when it will be. If I am needing to take my formerly-daily-but-now-weekly shower (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration……but not much! 🙂 ), or do some laundry, or pay some bills, or check my email/do some writing, or if I’m thinking clearly enough to get something in the crockpot for supper that night, that’s when I will do any of those things. On a good day, I might be able to get a couple of those things done before I’m feeling worn out (from what has been, as you can see, such a taxing and exhausting morning….!!!….?!?!) and feeling like I need to “close my eyes”…. On a not-so-good day, I might feel like lying down by 10:30 or so, and try to decide whether to push myself and get one more thing done, or forgo “productivity” and give in to the need to rest!
When I lie down for my nap (or what one of my friend’s kindly suggested renaming my “daily sabbath”! It feels kind of like a gift when I think of it that way! 🙂 ), I usually try to set my alarm for some period of time between an hour and a half and two hours, depending on how much time I have. Generally, it doesn’t take me long to go to sleep, but even if it does, I can tell that I need to be lying there resting (i.e., even if I don’t go right to sleep, I still don’t feel like jumping up to go get something done! My body, and my eyes, I can sense, need that “down time”–literally!). Often, then, by the time I get up, it’s about time for the kids to be getting home from school…which means snacks, homework, a walk with the dog, some sort of supper(!), and then bedtime stuff! By this time, it’s usually close to 8:30, and I’m pooped!! Which is totally understandable, right?, after what you can see has been another day of non-stop activity and mind-numbing frenzy!!!! 🙂 Often I get on the computer for a little while (as I am tonight! It’s Wednesday evening now, by the way….I, of course, couldn’t get this finished last night(!) and so am hoping to tonight…), or maybe do some reading, or just lying on the couch, until Chris comes out, at which point we generally spend some time talking and watching a little TV to unwind together. And then, by 10:00 or 10:30 we’re heading to bed. Yes, it might be worthwhile for me to go to bed earlier than that…and on occasion, when I am reallllly feeling wiped out, I do…but I’ve decided that I am not willing to give up that time with Chris. At least not on a regular basis. We really do need to stay connected during this challenging time, and a little down time together in the evening is one of the ways we work toward that. And that, by and large, is my current reality….
What am I not doing? I’m not doing any volunteering–nothing at school, nothing at church, nothing anywhere…. I’m not exercising much–I haven’t walked “the loop” (the 3-mile route I used to walk, or even jog, 4-5 times/week…), and in December I cancelled my membership at the Y, which I had just joined for the first time in my life about a year ago. I’m not spending time with any groups of people (i.e., read: more than two at a time!!), with the single exception of my weekly Bible study group. I’m not going out in the evenings to socialize, whether with my husband or with friends. I’m not encouraging the kids to have friends come over after school to play, nor am I offering to watch my friends’ kids. I’m not even spending much time on the phone. I used to do all of these things, and more, and love doing them!…. And for the most part–and again, still hard for me to wrap my head around!–just the thought of doing any of those things now continues to feel overwhelming to me. The thought of doing all of those things is about enough to send me into a coma!! Okay, well, maybe not….but it feels completely unimaginable at the moment….. Did I really used to do all that??….I did…. Was that really me??….It was….. Will that ever be me again?….Maybe, but maybe not. Only God knows. And I am trying to rest in that, trying to find peace in that, trying to trust that all of this, including myself, is in God’s hands…. Fatigue or no fatigue, there’s no place I’d rather be….
And with that, I will say, good night! 🙂