I’ve been sick for the last week, hence the lack of activity on this blog. And, I haven’t been “just a little sick”, I’ve been down for the count. I’ve got one of those “crept up on me and knocked me on my arrogant bum and completely out of commission” colds. (Don’t I sound dramatic? And the Oscar goes to….) I figure I had simply gotten a little too proud of the fact that I have nursed my family through repeated cycles of colds without fully succumbing once in the last 18+ months . However, I have finally been equalized by that great motherhood nemesis–a germ bug. A small, rapidly multiplying germ that has forced me to surrender control, let go of my “shoulds” and “musts” and leave blank pages of my day planner. It’s also stirred up some old patterns I thought I had put to rest long ago.
I’ve faced my share of health challenges over the years. I’ve been in and out of the operating room almost a dozen times and have been forced to give up control when an auto-immune illness directed my days. And ironically, for all of those experiences, I am grateful. I believe that we are presented with opportunities that can help us grow, and my health challenges have offered me just that. I also agree with Renée of Lessons From Teachers and Twits, who wrote, “If you don’t do it by choice, I find that life makes us slow down. We get sick or injure ourselves, etc.” in response to my post about slowing down. I’ve learned (the hard way) how to surrender when things are beyond my control. However, old habits can die hard and, like a kid on summer break, I’m prone to forget the lessons I’ve learned, which should explain all my “remedial work” in this arena.
This cold has reminded me, once again, to pay attention to what my body is telling me and to honor its needs before it breaks down. In the last several weeks, I’ve been under more mental stress than physical, which has certainly taken its toll. However, in old pattern style, I’ve dismissed it. Although, I’m a little quicker to give my body what it needs than I once was, I still struggle with the idea of “losing a day” to a lack of productivity. Yesterday morning, my younger one called me to the mat on my recent choices saying, “Mom, you’re acting like a hypocrite. You tell us to listen to our bodies and rest when we need it, but you’re not practicing what you preach.”
I was confused, especially in light of the fact that I feel like I’ve slept more in the last week than a bear does all winter. My defense was the itemize the several hours I’ve spent sleeping, to which she responded (in her rather direct teen manner) that I had spent an almost equal amount of time complaining about all the things I wasn’t getting done because of my cold. Smack down, teen style!
She was right. I had been complaining about all the things left undone and, in doing so, not truly resting. (Mental “to-do’s” consume energy too.) As a mom, it’s hard to completely unplug from life’s responsibilities, especially when children are still small. Although mine are old enough to be self-sufficient, they are still impressionable enough to learn poor habits from their mama. When my daughter relayed her observations, I felt a wave of guilt; I had demonstrated everything I’ve tried to teach my girls NOT to do. Like I said, old habits die hard. But thankfully, both girls have listened well enough to teach me the lesson I’d forgotten; when your body says rest, it means REST. Wisdom out of the mouths of babes…
There is wisdom all around us, from our children’s mouths to a stranger’s comment. We’ve all walked different paths and in doing so, have picked up different pearls. Each one unique, just like the person that carries the wisdom and passes it along so that others can benefit. It was my stuffy nose that forced me out of bed at 2:30 this morning. Or, perhaps I just grew tired of sleeping. Either way, the wee hours gave me an opportunity to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and share with you some of the wisdom I discovered from my sick-bed. Please, if you don’t have time to visit all the links I’ve post here, bookmark this page and come back to it. Each and every one of these posts offers a pearl that you will want to add to your own collection.
The View Out My Window . . . by Cindy Skerjanec: No more Pookie.. — In this post, author Cindy Skerjanec captures the bittersweet transition out of one chapter and into another. I have tasted the tears that come when you say good-bye to one season . And, I have felt the joy that can only come from watching children make their own transitions.
Something Important to Make Time For | Altered Iris.–Aside from the fact that I love the subtitle of her blog (Living Life Inspired), I love the artwork Cheri creates and shares here, and I especially love the reminder she gives all of us in this post.
Budgeting ain’t for sissies! « The Monster in Your Closet. –If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you already now that I adore Deborah Bryan’s writing, and her stick figures are the bomb. In this post, she reminds us that we should manage more than just our financial budgets.
10 things I am not-so-good at: a #MondayListicle! | mynewfavoriteday.–No matter how great a day is going, Shannon can make it better. In every post, she opens her heart and shares honestly the pain and joy of her journey as the mother to her “special mini’s.” In this post, she shares even more of herself, all while giving her reader permission to accept themselves and own the things they are “not-so-good at.” (My top one is forgiving myself.)
Under the Starry Ceiling « Single Working Mom (SWM).–Kasey’s zest for life is contagious. She is a grounded, single working mom who connects with my “see the silver lining” view of life. In this post, she reminds us that sweetness is found in making something our own, regardless of its history.
Grace « runningfromhellwithel.–There were several of El’s posts I could have linked up here, but this one captures the El I have come to know through her blog, her FB page, and our online chats. Her journey has been rough, her wisdom is raw, and her posts are often gritty. However, despite the pain of her past, this is a woman whose heart was not destroyed. El opens her journey of healing to her readers and, in doing so, offers healing to others.
wotz da big deal cuz u kno wot i mean « Lessons From Teachers and Twits.–Coolest teacher–ever! Oops, is that a fragment? Renée writes about the humorous aspects of her life as an English teacher, as well as hosting guest bloggers who share lessons they have learned. In this post, she stresses proper grammar and humor. (I’m pretty sure I made at least 4 grammar mistakes in the last 4 sentences.)
Does Evil Exist? | Believe Anyway.–Kate’s posts are like an open window on a spring day; they bring in freshness at the end of a long day. I have yet to read a post that I haven’t enjoyed, but this one made me think, made me smile, and brought me comfort. Read and see why.
The Light on the Flip Side | Hands Free Mama.–I love everything about the Hands Free Mama blog and revolution. I have linked up to her on my blog before and though I fully embrace her message, I forget in my busyness to live “hands free.” Her posts are always a great reminder about life’s real priorities, and this one about preserving rather than squishing a child’s spirit is no different.
Each of the above blogs has offered me something, and not just in the posts I’ve linked to here. Scan the other posts; there are other pearls to be uncovered. In addition to a chance to catch up on my blog reading, this cold has offered me a good reminder to really listen to my body and to pay attention to what my actions are teaching my girls.
How do you respond to your body when you’re sick?