Thursday, August 7, 2014

Free to be

I was up this morning way before I normally am. I couldn’t sleep because I’m still waiting to hear back from my short-term disability on whether or not they’ve accepted my claim. Yesterday I had to run to Caldwell simply to sign a document allowing my OBGYN share my medical information (which in this case I don’t see the relevance since my claim has to do with my mental capabilities, not my physical ones). I was a little annoyed because they have been handling my case for weeks and only last minute realized they needed this. Little errands such as these—normally “normal” annoyances that come with life—have the effect of making me feel like a live wire. Anything that touches me gets a small shock, and each shock has the effect of increasing the voltage.

Other than the normal inconveniences that come from life, I have slowed myself waaaay down to almost a halt. My extra-curricular activities are at a bare minimum and most of my time is spent at home either resting or cleaning. Jose has to take the baby fairly frequently. Usually it works out that in the morning I have the most ambition, cooking, cleaning, taking care of Aurelio, but in the evening I have to let everything go and slink upstairs to watch t.v. or sleep. I then get a second burst of energy and use it by cleaning, and then bed.

Anyway, I didn’t write this to share my new routine, which I realize has to be fascinating, but to share some of my more recent personal insights. Maybe it’s ironic but I wanted to share how too much of my life over the last few years has been open to sharing. Or maybe a more accurate description is that I feel like too much of my life has been available to something or someone else besides myself.

Examples: Working 40 plus hours a week, trying to maintain a crippled social life, spending quality time with my husband and my child, the stress of a disorganized household, worrying about other people’s various troubles. All these things have been energy expounded outwards. Some of them are now considered “fillers” in that they have the effect of making me feel complete, but when you add more to your plate than you can carry, I’ve learned that even the good can become burdens that drain you.

Now I find that I have time for activities that used to take energy for me to push through. Praying has more become like an act of breathing, something I came to doubt was possible over the years. I didn’t suspect that I was spending so much time confined to actions that *had* to be done that my mind/heart weren’t free to just be.

As I’ve mentioned before, cleaning is another activity that used to be a drain but has now turned therapeutic. Almost daily I am able to not only keep up on the usual required tasks but am able to complete a major task that I have been pushing off for weeks, months or years. As I watch my space become more organized I feel myself breath.

Pets are another. I have always loved having them, but the responsibility attached would drive me crazy with its endlessness. Poop, food, a clean habitat; rarely were these were items I could maintain consistently, even though I wanted so badly to have them around. Now I have added two new ones to my growing menagerie and love nurturing their little existences.

Overall I think this time is a gift from my hormones, forcing me to evaluate what is truly important in my life. What are my priorities? What do I want to spend time doing and what is only a drain? We all have responsibilities that we have to be mindful of, but for some of us we take on the world like it is expected of us. I hope at the end of this all I will have developed a resolve toward investing myself in what is actually expected of me.

I do hope to someday be better enough so that every bump in the road doesn’t have the effect of jarring my entire system, but in the meantime I will watch and learn from this experience, and try to be brave. After all, it is a very scary thing to have to tell the world “no” while you simply try to exist.