Sunday, May 31, 2015

on being wonder woman

Henry, who is going through a particularly big super hero phase at the moment, came home from school on Friday and told me that during "Show and Tell", he informed his 1st grade class that his mother is actually "Wonder Woman."  That he feels that way about me, despite my less than stellar maternal moments the past few weeks, is encouraging.

I love that little boy. He is my medicine.

This past month has been a whirlwind.  Between major home renovations, a pending list and sale of our current home, a future selection and purchase of a new home, a relocation that was slated for four weeks from now, mentally preparing for a new community - office - schools - church - grocery store, Carolyn's surgery (which has been scheduled and canceled twice), William's heel (he injured his Achilles'), and my father's passing ... it's no wonder I've been a bundle of cranky nerves.

My dear friend is a clinical psychologist, and when during one of our walks I was talking about recent and forthcoming events, she asked, "Do you realize you are going through about three of the five most stressful situations in life ... all at once?"  

When I went to see my doctor this week for bronchitis I haven't been able to shake for the past month, and recounted for him just some of the things that we have happening (there are so many other things that are causing stress, which I'll maybe write about later); he just shook his head and gave me the advice to slow down and take some time for me.   

But, but.  Doctor!  How can I possibly slow down when I have so ... much ...  to ... do?

People are counting on me!

Contractors, realtors, supervisors, teachers!

On Friday, I had lunch with a co-worker, who was telling me that several young women we work with, who recently had babies, were anxious to return to work before their newborns were even two-months old.  I was aghast that they were pushing themselves so hard ... these new mothers are granted more time off from our employer, so why aren't they taking it?  Someone needs to tell them that the world will not stop spinning if they take some additional time for themselves, and their families.

As the words were leaving my mouth, I recognized the irony in my statement.

Why are we so resistant to nurturing ourselves?  Why are we so keen to keeping up appearances that we are more than capable of doing everything, and more, on some compressed schedule?  Perhaps it's not even intentional that we impose requirements upon ourselves and expect that we can sustain them - over time?  Why do we work so hard and furiously fast??

I sat in the parking lot of a the restaurant for a few minutes, thinking hard about what I really needed to have happen in order to get that weight of an elephant off my chest.  And then I sent my boss an honest e-mail that indicated I will not be ready to fly to Texas this week and buy a new house, nor will I be ready to list our house next week.  The moving truck that was scheduled for June 29th will need to be postponed until sometime in July. Or maybe even August.

I'll admit that I was nervous to tell my boss these things, so it helped that a doctor, someone from the medical industry, a trained professional (!), had told me something I already knew: my first priority is my health, and the health of my daughter.  It also helps that I am in a situation where I might be offered some latitude. I cannot comprehend how people that have no choice continue to function.

First, I need to get healthy because the last time I was under a lot of stress, I nearly died. Some stress = Good Motivator.  Too much stress =  Not Good.  It can be a fuzzy line, but when it feels like your heart and/or head are going to pop (and you find yourself swearing a lot), you've likely migrated in to the Not Good zone.  Once I'm well, Carolyn needs to have her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgery.  And once she is recovered - which will take approximately two weeks, we will list our house.  It would be less than ideal to show our house while someone is recovering from major surgery.  So ... we won't do it. 

My boss immediately wrote me back and said, "Agreed. We'll see you when you get here."

I am so, so fortunate to have such a good boss, since my last one was so ... awful.  

The rest of the stuff, the buying a new house, the selling of our current house, the move - the acclimation to an entirely new environment ... those things will all happen, and fall in to place - just as they are meant to be.

But not today, so today I don't need to worry about them.  Today, I am just grateful for the beauty outside my window.

Amazing. The world is spinning on it's axis and I'm not even helping it.