Playing Catch-Up

I’ve been sick. The kind of sick where you cough so much and with such conviction that people in an airplane, or people in Target, or people in your bed look at you with disgust and shift away from you. As if you can help it. The kind of sick that gives your stomach muscles a work-out and makes you have to run to the bathroom every time you cough because you’ve had two babies. (For those of you who can still cough, sneeze, or jump rope without pee running down your leg, well, all I can say is, shut up. No one cares.)

The kind of sick that makes you stay in bed.

The kind of sick that makes it feel like cooking dinner was an accomplishment.

The kind of sick that stresses you out because you are aware of all the work that is building up around you as you take yet another nap in the middle of the day.

But I am fighting it. I started back to Burn this week.

I started making dinner for the family again.

I did laundry.

I made a grocery list.

I stayed awake all day. Well. I plan to do that. Today.

But in the midst of all the sick and chaos that has surrounded me each day for the last week, there have been small triumphs.

I finished another month of Clomid. And this time it didn’t make me crazy. Or bloated. Or unable to sleep. Hooray!

I got to see my best friend graduate and I got to spend Mother’s Day with my Momma. Hooray!

I got to read a book I had been wanting to. Hooray!

I got to watch “The Handmaid’s Tale”! Hooray!

I got to match all my un-matched socks.

I got to order some stuff I have been putting off.

I got to watch the rain peacefully come down as I shouted at my pool to keep its fucking chlorine or I will murder it. Hooray!

And one more thing: Last year, Jackson ran up to me and wrapped his arms around me in a hug. He said, “Mommy! I love you. But how come I can’t reach my arms all the way around you when I hug you like I can with Julie?” (Julie is one of my very slender, best friends).

I told him that his arms were too little and he would grow bigger and that was that. I didn’t really want to get into a conversation about me being overweight and how I’m sad, and tired, and ready for a change. Cause I wasn’t ready quite yet.

Then two days ago he ran up to me and put his arms around me and gave me a hug. He said: “Mommy I love you! And look! I can get my arms all the way around you!” And you know what? He could.

So my first thought was, well he grew! He had a growth spurt! And maybe he did.

But also, I have been putting a lot of work into myself lately. And a small part of me wants to believe that it is paying off. It is paying off in measurable and immeasurable ways.

So there it is. My last few weeks in a nutshell. I’m trying not to be sick. I am trying not to slip into the abyss that sickness creates in me. I am trying to stay on track and positive. I am still trying to do everything and be everything. But sometimes it is okay if we need to rest. And I am slowly learning that. Just get back out there after you do. And remember,  small victories are only small if you make them!

M.

Maxima Enim, Patientia Virtus

There is an oft-recycled quote you’ve no doubt heard. Many have wrongly attributed it to┬áJesus. Some say Robert Frost first wrote it. Others say Buddha, or maybe it was Oprah? Seems like an Oprah thing to say. But it actually stems from an old Latin phrase, “Maxima denim, patient virtue” or “Patience is the greatest virtue”. Today there is much debate about whether or not patience, is in fact, a virtue. Does it mean good things come to those who wait? I don’t think so. But I do think those of us who can wait for something without getting angry or upset, whether it is a long line at Target or the opportunity for a new job, hold within us a valuable quality. One that not many people have. It is a quality I have admired in many people over the course of my life, and one that I have been trying to get right in my own life. But it is hard.

I’ve had to remind myself over and over again the last few months to be patient.

Be patient. I whisper this to myself as I step off the scale once again to the same number as the week before.

Be patient. My mind says, as I watch another ovulation test go from neutral to negative.

Be patient. I scream at my husband while he sleeps next to me, after another holiday passes and I didn’t get a baby llama as a gift.

Be patient.

We all know the feeling that bubbles up inside of us when we are waiting on something or someone and we reach a point when we just absolutely think we cannot wait for one more second. And then we wait. Because what else can we do?

Sometimes we make rash decisions, clouded by the fear that we will be late, or we will miss an opportunity, or that the llamas will grow up too fast and we will miss the small window of time where they can be trained to spit at people in UNC hats.

Sometimes we make rash decisions when we are upset with ourselves. We have waited too long to go somewhere or make a decision and then we find ourselves in a time crunch and suddenly life seems out of control. We don’t like to feel out of control. We don’t like the chaos that comes with feeling out of control and we don’t like the fact that we have no one to blame but ourselves. So instead we say things like, “I wouldn’t be late if the car in front of me was driving faster!” or “I would have this done already if I weren’t waiting on someone else to bring me the supplies”. Those are excuses. Plain and simple. We know that, but we rely on them on days like that.

And we all have days like that.

Whew. So, what do we do when life throws these days at us? I have no idea, y’all! Why would you think I would have an answer?! I am not therapist! I usually roll down my windows, scream the words to my favorite Tanya Tucker song, and say something like “Come at me, Bro!” to the lady in the drive-thru window to make myself feel better. But maybe that isn’t the best way?

So let’s do this. Let’s all take a look at our lives. Get to know what makes us tick. Learn what pushes us over the edge. Learn better time management. Learn how to get organized, or more sleep, or less sleep depending on how much you sleep. That way we can start to learn how to be more patient with our kids, our spouses, and ourselves.

That way, when Mother’s Day rolls around and you don’t have a llama tied to your bedpost you won’t scream at your husband “This is why I want a DIVORCE!” You will know to just take a deep breathe and say, “I am sure that there is a plan in this universe for my baby llama and me. I will be patient and I will wait.” And you will feel much, much better.

M.