My life has been caught up in a whirlwind of busyness lately, probably the most I have seen in years. When the month of October descended on me, much quicker than I planned by the way, I realized that I have something going on every single weekday for the entire month, with the exception of one solitary Monday. I would like to point out that I NEVER let that happen, if for no other reason than I physically cannot handle it.
I looked at my October schedule, staring at me as if to taunt me and say "there's no way you can do this" and I made an honest attempt to cut some scheduled things out of it. Except for one problem...
Those weekdays are packed with either work, a ridiculous amount of medical appointments, school nurse licensing classes, and one charity event that I just cannot miss. On many days, I am double booked and know that I am going to miss some things that I really wanted to attend, like my husband's yearly client event at work. With one exception, we are trying to make the weekends a time of true rest.
So I knew all this going into October. My husband and I talked about how we were going to get through it. Because when you have a spouse who is trying to get through a month like this, and said spouse has a chronic illness, it's not a one-person show. For example last week, I literally would spend the day at work, traveling to classes, and/or appointments and collapse into bed the second I walked through the door. My husband took care of the dog, made sure I ate, made sure we had food in the house to eat, made sure we had clean clothes, and a million other details that allowed me to be in bed whenever I was home. It honestly saved my sanity. And probably saved me an E.R. visit as well.
Our goal is for me to get to the month of November, pure and simple. I know I am pushing way beyond what is tolerable for me. But that's what happens when you start a new job at the same time a bunch of unexpected chronic illness complications come your way. And your elderly dog starts having even more issues than she already had. So, it's one day, one hour, at a time for now. And God handles the rest. At least, I hope so,
People around me think I'm busy all the time, but up until this past September, that typically is not the case. At least not as much as people think. My husband and I do a lot together on weekends when I am able, but I typically get a lot of alone time during the week. That has not been true lately and I realized that between being on the go a lot and not connecting with friends as often lately, I have been out of sorts. I am one of those people who does not do constant stimulation well and after a while, that comes through in the way I respond to the world around me. I need a certain amount of reflection time. Or peace time. Or writing time. Anything that grounds me and bring me back to equilibrium.
After surviving last week, I know I am in for another two weeks of this craziness. I also know that it is time-limited. However yesterday I realized that I have to change some things around so that I have quality quiet/soul nurturing time. Time where there is no TV on, no Facebook newsfeed lighting up my computer screen, no feeling the need to respond to every single e-mail I receive. My quiet time doesn't necessarily have to be quiet time at all. It just has to be time where my spirit can rest and I can feel some peace with the world, with myself, and with what I am trying to accomplish.
Going into October, I made a commitment to myself that I would not do anything on the weekends because otherwise, what other time would I have to try and calm my physical symptoms down? I thought of that as I woke up this morning and my husband was up getting ready for church. My body was telling me to stay in bed, but my spirit suspected that it needed to get up and go to church. It knew that it needed to be amongst friends. I also knew that some of my faith has been in a little trouble lately (the whole having an illness and being angry at God thing) and that a morning at church could help that.
And it did, even more so than I suspected it would. I don't know what other people's experiences in church are like, but for me, there is oftentimes this feeling I get when I walk in the front door that I am home, which ironically was the theme for our sermon this morning. It is a place for me to be with people who accept me as I am, who love me as I am. It's a community where I have to opportunity to give so much love back. This morning, it was also a place for me to get grounded again; a rare opportunity to be still and quiet in a supportive environment with other people. It's a place where when my faith is shaken, as it has been, I can see God in the goodness of the people that surround me.
And my soul becomes stronger again.
At least for today.