Over the Christmas holiday I have been as sick as I can remember. Samuel , sadly, has been just as bad and even worse. We had a virus run through the house, but it hit Samuel and I the hardest. After one trip to the doctor, two trips to the urgent care, three different antibiotics for secondary infections, and every home remedy we could throw at this bug we are finally feeling a bit like our normal selves. I am still fighting an ear infection, but it seems to be healing slowly.
Somewhere around day five of this quarantine I began to relax, and then it hit me. Maybe my lack of rest in general is why my body is not recovering like the others. Sam and I have not slept well in months and months…and I think it just finally caught up with us. When I gave in and just let things be what they were going to be I began to see the tight knot that is wound up inside of me. I am just plain tired, but the adrenaline I am addicted to that makes it possible for me to function is hard to resist.
And when Mamas get this run down we must resist adrenaline.
We must stop pushing through and rest.
Resting has been very good, and I have been eating nourishing food, sleeping late, and going very slow. This has given me much time to think about my health. I have also had plenty of time to sit and contemplate ways to better care for myself and my family.
When I look ahead at 2015 I can see some major projects, possibly a move, a heavy work load, and schedule. And all these things are good. However, I can also see that my inward state needs some nurturing if I am going to enjoy health and happiness this year. I need better strategies to help me not feel so overwhelmed.
Here are a few things I am going to try…
One giant step toward health for me is the choice to leave social media, Facebook in particular. I once left Facebook for seven years, and I did much better with my inner life. It has taken me a while to understand why I have this love/hate relationship with it. It is not that Facebook is evil or wrong or anything like that. I love the interaction and the keeping up with friends and family. For me it is neurological. Something about the format makes me nervous…the scrolling and how my eyes jump from one thing to the next. The amount of information is too much for me. And once I start on this feast of information I get bogged down in it, and I spend way too much time on this site. I know, I know, I could be more mature and set limits and all that…but I don’t. I think the site’s design (the actual layout, advertisements, colors, lines, etc.) is very addictive for me.
Redefining my morning routine
For a year I have been very angry that I cannot have the solitude that I think I need in the mornings. During this illness I came to terms with this and had a sort of funeral for my mornings in my mind…I must let that go and get into the groove of my baby. That means I will have a new morning routine. Instead of books and coffee and even lengthy prayers I am going to enjoy Sam. A friend who had six kids (I only had three at the time) told me that someday my mornings would be different…she was right. She told me that she prayed a morning offering prayer before her feet ever hit the ground, and that was the foundation for her day. She too was a lover of contemplation and books and coffee. However, her life demanded that she take advantage of her mornings in a different way. I am going to follow my friend and quiet my soul in this area. I holler calf-rope, and it feels so good.
Revisiting my menu planning
My grocery budget is insane. I know that food is expensive, but I could do better in this area. My menus need to be simplified. I have a five week menu cycle that I made when I had three kids, none of which ate like adults. With two teenagers in the house and a tween that eats as much as her sisters, it is time to remake my menus to be more frugal. What I spend on groceries stresses me, and it should…it’s too much! I know my lack of planning and organization is the major problem. Some ideas I have are to make double batches of soups, beans, casseroles, etc. and freeze them. Also, I need to take advantage of sales and stock up on things we use more often. Another strategy I have is to grocery shop early Saturday morning when the stores are quiet. This one change would greatly reduce my stress in this area, and allow me to focus.
Refocusing our homeschool
I have been in serous homeschool burn out mode this year. It just feels so tedious and overwhelming. And the truth is, it is! Homeschooling this many kids, all at different ages and stages is a hard work. But, it is my work…it is what I am called to do. Through the prayers of the Panagia and Righteous Anna I am strengthened… I do not labor alone or in vain. I am reorganizing the school room, refreshing books, and working toward a more peaceful atmosphere.
Vespers on Wednesday nights
I would love to have this time of prayer on a weekly basis, but the long drive to the Hermitage or our Parish might makes this unrealistic. For now I want to attempt once a month.
I told Slade today that the illness during Christmas was a blessing. It forced me to stop…stop everything and really listen, really see. I am thankful that we are all on the mend and that the new year has come. What goals or resolutions do you have for the New Year? I hope you are feeling the peace of Christ this season and the joy of His abiding love. He is always with us.
Happy New Year friends!