I’ve started following BooksOfNote on Instagram and am using her April Reflections as a jumping off point. I started writing this yesterday and have decided that as long as I get a little bit of writing done every day that counts towards my 100 Day Project – even if I don’t hit publish every day. Hitting the 25 day point is a pretty proud moment for me and I’ve managed to be pretty consistent with a quarter of this project.
- What felt good this month: It has been, without a doubt, one of the strangest, stressful months ever – but, as I have mentioned before, also not so terribly strange to me because I am often isolated at home. What has felt good is getting back to blogging and using this time to really reflect and connect with people. I don’t know how many people are actually reading this blog. I don’t have a bunch of data that I mine through to see if writing is worth it. Writing has always been worth it for me. I don’t make a cent from blogging (or anything else for that matter) but it has given me a purpose every day and that has been instrumental in making me feel accomplished this month.
- What did you struggle with: Over all this month has found me in some of the worst pain ever I’ve ever experienced. Serious debilitating pain. I fractured my sternum, probably fractured a couple other rib bones too, gone through radiation, started chemo again, and had many changes to my pain medication without knowing if any of it has helped. Fact: when momma is a mess the whole family is a mess. It is hard to watch your mum/partner struggling every day and knowing there isn’t anything you can do about it. Probably almost as hard as it is to go through it. Even though I am surrounded by my family all day long I have felt really lonely locked in a pain prison, have suffered from some pretty brutal panic attacks, and at times wondered if it wouldn’t be better for my family if I just stopped fighting the cancer and bowed out gracefully – but that isn’t in my nature and I don’t want to miss a moment of this one life I’ve got (or any of the moments I am allowed with my daughters). But feeling like a burden is hard and every one is stressed right now with the change in work situation, school situation, the pandemic, the economy – really the list is endless. I know I’m not the only one who has felt lonely and scared this month.
- Where are you now compared to the beginning of the month: I am certainly in a better place physically, and therefore mentally. I’m still in pain most of the time but I have gotten it down to a dull roar. This past week I have made an effort to spend as much time out of bed as I can, get dressed nicely, even put on a bit of makeup and focus on getting tasks done. I’m nowhere near where I want to be but I can only control so much which means controlling what I can right now is extra important to me. I tend to beat myself up over all the things I can’t get done though which doesn’t help.
- How did you take care of yourself?: See above about getting dressed and making an effort. It may have gone unnoticed by many in the family but I’ve felt the difference and I’m doing it for myself anyway. Plus being able to spend more time in the kitchen. I love cooking and creating food for my family. (I also love eating the food I make.) I love making plans for the future. It is often hard to think about a time when I can no longer make plans but honestly I will probably be scrolling knitting patterns and ordering yarn on my death bed JUST IN CASE I have the time & energy to make ONE MORE THING! You just never know!
- What would you most like to remember?: How amazing this extra time is with my girls. Moira had her birthday in April and she is such a gift – I mean, you’ve seen the photos and she really is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, and I’m not just saying that because she now reads this blog. 😉 Our schedule is such that we do schooling and chores in the morning. Hanging out with them and helping them with their schooling has been mostly fun – especially since the older two are very self-directed. I told myself when school was cancelled that we weren’t going to get overwhelmed by all the pressure and that this was the time to teach the girls life skills (like cleaning the bathroom every week) and thus far we have been accomplishing these goals. Moira, Fionnuala and I spent weeks watching The Great British Sewing Bee and having discussions about it and that was really awesome and I am so amazed by how intelligent and thoughtful these girls of mine are. We also watched two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which was also fun and fulfilled our love of period costumes – but was also getting too stressful (when you think about it, it is a really weird/disturbing thing to watch people get murdered constantly). I’m hoping this week they are willing to make time to go back to The Great British Sewing Bee.
- What do you need to let go of?: I’m a peacemaker so conflict is hard for me and having four other people with different moods and opinions in the house at ALL TIMES makes it even harder. But I’m making a real effort to internalize that no matter how hard I try I cannot carry anyone else’s happiness. When I was young my big sister used to say I was “one of those super feelers” because my emotions were always so close to the surface – in the more popular new-agey language people would call this an “empath”. She didn’t mean it as a compliment either. *Insert laughing face at the memories here* So I need to let go of the responsibility I constantly feel to make sure everyone is happy no matter how hard of a time I have separating my own feelings.
(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)