Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harvesting

Chronic illness and going back to work…. yes, I have a chronic illness but don’t mistake that for meaning that I am my chronic illness.  At the same time there are moments when I do feel that is all I am, when I am worried about falling asleep driving home, or to work.  When I look at facing a 12+ hour shift and wonder where the energy will come from.  To fighting back tears because there is someone in front of me that is also in pain, and my pain can wait.

I have a huge toolbox when it comes to handling pain, from meditations, to herbs, to prescription, conversations with friends and to just being in Adam’s arms.  But lately I have been facing something new, new unrelated symptoms.  First comes the denial and hope, it is just the stress of the job.  Then a pattern starts to emerge, steps are taken, and it doesn’t go away. 

That is when the fear comes, that place I am right now.  Waiting to see another doctor, hoping to for an answer and remembering the pain of that journey two years ago, the not knowing, not being believed and finally chronic illness but also tools.  Tools for physical support, emotional and spiritual.  Because all three must be treated.

Since I don’t have the physical tools right now.  I go to my emotional and spiritual tools, which need to be sharpened.  That is the journey I am on, sometimes it is finding new tools and sometimes it is polishing and sharpening a tool that hasn’t been used in a while. 

It is time to trust the process to keep going, whatever and however that looks.  Crying, screaming, laughing, smiling, fight and surrendering it is all there, each and every day.  You ever notice how you can brighten someone’s day with just a simple smile, a simple word of sincere encouragement, or taking a moment to really listen?  Not only do I notice how it can change someone’s day, but I am experiencing how it changes my day.  A smile or hug from a co-worker, that brief conversation of encouragement might make a huge difference to someone and everyone they interact with.  The key facet is sincerity, it is taking the time to see the person first, pausing to put down whatever is going on and see what is being reflected to you.  Such simple words and yet a lifetime pursuit.

Question of the day: What tools do you have and what tools do you get to forge as your face your upcoming battles?  It is fall, time to harvest;  what did you grow this year?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Making Space

Here is the thing, learning and doing something new has a cost.  It takes time, it takes effort and sometimes it really sucks.  When I have been in the hospital for 32 hours and I still have homework and medical treatments to do when I get home, things start to fall through the cracks.   Adam and I rarely see each other, my time to practice, read or meditate have been condensed or forgotten some days.  I signed up for a really tough year, and I didn’t fully realize how much it was going to cost.  I also have no idea where the process will take me.  I don’t know what will survive the extra stress.  I know that I will learn a lot, I know I will learn things that will serve me in my life but right now I feel the cost.

Right now the things I have to brag about are that I keep getting up, I keep driving to work and I keep pushing myself to go into those patient’s rooms and learn.  I find myself feeling down when I look at Facebook, look at all these amazing people that I don’t have the time to go see.  Adam continues to remind me, this is only for a year, but I still needed to find some self care.

I needed to find some creative outlet that was not theological discussion, that was not making meaning and purpose out of a tough visit, that was not thinking of different ways I could’ve handled the situation.  I went out of my comfort level and signed up for a doodling and dance class.  It was exactly what I needed, the space and invitation to be creative but with prompts to help guide that. 

I find myself in a part of the process where I feel I don’t know if it will be worth it, where I am trusting in something bigger then me.  Trusting that however this year ends up transforming me in such a way that will continue to serve me and those around me.  That I might have to squeeze in self care into small moments, small classes and reach out of my comfort zone when my schedule allows.  But I also need to be really gentle with myself, to remember that I am worth the time to take that class, that I don’t need to bring my computer everywhere to squeeze in a few minutes of reading or homework.  That somehow, I need to discover who else I am.


Question of the day:  How do you make time for just yourself?  Name something from this week that inspired you, gave you a bit of respite or helped you connect to yourself. 

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