"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Saturday, April 26, 2014

How to enjoy a rainy Saturday!

Another semester has come and gone. This was a rough one! I took three classes, taught one class, worked full-time and played mommy. Again it was such a blur I am not sure what I actually learned ..... grades will be out soon so that will at least tell me what I managed to convince my professors I learned. 

I had all sorts of plans for today, finally plant some flowers and clean the front yard were on the top of my list. After the winter we had my little flower garden and my strawberry patch are looking pretty sad (the pictures are of my garden seeing better days! If I took a picture now it would be a barren wasteland). But mother nature had other plans for me .... cold icky rain. This is probably for the best, because my body has just realized that a lot of the pressure is off and it just wants to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing all day! 

How does one accomplish that with an active seven year old in the house? Sometimes it is ok for your child to spend a rainy Saturday doing nothing! This is something that parents today seem to struggle with. In a culture where life is so scheduled and we are told not to let them watch too much television or play too many video games we forget that sometimes it is ok to just chill. Right now he is on the phone with his best friend while they both play Club Penguin. I am in the other room having my own private Walking Dead marathon. 

One of the things that I have learned in my classes over the past two semesters is that we as a society have put too much pressure on our children at too young an age. Too many parents want their children to do everything that they think will give them an edge in adulthood - sports, drama, music lessons, church, academics, the right friends, every second of every day scheduled to the hilt. Add to that bullying, the isolation caused by social media, and an increasing acceptance of violence in our communities and what we have done is raise a generation of very young children with anxiety disorders, eating disorders and other mental health problems.

The conclusion I have come to is that it is ok to spend a rainy Saturday doing nothing. Allow your brain to relax, spend the day curled up on the couch watching Scooby Doo. Maybe bake a cake or do some coloring ... maybe not. And most important for a completely stress free Saturday .... stay in your pajamas! 

After I ended classes on Thursday (I handed in two 10-15 page papers, gave a group presentation & did an individual presentation) I got a massage on Friday. I have talked about this before, but I think it is worth mentioning again. If you have lupus or even fibromyalgia I can't recommend massage enough! While it seems counter-intuitive to recommend massage for people who have chronic pain and inflammatory disease I am convinced that my monthly massage is what has kept me going for these past 4 months of classes and craziness. 

I get my massages at Massage Envy and they are FABULOUS!!! What I like most about them is that they asked about my health history and my health concerns on my fist appointment and matched me with a therapist who specializes in working with people who have chronic pain. She asks me before each session if I am in a flare or if I am having really bad fibro pain and she adjusts my massage accordingly. Most of the time, 99.9% of the time, a massage makes me energized and focused and ready to take on the world! But yesterday I was in such rough shape that it just made me tired and I don't know if it was the sudden release of energy, but I actually ended up with a migraine. I only mention this because people with chronic pain who start massage therapy need to understand that every once and awhile you may feel worse after a massage the next day. This does not mean it isn't working, it just means your body is in a different place on that day. 

The last thing I want to mention today before I embrace my day of NOTHING is a blog that is worth the read. Still Life is written by my cousin's wife. I have had people tell me that the way I handle lupus is inspirational - I don't see it. When I think of someone who is an inspiration, this is the kind of person I think about - and when I feel like giving in to self-pity, this is the kind of person I look to. If you have the time it is well worth the read! 

So, here is to starting a summer full of inspiration ... gardens and sunshine and beaches and travels ..... with an occasional rainy Saturday of absolutely nothing sprinkled in the mix! 

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