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

Friday, May 16, 2014

Family Friday ..... well kind of ....

Things have gotten pretty crazy around my house. With the semester over I thought I would have some more time at home to hang out and chill. But not so much. I forgot about the one season of the year that stresses me out more than winter .... graduation season! 

It has been an array of evening events for the past several weeks, along with events to tantalize the new students we expect in September, student award ceremonies, new student networking, online orientations, all culminating this Sunday with a graduation I must arrive at somewhere around 7:30 am and summer session teaching starting on Monday. In between all of this I have started an internship as a clinical mental health counselor. So, on top of the orientations I have been conducting, there are orientations I am attending. 

Some days I feel like I am in the middle of a tornado, or the eye of a hurricane watching everything whirl around me, balancing oh so carefully so I don't fall in. Of course these are the moments that you need to make sure those around you don't fall in either. The husband, the kids, the parents. I have to admit, I have let a little bit of that go recently. At moments like this you run the risk of taking the people you love for granted, assuming they will always be there. But in the past year several things have happened that make me very conscious of this, a friend's suicide, a family members illness and the way in which she has dealt with it, the separation of a friend's marriage;  and I remind myself regularly to take stock of my life and my world, the people I have to be thankful for and try to, in a small way, let them know, that I know, I couldn't do this without them. 

May is Lupus awareness month. And each year I think to myself that I am going to do something profound to bring awareness and compassion to people with autoimmune disease and chronic (chronic what? stress, pain, exhaustion, frustration, misunderstanding, all of the above). It hasn't happened yet primarily because it coincides with graduation season I have not come up with or executed any grand plan. 

The good news is that I feel healthier than I have in a long time. I think this has more to do with keeping my mind busy, not having time to focus on the fact that I don't feel good as opposed to actually being healthier. The problem of course with feeling healthier and not actually being healthier is that you push yourself beyond what you're physically capable of and you crash - generally on a day you have something you are really looking forward to do. When your body tries to beep in and you ignore the call, eventually it will come to your door and knock until you answer. I am not always good at answering the call. 

For Mother's Day my seven-year-old wrote a poem and it included "mom's favorite thing to do." He answered, sit on the couch. This bothered me profoundly, that this is the way he sees me. I know that in time he will remember all the things we do together (I see that now with his older brother), he will understand why I rest when I can. But for that moment, it hurt (as parenting often does) and created another touch point for me to take stock and prioritize. 

The summer is coming and I tried to come up with a list of places we would go, or things we would do, and I got overwhelmed and tired just thinking about it. And then I found this  - anyone with 2nd grade kids may find this interesting. The Magic Tree House Journal is something you can fill out with your child all year. They have winter, spring, summer, fall scavenger hunts, and questions about what animals you can find in your yard, etc. It is like being on a Jack & Annie adventure. This is a priority over the next year. So next mother's day perhaps this will be on the list of mom's favorite things to do. 

In the meantime, I must get ready for my internship orientation, followed by an event tonight. Tomorrow consists of a family birthday party and errands, Sunday morning is graduation, then soccer, then visiting a car dealership with my older son who wants to buy his own car. Every minute carefully planned and penciled in my calendar. I will let you know how the execution goes! 

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