Thursday, December 02, 2010

Margins

It's 2:30 in the morning. I shouldn't be up, but I laid in bed awake....my right shoulder blade all of a sudden screaming at me to put heat on it or something to make it more comfortable - and then, there you go - my mind was all of a sudden awake too.

So, if I'm up, I should be paying bills - that's a very good thing to do when kids aren't distracting me and it's quiet. Or, maybe unloading the dishwasher, or folding laundry. Instead, I'm writing, using my blog as my therapy outlet.

A couple of years ago, John and Dave (Harlow camp director, beloved buddy of John's) heard a sermon regarding "margins" - and then that became the key word they used for describing their lives for a while. I didn't really get it at the time, but now it's hit home and I totally understand.

Margins is simply the word used to describe the "extra time" in your life that isn't being filled up. And, just like the Christmas letter I send out every year with way too small of font, and virtually no margins so it can all fit on the pretty Christmas paper - I feel like that's how my life is come December. No margins.

It works out alright as long as I stay on top. Then, it's almost kind of a rush to "surf the crest" and ride out the fun of all that's happening during this season, all that needs to be done, feeling the satisfaction of what I'm accomplishing and seeing the rewards from my children's excitement, or anticipating the responses from future gifts or activities. But, when I get under that wave and it starts to break over top of me, well, then, that's when all you-know-what breaks loose.

The wave breaking happened at about 1am on Tuesday morning - when a work-out induced headache turned into another hands-shaking-cold-sweat-nauseous-unable-to-function migraine. I actually had John drive me out to mom's at about 2am - and she did her first "Ambien Massage" - which we can laugh about now, but I felt horrible about at the time. Once again, I limped in feeling like death-warmed-over and walked out at least being able to carry a conversation. It took until about 5pm the following afternoon for the pain to finally subside - which means, up until that point, I was very irritable, and a bit hopeless in recognition that this was the second horrid migraine in less than a month and just how much the pain has escalated and "remedies" extinguished over the years. Once the pain kind of dissipated, it's amazing how much my mood lifted, coinciding perfectly with the arrival of our Bible Study and all of the encouragement that unfolded with their presence and sharing.

Mom suggested she work on me again, so yesterday she tried to move beyond "just patching me up" and that was huge. Definitely a bonus. Ironically, I have scheduled an annual "pain management" appt. with my doctor this afternoon....so that's perfect timing to to re-set the game plan on all of this junk. However, for the time being, I'm staying away from the elliptical machine, not attending the Group Power classes, and a bit fearful in general of exertion. I just can't afford to be thrown under the bus right now from the fall-out of a workout. But, that also means, I'm more critical than ever about "letting myself go" in terms of weight, and taking the exercise out of the equation compounds the negativity there. Suggesting to myself that I just "eat less" during this time of year, is not altogether a reasonable request, though I am trying to be mindful - at least during the weekdays. January is not going to be fun, I'm just saying!

So, back to margins. (Boy, can I ramble at 2:48am). With yesterday being the first "pain-free" day of the week, I was ready to start moving and acting, and being productive with my house and getting the things done that had been set aside. But, there were interruptions and distractions - all of which quite positive, but each keeping me from my own agenda. Culminating last night with a quite extraordinary and uplifting pizza party for the football team - which was amazing, but not on my "to-do" list. By the time I got home, I was biting John's head off for asking why I was still in the vehicle in our driveway on my phone emailing a friend five minutes after the rest of the family was inside. "Because I'm trying to get things done!" - I felt like yelling - "Don't you see this is the one place it's quiet and I can be alone and productive!". Yup, officially, I'd reached "that place". Crazy Stephanie had entered the room. She likes to show up during the holiday season and blame everyone else for not feeling like she's on top of the pile- and her kids and husband pay the price for it.

John is awake right now too - I just gave him my "I'm sorry for _____, ______, & ______ speech - and he totally gets it and completely forgives me. The key question remains, though - am I going to apologize and then return to Crazy Stephanie, or am I going to align my priorities to be in accordance with God's direction vs. my own selfish agenda. Yes, even completing the laundry in my bedroom is selfish if it means I'm neglecting important people that need me more at the time.

So, with all that said - I think it's time to return to bed, so come morning, I'll be in a better place. At least I hope I will be. At any rate, it will be a fresh start - something I really need right now.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Oh Stephanie, I had my crazy moment right before Thanksgiving, and had to do my share of apologizing when everything turned out so nicely. I think any kind of medical problem can cause so much extra stress in life. I am so sorry you have had to live like this for so long. It sounds just brutal. I love hearing about all your advent activities, and even if I just use one of them, it will brighten our season as well.