I find it very interesting that once life gets a little out of control, it can be so hard to return to the point you were at before it happened. I guess the phrase two steps forward, one step back, would be appropriate. It feels like ever since Micah got RSV (on Valentine's Day); I haven't been able to completely pick up the pieces. Sometimes it's frustrating, but most of the time (probably a little too much), I decide to "move with the cheese" and let it go and realize that things will calm down soon enough. But this week it hit me: moving with the cheese isn't about letting my life control me. It's about reaching a point in your life (however often - daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) where a change needs to be made, recognizing it, setting new goals, and following through. I am definitely a goal-oriented person, but I also love freedom, and being spontaneous. Maybe a little too much. Sometimes all my goals go out the window for a few hours of fun. Or maybe because I know everyone around me loves me despite all my imperfections, so I never really get to the point of change being a necessity.
Before Micah got RSV, I went to the gym, faithfully, 5 days a week. I was losing weight and feeling great. My best friend met me there, so I got to see her several times a week. We went to bed at 10, I got up around 5:30 (waking up on my own because I was rested), our house was nearly always clean and dinner on the table when Wes got home. The kids were in bed at 7:30, and Wes and I had time alone to be together, and also to have our own time. All the little things that are so important were going pretty great too. Scriptures, prayer, temple, callings, etc. I felt so strong, so in control. So happy, lucky, and blessed.
Valentine's morning, the kids slept in, and we got to snuggle in bed. That's when my dear, sweet hubby informed me that he had gotten the day off, a babysitter, and we were going to go to the mountains and go cross-country skiing together (something I've really been wanting to try). We got to exchange heartfelt words, snuggle...really enjoy the morning. Kolton woke up, and the day started. A few things needed to get done before we could head out the door. I got Kolton ready, and Wes got busy doing something else. By then, it was around 10:00AM, and still not a sound from Micah, who had fallen asleep with a cold, fever, and not much of an appetite at 3:30PM the day before. Where did the morning go? And where was my early-riser? Micah usually woke up around 6:00. I went out and asked Wes if he’d given him a bottle that morning. He hadn't. I thought it was really weird that he hadn't woken up yet. I decided to go in and wake him.
He was as pale and quiet as a ghost when I walked in. I thought he was dead, adn I felt my heart drop to my stomach. I picked him up - he was breathing - whew! But he was listless. I changed his diaper with no protesting from him. This was really starting to get creepy.....I called in Wes, he gave him a blessing, and our scary RSV adventure began with a trip to the ER.
To make a long story short, it really was a blessing in our lives. Not that I would wish it on anyone. But it really made me realize how fragile life is, even when you're doing everything you can to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy. God still has the upper hand, and you have to keep all of your faith in him. I also got the blessing of spending a week of uninterrupted time alone with my second child. It was hard, and even depressing and frustrating at times, but there were those sweet moments in-between that we all live for. I love Kolton, he's full of life and energy, but he tends to steal the spotlight. Micah always goes along fine with it. He's happy no matter what, and we try to devote time to him even though it can be very difficult. So the time alone with him was a welcome blessing.
We had the blessing of a supportive family. Melinda came to visit, and my amazing mom took care of Kolton the entire week, and kept everyone away and healthy and happy. My dad and Jesse pitched in too, of course. My love for my family grew a lot that week, as I was forced to lean on them for help and support, and they held me up.
I had the blessing of lots of empty free time. I did needlepoint, I read, I wrote in my journal, set some goals, prayed. Endless hours of quiet, with nowhere to go and nothing to do gives you lots of time to think, contemplate, and listen. My empathy for people with sick of dying loved ones grew tenfold. What strong, amazing, courageous people! My desire to help others more grew a lot that week. I received lots of help from others as well, and I am thankful for all the love and support I received.
Anyway, the biggest lesson I learned from this experience was how to let go. I think this is a lesson we are all learning on some level all the time. This particular time was a biggie for me. I had to completely lose control of my life. But life still goes on, and go on it did, and before I knew it my life was controlling me. Then Wes decided to pick up more hours at work, and it's just been one thing after another. But, I learned how to let my house be less than perfect, that it's okay to have pancakes for dinner once in awhile, that the laundry piles up just as fast whether or not you stay caught up on it. I also learned that in order to get your life back, you need to get going, you need to adapt. I just over adapted, I think. Suddenly the weight I've lost is slowly creeping back, as I am not currently working out or eating very well, or even sleeping much. I probably average a bedtime of 12:00-12:30AM - waaaay too late for me. I never feel the same when I go to bed that late, no matter how much sleep I get, and I always start my day off behind because I don't wake up early. Wes and I never have any time alone (I thought it was rare before!). But, it's been good for me, this losing control. It's made me a much more patient, empathetic person. It's made me even more want to live every moment well. Life is so fragile, no matter how careful you are. I want to make sure I do everything I can to let everyone know of my love, and I want to live my life to the fullest extent possible.
It's time for the next step. I am taking action. This week my goal is to get myself in bad at 10:30 - no matter what didn't get done. Then I'm sure I'll start waking up earlier a few days in, but until then, the alarm will be set. I am going to start making more time for myself. I need to make my health a priority. I don't want my children to have to even think about living a healthy lifestyle. I want it to be second nature for them. I read somewhere that President Hinckley exercised every day. That made me think, if a 96-year-old prophet can fit it into his schedule, and have the energy to do it, then I can too! I've started harvesting from my garden back in May, and it's going pretty strong right now. I'm going to make sure I'm eating greens every day (they are so yummy straight from the garden!). I've also got to work on saying no more, I think. I got a little practice this week, so hopefully I'll get better at it.
I feel so blessed and lucky to have the knowledge of the gospel. I love my life because of it. There's always hope, always room for improvement. There's always joy and comfort. I know I'm in a busy season of my life with small children. It will be that way for awhile. But I know it's going to be fleeting, and so I want to make the very most of it. I love every minute of it, even when it's hard. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful life, and it's time once again to try a little harder, to be a little better.