Saturday, October 04, 2008

Hello, Exhaustion, My Old Friend

Several things happened to me, healthwise, in the six months Bill and I were separated. I was able to rest, truly rest, for the first time in a long time. I remember sleeping a lot of the time during the first couple of weeks before I went to work--and I only worked a few days a week during that initial month.

I would take naps, long ones, any time I got tired. I could stop and leave dishes undone, boxes unpacked, blogs unread and sleep. I loved that part of living alone. The little trailer park where I lived was shady and quiet, so nothing woke me. No loud cars, motorcycles, kids yelling, or dogs barking. No one knew where I was, save a few close friends and family members, so my phone rarely rang. Bliss.

I took long hot bubble baths, read and slept. I ate what I wanted when I wanted.

I also lost twenty pounds, ten of it from the stress of the separation, and ten when my sister died and I got food poisoning. Just dropped the weight. I had to buy new pants because my others were falling off me. Can't complain about that, although I've gained ten back.

I felt so much better physically during that time that my friends commented on it. I seemed like a different person, relaxed, without that constant frown of worry and resentment on my face.

Now that I'm back, I've bottled tomatoes, unpacked, cleaned, and cooked to beat the band. Poor Bill also lost twenty pounds, which he didn't have to lose, and I'm trying to fatten him up. I've made huge pots of soup and stew, casseroles, and even a wonderful dutch oven full of Beef Bourguignon. He doesn't have to do laundry, cook or clean. I want him to rest, also, to fatten up. Despite his insistence on neatness, his clothes started to smell old. He did laundry, but he just didn't keep up on things. He didn't take care of himself well. I want to do that.

We had a whole gardenful of wonderful tomatoes I just couldn't let go to waste, so I put up some for the coming winter. There have been no unplanned naps, leaving dishes in the sink. I've had my grandchildren overnight, delighting in their delight at new neighbors--with kids!--and grandma and grandpa living again in the house they all feel is home. Little chattering voices coming in and out for cookies and toys and bandaids.

And I've worked at my job.

I'm paying for all that today. Yesterday, after a day canning, cleaning, and cooking, I woke up literally unable to move from all the achy muscles and the dizziness. I limped around till I had to go to work, came home and collapsed till this morning. Today, a little less pain, but it's there.

This isn't Bill's fault. He's so happy to have me home he's made no demands, no nagging to do all the stuff he's been known to nag me about. This is all on me. I don't regret the things I've done, but I realize I am going to have to learn how to rest while being among people LOL.

I'm going to go to church, I've worked my schedule out that much, but I'm not going to go all hog wild engaging people and helping people and I've got to learn how to ration my time and energy so that I have something to give and don't end up flat on my back, literally and figuratively (in the emotional and spiritual sense) again.

You young mothers and wives, there's a reason you're tired and it's not because you're lazy. You do alot. We all nod in agreement when we hear lessons on not over-doing, taking care of yourself so that we can take care of others, then we drive ourselves to do more.

The trick to living Christ-like lives is not to do more (genealogy, bottling, scripture reading, etc.); it's to do less.

1 comment:

lifeinredshoes said...

You, are my kind of Mormon woman!