My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reasons to CONQUER Monday

It's beginning to look a lot like... Monday. Ugh.
Monday... when the starting gun goes off and I climb onto the hamster wheel that is my life... the never ending cycle of work / sleep / work / sleep and the never ending struggle to balance enough pain relief to be able to work with enough cognition to sustain a home and raise my child.
I ended exhausted last week... after only four days... the pain was so excruciating by Friday that I made my call of shame. Undoubtedly, I'll have a heavier work load today because of not working Friday... in addition to the mental stress and - as I explained on Friday - the guilt and shame that accompany the pain. I'm embarrassed that I can't do all the things I need to do. I'm embarrassed of my shortcomings.

Today the pain level is pretty high. I hate the stupid numbers that the doctors ask to you give to your pain... 0 being pain free and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. I always say 7. It's a ridiculous system.

At the risk of becoming that bitter person that people avoid... let's jump into our Reasons to Love Monday. There have to be some, right?

1. Mild temperatures. Not too cold. Not hot. Lower humidity. No frost to scrape from the windshield. Just a cute cardigan over my outfit - not a bulky coat. No muscle spasms when I step outside.

2. Tim Tebow. Despite all the naysayers, all the people who mock him for his passion and his faith, despite the disrespect of people who call him "Teblow" or "Tebag" this man continues to humbly, courageously speak out about his faith and continues to give God all the glory for his success. I think the fact that he doesn't have the best throwing motion... the fact that there's no reason he should be succeeding... is the beauty of his story. David and Goliath. Timmy Tebow shouldn't be a successful NFL quarterback... but he is. And I'm encouraged by his success.

3. I think maybe that's where I've been remiss over the past year. I've been looking for people who are worse off than me so that I can say, "I may have it bad but look at this person!"  when instead, I need to be looking at people who are succeeding, who are better off and not necessarily COVET their situation but watch for people who have turned suffering into a platform to give encouragement to others... when you can turn your suffering into something that glorifies God... that's amazing.

4. We accomplished a lot over the past weekend. I still need to get my Christmas cards in the mail but I've gone such a long way toward the gift shopping. I still need to find a few odds and ends... and I need to find Austin swim trunks for his retreat... but God has been good to me. Austin has been cooperative and compassionate and just a huge blessing to me over the past few days.

5. I woke up with horrible stomach cramps... got up several times during the night ... my first steps this morning were among the most painful I've ever had with this (let's call it a TEN!) and I started my morning in tears. While I've been writing this post I've had to scurry to the loo four times... and while that may not seem like a reason to love Monday... the stomach cramps ARE easing up. The hemorrhoids... oy vey.

6. It's my kids' dad's birthday today. He may not have been all that I needed him to be... but if you had asked me ten years ago, I wouldn't have expected him to be where he is now, healthy enough to work full time. If not for him, I wouldn't have the three awesome boys that I do.

7. Trouble is cuddling a green tomato that I had left on the counter. He's the oddest, funniest cat I have ever seen... from the way he waits outside Austin's door for him to come and play... to the way he plays fetch like a dog. He's brought a lot of joy into our house.

I praise God for this season of life. I praise Him that I am still able to work, that I have a job to go to and a car to take me there. I have not lived up to my expectations or aspirations since this season of life began but I am doing things that many who are living with pain are unable or unwilling to do. I embrace the concept that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that nothing that is happening in my life is a surprise to God. My goal is to use my situation to encourage others. My goal is to give words to others who are struggling and can't find the words to explain to the people they love that "*just because* I'm not able to meet the social obligations in my life, doesn't mean that I don't love you and don't want to see you". My goal is to help people to grade on a curve... to understand that the person living with chronic illness may not be doing the best of everyone you know... but they may just be doing the best that THEY can do. Honor those efforts for the people in your life who are living with pain. Acknowledge their efforts.

Alright y'all... get out there and conquer Monday! Love and hugs!