Last month, I made it a point to write here, whether I really felt like it or not, several times a week. It is good for me to start making habits that require a little bit of self-discipline. I am not, by nature, a very self-disciplined sort of person. I am spontaneous, free spirited, and generally do things when I have energy spikes. This is reenforced by my chronic illness, which leaves me feeling tired much of the time. When I have a good day, I try to capitalize on it. After I do, I tend to need time to recover.
Writing is not hard in a physical sense, but it can wear me out a little bit mentally, especially when I am trying to do justice to a subject I am passionate about. I find that I am always glad I have done it though, when I have finished.
There are many things in my life that fall into that category for me. It can be hard for me to get up and get ready early on Sunday morning to go to church, in cold weather. It can be daunting for me to haul out all of my supplies in order to paint. It can be terribly taxing to run errands, drive my children to their drama club meetings, grocery shop, or make a meal. Still, after I push my way through the struggle, I am almost always glad I did.
The challenge for me, over the past three years, has been correctly discerning when I should push through the fatigue and pain and when I should rest. There is a time and season for both, and sometimes they both take a turn in one day. Sometimes I make the wrong choices, I rest when I should push. Sometimes, I am too lazy to go to an evening Bible study because I feel tired and want to stay in my sweats. Sometimes, I get on a roll and do several tasks in one day. I grocery shop, drive me kids to and fro, meet a friend for lunch, go to my doctor's appointments... and then I get home and fall into bed, a big heap of exhausted flesh that refuses to wear pants or a bra for a week.
Sometimes, I get on a health kick and take all my supplements, insist on adding more vegetables and salads to our grocery cart, and go to bed at a decent hour. I even think about getting on the stationary bike. Other days, I am sick of swallowing pills, I want to eat nothing but Skittles and pizza, I stay up until 2 in the morning binge watching Parenthood, and I give my bike dirty looks, willing it to disappear and stop judging me.
It's a balancing act. I often feel I am walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls, and I have fallen off a time or two. It takes me a while to resurface once I do. Still, I think that more often than not, I need the push to try. I don't need a huge push to rest, it has become waaaay too easy for me to stay in bed because there is always some level of pain and fatigue. I am learning some of my tell-tales signs, the ways my body warns me it is reaching its breaking point. I am beginning to understand that I need to sometimes make myself do things I don't really want to do, but I also need to recognize when I need to take a break.
I have tried, as a mother, to encourage the gifts and talents that I see developing or emerging from my children. We have nine, so I try to be on the lookout, and I try to nurture and support their unique interests. Some of my children are very artistic, they can draw and paint extremely well. So we have bought them supplies and posted their paintings and been enthusiastic as we watch their skill mature. Some of them are musical- we have a guitarist, a bass player, and a drummer. A few of them sing. Riley just started his own YouTube channel. It's the funnest thing ever.
I am home most days and I am with my kids. We have homeschooled, but this year we enrolled them in Georgia Cyber Academy, which is sort of like public school but online and at home. I enjoy being home with my kids. Yes, they occasionally bicker and drive me crazy, but for the most part I really like my kids. I mean to make a distinction here- everyone LOVES their kids, but not everyone LIKES their kids, or enjoys parenting. I actually really like my kids, in addition to loving them.
I am so glad it's Friday, and while I was looking forward to plans with friends this weekend, I am secretly thrilled they had to cancel and I have a bit more wiggle room in my weekend. Trever and I are going on a double date with our oldest son, Andrew and his girlfriend, Amanda, tomorrow night. Dinner and a movie. I am really looking forward to that. We are going to a seafood restaurant where they have steamed clams. YUM. And tonight's plans were similarly thwarted, so I am staying home, keeping warm, and eating pizza while watching Modern family, arguably one of the funniest shows on TV.