Saturday, October 13, 2007

Never a Dull Moment

Beginning stages of the new boulevard garden

This morning after my morning walk, breakfast, watering the garden, cleaning the kitchen windows, making Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread (thanks, Kelli!), and in the midst of doing my dishes, I began to think about just why I had felt so frazzled lately. And then I started to mentally list all of the things I am currently doing on a regular basis:

teaching my children at home
teaching an art-journaling class once-a-week
co-leading the stretch routine with our P.E group once-a-week
hosting a Bible study (and therefore doing homework for my Bible study) every other week in my home
attending my knitting group every other week
learning to play the recorder along with my girls
knitting various gifts for the holidays
journal writing
continuing in our on-going study of Spanish
learning how to play golf
learning how to ballroom dance
maintaining the vegetable garden outside in the back
maintaining the flower beds in the front and back
helping to put in a new boulevard garden in the front of the house
keeping up with pen pals
oh yeah... and this blog! :)

All things I love. Not a one I'd like to give up, but you know, that is my list of regular things. Other things I'd like to/need to do are:

put together Halloween costumes
sand and paint picnic table
sand and re-varnish dining room table
re-cover dining room chairs
rearrange and get new shelving for Eve's bedroom
re-stain and weatherproof Adiorandak chairs and swing in the back yard
refinish the wrought iron cafe table and chairs I found this spring

Look at the teeny, tiny turtle Daddy found in the boulevard!

I thought I was getting better at narrowing down my interests. Maybe I have. Maybe the list would have been even longer two years ago. Probably it just would have been different.

I wonder? Who has time for t.v.? The only time I end up turning it on - other than my regular, Thursday night appointment with "The Office" is when I absolutely have no energy left to do anything else. Even then, I usually have my knitting needles in my hands. But sometimes... sometimes I just can't even muster that and I know that it's got to be okay! :)

Maia's friend, S (holding the turtle), stayed overnight and K, who lives next door
were over playing and everyone had a turn gently holding the baby turtle.

In the past couple of years, I have learned the hard way what my limits are. Stress really will manifest itself in your body in some very unpleasant ways. Some of my symptoms were a constant woozy, lightheaded feeling and anxiety which lead to tingling hands, feet, and head and then the tingling flashed itself completely down my body one day during an anxiety attack. Oh yeah, and my tongue felt like it was burnt all. the. time. Like I'd just eaten piping-hot soup.

It took me about a year to really, fully recover and even now, when I feel stressed, the top of my head tingles. It's the weirdest thing; my brother calls it my "Spidey sense." :) on the boulevard continues.

Months later, I took an inventory of my activities at that time and was just shocked. Similar to depression sufferers, I had thought that I should not be feeling these physical things. In fact, part of my anxiety was that I though I was really sick because of the strange symptoms I was having from the stress. I thought I should just be able to handle everything. Did you know that stress can cause mucus build-up in your body - including your sinuses? I was put on Flonase by an allergist because that was supposedly the source of my woozy head. After seeing my doctor of Oriental medicine and being treated with herbs, homeopathy, diet changes, and accupuncture, I was off the steroids after one month and never went back on them. I visited my D.O.M. only 5 months and was well again. But, oh, yeah, I had to cut waaaaay back on my activities and commitments.

We let the baby go in the grass down by the edge of our pond.
Goodbye, good luck, and farewell!

So, this new activity list above? You think I'd learn, wouldn't you? Well, one thing that is different is that in the list above, other than my daily life with my children, I am only accountable to 3 other activities. The rest can be dropped at will without affecting anyone but me. And that seems to be the key. I pay attention now when I feel overload beginning to kick in. I begin dropping things as needed.

Three Little Monkeys Swingin' in the Trees

Note to self: You are an eternal being. There will be time and seasons for all the desires He has put in your heart, including those things that may just not happen until you step into your new life. Take your time. Remember to enjoy something thoroughly. Allow focus and proficiency and remember your own humanity. God made you to require rest. Rest and time with Him. Allow yourself to do that - as abundantly as the other things you do.


Marianna said...

Do take care of yourself Nicole! I, too, struggle with the whole notion of wanting to do it ALL NOW. I constantly have to step back and remind myself that I have many years ahead, G*d willing, and that it is o.k. to pace myself.

I'll be thinking of you and hoping that things calm down a bit.


Kez said...

You *are* busy! I agree though, the secret seems to be in how many things that you are committed to. That's when I get the most stressed, not just when I'm busy but when I'm busy with things I can't get out of.

Speaking from the Heart said...

I love this blog!!! It speaks out to me loud and clear. When I decreased my activities, my health improved. I have also learned it is all right to say "no".

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this busyness of life. Now I find it key to have some quiet/down time for myself most days. I noticed when I skip it I tend to be more moody.

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

Jessica C said...

Beautiful and thoughtful post. Loved the photos. How lucky you guys are to be able to utilize that part of your yard... we can't... it's owned by the city! LOL! ;) I love that the whole family was in on it. ;0)

Anonymous said...

Oh, they all sound like tempting and rewarding activities. I love the bit about being an eternal being... it is going to help me slow down hearing that. When I get up to the eye balls I start to have trouble sleeping. I also get all the strange tingling, but some pain with it ... it may be fibromyalgia of some sort. I find a boost of vit B6 pretty essential at that point .... which you really need when you are so on the go, and which is often low in our modern diets (however hard we try to eat healthily). I also use Floradix (a tonic) which seems to give me a boost when I'm burning up my resources.
Home educating is full time job enough for the majority of us!

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