I am currently in the midst of the worst fibromyalgia flare-up to date. They usually occur after a time of great stress…when, in the midst of a stressful time, I stop taking care of me. I eat the wrong things. Drink too much caffeine. Have an extra glass of wine at night hoping it will help me sleep. (Just the opposite, by the way.) I don’t have time to exercise. My morning time is rushed, unfocused, and frustrating. My mind starts spinning with all of the what if, why didn’t you, you will never. And then one morning, after a long, restless night of non-sleep, I get out of bed sore, stiff, achy. My body declaring enough is enough. For a day or two, I fight it. Trying to push through the joints that won’t bend. The muscle spasms and soreness. Thinking it will just go away. Today, I had to throw up the white flag and surrender to the mandatory downtime.
As I sat here on the porch, throwing myself one hell of a pity party, I allowed the bird song (annoyingly loud a few moments ago) to replace the doubts; the bright green leaves, playing peek-a-boo with the sparkling sun, to calm my racing heart; the prayers of family and friends to penetrate the stiffness and spasms. And I realized something. My body shutting down this week is a gift. Yes, I wanted to be in Roanoke this week. To see my parents, my sister and her family, my sister-in-love and her hubby. I still want to be there instead of here, trying to relax and be still. And that’s the point. I’ve been fighting the stillness. The constant do all the things is not where I am supposed to be right now. I know it. I’ve known it for a while. Throughout the season of Lent, I have felt Him calling me to chill. To change. To prepare for the next thing. I heard and I obeyed, to a certain point. I put in my notice after 20 years. I wrote down what I thought I was supposed to be doing instead of working. Scratch that. I wrote down what I WANTED to be doing instead of working. And He graciously let me go for it. Until about a week ago. When I could no longer find the words to pray. Or to write. Or even to speak aloud most times. When I wandered aimlessly through our home, thinking I needed to be doing…something. Today, in the bird songs and the tears I realized I need to be just doing me for a time. To stop thinking that taking care of me is selfish. That allowing my body, my mind, my to do list to slow down for a time will actually be beneficial for everyone around me, as well as myself. I am so grateful for this time. And for my family and friends who are not only understanding but who are jumping in to help. Whether I want them to or not.
So today I am grateful. More so than usual. Today and for the next few days, at least, I am going to focus on getting healthy again. Because I do want to do all the things; help all the people; love big. I spent the day updating my website a bit. Sitting on the porch. Listening to my favorite playlists. Reading. Writing. Watching the birds. Thinking about all of you and how thankful I am for you in my life. Take a moment to subscribe, if you would like. And comment below or drop me a note. Connecting with you is the reason I write.