Tag Archives: Self-care

Ten Things on Wednesday: 5/12/2021

  1. Mother’s Day was nice and quiet. My sister took me and Hope to brunch on Saturday. I set up my new treadmill. Hope could barely contain her excitement and ended up giving me her gift on Saturday. I was really shocked at what she got me–this wonderfully sleek backpack for traveling. I had seen it on Instagram and commented that it was cool and would be great on my travels. I immediately talked myself out of buying it. Well, Hope bought it for me. It was incredibly thoughtful.
  2. But it was the short letter she wrote me. In the last couple of years, Hope has taken to writing me letters as a part of the gift. They are the best part of the gift. It was a wonderful salve to my soul after this last year. I’ve worked hard to be a good mom during one of the most traumatic events we’ve gone through together. She thinks I did ok and loves me. For real, I’m good.
  3. Oh yeah, the treadmill is nice. Super thin, quiet and it makes me happy. I’m back to taking about 5-10 minutes of each work hour to hop on the treadmill. This weekend, I’m rearranging the desk again so that it’s easier to slide it under my desk when I want to stand. I liked it so much that I did talk myself into getting a new Fitbit; the battery life on my old one was fading daily. It was time. Now I got all this sexy fitness technology.
  4. I’m modestly trying to scale back some of my eating. I’m swapping things out things, a protein shake here, a breakfast sandwich there, 2 cookies instead of a big slice of cake. Hey, the cookies are…special. Made them myself with some freshly infused butter. Fun times.
  5. I’m starting to count down the days until my trip to the beach to see family. I miss my niece and nephews loads; it’s been hard connecting with my niece. She’ll be two in a couple of weeks and I’ve only seen her in person twice in her whole little life. She recognizes me on video, but I’m anxious to see will she recognize me in person.
  6. Even though I’m ready to take that trip, I apparently am not ready to take a real vacation. I thought I had very well decided to move forward with booking a trip for me and Hope to the Caribbean. I want to go to the DR, and I’m also interested in starting to look properties. I want a small cottage on the beach as a part-time retirement home. I gave it a lot of thought and concluded that I was ready. Somehow though, I have not reached out to my travel agent. I lost a ton of money tied up in booked vacations last year, so I’m over planning things myself moving forward. I need someone else to fight those battles. Anyway, several weeks have passed and this week I had to face the fact that while it’s easy to say it’s not intentional–I get excited about booking trips, discussing options, looking at AirBnBs; booking airport transfers. For me not to have any effort to get started planning is making me do some reflecting.
  7. I’m realizing I’m not ready for outside to open yet. As much as I miss people, home really has become this uber safe place. Outside is still gross and germy and I’m not sure how much of that I’m willing to absorb yet. I’ve told my boss I have zero interest in traveling until 2022. I just feel like I’m not willing to take that risk for work. I might be willing to take the risk for my own enjoyment, but not for work yet. I intend to wear a mask indefinitely. I still have a healthy stash of hand sanitizer. I don’t think I”m planning because I’m just not ready, even if I really want to be.
  8. Hope got a job at Target. I anticipate that she will start in a week or two. I know that this will be a really good thing for her, and for me.
  9. Low key, I’m starting to looking at a 2nd car. I”m not in a rush; I’ve told Hope some of the things I need to see out of her before I am ready to make a purchase. One of those things is a down payment and insurance saved up. We’ll see!
  10. I spent a chunk of time thinking about Hope’s biological mom on Mother’s Day. It’s not new, but this year I just wished she had been here for Hope. I think the last year, Hope would have really benefited from that connection. I actually think of her often and how proud she should be of her daughter. I hope one day they will find one another on their own terms.

A Bunch of Things on Thursday: 4/29/21

  1. I totally meant to write yesterday, but here we are.
  2. I’ve now added mid-week baths to my self-care routine. I add a bunch of epsom salt and some bubble baths. I only stay in for about 20-30 minutes, but gosh it feels sooo good and I sleep so well.
  3. My condo building had another fire this morning, and now things are smokey again. Second fire in 2 months. We’re fine and no property damage for us, but oy, this can’t become a monthly thing.
  4. The death of Ma’Khia Bryant has hurt my soul so deeply. She was a foster child. I weep for her biological family, having now lost her twice.
  5. I’m normally very defensive of foster parents, but where the hell were they? There are reports than the fight against these grown women that day wasn’t the first time they had come after Ma’Khia. Why…how did the foster parent let this happen. I’ve seen reports that she had encouraged the bullying at times. Those folks had one job: to keep this girl safe and as whole as possible if and until her biological or future adoptive family could provide care.
  6. And yet Ma’Khia is gone. And to hear folks on the web tell it, foster kids are “problem kids”…it’s the same rhetoric we hear the begin to rationalize the murder of a grown man who might’ve tried to pass a fake $20 at the local bodega. EVEN if it were true, does that warrant immediate death?
  7. My therapist shared that she’s had to disarm knife and gun wielding folks…and she did it without any weapons and with no injuries.
  8. I’m just so angry and so, so, so sad.
  9. That could very well have been Hope. I barely know what to do with that thought.
  10. I’ve been cooking lately. Nothing fancy, but still yummy. We had ravioli with a meatball sauce today. It was yum.
  11. According to my zoom picture, I’ve gained a few pounds over the last month or two. Got to reign it back in.
  12. I typed that knowing full and damn well that I’m headed back to the kitchen for another sliver of the cake I made today.
  13. Judge me or whatever.
  14. Hope’s allergies are the worst they’ve been since she moved here. Daily I tell her to take her allergy tabs, irrigate her nasal ways, and take a half benadryl at the first sniff of trouble. Of course, she doesn’t, so I”ve been listening to her sniff since about 5pm. She finally just took some benadryl.
  15. Hope is *still* looking for a job. She hasn’t even had a nibble. I’m not sure what it all means, but we both agree, she needs to get up and out for her overall wellbeing.
  16. Ok, I’m out…right after I go get that little piece of cake.

The Fire

So, this weekend a condo down the hall from ours caught fire.

Yappy and I were sitting on the couch; we’d already been on our morning walk. I was thinking about groceries and planning a nap. I got my first vaccine on Friday, and the only side effect I had was fatigue.

Saturday mornings are notorious for smoke alarms going off around the building. The toaster burnt some toast. Someone’s bacon is extra crispy. Someone’s kid somehow got syrup on the bottom of the oven. I typically tune them out, unless they are accompanied by the building fire bell.

So when I heard a neighbor’s smoke alarm go off, I thought “Oh breakfast is starting.” Yappy had already gone and sat by the door as the alarm was going off.

Then the big bell started.

I cracked open the door, and the hall was full of smoke.

I quickly closed the door, got Yappy on his leash, woke Hope up and rushed her to get dressed and down 8 flights of steps we went. We sat in the car for a little while and watched as fire and EMS showed up. One of my best friends lives in the building next door, so my little family was able to shelter there and watch from the window.

My mind raced.

Would the fire spread? Would the fire door save our place? Ugh, there’s going to be smoke damage. Please Holy Homeboy keep that fire contained. Oh shit the elevators will prob be out for a while. I’m glad I have my purse; I can get us a place to stay. I can get us some clothes. OMG, do I call my parents? I’ll text them. My coat smells like smoke. Yappy’s coat smells like smoke. How bad will the smoke damage be if we smell like this when there’s only about 4 ft between our front door and the fire escape we went down? I need to get on the Target App and put an air purifier in my cart for pick up later. I need to do it now before my neighbors buy them all. Dammit, we could lose pictures and papers. The papers are in a fire box…on the 8th mfing floor. Why did I buy a condo again? WTF was dude cooking?

And on and on. My friend put on a movie while Yappy cuddled up with me and Hope watched the drama from the window. I kept asking if she was ok, and she kept saying she was. I was worried, but she seemed genuinely ok.

The reality was that while the fire gutted that condo and a few others sustained major damage, we just have a funky smoke smell. I left the patio doors open for a few hours and hit everything with the heavy duty Frebreeze and things seem ok. The housekeepers come tomorrow and I suspect that everything will seem just a little brighter once they rid of us the fine layer of smoke/ash that I’m sure is coating everything.

It was scary though, and I found myself thinking about all kinds of things all at once and what I was going to do to take care of Hope and Yappy.

Hope says she was really fine and that she knew that somehow we would be ok. I’m glad that she trusts me so deeply. I was scared as poop, but she’s right, somehow we would’ve been ok.

I took a Monday evening bath *with a face mask* to celebrate that and still having our home.


Ten Things on Wednesday: 3/3/2021

  • This is one of my busiest times of year and this year is no different. It’s Wednesday and I’m tired. Good news is that unlike in “normal times,” I don’t have to work this weekend.
  • In my weekly efforts to step up my self-care game, I ordered a fancy bath pillow today. I also received an order I made from an Black woman-owned CBD shop in Oregon. I ordered a new face mask, and several bath bombs. Confession: my love of bath bombs might be getting out of control. I think I’ve got handmade ones from at least two companies and some commercial ones from 3 different companies. I love them, especially the fizzy ones. Anyway, I later this month I’m planning a candle binge.
  • Hope is hanging in there. It remains hard to get her up and functional sometimes. I’m still creating midweek errands for her to run so that she has to get up, put on real clothes, fluff her hair and get some fresh air. I’m doing a lot of crocheting for family and friends, and so I maker her got to the post office.
  • The night terrors continue; though they do not seem as persistent as they were a few weeks ago. There was a particularly bad one last week, but since then, there’s only been one other super dramatic ones. The others she seems to be gaining the ability to navigate better.
  • I’m thinking of enrolling us in foreign language classes. Lord knows I don’t need anything else to do, but I miss learning just for learning’s sake and not for work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work learning, but I could use something else for balance. Hope has a knack for language and is back on watching Asian movies and soaps. I asked if she would be interested and she said yes; whether that turns into something remains to be seen.
  • I get my first vaccine dose on Friday. I am excited! It’s like one step closer to some sense of normalcy. When I got the email to schedule I could not click the link fast enough! Yes, yes, yes! My mom is hoping I get the new Johnson and Johnson one so that I”d be one and done. That would be awesome, but I’m just happy to have an appointment and to be pushing forward.
  • Hope and I still haven’t found a show to watch together. Our interests are so different. When we’re picking something completely new, I try to pick things neither of us would bother watching on our own. I’ve gotten on some interesting shows thanks to the SO, but nothing that I think Hope would appreciate yet. We do spend time together in the evening. We watch something on network, show each other dumb stuff on our phones, talk and cuddle Yappy.
  • Hope and I had an rough moment last week when she missed her therapy appointment. Slept right through it. That’a after I got her up and hour early and got something to eat. When I got the text from AbsurdlyHotTherapist that she missed the appointment and I was going to have to pony up full cost, I practically flew to Hope’s room. She wasn’t particularly remorseful, blamed her phone alarm clock that she always sleeps though and then brushed it off. I had to really break it down to her that missing two appointments really cuts into the household budget (technically it’s more than we would spend if we did Ubereats every week for 2+ months); prevents other folks who really need Dr. O from getting an appointment and is some BS when she insists on not taking responsibility when she knows that she sleeps through an alarm on her phone. I’ve bought her at least 3 alarm clocks over the years–don’t ask where they are or what happened. I told her she needed to come up with a sure thing solution because this is a problem. I”m recommending that she do a dry run tonight to make sure her solution works. We’ll see.
  • Hope and I have also been having more grown woman talks lately. It’s been interesting to her her view of the world, and forcing back a snark because I too thought I knew the world at 19. It is sad to be lonely, to have chosen someone unworthy of you, to be caught in a pandemic with your mom, and to think you’ll never find love. I get it kid, and I wish I could definitively say that dating wasn’t a raging dumpster fire, but well, it is what it is. I do marvel that I seem to have created the sex positive household I dreamed about. Hope is knowledgeable, able to handle her business, and can make informed decisions. Of course no one said they’d be great decisions, she’s 19 after all. But I know I made the right move because she will legit ask me anything. I’d rather have a moment with my own discomfort than for her not to consider me a safe person to talk to. #winning.
  • I really live for the weekends. Lazy days, luxurious bath and weekend food. We get pizza or takeout and/or graze on the weekends. There are so few things that give us a sense of freedom. I thin I”m getting good of ritualizing the weekends. I think that’s a good thing.
  • I also really missing my commuting time in the car. I listened to what I want, even if it was nothing. I enjoyed the the bright distinction between work and homes, and I appreciated the hour it took to create that space for me. Yep, Ive finally sunk to missing traffic.

Ten Things on Wednesday: 1/27/21

  1. I’ve been doing yoga nearly every day since December 1st 2020. I used to do an annual December self-challenge to practice every day. It was a great way to end the year taking some time to stretch (literally and physically) and to recalibrate mentally and spiritually. I fell out of it for a few years and decided to reengage with my practice in December.
  2. The first few weeks were hard. I was forced to face just how limited my body was in terms of mobility and flexibility. It took nearly two weeks to really embrace the rhythm and ritual of practice.
  3. During week three I pulled a muscle in my neck. My body was telling me I was pushing too hard, too fast so I pulled back and worked on more gentle postures and not pushing my body past the brink.
  4. On New Years, I figured, I can continue this for another month. And in spite of a shitastic month, I did.
  5. Every night, I roll out a mat and stretch and bend. I pay attention to what is tight, what is limber. My practice is free flow. I haven’t been interested in too many standing postures at this point; maybe next month.
  6. Maybe next month…so here we are nearly at the end of January and I’m thinking hey, I think it can do it another month.
  7. It is a few minutes a day when I just breathe and let the thoughts just wash over me. I just let my body move.
  8. Yesterday I realized that I can now get really deep into some postures that were beyond me 2 months ago. I was shocked. I was like, “Is my whole torso really laying on my leg right now? Like without hurting?” In the midst of sooooo much personal chaos my body is still working and thriving. It was a revelation.
  9. I’ve also gotten back into taking luxurious baths. Hope bought me one of those bathtub caddy things with a place for your tablet, a glass, etc. I have made a point to take a long, hot, healing bath at least once a week. I got all out—bubble bath, booze, my kindle or my phone to stream something. I light candles. I stay in there until I’m prune-like and the water is cold. I often am not ready to get out, so I let some water out and run some more hot water. I have some CBD bath bombs and it really is just such a wonderful experience, especially after I have calmed myself with some yoga. (I’m about to run a bath as soon as I post this because…Wednesday.)
  10. While I definitely have been pushed to the brink, I am doing what I can to practice some self-care. I’m hydrating. I just bought an under-desk treadmill—it arrived today and it’s MAGICAL. I’m cooking the comfort foods that I like and eating in moderation. I’m doing the things I should be doing to take care of me. I still need to take some time, but I’m doing what I can under the circumstance.

Car Time

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I saw this meme on Instagram recently, and it stopped me in my tracks. It made me reflect on the first year Hope was with me.

We had a really difficult adjustment period. I was a bit of a nervous wreck for a while there. I was exhausted. I was always stressed and nervous. I had just finished my doctorate and jumped into parenting. Not only did I not take a break, but I was still writing my dissertation when Hope was placed with me. I was a whole entire mess.

Hope was easily triggered and was prone to moments of high drama.

Sometimes we were a living, breathing disaster.

About 8 months in, I hired a sitter to come hang out with Hope twice a week for 3 hours in the evening. I used this time to try to pull myself together and get a bit of me time. I would get takeout and go to the park. I would read a book sitting by the riverbank. I would sometimes go to happy hour with friends, who only wanted to ask about Hope—the last person I wanted to talk about.

But the thing I spent the most time doing?

Driving to the park, never leaving the car, making sure the doors were locked, reclining my seat, setting an alarm and sleeping in my car. I would be so tired. So very tired.

Eventually, I never even left my own parking lot. I legit grabbed my purse and all the trappings of going “out” for a few hours. I took the elevator to the lobby, walked to my car, got in, cried for 20 minutes, set my alarm and took a nap.

Hope and I finalized our adoption about 5 and half months after placement. It was definitely the right thing for us, but it also meant that things moved very fast. Our whole process moved so quickly that it was a whirlwind—we were matched, placed and finalized inside of 10 months. I don’t think I would change much about our journey, but I acknowledge that that first year was somewhat of a blur.

I look back fondly on those moment of sitting alone in my car now. In those moments I finally had some of the alone time I craved. I could breathe in my car. I could steel myself in my car. I could rest with no demands. I could reflect on my parenting with no immediate pressure. I could come up with plans for the next day of parenting Hope. I. Could. Just. Take. Time. I. Created. Space!

I am still so grateful for the sitters who got us through that time. I provided a frozen pizza for the night,  and they took it from there. Hope adored Camille and Susanne, and they were worth every penny!  (Pro tip: When interviewing sitters, look for those social work majors, those special ed majors, psych majors who actually want to be a mental health professional. Both of the sitters mentioned above had masters in special education and worked with kids with Autism, ADHD, ODD, etc. They were awesome at managing Hope, gaining her trust and encouraging her to enjoy the time they shared on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She still mentions them fondly from time to time.

So if you are new to this journey, make sure you have car time! You will not regret it. It is good for your sanity, and your sanity is good for you kid!


Radical Self Care

I just returned from Puerto Rico, and I’m realizing I don’t do this kind of radical self-care often enough.

Every morning, I got up to walk. I love my daily walks with Yappy. It’s usually dark, and I’ve got to stop a half million times to allow him to sniff, try to reach the errant, tossed away chicken bone or pop a squat. I often go back out for a quick walk without him. These last few days I’ve walked close to 5 miles every morning, coming back to the hotel drenched in sweat, feeling alive and a little more tan.

I picked up some yogurt from the market, got cleaned up and headed to the beach. I enjoyed the sounds of the ocean, lulling me into a morning nap facilitated by early drinking and an edible or two. I read a trashy book, hit the ice cream shop for lunch and relocated to the pool in the afternoon.

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I discovered a little carry out shop across the street from the hotel; they make the best calzone crust I’ve ever had. I also purchased a bottle of rum and have practically had Cuba Libres on tap the last several days.

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I lounged in my king sized bed, channel surfing in the evenings, briefly considering going out, or at least going down to the cigar bar to smoke and drink in the luxe lobby.

Lounging stayed winning during this brief reprieve.

I’ve experienced so few moments of irritation over the last few days that they seem almost a distant memory. Oh, I remember them though and Holy Homeboy, white folks are at the heart of each moment. Now, just remember that part of what precipitated my quick vacation scheduling is having been pushed to the brink by white folks during a meeting on diversity and inclusion, so this is a sensitive thing right now.

Practically empty beach, no please come stand in front my chair to take your selfies for 15 minutes.

Whiny group of 10 traveling together who asked if I would move chairs so they could also sit together at the pool. This chair? The one I’ve been sitting in for 90 minutes? No. I’m good. Cue their melodrama of moving to another row to sit together. #theaudacity

I had time to do a lot of thinking and reflecting on this trip, but honestly…I didn’t. I thought I might take some time to think about my next career moves, maybe spend some time thinking about some of the volunteering I’ve been doing. I thought I might think about finding my way around this dating thing. I thought I might think about a lot of things.

Instead, I gave my brain a much needed rest. I thought about very little. I rested.

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Why is it that I had to hit a wall to embrace just doing nothing for a few days? I mean, I know that the daily routine isn’t designed for just being without expectation, but wow, not doing anything for 3 days should not feel so radical or costly. And yet it does.

I’m glad to be home, waiting for the boarder to bring Yappy home. I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine for a few weeks. I’ve got a trip to Hawaii in a few weeks for work. I’m looking forward to freshening my tan and enjoying time with colleagues.

In the meantime, I’m going to find a few minutes every day to just be, to just breathe and to just rest.

Challenging all of you to do the same.


Working on Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about what my and Hope’s next transition will look like. I’ve had a taste of what it will be like when Hope leaves for college this fall. She will be farther away with a lot more freedom. I’m sure I will fret a little, but I’m excited for her.

As for me, I’m starting to ponder what’s next for me. I’ll never be finished parenting; I already tele-parent, so this parenting thing will of course continue. But I’m struggling with the big “next.” Looking into the next few years there’s a bit of a void.

These days I work, I come home. I take Yappy for long walks. I spend a little time with someone I met last summer. If you follow me on FB, you know I’m working on my first knitting project. I do some writing, try to get some exercise. Sadly, I don’t go out much anymore. When Hope came along my loving, long term relationship with happy hour ended. It’s so rare that I ring someone up to say, hey, let’s grab a drink and be social. And given the rigors of single parenting, most folks stopped asking me to meet up years ago.

I’m thinking about starting language classes; something I haven’t done in nearly 10 years. I’m back to doing yoga almost daily as well; that feels really good.

But I’m spending a lot of time alone. Probably too much time alone, actually definitely too much time alone. I still don’t spend as much time with my old friends as I used to or as I’d like. I go to bed early, quality sleep has become really important to me. I even bought myself a couple of really, really nice new sheet sets for my birthday a few months ago. Yeah, super exciting, I know (that was supposed to be in sarcasm font, but frfr, I love those damn sheets!).

I’m tired, and I know depression looms around the edges and well, I’m feeling a bit frayed, and a little…stuck.

My heart has grown more than I ever thought possible parenting Hope. I have learned more about life…hell about everything. I am a radically different person than I was 5 years ago. I know that even if I hadn’t embarked on this journey that I would have changed; but I never anticipated being who I am now. I am still trying to figure her out, trying to figure out what she wants.

I knew pre-ABM me really well. I’d worked hard to become her, to slay my dragons and to post up as I slid into what is probably the second half of my life. I liked her. I’m proud of her.

Now…I like me and I’m proud of me, but I’m still figuring the new me out.

I spend a lot of time thinking about my own little and large traumas over the many years. Motherhood has taught me where my tender spots are, that some of those dragons I thought I slayed were really just hibernating in a dark cave somewhere. Things that I thought I’d worked through and resolved over the years have bubbled to the surface during the last 5 years. I spend so much time dealing with current “stuff” in therapy that I haven’t begun to rehash the stuff that I feel like I rehashed years ago. So some of this chapter feels like a backslide rather than steps forward.

I bristle sometimes when folks say, “resolve all your stuff before you become a parent” or “before you adopt.” Yeah, I thought I did, but parenting—any kind of parenting—has a way of rustling up a lot of stuff that you thought you’d resolved.

I’ve still got mommy issues. I’ve still got self-esteem issues. I’m still demanding and self-criticizing. I’ve still got relationship issues. I still struggle with food and disordered eating. I still get lonely. I still wonder should I have done this and did I mess up Hope’s life more than if I hadn’t done this. I replay so many early era pre-ABM movies in my head that I could keep a movie studio in business for years.

And so, with Hope preparing for a kind of launch this fall, I’m seriously thinking about me, what’s next, what makes me happy, and how do I fight my own dragons that this mom experience has awakened.

It’s hard to force myself to think of all of this even though it occupies a huge space my heart and mind. I have some work to do. The depression tells me to think about it tomorrow. The anxiety frets because I didn’t think about it a couple of years ago. It’s just icky.

Me and Hope are going to be alright, though. We made it through high school and 5 years of family. We will muddle and stumble through the next chapter. I know I’ve got some work to do on the current iteration of ABM. She needs help, some care and feeding, some self-love and some compassion. She needs that and more. So, yeah, I’m going to get to work on that.


Summer Respite

Hope is away at her summer program. She is thriving. Her grades are fantastic. She sounds a lot more confident. Her teachers say she’s a delight. She’s navigating social situations a bit better, and she is getting lots of exercise. She has a little crush on a cute classmate. She refuses to admit it, but she seems to be having a great time.

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I’m delighted and relieved.

As for me, well, this time with Hope away has been interesting. The first few days after dropping her off I felt almost a little lost. Like, Oh, wow, I don’t need to wake her up so I can keep going with my workouts. Oh, I can have cereal for dinner because I don’t need to make sure there’s a real meal available for my kid. Oh, there’s way less laundry. It was really a reminder of what life was like before Hope, which often I have a hard time remembering.

The first few days I also was EXHAUSTED. I mean, like bone tired. Like I hadn’t slept in years tired. I could barely get myself off of the couch. I ate my favorite foods, drank a lot of yummy things and just rested. Take away message, parenting is hard and exhausting, and self-care is important.

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So, we’re well into the second week now and Hope is doing just fine and I’m finally starting to stretch a bit. As a part of this summer respite I’ve focused on resting, connecting with old friends, trying to make some new friends (hello dating apps) and getting a lot more exercise. I’m also not writing as much because I’m busy trying to get out there and live. I’m headed away on a business trip tomorrow for a few days. I had to make arrangements for Yappy, but Hope is away at school so I’m literally packing and walking out of the house. I haven’t been able to do that in years.

I’m expecting that when she comes home at the end of the program I’ll be really refreshed.

I’ll also be glad. I do miss her. The house is missing her energy. It’s a little empty around here; it’s certainly a lot cleaner since things are exactly where I last left them. I am enjoying grabbing something simple for dinner, but I miss meal planning for her and fixing some of her favorite foods. When she was home for a few hours this past weekend seeing how much Yappy also missed her just warmed my heart.

We’ve got a couple more weeks. I’ve got a lot of resting and living to do during this time. This has definitely been a lesson in the importance of self-care and respite.


Self-Care Tuesday

When I returned from taking Yappy for our early morning walk this morning, I seriously contemplated taking the day off. Then I remembered some things that I needed to do that seemed kind of important, and I set about to just continue on my morning routine.

I packed lunches, prepared breakfast, washed up the dishes, engaged in a bit of sniping with Hope about the continued state of disarray that is her room. I gave Yappy some benadryll in hopes that it would help his worsening separation anxiety. I showered, dressed and did hair and makeup.

I found myself well ahead of schedule and so I ran the vacuum in my bedroom and in the kitchen to clean up the crumbs that Yappy seemed disinterested in noshing.

I still just wanted to get back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

I’m just worn down and over it.

Yesterday I had to rush to Hope’s school because the nurse said she was so sick she was considering calling the paramedics. I get there to see all the signs of one of my daughter’s “spells” including the unrelated limp that accompanies her stomach ache. (#stomachboneconnectedtothelegbone) Over the years we’ve become frequent fliers at the local urgent care thanks to these spells. I don’t doubt that Hope actually feels pain and discomfort, and yes, I have to take every episode seriously. But I also know how this plays out 99.999% of the time. So I rush to the urgent care, where they quickly refer us to the local children’s ER (the usual nurse practitioner who sees us wasn’t there…#newbies). So, I rush her to the children’s ER about 30 minutes away and by the time she’s on the gurney, she’s made her usual miraculous recovery. I kid you not, Hope stammered and told the nurse that her pain level was a 1.

The nurse looked at me, and I tried to keep my irritation to myself and said, “I’m glad you are feeling better.”

And I was sincere since I genuinely believe my daughter feels the pain. I also kind of wanted to scream because I’m fully cognizant of what triggered all of this.

I wish I could say I was shocked. I’m not and I haven’t been the last 20 times this has happened.

<opening scene>

Onset of earth shattering abdominal pain that surely must mean death is imminent. Mom comes running. Mom rushes her to the ER because this is serious and needs immediate medical attention. Mom is awash with worry and if she’s not, she performs worry adequately and on cue.  A flurry of professionals scurry around to triage and get answers to the questions of life. Tests are run. CT scans and MRIs are scheduled. Hope is wheeled around on stretcher with head lolling back so that orderly double check to make sure she hasn’t lost consciousness. IVs are placed. As quickly as the episode began, it vanishes. The attention is lavished and soaked up like a sponge. All is right with the world with no findings in any of the tests. Hope declares that she has no idea why this keeps happening to her; it’s so weird.  Like good cast members we all nod sympathetically in agreement. It is so weird. We are referred for follow up (including mental health referrals) , and we are sent on our merry way.

<end scene>

And so this morning I found myself going through a more reasonable routine, and even though I did it, I just was so over it. I rallied though and got in my car, turned on the Waze app and started to head into the office. 5 minutes in Waze announced that there was a new 23 minute backup, and it would take me more than an hour to get to work.  I sat in it for 30 minutes as the traffic only worsened, and then I had the opportunity to finally turn around.

And I did.

Still I thought about just taking a different route to work. I balanced my work things to do with my own need to just have some time to get myself together.

I won; work lost.

I quickly dictated an email to the office that I was taking a personal day.

Today, I will sit in the quiet. I will not look at Hope’s room. I will walk Yappy. I will finish a trashy novel I’ve been reading. I might got get a pedicure and my brows waxed. I will drink a cup of matcha. I will let my brain rest since my TBI symptoms have been worsening and making me feel like ish lately. I will go to the parenting support group tonight.

I will just sit and rest because I really need to. Despite my robust travel schedule, I don’t do much respite. It feels weird to admit needing respite when I travel so much, but those trips are work and I’m usually pulling long hours. I might be away from home, but I’m not resting.

So today, I will rest and take care of me.

And I might do it tomorrow too because I need it.


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