Journal Entry #10
Day #4 of taking the Miltefosine. So far so good. I am sleeping a lot…I’m not sure if that is all the Gravol that I am taking or if it is the drug itself. Either way my body is craving sleep – about 16+ hours a day. I have had some stomach cramping and diarrhea, but all manageable so far. In a nut-shell I feel like I have a hangover 24-7. The pain in my foot hasn’t changed, it is still sharp, constant and sometimes shooting. I guess I could describe it like a serrated bread knife sawing through my foot. I am breathing intentionally a lot, and using my meditation tools regularly.
This has clearly been hard on the kids. Faith is 11 and Canyon is 12, both old enough to know what is going on, but still young enough to not know how to cope with these big emotions as they watch me go through this. I am thankful that the kids have a great network of support around them, to keep them busy and to get them around to their commitments so that their lives are not interrupted. It is important to Tim and I that we keep things as normal as we can for them while I go through these treatments. We do find it interesting how each kid is reacting differently.
Canyon has become my hands and feet. He can see when something needs to be done and eagerly helps out with chores around the house. He checks on me to see how I am feeling and if I need anything at all. He is such a kind and compassionate soul and even though I know he is worried, he tries to not let me see it…and puts his fears into action by being a happy helper.
Faith is a bit of a bottle. She seems to be spending a lot of time drawing, and distracting herself with her electronics. She keeps it all wrapped up tightly and then at the slightest thing will start to cry and take everything so personally. Now, I know hormones are at play here too, ( I was 11 once too) but I also know how scared she is. She has asked Tim if I am going to die. What a tough question to answer – from this? Not likely. But yes, we all have an expiration date…so at 11 years old she is contemplating mortality and the bigger questions in life. And let’s be honest, we don’t have answers to most of those questions. So, we lean into our faith.
So, with one kid over compensating with chores and one kid using distraction, it seems we are spending a lot of time these days deconstructing emotions in our household. Lots of lessons here, for all of us.
The kids are used to seeing me engage life at 150%…these days I am operating at about 50%. That in itself must be scary for them. It is an adjustment for me, for sure. The thing is, I love everything I do…I love my work as a Massage Therapist, Meditation Coach, Wedding Officiant, Hypnotist etc. I love my volunteer work. I love everything I do. In fact, on Friday, Tim drove me to Whitby to officiate a wedding. I was feeling poopy, but I put on a brave face and fulfilled my commitment. Not because I HAD to (I could have opted for a replacement) but because I LOVE doing it. I have the best vantage point in the house to celebrate love, it’s a memory and history in the making, and I feel close to my Gram when I am up there (she was a JP and married over a thousand people in her time). I am thankful that Tim understands and supports my passions as I conserved my energy all day to do this one task.
A few years ago, I decided that if it didn’t bring me joy to do a task, I wouldn’t do it. It was a big lesson for me in fine tuning how I was spending my energy. Just because I CAN do something, doesn’t me I HAVE to do something. For me, if I feel the passion around the task, I engage…and if I don’t, I let it go. It just so happens that I am passionate about a lot of things!
Which brings me to my point today.
I say “I’m busy” or “life is busy” a lot. And now that I am NOT busy…I am understanding another side to it. I think in the past when I have said it, I have said it knowing that it is a good thing – I mean, I love everything I do (well, maybe not the dishes and vacuuming) and that is a good thing. There are worse problems in the world – to be busy doing things you hate? I am passionate about all the projects I have going on – and I love being busy. BUT, here is the thing…when we say we are “busy” it has a negative connotation to it. People think that I don’t have time for them or that I am cray-cray for keeping as busy as I do. Now, I know it isn’t my place to care what others think or how they perceive me…but I have been asked outright if I think I am “sick” (their words, not mine) because I am always so busy? That, perhaps the Universe needed me to slow down to re-group and find a new balance? (It is important to note that I am not offended by this question.)
Perhaps. For me, being busy in general isn’t a bad thing. For me, it means that I am living passionately, purposefully and hard. And in order to do that, I have to employ strategies that keep my energy and vitality strong so that I can have maximum output. This means, eating healthy, exercising regularly and most importantly (for me) meditation. Here’s where I get into trouble – when I am so busy that those three important components take a backseat. I am not perfect, and don’t stay the course all the time. In fact, the last 4 months I have not been exercising regularly. Because I too, am human, and I have an excuse for it. I was engulfed with mission preparation, my foot was too sore to put into a shoe etc.…you get the idea. So perhaps, I do need to slow and re-set myself, perhaps, the last few months I have been in more of a survival mode.
What I am most aware of today, is that when I am overwhelmed with a jam-packed schedule is when I need the self-nurturing the most. I am guilty of pushing through to complete tasks and commitments. When, in retrospect, it is during the intensely busy times that self-nurturing is most important for that is when I unwind and re-set so that I can keep the busy and passionate pace.
The other piece of this, is that even amongst the chaos of a busy and passionate life, I take the time to find the present moment. Because it is here, where the real magic of life happens. Nothing happens in the past or in the future of this moment…it is happening now. Life is happening now. Even when life is happening at warped speed, it is still happening NOW. And as long as I can remember and anchor back to this moment here and now, I get to experience the joy of living, the peace of loving and the gratitude of experience NOW.
These concepts are not new to me. I understand the power of NOW. I understand the importance of living a balanced life that includes self-nurturing…what’s the saying? “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” Well, it is true – we can’t operate (give, love, express) as our best selves when we aren’t anchored in our best self.
Regardless of why I am experiencing Leishmaniasis, I am taking this time to reflect on where I am thriving in life, where I am surviving in life and where I can make changes that will support me living authentically, healthily, and passionately as I move forward. I am not binge-watching Netflix, spending excessive amounts of time on social media, reading trashy novels or any other distraction as enticing as they may be. I am spending time with my journal, listening to audio books and podcasts, watching you tube clips from some of my favorite spiritual teachers, listening to my heart, meditating, balancing my chakras, leaning into my intuition and enjoying precious moments with my family and friends. I am taking this time to develop myself, fine-tune the joy of living in the moment and re-evaluating my passions. I have a sense, that at the end of all of this, shifts and growth toward change will happen.
I also have a sense that I will be busy again soon…and loving every minute of it.