Taking A Break

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Miami University baseball field

Shortly before Christmas, I took a break from working on the house and travelled to Oxford, Ohio where my granddaughter (and her parents) live. We had a great visit. My son, who is the new recruiting and hitting coach for Miami University gave me a personal tour of the facilities, which are impressive.

Both of my granddaughter’s parents were busy with work and moving into their new house, so I offered to put together the doll house she was to receive for Christmas.

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It took three hours, but I only stripped one screw!

After four fun-filled days I returned home, planning a quiet week leading to a sedate Christmas celebration. The week ended with far more excitement than planned.

Mom had a big stroke, which would have been life-threatening without the miracle of modern medicine. I was home when it started, made my second 911 call of the year (the first was when I cut the gas line on my trailer,) and mom got swift treatment after arriving to the medical center. She spent three days in the ICU, but recovered so fast and so well that she was discharged the next day and was able to go to my brother’s home for Christmas celebrations! She continues to recover at home, doing her exercises and getting stronger each day. She plans on passing the driving evaluation in about three weeks.

Her continued recovery is the best Christmas present, ever!

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Giving Thanks and Review of the Situation

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When I moved to mom’s in August, I knew I was exhausted. I had been working long hours for decades and raising four kids mostly by myself. I had been using coffee and wine to ignore my body’s fatigue. I needed a rest and planned to get it. I figured about a week of sleeping in and I would be ready to go.

I turned off my alarm and let the sunshine wake me naturally before I drank any coffee. I greatly reduced the amount of wine I was drinking. I took naps in the afternoon, if I was tired. I didn’t make a lot of plans, I mostly let the work of the day present itself. Except when I was refinishing the floor of my room, I haven’t worked more than six hours on any given day. Ten to fourteen hour days were the norm before. It has been four months and I’m still not completely rested. But I’m a lot better.

This Thanksgiving, mom and I hosted the gathering with lots of help from other family members. We had seven extra overnight guests for two nights, the big meal on Thursday and an even larger brunch for extended family on Friday. This included my two living aunts, ages 85 and 89.

Yesterday I spent 5.5 hours raking leaves in the front yard, which gave me lots of time to reflect on what I am grateful for. Here’s a few of the things I thought of:

~ yesterday was a beautiful fall day, perfect for raking leaves.

~ I’m glad I got to see my aunts, one of whom I have not seen for 20 years.

~ I am extremely fortunate to have this time with my mother. She and I are having a blast together, and I know that I will treasure these moments when she is gone.

~ it was so good to have my kids here, even briefly.

~I am fortunate to have this time where I do not have to work for money and can allow my body to rest.

As I get more rested, and the house is getting put in order, I am thinking about what I wish to do with my time moving forward. My classes give me hints and clues. My weekly yoga class has stirred the desire and commitment for a daily yoga practice. This is a great feedback loop for someone who is just learning to listen to her body. My sewing classes have rekindled a desire to make a clothing. I love the idea of reusing fabric. I plan on starting with the fabric I have found in the house. I will post some of my projects here as I go.

I can feel a great shifting in myself. I was a nurse and single mother for over thirty years. I am moving from those roles into a way of being that feels lighter and more fluid. I’m not exactly sure what the next period will be, but I will continue to make space for the silence and rest to speak to me until it is clearer.

Thanks for listening.