Monday, February 13, 2012

Because You're Here Now

Today's entry and lesson is best expressed by my 7 year old daughter who wrote this song today:

Because you're here now,
I feel better, Now that you're here

You can help me,
Now that you're here

In a situation like this
I'm glad you're here

Because you're here now,
You can drive me through this
I love that you love me so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much.

I suspect she wrote this song in response to an event this weekend which put my husband in the hospital. He got a virus, which was compounded by stress and it triggered a thyroid response (released a great amount of thyroid hormone into his body in a very short period of time). The response required IV meds consisting of anti-inflammatories, a beta-blocker, and a prescription of reduced stress and follow-up care for up to 6 months.

We had quite a scare, because the first diagnosis was "Thyroid Storm" which is likely life-threatening. Luckily, they changed the diagnosis after the initial blood work came back. The new title "Subacute Granulomanous Thyroiditis" was still nerve-wracking and even amusing to the immediate care doctor and hospital staff since they "don't ever expect see a case of this in their entire career." Apparently, my husband was "textbook case" but the hospital did not even have standard discharge orders they could print out because of the rarity of the condition.

Things like this keep us down on the lower rungs and that's a good thing. It causes us to count our blessings, re-assess the pace of our lives, band together, remain humble and treat one another with greater kindness and respect. It's also a testimony of the power of prayer, as several family members (and some friends) were praying within minutes and the initial blood test results were encouraging, which caused the doctor to re-think his initial diagnosis.

Today I am more thankful to have a partner to share this country life with me; the 24 hours when he was at the hospital was more lonely than the several weeks he traveled during the year. And I am encouraged by my daughter's song and will post it where we can all see it each day.

My personal lesson this week is best expressed in many single descriptive words :
Determined (to not ever forget how much my loved ones mean to me)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I moved up a rung!

I did it! I got on him! The horse that broke my finger and ran off on me!  With the assurance of my trainer, I hopped on (with my helmet of course) and rode him around the small pasture. Ahhhhhh, small victories lead to such big feelings. No defeat. No fear.

OK, maybe a little fear.

But a step up to the next rung for sure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Learning New Normals

There are times when we have to learn new normals. Many not by choice. After a death, a move, a lifestyle change, loss of a job, or a birth of a baby.  I’ve been in the midst of learning my new normal in the country and now I’ve added another one to which I will need to adjust: I resigned from my full time job as Department Chair for an online university. 

You may have heard that stress is stress…even when it’s good. I would reference that with a valid and reliable research quote but I am enjoying writing something which does not require research and referencing. Just take my word for it this time.  Well, as excited as I am to be “home” full time (I’ve actually been home physically, just not mentally and whole-heartedly) I am expecting a small amount of stress, as I learn a new normal. New daily schedules, new ways to discipline my time, new adventures with the kids in the middle of the day (Gasp! In public! [home school joke]).
Because we home school, we have a certain amount of freedom in our schedule. Experience and observation has shown me that getting school done in the mornings is always a good thing – leaving the afternoons for individual activities, down time, field trips, and more. But for us (because of my work) my entire day was busy…from the first check of email to the last meeting of the day. We said “no” to many activities like field trips and park days and I was always left with a feeling of guilt and inadequacy. I coined the term “ping ponging” to describe what I have been doing for 2 ½ years…, kids, work, laundry, work, kids, dishes, work, phone, kids – and so on and so on and so on (older readers: like the 80s Faberge commercials. Go on it!).
Focusing on only one thing at a time will be a new normal for me. I anticipate it will be wonderful,  but will probably be accompanied by a learning period. A good friend of mine told me this week to give it time and give myself a chance to adjust…not expect too much too soon. What wonderful words which have also rung true for our life in the country.  There are so many things we want to do with the property – all great things – but they must be done at the right time and not too much too soon.
Her advice brought me to Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything
 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.
I’ll just leave it at that as I look forward to Monday and my new normal.