It’s interesting really, how often I interrupt, when I SO dislike interruptions. I used to be the person who could listen for hours without even the slightest inclination to put in my own two cents. Now I find that I have to throw my two cents in there in an untimely way, interrupting, or that thought that is so relevant, or so important, will be gone like the wind. I find frustration in my memory issues, my Sherri-do lists, my lists that remind me of my Sherri-do lists. I have a lot of safeguards in place–multiple alarm clocks, cell phone reminders, asking friends whose memories aren’t any better than mine to remind me.
It’s ironic how often I interrupt, yet how intolerant I am of interruptions. I’m fully aware of why. I hate interruptions because they interrupt my flow. I am a creature of habit and I find more and more that everything I do has a process. If I do it the same way every time, every day, then I will do it right, I won’t forget to do it, and I won’t have to be in a panic when I realize I’ve forgotten it.
I’ve been really frustrated lately. I’ve missed a lot of work. I’ve had to rearrange my schedule. I’ve had to give up more and more in an attempt to make my life work, be productive, live a slightly normal life–with this stupid disease. There are times I cry when I look back on how it used to be, and how ungrateful I was for the freedom I had, and how I thought things were ‘so bad’ back then before I knew what it was like to live with chronic pain. Today I realize how blessed I was then to have physical freedom, to not have to base my activity, decisions, plans on how I was feeling that day.
I’m a planner. I plan ahead. I do my lesson plans for the following week before half of my current week is over. I start to pack for a trip a week in advance. I like to have things done early so that I don’t have to panic when the time comes. I don’t like to rush. I don’t like to be late. I like to know what is to come. I’ve always been uncomfortable with uncertainty. I’m fully aware that when living a life following Jesus, you have to expect and embrace uncertainty. I’m working on that.
Today I am writing to hopefully alleviate some of my frustration. I’m home ‘sick’ for a second day and I hate the way this feels. I hate that this disease is keeping me from work. I’m irritated that my mobility is being affected. I’m so not okay with my walking every morning having to be momentarily put on hiatus. I don’t like it that others have to leave what they should be doing to cover for what I should be there to do.
I’m reliable. I can be counted on. I’m a woman of my word. Having to be away from work makes me feel like those things are being compromised a little more each time I’m gone. I look forward to how much of the school year is left while I watch my sick/personal leave days dwindling away faster than they should. It’s frustrating.
I’m seeing my schedule, my process, my schedule–being interrupted. I’m not okay with that.
Then, as it always happens when I begin to pray, God shows me ‘on the other hand’. I know that in general I don’t take good care of myself. My doctor is currently not happy with me because my vitamin deficiencies are once again an issue. I have unexplained bruises all over my skin. No matter how much I sleep, I never feel rested. My Sherri-do list is always lengthier than the amount of time I have to complete it. I’ve had to give up some more of the things I love to make time for things that seem to just be a given in other people’s lives–a good night’s sleep, down time, a day off, etc. I have to sacrifice one thing for another and I get very frustrated when I feel like this disease continues to steal from me more and more when there is not much left to give.
I don’t know how to stop. I work all the time. Even if my hands are not active, my brain always is. When I ask God to help me ‘be still’, and then don’t take advantage of the opportunities I have to do so, I think perhaps His only response to that is to make it where I don’t have a choice. I think today and yesterday are a result of no other choice. I won’t stop unless I’m made to do so. I have a lot to think about here.
I guess I can look at it two ways–I’m giving up things to love myself, to nurture myself, to take care of myself –OR– every time I look up this disease forces me to give up more of my life. The truth is it is both–but I’m still hopeful. I will do what I need to do to make things better for myself–to make things more manageable. In the meantime, I pray that the people in my life will be patient with me, will understand this is beyond my control, that I wish it could be different, and that despite it all–I am doing the absolute best I can. As my dear sister keeps reminding me–we were made to do more than just survive–we were made to strive. That’s what I’m aiming for.