With his bright big brown eyes full of excitement Nathan looked up at me , words tumbling out of his mouth faster than the speed of light “Teacher! Teacher! Tomorrow I’m going n such a cool adventure! I’m going to hospital’
I remember looking down at his 4 year old enthusiasm and thinking “My boy do you know what you in for? ” , after all having your tonsils out isn’t exactly a walk in the park and honestly, who wants to go to hospital?
But , this is how life is …..we forget to see our lives as lessons and adventures .
We loose our childlike enthusiasm and trust to a wide world of fear.
As I sit nervously awaiting an operation tomorrow to my ankle in order to fix 3 of the major bones , the fear in the knowledge that the journey ahead of me to recover completely could take up to 18 months, has engulfed me like a tsunami.
I’m afraid of the pain, the rehabilitation , of how my newborn will cope without me while I’m in hospital, of my partner having to do so much, of me being able to do so little , of the cost and of having to rely on others.
Tears have become my daily companion the last 9 days. I’m faced with onslaughts of guilt for not being able to care for baby H properly and frustration at having to ask for help even to get a glass of water.
Tonight, as I wondered which online store sold big girl panties , one size larger than mine and where nerves of steel are stored, Nathans enthusiasm reminded me that I’m so consumed by fear I’ve forgotten to look for the blessings in my journey.
I see you looking at me , shaking your head with that ‘hey girl! Someone has your voodoo doll’ look , but somewhere in this trial is a blessing: a lesson and as I embark on what is going to be a very trying testing time for me , B and baby H I know I need to find it .
Somewhere, deep inside I need to find the positives in this ordeal. I need to remember how many people are worse off than me and how blessed I am.
Its not easy. The pity party has started and the woe is me train is leaving the station. Negativity is hovering in the air like a dull fog and tears are falling in buckets.
How does one stay positive in such situations?
Im using the following methods :-
1)Gratitude journal-a simple exercise book where i can record good things that happen each day. Last year, I started a Facebook album and added 1 photo a day of what I was grateful for.
2)Motivational quotes -I’ve filled my phone with quotes that will motivate me when I’m feeling down. You could print these and paste them around the house.
3)Daily goals -i’m setting a daily goal, no matter how small, and celebrating even the tiniest things I achieve to stop my frustration. This will also allow me to see progress in my healing.
4)Focus – my focus needs to be less on me and more on what is important. For me this is my children, partner and my writing. Having my children around distracts me from the pain and having to care for baby H means I don’t have time to wallow in the pits of self pity.
5)Trust -trust those around me and accept help. This to me is the hardest of all. All moms are mechanically built to just keep going and we fall into the mommy guilt trap if we don’t keep going to 100 percent. My advise to moms is always “a happy mom is a happy child” , and to be a happy mom you have to sometimes accept your limitations and allow those around you to assist in love. Remembering this too shall pass!
6)Cry- yes , I will still cry and I’m giving myself a certain leeway (hopefully followed by a glass of red and a box of chockies) to wallow for a bit. I realise I’m going to have bad days , but also that at the end of each bad day I need to stand right back up , give life a shout and dare her to try me ! After all I’m a mom , we made of some pretty tough stuff.
So , as Nathan said “Tomorrow I’m going on an adventure” …….one that will make me stronger.