This is my first moment to breathe in a long time. I worked 20 to 25 hours outside the home for 10 weeks (Feb to May), about double the hours I had been working, and still homeschooling three kids, ages 13, 9 and 2. The week that the extra hours ended and I was relieved to cut back from working every Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues to just some Saturdays, Sunday and a few hours on Tuesday, my husband had a massive heart attack. It’s been just over 6 weeks from that day, May 4, 2011.
I used to go out about once a week by myself to a coffee-house (to drink tea) with my lap top and journal and write and work on my website and play games. It was my alone time where I was only responsible for myself, a needed break and recharge for a homeschooling mother of three as well as a chance to reconnect with my soul and my passion, writing.
Over the past week, it has become more obvious to me that I am experiencing “burn out” or caregiver overload. My husband, Don, has been home for over 4 weeks and improving but only watching the kids in small increments of time and not at night yet. He is still recovering and so I play the role of mother, homeschool mom, wife, caregiver of my husband, Occupational Therapist for my husband as well as still working a couple of hours at a time when I can as an OT at the Nursing Home where I have been working for a while.
Today, the youngest two kids and my husband went across the street where our neighbor has agreed to give our shaggy dog, Olive, a much-needed hair cut. My oldest is still asleep or maybe just in his room, he’s 13. The house is quiet.
The last time I got to enjoy a quiet house was when my husband was in the hospital and I would wake up around 3 am, because I couldn’t sleep more than 3 hours when he was in the hospital for 12 days, and I would come to my lap top in the kitchen and get a few things done and then write. I have been missing that early morning time to myself. The lack of sleep caught up with me and shortly after my husband came home from the hospital, I slept well and slept in. Now I am ready to live on less sleep again, not 3 hours, but wishing for alone time in my house.
I am not religious but a spiritual person and I get daily messages from Neale Donald Walsch, author of the Conversations with God series of books. His messages are sometimes very fitting to my day. They became very timely when my husband, Don, was in the hospital.
And a few days ago one of the messages was very loud:
June 17, I got this message:
…that your Inner Life is begging you for some attention. Can you not hear your soul calling to you? Please do not ignore this call any longer. Please do , “Yeah, yeah, tonight.” Or…”Okay, I get it. I will meditate every morning…”Stop everything right this minute. If only for 90 seconds. And say hello to your soul. Reconnect. Touch in. And listen to what you are trying to tell yourself.
This morning I decided to go out and take a walk by myself again (something I also used to do several times a week and have been trying to get back to) with my music. I was checking Facebook on my blackberry, because I did that yesterday and had fun hosting a game of “Name that Tune” to my Facebook friends and I read this message from Neale Donald Walsch on Facebook:
Your soul talks through your body, which gives you a here-and-now experience of your truth. If you want to know your truth on any subject, look to your feelings. Checking in with your body is the fastest way of doing this.
My first thought was, “My neck hurts, I wonder what my soul is trying to tell me.” I kept walking, not giving it much more thought. When I got back from my walk, it occurred to me that the reason my neck hurts is most likely not my sleeping arrangement or my pillow, but the fact that I have been communicating with my friends and trying to connect with others via Facebook on my BlackBerry at night and in the early morning. Let me paint a more clear picture: using my touch screen blackberry while laying on my back, my arms over my head to type and to read message.
I had symptoms of shoulder capsulitis not too long ago, likely from the same situation, too much supine position BlackBerry typing.
So clearly, my soul’s message is this:
Find a way, no matter what I have to do, to have time on the computer, sitting upright with good posture and good ergonomics and write, blog, journal.
In other words: spend less time on my blackberry and more really writing on the computer!
…Thank you body and soul for giving me that message. My mind has taken it in. Here I am.