Sunday, January 27, 2019

Just Keeping It Real and Keeping My Promise

I promised myself I would blog this year.

One thing I've learned about myself recently is that I'm a great promise keeper to others, but I'm lousy at keeping promises to myself. As I try to grow this year, I'm trying to keep these seemingly small promises to myself in hopes I reap big changes in December.

So . . . here I am, blogging. And I really don't feel like it.

Well . . . 

I had a hysterectomy on Tuesday morning. 

I wasn't going to tell anyone outside of my immediate family, but when reality hit me at my pre-op appointment last Monday, I realized I couldn't do this without some help from people around me. And why should I feel like I need to put up a front that everything is great when it's not? I don't know. Am I the only one who struggles with this?

In case you're wondering, it wasn't an emergency. I had a non-cancerous fibroid tumor (about 3 1/2-4") in my uterine wall that had grown as big as a 14-week pregnancy. It was time to take it out.

Things went smoothly--aside from the first night in the hospital where I slept very little because the nurse refused to shut off the sat monitor that was alarming literally twelve times in five minutes even though my sats ranged 97-100. But this is serious surgery. I hadn't understood truly how hard recovery would be.

And these photos were taken after I was feeling quite a bit better . . .
Eve was so sad that she couldn't come see me in the hospital the first night, but she jumped at the chance to come on Wednesday. She has been very attentive and kind, and I'm glad she's here to help me.
I don't sit still when I'm well (big secret there), and I'm having a difficult time with this whole recovery process. I'm only six days post-surgery, and it's already doing numbers on my mental state. I look around and wish I could straighten up or help with kids or even get my own meals together. But I keep telling myself that a minute resting today will save me an hour of additional recovery down the road. I vowed I would stay in my nightgown through Sunday, and I've done just that--sleeping, resting, surfing social media (way too much), preparing for classes (starting tomorrow), watching Netflix.

Problem is this: I've always tied my self-worth to how much I accomplish each day, and this staying in bed gig is getting me down. It's hard when the biggest items on your to-do list these days include finding the tie to your soft pink robe and pooping (success on both counts, in case you're wondering).

While everyone was at church today, I had a small epiphany and a talk with myself:

Each letter in "grow" (my goal word for 2019) stands for something I'd like to improve this year. The"R" happens to stand for "reset." I initially took that to mean resetting my priorities and a few bad habits to get me where I truly want to be in 2020, but resetting applies in my recovery as well. I can't judge my lofty goals and daily checklists by my inability to accomplish much of anything during these next few weeks. I can't condemn myself for falling short in mothering and teaching and guiding in January--I was gone or post-surgery for 17 of the first 27 days of the year. I have to let that go and reset my sights on what I can do for the next 5-7 WEEKS.

Wow. That sounds long when I phrase it like that.

The worst part about this whole surgery/recovery situation is that I will have to miss this little girl's arrival next month.
That prospect alone almost made me postpone surgery until March. My grandma heart breaks when I realize I won't be there to hear her first cries and change diapers that progress from black tar to seedy mustard. I won't be there to share snuggles and stories and make cookies with her five older siblings--time that I've always cherished with Heidi's family. However, is there ever a really good time for something like this? You'll always miss something, right? And I know Heidi is in good hands with Sam. But still . . .

I can't even drive for another week. No Costco. No piano lessons or tumbling or basketball practice. No yoga or long walks or sit-ups. No nothing. It's me, these four walls, and my devoted dog who is rarely more than five feet away. I love that about her.
And then I start to feel guilty about my frustration. SISTER!! It was just a fibroid. I don't have cancer. I didn't lose a limb or my vision or my mobility. It's a battle up in my brain, I tell you.

Things should get easier tomorrow when classes resume for me. Hopefully that will keep my mind occupied and away from all this negative self-talk as I continue to recuperate.

However, I'm starting to realize that I need to take advantage of this time to reset more of my priorities.  If I let it, this could be a golden time with my three youngest kids. What really matters in my days? How can I use this time to develop better relationships with those closest to me? How can I give them my full attention and make this time pleasant and worthwhile?

So . . . There you have it.

Just keeping it real and keeping my promise to myself.

I blogged today. At least one more thing checked off my to-do list.

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