Sunday, August 5, 2007

There comes a point in life when you must decide if you are going to go for it, or just give it up...a moment, a flash, a spark that can either be ignited or extinguished. Sometimes, you must choose between what you would like to get to and what you essentially, must get to, but that isn't really what I am talking about here. I am talking about those times when there aren't any other excuses you can use in order to override the moment. It's pretty simple, really, either you are going to get up off of your butt, even though it is very hard to do, or you are going to sit there, forever cemented in self-pity, and marinate in a stew of regret.

I live a mostly full life when viewed from the outside. I have a wonderful, doting husband, whom I have been married to for almost 23 years. I have four very special, very unique daughters ages 13, 15, 17, and just turned 20. Together, we have created an almost idealic life, residing in a setting that many would consider to be "paradise". Heck, it is paradise in so many ways. We have a dog, five cats, and three birds, all of whom we consider to be family members, but not in that somewhat neurotic way in which people plop a pet in a baby stroller and parade it around for attention. We love each other deeply, and completely even though there are days and times when we bear a much closer resemblance to the Osbournes, than the Brady Family.(and I say that in the kindest of ways) With five women and one lone man in the same house, how could life be anything but interesting, emotional, chaotic, and dramatic?

I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 20 years, and so, as each stage of my children's lives comes and goes, I feel a sense of having conquered something major. That is, until the next daughter reaches that stage, and I am once again stumped by my lack of parenting ability. Believe me when I say that teenagers are the first ones who will call you out, and let you know what a crappy parent you are, and a few minutes later, snuggle up to you for a hug, when the insecurities of being not yet adult, but no longer child, come sneaking up on their psyches like the Boogy-man himself!

So here is the glitch in my otherwise charmed life(other than my crazy extended family, but who doesn't have one of those?)...I carry with me, a chronic, painful, energy zapping illness that likes to ying when I want to yang. It resides in my body like a houseguest who was going to visit for three days, and then decided that they wanted to stay FOREVER. I have always been the type of person who looks for the lessons in experiences. I remind myself, that every situation has a spiritual component to it, and that if I am ever going to get past some of the rough stuff, then I'd better try to "get it". Well, I am trying very, very hard to figure out my illness. Not only do I try to understand the scientific and physiological reasons behind it, but the emotional and spiritual ones as well. I do a lot of this in my mind, which can lead to some "crazy-making" moments, and so, this is where that "getting off of my butt" spark comes in. I have always loved writing and working things out in words, yet when my girls were smaller and physically needier(say, under age 10), I could never find the time to focus on writing. Those were the days when I was running from morning til night with four little ones in tow. Those were the days when I had to choose to give writing up, or at least set it on the back-burner indefinitely. Those were the times in my life when something had to give and that give, was usually me.

Now this would be a perfect moment for me to go into the things that I had to give up in order to be the best possible mother to my daughters, but that isn't the point. I have never and will never begrudge them anything that I ever did or gave for them. I do understand that I may have given so much of myself that I neglected my own health, but this illness could have come on as a result of anything. What I am trying to get to here is the actual need that I have to finally get off my butt and write something. I have reached a moment in my life when I need to make a choice...start writing or just forget that it was ever important to me, and give it up. I couldn't live with the later choice, so I must begin moving, even if it is mostly in my furiously typing fingers.

This is the beginning of getting up off of my butt. The spark has been ignitied, the choice has been made and here I am, fumbling along as I learn to blog. Moving slowly beyond the world of full-time mommy, into a world of words and meaning. After all, isn't much of the job of parenting based on hearing ourselves talk...finding the right words, and putting them into the correct contexts so that the meanings are clear?

Thanks for listening!


Humble Origins said...

...Hello Debra, I just left a comment on another post of yours and I read this post and was so touched. I apologize for asking and if you wish not to answer please do not, but can I ask you what illness you suffer from? I am only 45 years of age and I too have an illness that has taken my body hostage, I have Scleroderma...
...You are welcome to contact me directly via email thru a link in my profile in my blog.
...Peace & blessings... :o)

Debra W said...

Humble Origins,

I am sorry that you must live with Scleroderma. How long ago were you diagnosed?

I have Fibromyalgia, but that illness seems to be "buffering" something else that is lingering underneath. I don't mind sharing info about my illness, because there are so many sufferers out there. My case doesn't really follow some of the guidelines because I also have some elevated blood levels for which I see an oncologist every three months.

It sounds like you and I walk a similar road, so I pray that you have good doctors and a strong support system. Like you, I feel as if my body has taken me hostage. Hard to understand if you live in a healthy body, but very, very true.

Please feel free to contact me if you ever need to talk.

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