Sometimes I give myself good advice. It has really paid off to "be now." Granted, the kids - especially Rivulet - have run me ragged with play-dates, but Muad'Dib will attest that I have been maybe 15% as cranky with situations as I was before applying my mind over my mood.
Since the last post I've been beset by painful contractions. They haven't done anything, however, except cause lots of pain and fire up false "this is it!" hope. Because even 3 hours of timeable painful contractions were, in essence, nothing. My doc gave me something to ease the pain just enough so I could get sleep. And that has been helpful.
At first I was horribly disappointed that I wasn't going to have another "early" birth. But then our fridge began it's swan song. We needed to get rid of one car that was no longer working and another that wasn't large enough for our soon to be larger family. Oh, and Lemur was about to have his huge birthday party, and I hadn't washed the new baby's clothes yet; I didn't yet have a bassinet...long list short: it turns out I wasn't as ready as I thought. Yesterday was a perfect example.
I had a very good night's sleep and went to my parents' house for the sole purpose of hanging out and letting Rivulet play with her little cousin, Goosey. I went down to say "hello" to my father and he asked if I could do this one business related thing for him: sending out copies of his renewed licenses. It's not that hard of a job - just time consuming, so I said yes. About two minutes into preparing the faxes I wondered to myself "When is my license meant to renew?" I called the Utah Insurance Department and asked. It was meant to renew in 2 days. And I was still 6 CE credit hours short of the manditory 24. Yikes. For those who don't know a snit about this world: if I let my license lapse - even though I'm not a producing agent - I would take a significant pay cut. To get the license again, I'd have to go through ALL the studying and test taking AGAIN, which would be costly, and not only in time (hours upon hours) but also in money (the test alone, last time I took it, was over $100...and I had to take it twice to pass!)
So. After doing the work for my employer/Dad, I came home and completed the necessary CE credits online and applied for my renewal. Now, had I had an "early birth" like I wanted, nearly two weeks ago, this would not have gotten done. I possbily wouldn't have even KNOWN that it hadn't gotten done.
I'll tell you what: Timing seems to be the theme of this pregnancy. With Lemur it was very much about learning where my limits were - especially as related to family. With Rivulet, I was meant to learn that "panic makes it worse." And with this one it's all in the timing. I got pregnant at exactly the right time to be well and/or sick at managable moments. And today - actually the last two weeks - are testimony that I will not give birth until "the stars have alligned," or in other words: when the time is ABSOLUTLY right. Awesome. Super Awesome.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." - Auguste Rodin
Counting down days is a sorry state of being. Because then very soon, they are no longer "days" they are numbered ordeals to be suffered through before reaching that other thing we are waiting for. That other thing which we deem to be of greater worth than ANYTHING that could take place on one of the day's we are slowly bemoaning and marking off.
I felt this way as a child, waiting to be a teenager. I felt this way as a tween waiting to be able to date and drive. I felt this way as a teenager waiting to graduate and leave behind high school. I felt this way as a new college student, waiting to meet my future husband. I have felt this way in every single downturn of my depression cycle. In fact, thinking this way often TRIGGERS the depression cycle. Because it implies that what is happening NOW is not worth my energy or focus. And somehow that reflects poorly on me TO me and I shut down. "Must reserve energy for worthwhile events only." Depression or restless anxiety ensues.
Today I am "waiting" for a baby. Yesterday the snow fell all day long and I spent the day sitting in a green recliner by the window, just enduring each hour. I coped with online T.V., "Notting Hill," crocheting and trying to keep the kids from bothering me.
When I woke up this morning, I assigned a new number to the day. 23 days from now is my due date. That makes today 23. Not Saturday. Not Cleaning Day. Not a day to spend with my children as one of the last 23 days we will have left as a simple, and basically well-functioning family of four. Nope. Just "23."
Then I as I was pouring milk into my cereal bowl, I saw the magnet that proclaims the above quote. Today does not have to be 23. It doesn't have to be a waste of time. I can use today wisely. Wisely meaning: enjoy my children with whatever energy I have. If that's too much, at least I can use whatever energy I have to be kind to them. I can sit with them and do what they want to do instead of being a grump and saying, "I'm too tired to watch you play a game or sit next to you while you paint with water colors."
Like many people who dance with depression, I fall into the false belief that I only have a certain amount of energy. Granted: I'm pregnant, so that statement is a little less false than normal. Minimum physicality for Normal Sayyadina is Over-doing it for Pregnant Sayyadina. Still: If I can muster up the energy to shop for Lemur's birthday preparations, or for 3 hours of work, doesn't that show me that I can muster up the energy to make these final 23 days of Four-Some worthwhile?
On the last day before Lemur was born, I shopped for wigs in SLC, bought a LovSac for Muad'Dib's birthday and ate very spicy Thai food. Granted, I was in a wheel chair for most of the excursion, but I still didn't opt out.
On the last day before Rivulet was born, I walked all over Walmart with Lemur, and we laughed and played as only the two of us could.
Do I really want to look back and say, "On the last day before Baby was born I sat in a chair and ignored my children because it was snowing and I was grumpy" ? I don't think that's how I want to remember the next 23 days.
I want to remember Saturday at the Gem Show. Monday: Lemur's birthday; Wednesday: the day I read to Lemur's class from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Friday: the day I play fairies with Rivulet until she gets bored of me, and not the other way around. I want to remember DAYS, not speed through numbers. Because we will never be this way again. We will never simply be FOUR again.
Being FOUR is awesome. Being FIVE will be awesome, but it is not here yet. NOW is all I have. And if I sacrifice NOW for THEN, I sacrifice for an unguaranteed return, which is risky if not downright silly. Will I be less tired in 23 days? Nope. I'll have just undergone surgery and not really get to see my two children for three days while I lay in a hospital and become acquainted with my new one. Will I be more able to play with the Two? Nope. Two weeks will pass before I can go for a walk with them, or help them take a bath or really fix their meals.
What I can do NOW is worth my focus and attention. Baby will come when Baby is ready. And until then, I have the chance to enjoy at most 23 days with my first two children, and my dear husband.
I will rest when I have done good. And if all the kids are asking of me is to sit near them while they do what they do, I can and WILL form my attitude to be one of gratitude for the constant NOW that we are able to spend together. No more counting off days. No more wishing today would end so I could get to tomorrow, so I can get to May 2nd sooner.
I will be NOW. And I'm going to use all my substantial powers to enjoy it!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
And it's not so bad, really. Today is my birthday. Woot. I'm 30 today. It feels very much as it did yesterday. Tired, pregnant, in love, happy, responsible. I do have a streak of grey at my left temple that has been steadily gaining a following, like a cult movie. Besides that....just the same old me. In fact, perhaps I feel better than yesterday because I went to see the Baby Doctor and he cut a whole week off my wait! Instead of May 9th, my planned C-section will be May 2nd. Double Woot! He also said that the baby is so healthy, that if I go into labor, they won't stop me. Triple Woot!!!
So: what do I have to show for the year? Basically a lot of happiness. I've written little but done much. Theater, travels, playtime with kids, quality time with husband and popcorn, taking care of the house like I've never done before. I even lost 30lbs - though I quickly gained it back when I became pregnant with the precious Third (who is still unnamed). No complaints there, however. :)
I really wanted to write because of something that was said in General Conference. It reminded me that I had not shared something here.
Remember the Minor Heresies, with promised "further installments?" Notice how there were no further installments? I had been doing quite a bit of research into religious and spiritual things, compounded by the waves of truth I was reading in Muad'Dib's book (which I have been editing). I began writing a few of the debunkings, but they were incomplete and therefore unposted as yet.
Then I was in RS a couple weeks ago. A friend got up to give the opening prayer and in it asked a blessing on the teacher, Sister So&So. I cursed inside, knowing that this particular teacher was one I often had "problems" with; then felt bad for that feeling and said a quick prayer "Father, help me be humble." Then the friend asked in the prayer that Sister So & So would "say those things which thou would have us hear, which would inspire us to draw closer to thee and expand our understanding."
Well guess what? That's exactly what Sister So &So has been doing! She and others may have said things from the RS pulpit that I felt was wrong - minor heresies as I called them - but them doing so DID indeed inspire me to draw closer to God through greater study of His Gospel. And my testimony has only grown from what she and others have taught. So....humility.
I know many people who have left the church because of something someone said or did. Very rarely have these people left because of an actual point of doctrine. Just like the guy who left the church because Brother Joseph spelled his name wrong, these people have forgotten one VERY important thing: People are fallible, but the Church is true. People can be wrong. People can misunderstand. People can use words and phrases that mean something different to them than they do to you (connotations cannot be controlled or monitered, quite honestly). People can be jerks. People are people. Are YOU perfect all the time? Do YOU always say the right thing in exactly the right way at exactly the right time? No. The only person who has done that is Jesus. So go read His words, and the words of His prophets. The truth is there.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to "learn" from fallible women and men. It gives me greater appreciation for the absolute truth found in the scriptures, from God the Father. Because even if someone says from a RS pulpit, "We'll never get the Second Comforter, so we shouldn't worry about trying," I can read Christ's words in which he promises: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."
I'm grateful for the courage of the women who stand up to teach. I haven't had that calling in a long time. And it's not in my nature to be afraid of such a situation, probably because I'm so prideful. ;) But for many, it is a stressful and daunting responsibility. Showing ANYTHING but gratitude for their time and preparation is just mean of me. And it shortchanges my church-going experience.
So sure: I can still keep my eye out for minor heresies: but not to mock the speaker. Not to get all fired up that people "just don't know." I will instead take this great lesson, humble myself and wait for the Lord to guide me to further learning.
In conference, I heard it said that we should share our testimonies more often; to not be afraid to share the gospel. This is me doing that. I learned something good, and the last thing I had written about church was sort of bad. I'm fixing that, I hope.
Also, on a related "Prayers are answered" note, both Lemur and Rivulet have been accepted to the Montessori Academy - months after we were told that there was no hope of Lemur's getting in. (Rivulet was pulled just after the second lottery, but Lemur was denied in BOTH lotteries.) I had kept praying. We kept working on his school and saw him improve leaps and bounds. And I kept praying. I even completed the paperwork for registration, just in case. The "just in case" happened, only moments after we had been denied entranc to another open enrollment school. I screamed and jumped about the house like I wasn't carrying a baby, scaring poor Lemur to death with my sudden excitement. Good times.
Well...It tis time to end the post. Hope it was a good one. Feels good. And that's all I have control over. :)