Tonight I went to an American Heritage Girls meeting with two of my girls. Last year I was an assistant leader, but this year I'm just being a mom in the group. I'll still be "helping out" with the older girls, as needed, but I'm not "official". Everyone knows I've had mono and that it's been hard to recover. People are very kind and understanding and solicitous about the fibromyalgia, too.
So, there's this one nice person there, who was describing her day tomorrow...or some Saturday...that family is always on the run, and she described ACTIVITIES from morning until night that she would literally be running from one thing to the next. Her family has four kids, I think. Baseball, Volleyball, this that and the other...I could not keep track. But her description was literally from about 8 in the morning until ten at night...
And I said "Wow, I don't know how you do it!" And she looked at me and said "Well, you do it too!" and I said "No, I REALLY DON'T!!!"
That was the end of that conversation.
You see, healthy people just don't get it. It seems like a thing, a burden, (actually its a CHOICE) but it's also a status symbol and a sign of good caring for one's kids to be that busy...that many activities (and they all cost money, take time, and require ENERGY.)
And no, I really don't do that.
What's my typical day like? I get out of bed, I have breakfast a bit of time on the computer. Shower, dressed. Morning prayers, reading out loud with the kids. History, German, Writing...the subjects we do together. then it's time for me to make lunch and for them to start doing their other subjects.
I, so far, have DONE next to nothing. But like sand running through an hour glass too quickly, as noon aproaches, after a very quiet morning...I am already slowing down.
If I am having a good day, I can get another three or four hours out of myself after lunch. I'm not talking about running around. I'm talking quiet work, at the sewing table, perhaps. If I have to run an errand...ONE errand will do me in. After that, I will be feeling very sick and on the couch. On a good day I will have planned ahead and made dinner in the crock pot sometime during my "good hours".
Today, I was able to do some sewing, and I'm so grateful. It was a good day. This means I had the energy to put one foot in front of the other and keep going, despite burning pain in all my muscles (even while I type this, it makes my arms burn). I went out for an hour to meet a girlfriend for coffee...what a treat! Dinner was soup in the crock pot and a loaf of bread one of my teenagers made. I make it to AHG only because my husband drives me there. My legs and arms are burning all evening long. I am glad I'm not in uniform anymore because this means I don't have to salute the flag. It is less painful to put my hand over my heart instead of holding my arm up in a salute. Grateful for the little things.
Tomorrow, I have to go to the Farmer's Market in the morning. What I don't get to do is help out at Church with the gardening. What I don't get to do is get together with the ladies to help bake for the festival next weekend. None of my kids play sports. No running around for that. Because I know that after the Farmer's Market, since I'm in a flare right now, I will probably be DONE for the day. If' I'm lucky I'll be able to do some hand sewing, even though it needs to be done by Tuesday and I'd like to get it off my to do list.
And I wonder to myself just WHEN will I do the rest of the grocery shopping?
But no, there's no "You do the same thing" in my life. I do very very differently from the average busy suburban soccer (or volleyball) mom. Everything I do is planned and balanced and weighed and measured, because everything I do will come at a price and I have to pay with pain and unbelievable fatigue. And that, my friends, is why I'm dedicating this post to all of those who "just don't get it."