I had someone ask me once why it was I couldn’t rebound as quickly as my husband from a trip abroad, especially since he reported back to work the day after we returned. The implication was that somehow I was a slacker. I who was a housewife with time on my hands. By that person’s standards, I’m sure I was. That she knew little about my daily routine seemed of little consequence.
Criss-crossing the country these last 11 years to visit with my daughter has made traveling less than pleasurable. Bunking down on air mattresses for days or weeks at a time takes its toll on my arthritic back. Keeping up with a 27-year-old dancer’s hectic performance schedule is enervating, but it’s also a killer. The inability to maintain a healthy diet eventually takes its toll, as does losing track of my exercise regimen. My brain goes on vacation when I need it the most, and my body and I are left to fend for ourselves. The result is that I’m a total mess when I return home to my sanctuary for old-timers.
Since our daughter’s dance career changed directions a few months ago, our lives have been a mad dash to get her settled in, and moving on. Since September I’ve been to Houston and back 3 times. Each trip lasted only several days. In between trips, I’ve moved stuff around in my house, our storage unit, and elsewhere more times than I care to count…when our daughter moved home…when we helped settle her into her Houston rental…when her bedroom here was remodeled…when I sold antiques and collectibles at a local vintage fair…and when we helped our daughter pack up when she left Houston and headed for her two week gig in Pittsburgh.
My body finally came to a screeching halt when I returned home this week. Rebelling, it seemed to say “take care of me…or I’m outta here!”
Trying to re-acclimate to my diet this week while ramping up my exercises, sent my arthritis and fibromyalgia into overdrive. It didn’t help that I had scheduled back-to-back appointments every day, save Friday. On that day I could not drag myself out of bed.
I decided to take the advice of my physical therapist whom I saw on Wednesday. Darci, a compassionate young woman in her 30s, told me to listen to my body. She warned that I had gone beyond my limits, and now I needed to stop…and take care of myself. Sad that I needed someone’s permission to put myself first.
My body needed to rest and recuperate. And it was up to me to see that it got it.
So I lay in bed, in pain, but at peace with the fact that I deserved to heal. I knew I would be no good to my husband or my daughter unless I was good to myself.
Nurturing ourselves is not a bad thing.