Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I'm Reading

Michael left Friday for vacation with his family. I enjoyed the weekend of alone time, but as I prepare to start the week, I'm realizing how much I already miss him!

I will be sad when I go to bed alone this afternoon.

I work weird hours during the week. Overnights. Sometimes, on weekends, I just let my body wake and sleep when it wants.

I feel relaxed.
This is so weird.

I finished Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers," this morning. Man, he is seriously smart. I had to read that book in chunks because he talks a lot about math, and I'm an American kid and a girl, so I'm obviously at a math disadvantage. It was an intriguing book.

Right now, I'm also reading Jennie Allen's "Restless," and journaling along with it. This book is good stuff. I can feel something inside of be that is about to burst. I think it's the beginning of allowing myself to dream again. I'm on the edge of my seat with what God wants to teach me through this book.

I read a Real Simple magazine pretty much cover-to-cover this morning, without falling asleep! I have always loved that magazine. I remember buying it when I was in my 20s, with the last $5 I had to spend, haha! Now, we have Pinterest, so simple, beautiful photos are all over the place. Remember when Real Simple was the only thing like that? They are so smart. Reading that magazine feels like touching Pinterest with my own two hands.

I'm re-reading "Elements of Journalism" right now. This book goes through the core principals of my profession. It's good to be reminded of the beauty of digging for the truth. This book cuts through the chaos of media life, and reminds me of the real, raw purpose of what I do. It inspires me every time.

Are y'all reading anything that inspires you? What?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Real Friends Make Life Better

Saturday night we had dinner with friends. They are old friends of mine.

I had a great time.
I love old friends.
I like new friends too, don’t hear me wrong.

But old friends are so great, because you don’t have to impress them. You don’t have to talk about the weather.

You can straight-out tell them what you’re having a hard time with. You aren’t trying to impress them. You can talk with gelato in your mouth.

You can laugh about things at the dinner table that new friends would never talk about, out loud.

I was honored to spend time with these friends Saturday night. We see each other in email inboxes and text messages and social media all the time, but nothing is better than an in-person laugh, a hug, and an “I love you,” on a Town Center street corner before you part ways.
I need my friends.

Sometimes I forget this. What, in my independence, and lists and workaholism, and all.

The truth is, I think it was easier to make real friends when I was younger. When we were in school or in church together. When we weren't bogged down with our own responsibilities. 
It's harder as an adult, to justify the time spent with a friend. I don't know if you're like me, but I make time for work, for church, for taking care of my home, even for the gym.

But I let time with friends get the boot too easily, and too often.

It's only when I experience that life and laughter together that I remember, oh yeah... I do like people. It is worth making plans and getting ready and spending money on dinner.

Real friends make life better.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stress, Happiness and Pharrell

I'm one cup of coffee into this Sunday morning and I'm thinking back on yesterday, and all of its glory and how it ended in heartbreak.

I like to process and it's a lot to process and my neck is tense and Michael is still asleep and Brokaw is snout snoring beside me, and I can feel it getting colder outside by the moment and I hate that.

I write run-on sentences before my second cup of coffee, just so you know. Standby for rambling.

The clock just crossed one minute over the church threshold. You know the church threshold, right? Like two minutes ago, it would have been possible to run around here like a tasmanian devil, get my husband up and dressed, throw him in his wheelchair, then in the van, swallow a bite of breakfast, and speed to church.

But now it's 8:02 a.m., and we are going to the 11:00 a.m. service.

So, I can breathe. Fire up the Keurig for another cup, and exhale here in this place, my little chunk of the internet.

Let's talk about yesterday.

It started as a bit of a struggle. I wish I skipped down the street singing Pharrell's "Happy." Sometimes, I do. Sometimes, I don't. Almost always the thing that stops me is stress.

I'm horrible at letting stress run my life. Boundaries are a joke in my world. This must change. Will you pray for me as I sincerely try to let go of some things, lean into my faith, and trust God? That I will once and for all know and live in this idea of joy that is not ruined by circumstances? That what I know in my heart about being set free will float up to my brain and cut off the blood flow to that part of my brain that is constantly timing things, scheduling things, double checking things and thinking that it's totally possible for me to be in two or three places at once?

The madness needs to stop.
I know it's on me. I am the author of the madness. 
I know I also have access to THE author of my life and the universe, and I need to calm it down and stop trying to run the world.

I don't have time to run the world. 

I'm considering playing this video first thing every morning when I'm getting Michael up, and forcing myself to be happy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Michael's latest devotional post

Comfort in the Midst of Chaos: The Breath of Life: Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a livin...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

On Winter and Spring

Shout out to my writing group friends. 
I have a confession, y'all.

It will not be a surprise for those of you who are regulars around these parts.
I am burned out and uninspired.
I need a new spark.

Since just before Christmas, I've been in this place where I barely have anything to say. I can barely even think. I just think and write the same thing over and over.

You know why?
Because I'm hiding something.

I don't like to be a Debbie-downer.
I was the captain of the cheerleaders in high school, y'all.

But here's the deal.
It's getting better now - but it was rough.

One of the main things I like to do with this blog is to reach out to other wives/girlfriends of guys in wheelchairs, because I want you to know you're not alone. I want you to know that I am here, too. That I warrior on with you and beside you.

I think of all of you other wheelchair-pushers out there. All of you husband-transferers. All of you bread-winning, dinner-cooking, hard-working, list-making, allen-wrench rocking, van-driving, ramp checkers. I know you are with me. I know I am not alone.

And yet, I let myself feel that way.
It got dark.

There was the pressure sore.
And the UTIs.
And the broken wheelchair.
And the broken van.
And the home health aides that disappeared.

I was on duty full-time for about two months.
The same two months my dad was fighting for his life.
I remember saying to my husband when my dad went into the hospital, "The less I have to worry about you during this time, the better."

Boy, did things not work out the easy way.

It was Groundhog day.
Caregiving and working and cooking grocery shopping and cleaning and visiting my dad in the hospital. Over and over and over and over.

And I got so over it, I wondered (again) if I can do this forever. I cried many tears. I got madder at Michael that ever before and I said ugly things.

There are some of you sitting in my inbox that I haven't ever written back. You e-mailed me because you found this blog, and you are newly in love with a quadriplegic and you want to ask me questions about what life is like and what sex is like and how to have good wedding pictures with a wheelchair.

And all I wanted to do is to tell you to politely run away.

That if you don't, you'll be stressed out, strung out from sleepless nights filled with turning him in bed, and getting pills and cleaning up accidents and stretching the bank account, and maxing out credit cards so that you can get your van fixed. That you'll miss out on things because you can't get in. That your back will hurt all the time. That you'll miss your old life. That you'll wonder why you signed up for this in the first place. That you'll feel like no one in your life understands, even him. That you'll always feel like the things that have to do with you don't matter, because how can you not put him first?

I didn't write you back and I didn't say all of that because I know that there are seasons with this life.
Where I've been - that's Winter.

Where I am now, sitting across from him at a random Starbucks while he works on his web project, and I prop my feet up on his wheelchair, writing this blog post, this is Spring.

We have a reliable home health aide again.
My dad is doing better.
We got the van fixed.
The wheelchair has new tires, still has issues, but he's working on getting it fixed.
We have a plan for the pressure sore.
Three trips around the antibiotic sun, and I think the UTI is at bay.
Our budget is back to normal.
I feel like I belong in my own house, and in my own bed, pretty much.

We aren't fighting.
I can look at him on the other side of these two MacBook Pros, and see that guy I fell in love with.
I know I can do this.
I want to.
It IS worth fighting for.

And, so I will write you back.
I will tell you about the seasons, though. Because you'll definitely need to know about that. So you don't give up, just because it's Winter, and then miss Spring and Summer.

This post was a project for my little writing group. We are a group of women who are working together on our craft. This time, we chose a topic to all write about, and link up, so please check their posts out, and share!

Winter vs Spring Story by Laura Oliver

Winter Blues by Brayden Emerick

The Endless Winter by Stacey Michalak

The Spring of My Content by Stephanie Cooke

Seasons of Weight by Lauren Hope