End/beginning

Today I stand at the crossroads.

My Girl from the East, who was a mush and Cheerios eater when I started this blog four years ago, (yeah, there was an anniversary here recently) graduated preschool last night in a ceremony that was so sugar frosted my teeth ached by the time it was over. Who can resist 20 five-year-olds singing with hand-made mortar boards on their heads? No one.

I’m at the end of one thing and the beginning of another. We are in the twilight of our innocence. My girl and I connected in a smoke-filled room in China almost five years ago and haven’t been apart more than a day or two since then. Stay-at-home motherhood  was not what I expected. I hated some parts and loved others. I have no regrets.  I was there for the first words, the first wobbly steps, the potty training, first friendships and preschool experiences. And all along the way I was at her side or close enough to catch her fall. Once she gets on in the world without me for seven hours a day, it will change. No longer will I be the all-knowing, omnipotent center of her universe.

In three months Girl from the East will  board a big yellow bus, wave to me,  and in a rumble of diesel exhaust leave me behind to figure out a new way to fill the hours of the days of my life.

Which brings me to the next  big thing: my health. I am not better. I am not worse. I am the same in a way that I don’t want to become the new normal. I’m on the dark side of a divide, one in which something about myself will be learned once I step into the light. Maybe I’ll have to give up certain foods or household products. Maybe I’ll have to get on medication. I don’t know, but I suspect a life change.

I’ve been forced to slow down. I’ve started saying no to things without hesitation. I’ve been reading and resting a lot. I’ve let things go, particularly my gardens. They will survive. Nature is tough.

Today is the end of one thing and the beginning of another.

 

 

 

How many wake-up calls does it take?

Who knew? Drinking excessive amounts of coffee, popping OTC cold pills and getting five hours of sleep aren’t a recipe for good health.

Sounds stupid, but it’s what I did to myself last month. It began with a simple request from the husband for me to look for work. It ended with a phone call from my doctor telling me I had pneumonia.

In between all that I stressed, panicked and over scheduled my life. And when you over schedule your life, it has way of getting the last laugh. Such as: Two days before a planned vacation, one of kids gets really sick, like emergency room sick.

My carefully planned itinerary for the next few days to prepare for this trip was thrown to the wind. We barely made it to the airport for our flight. For the next few days of our vacation, I felt so tired I drank excessive amounts of coffee to stay alert and active. Then I felt a cold coming on, so I loaded up on OTC medication to dull the symptoms. I didn’t want to ruin our trip so I didn’t rest. I willed myself to keep going, to play along with the plan and not be a buzz kill.

When it was time to head to the airport for our return flight, I was full-out sick and could barely put one foot in front of the other. I spent the whole flight home curled up in a ball of misery.

This cascade of events has led me to today: In a bit of a worry about my future and consciously applying the brakes to my high-speed/going nowhere life.

A week after my doctor’s visit, the doctor called me to see how I was doing. She said they’d looked at my chest X-ray again and decided there was a spot on my left lung that needed to be watched. Could I come back in a few weeks for a follow-up X-ray?

I contemplated this. I’m a former smoker; I quit 15 years ago. It sounds weird to say but I’m hoping the spot is pneumonia and not something else.

I’m not job hunting right now. I’m not finishing that painting project. I’m not cleaning the basement. 

I am taking it easy. I am hugging my girls a little bit longer. I’m trying not to worry. Really, I’m trying to just  appreciate each moment. Two scares in one year are too many.