Divine Timing

UnwellWhen I awakened yesterday morning I didn’t feel better. In fact, if I allowed myself to really admit it, I was feeling worse. My lungs burned as if I had been running a marathon outside in minus 20 degree Celsius weather and walking up a flight of stairs left me feeling completely winded. My body was aching from head to toe and I was extremely low energy. And if I tried to do too much (like making smoothies for the kids) I got sweaty and shaky.

All I could think was…whose body is this?

I felt even worse this morning so I decided it was time to make a call to the doctor. I am not what you would call a regular patient. I visit my naturopath, chiropractor and energy healer on a regular basis but my doctor sees very little of me. Therefore, a call to the doctor is of great significance.

Divine TimingThe long and the short is that I have pneumonia. I have started a 10-day course of Biaxin and I am to be in bed for a week.

Here’s where the Divine Timing comes in… I have absolutely nothing on my calendar this week except one coaching call tomorrow.

Nothing!

Last week was jam-packed and next week is completely full of coaching and workshops.

It is as if the Universe perfectly orchestrated this week just for me. And, put a long weekend at the end just for good measure.

Isn’t that extraordinary?!?Out Sick

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Bird TV

I was under strict instructions yesterday afternoon to ‘do nothing‘. Little did I know when I headed out to my back garden to follow my husband’s do-nothing orders, that I was going to be involved in something truly miraculous.

BIrd in the GrassAs I made my way across our tiny patch of lawn to set up for my nothingness, I almost stepped on a dead bird nestled into the grass. My heart clutched and I felt that horrible regret that our cat had killed yet another innocent little creature.

As I looked a little closer, though, I realized that it was not dead at all but just resting in the long grass. Fortunately, my cat, who was following me outside for some shady afternoon dozing, had not yet noticed it. So I scooped her up and shut her in the house (much to her very loud annoyance).

I wasn’t sure if the bird was hurt and didn’t want to frighten it so I just stretched out on my comfy chair and watched.

It wasn’t long before the bird hopped across the grass and up the two stairs to our small back porch. The bird was trying desperately to fly and was not having an easy time so I figured it was hurt. I called Animal Control to see if they could help. They feel kind of like my new best friends after the baby bunny incident that I blogged about a month ago. The incredibly supportive woman at Animal Control asked me a few questions and we determined that the bird was a baby who was in the middle of flying lesson from its mother (which explained the larger two birds that kept flying down periodically…mom and dad were both in on this lesson).

Unfortunately, mama bird picked a yard with an incredibly vicious cat!

Flying LessonI kept the cat in the house and watched for three hours as the baby bird tried valiantly to fly. It looked so demanding on the poor little guy that I just wanted to lift it up into the tree above. However, from one mom to another, I don’t want anyone uninvited near my babies, so I left hers alone.

Max and his buddies drifted into the back yard a few times to check on the progress, to shout encouragement and to take selfies with the bird. There was something so endearingly adorable about those great big skateboarders cheering on a baby bird’s flying lesson that it just made me love them even more.

I never did see the baby bird take flight but when I went out after dinner it was gone so I am assuming it managed the gargantuan feat.

I am not very good at doing nothing. I don’t sit around very well and there is only so long I can read before my body wants me to do, to accomplish, to cross off my list, to be productive. However, the gift of my very own big-screen-front-row-seat-baby-bird-flying-lesson meant that I had miraculous, tiny, and valiant company for my afternoon of rest.

Just gotta love how the Universe conspires to line it up so exceptionally! 🙂Perfection

All-Nighter

I take extremely good care of myself. I sleep eight hours a night, I exercize , I meditate, and I feed my body exceptionally well. Over the past two months I have seriously upped my game on the latter. And since David Wolfe came into my life a few weeks ago, I have discovered a food and nutrition gear that I didn’t even know existed!

sleepI feel awesome! And…it’s just getting better by the day!

One of the key components to my wellness strategy is sleep. I am an eight-hour-a-night kind of a girl. Even on the weekends I am in bed by 10:00 and awake by 6:30. I love sleep and I am a total wimp if I don’t get it.

Two nights ago I pulled an all-nighter to get my taxes done. I decided that I wanted to file on time and didn’t want them hanging over me like a big, black cloud any longer. So I worked until 2:30am and then fell into bed. The problem was, I was so wired-up that I couldn’t sleep properly and felt more tired by the time 6:30am rolled around and it was time to start my day.

images (41)The by-product of my all-nighter was that yesterday I felt like I had been hit by a bus! I dragged my butt around all day and felt terrible. My energy was low, I felt weepy and sad, and all the wonderful food that may have helped me to feel better felt like far too much work. Even the bag of goji berries sitting on the counter felt enervating to even contemplate eating.

And the result of my lethargy? Polishing off a half-eaten bag of potato chips standing over the sink. And then feeling totally crappy afterwards…not just physically, but emotionally as well. And guess what? That made me want to eat even more chips. Thank goodness there were no more half-eaten bags in the cupboard or I just might have been unable to resist the siren song of Miss Vickie and her wicked chips.

I feel more like myself today but have had to be very mindful of my food choices. It has not felt easy to feed myself today and I am still craving potato chips.

So here’s my startling observation resulting from my all-nighter…

download (46)We are a culture of sleep-deprived people. There are very few of us who consistently choose to put aside eight to ten hours and night for rest. So does that mean that all those sleep-deprived people are moving around in the fog that I felt yesterday? Does it mean that they feel sad and overwhelmed by life? Does it mean that they are simply too tired to make good food choices? Does it mean that they feel that it’s all just so hard that a bag of potato chips over the sink is the answer?

I couldn’t possibly answer any of those questions without a significant amount of research. However, my hunch is that I actually already know the answers.

Here’s my Radical proposition…that for one month every year we choose to leave the invention of electricity behind. That, after dinner,  when it starts getting dark, we do not turn on lights, use the TV, sit at the computer, or play on our devices. We give ourselves an opportunity to tune-in to those Circadian Rhythms that kick-in after dinner that tell us its time to go to bed.

And to navigate around after dark, especially in the winter when it gets dark at 4:30, we could use candle light the way our ancestors would have just over a century ago.

But, really, reading by candle light is the fastest way to put yourself to sleep!

Just sayin’… 🙂download (47)

A Day of Rest

errandsAs a kid, I remember Saturday afternoons as the time when we, as a family, were often scrambling to get ready. Our errands included the grocery store, the drug store, the liquor store, the butcher shop, and the bakery. And sometimes it was a flurry to get it all done.

And this flurry was all because, at 5:00 Saturday afternoon, everything came to a halt. And everything came to a halt in honour of our day of rest.

I used to love Sundays. If we were not up north skiing, we went to church at 10:30 and then the afternoon was spent relaxing as a family. No errands, no running around, no shopping at the mall. We had a day of rest together.

images (27)Today is Saturday and I have spent the better part of my day grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry, and meal planning. And I have done it so that tomorrow can be a good old fashioned Sunday. I will not be going to church. I will, however, be worshipping at the alter of house league hockey at our local arena. And after that, we will be off for the afternoon.

There will be absolutely no running around.

I would love to go back to Sundays as they were when I was a kid. I would love to know that, even if I wanted to, I could not buy a bottle of wine, a pair of jeans or the fixings for a roast beef dinner on Sunday.

It would just have to wait for Monday.

As I climb into my comfy bed tonight, I will hug to myself the knowledge that, while the rest of the city rushes from place to place tomorrow, I will be thoroughly enjoying a well-deserved day of rest.

download (24)

In the Arms of Morpheus

I am a glass-half-full kind of a woman. I am an eternal optimist. I look on the bright side. I can always see the silver lining. I can reframe just about any situation in which I find myself. And I can laugh and cry at the same time with alacrity.

This past month has worn my positivity down into the ground. And last night I came as close to despair as I have been in quite some time.rain-1

I have not slept in over a month. I have spent night after sleepless night in an agonized state of desperately itchy, prickly and painfully sore skin. And during the day I have felt as if scratchy burrs were attached to the insides of all of my clothing.

My eczema flare has, quite literally, brought me to my knees.

Sleep deprivation is akin to torture. It is brutally hard to function on not enough sleep. I have been short with my kids, impatient with Simon, and frustrated with the lack of energy and drive that typifies a sleep-deprived body. And every exhausting and frustrating day has been hemmed in by skin that has felt virtually impossible to live in. Being desperately itchy 24 hours a day is its own unique brand of torment.

In short, I have been feeling absolutely wretched.

I have been afraid to admit, even to myself, that I have been struggling. My determined focus on positivity has felt like a shield. And it seemed that to let that shield drop would only invite deeper vulnerability. I have been afraid to admit that I have hit rock-bottom because perhaps it would take me down even further. I have felt myself clinging to my last shred of positivity like a shipwrecked sailor to a tiny life raft.

I know it all sounds pretty dramatic but that is how low things have been feeling for me. And it is characteristic of the dangerous downward spiral of too many nights without sleep.

imagesThe world has taken on a whole new hue today. I am back. And I am okay.

I slept last night. I closed my eyes at 11:00pm and did not awaken until 5:45 this morning. I did not itch desperately all night long. I did not need drugs during the night to help me hobble a few hours of sleep together. And I was not playing Solitaire on my iPad at 1:30am for hours on end to pass the long night alone.

I just closed my eyes and I slept.

And, today, I am changed. All it took was one night of uninterrupted sleep to change my entire perspective. The kids are back at school, the family is returning to its routine and I can live in this body again.

When life is normal and sleep comes naturally, it is easy to take for granted the gift of sleep. Tonight, however, I will take nothing for granted. Not the welcome feel of warm flannel on a cold winter night, not the tenderly healing skin inside my PJs, and not the simple bliss of slipping effortlessly into sleep.

And as I am observing these small wonders, I will deeply appreciate the miracle of a long and peaceful night resting gently in the arms of Morpheus.morpheus

Let Time Go Lightly

It is a Sunday evening. Certainly not my usual, however. Sunday evenings are for laundry, forgotten school forms, school lunch prep, grocery shopping, cooking for the beginning of the week, garbage & recycling at the curb and kids to bed early.

That’s my usual Sunday night.

RelaxingThis evening, however, is entirely different. Thanks to my heavy-duty antihistamine with the sedative and my higher prednisone dose, I actually got some sleep last night. When I got up this morning, however, I felt kind of shaky and hung-over. I am not a very good prescription-drug-taker. They make me feel shaky and disconnected from my body. And, as necessary as I know they are, it still feels weird to be leaning on pharmaceutical medication to get through the night.

A slippery slope perhaps?

I decided this morning that, rather than fight the feeling, I was going to lean into shaky and hung-over. So, after getting Zach off to a long play-date and Michael packed and picked up to go north to ski with my parents, I flaked on the couch and watched three chick-flicks. I didn’t watch the time, I ate when I was hungry, dozed when I felt like it, drank a wide variety of herbal tea and ate leftover raw desserts.

And the day has just drifted gently into evening.

I know that next Sunday evening will be an entirely different story so I am hugging the freedom and ease of this one closely to my heart. And, it gets even better; with a whole week left in my Christmas holiday, I will awaken on a Monday morning without the alarm. And, I will make a big pot of tea and go back to bed to read for as long as I feel like it.

Talk about a Radical Act!Pot of Tea