Life is a little temperamental these days. The long standing poor weather has been playing a part and I’ve been sick with varying flu like symptoms for the last week. I’m not doubting that I have the flu but I think stress has been making the flu overstay it’s welcome. Fortunately, the kids and Cam haven’t caught what I have despite all the cuddles and kisses they’re giving me to comfort.

Moody Day

Last week was my 33rd birthday and I spent the day withering in bed with stomach pains. It’s a real downer to miss one’s birthday. Yesterday was Cam and my 11th anniversary and again I’m not well enough to celebrate.

In my back garden

I’m not sure what to do about the stress in my life. On the one hand, I think the obvious stressers are frivolous and on the other, I think if only life were so simple that I could make a list of the things putting strain on my life and have that fix anything. If only I could cut back on the hours I spend at the office or spend less time in traffic. It’s just not that easy. I’m a sensitive person. If you don’t know me well, you may not realise this fact. The stress is hurting me and things need to change. I need a bit more time to think about what that change might look like for myself.

Making the most of the misty fog

Some of the things I’m grateful for this last week:

  • I’ve enjoyed seeing some beautiful wildlife and nature scenes, even if only from my back garden. We’ve even seen a bit more sun these days!
  • While I didn’t expect anyone to remember my birthday or anniversary without a reminder, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that my mother was the only person outside of my immediate family who did. I think she deserves that acknowledgement.
  • Erin and Keith looked after my children so Cam and I could focus on our relationship for an hour and then had supper ready for us when we came to pick them up.
  • I got a call on skype last weekend from a friend who’d met up with another of my friends at a winter fair. They were sharing a meal together after the fair and called to tell me about it! It feels more like a community when your dearest friends who were once separate get to know each other better. Even though I was unwell when they called, it really brightened my evening.
  • I won a copy of Superfood Cuisine: Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Foods by Julie Morris from a giveaway on the blog Vegan Visitor. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

20 Responses to This, That And The Other Thing

  1. k says:

    oh Annie, if I could give you a big hug right now I would. I think a lot of us are feeling run down these days, and I am right there with you in feeling I really need to make a life change, but I just haven’t worked out what that is yet. Belated happy birthday and anniversary, and rest up so you will be fresh and full of light to make a new beginning with the new year.

  2. elementsofmylife says:

    I’m so glad that we could cheer you up a bit last week. It’s hard for me not to remember your birthday… or your anniversary, except in my memories your anniversary is a week later. That wedding/Christmas eve celebration was one of my favourite times in Cranny. Maybe I’ll have to call you from home:)

    We’ve been sick and stressed over here too. It’s so healthy for me to have a reminder that we’re not the only ones. I hope you can rest up and enjoy the season a bit.

  3. Annie says:

    Thank you, Kristy! I was surprised and relieved to read your blog post and see that I’m not the only one feeling blah!

    L- It was good to talk with you guys and so nice to thinking of calling. I should leave skype more often!

    Much love to you both! xx

  4. Dawn Suzette says:

    Annie… Sorry you are having such a difficult time right now. You have been in my thoughts.
    I have been putting a package together for you and the kiddos… with some geodes ;) It will be going out after the christmas crazies leave the post office normal…
    “If only I could cut back on the hours I spend at the office or spend less time in traffic.”
    is just the way I feel sometimes. I read about reducing stress by simplifying life and it is frustrating to see that we already do most of the things they suggest!
    The idea of living a deliberate life has been rolling around in my head. Thinking maybe simplicity is the wrong word.
    Giving you hugs from the east!

  5. Gen says:

    Hugs to you from here :) And happy belated birthday!

  6. Lee-Anne says:

    Hi Annie,

    It’s Lee-Anne from flickr :)

    So sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well. I do hope you get over it quickly! You know the expression, “If you can’t be a shining example, at least be a cautionary tale?” Well, I’m the cautionery tale in this story. I felt as you do for far too long, stressed and needing change but not sure how when eventually (I’m about 10 years older than you) I ended up in hospital for a month with a chronic illness (ulcerative colitis). I know they say stress does *cause* UC, but I’ve come to firmly believe that stress is somehow responsible for most of the illness we suffer. Take care of yourself, and take the time to make the changes you need. I hope you find health and happiness!

    Warmly wishing you belated birthday and anniversary joy and all the very best for 2012,

  7. Lee-Anne says:

    That was meant to say “they say stress *doesn’t* cause UC”…

  8. debra says:

    you are in good (but sick) company, all the way from ohio…i’ve been mourning the fact that we have had so little winter/solstice magic here with so much in-bed, down-and-out sickness, and wondering why, when we really take good care of ourselves, we have been so sick? hard to not feel pity for myself! we lit a bunch of candles last night and just sat together in the beautiful light and no one fought for 10 minutes, and it almost felt perfect. hang in there…

  9. Annie says:

    Dawn- When I was writing this post, I thought, “does this even make sense?” but decided to post it regardless. You get it, which alone makes me feel so good. Thank you!

    Thank you, Gen! xx

    Lee Anne- Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I really don’t want to have a similar one. I wonder if there was anything in particular that help you change your life? Was it being in the hospital and accessing professional help?

    Debra- it’s just that kind of winter, so far, I guess. It’s been sounding like a lot of people aren’t feeling healthy. I’m so looking forward to Solstice this year but am thinking about starting to celebrate over a few days instead of just the one. It might help buoy us during this time. I sure hope you all are on the mend as well! Being sick isn’t fun at all!

    Thank you very much, everyone. xx

  10. erin says:

    yes sick here too, and so behind on projects…the worst one being one i signed up for with the magnifying glass, the poor family who sent us a lovely nature package, i can’t even manage to collect much let alone create notes for it and wrap it all up and get it sent out. i know better than to do this to myself, thinking december will offer me the energy i feel in summer!

    i really need to park the christmas bus, get off and sidestep the religious relatives, but now we are committed to the dinner. blah. (my family are religious with lots of rules and shoulds, hope i don’t offend anyone). i love christmas, but done a diferent way and the people i would love to create all of that with are too far away. so christmas is what we are doing, but keeping the focus on balance, and not shopping, but making and suppoeting hand-made. and wow, do i get lessons in that each year.

    cheers to you, hoping we can connect on the phone before the week is over :)

  11. Annie says:

    Ah to be overwhelmed with the season. It is the season of being overwhelmed!

    I’m thankful for stepping away from all the xmas holiday craziness/stresses with Lily’s first year. Of course this is a lot easier to do when you live away from family. I wish more people could have freedom from xmas (or religion), without family or society in general putting pressure on to participate. I hate that xmas (or religiosity in general) was the exception and not the rule. That said, I think it’s the right thing to do some times to participate for the sake of the loved family members that seem to care so much about it. At least find a balance that can work for everyone. I’m guessing that’s what you’re doing.

    xx I hope things get better and less busy for you guys too!

  12. Kim says:

    Oh, stress is powerful isn’t it? It has the power to make us ill, it can destroy relationships and it can make us miss out on so much when it consumes us so.
    I’ve been saying for the past year now that I need change. And I’m afraid of what that means, or of what kind of change I really want.
    Anyways, be gentle with yourself.

  13. Annie says:

    It sure is, Kim. You are so right. Thank you so much for commenting. xx

  14. Merry says:

    I’m sorry to hear about all the sickness going around – my daughter was one of those comments! But for me, I LOVED your awesome pictures!! WOW! To have wildlife like that in your backyard!! Hope you’re all feeling better!

  15. tabitha says:

    been thinking of you so much and popped in to see how you are doing. Sounds like a rough patch indeed. I think illness can sometimes be a place for transformation, that when you’re ready to rise from the sick bed, new pieces of you are ready to speak. Sending a big hug to you and gratitude for your beautiful authenticity.

  16. Annie says:

    Thank you, Merry! I love where we live.

    Tabitha- Thank you, dear friend. I started to feel better after I published this post, which just confirms my thoughts that stress was playing a part. While I’m still coughing here and there, I’m starting to get my energy back and feel a lot better. Life certainly looks a lot better when you don’t have to sit down for a rest after even the smallest of tasks!


  17. Lee-Anne says:

    Oh, how I wish I could tell you that there was a simple solution to it for me that I could share with you, Annie! I really do. And how I wish I could even wrap my head around my own journey well enough to share something profound and helpful. All I know is that I really feel that I needed something as devastating as a complete collapse of my health to set me on a different path. I (temporarily) lost every part of my identity through my illness and hospital stay. I could not look after my children. I was in too much pain to even hug them. As an attachment parent this was the most devastating. I had no strength to read or write or talk or think. The pain meds took away my ability to interact in a way that was normal for me (I talked very slowly). Yet, I am profoundly thankful for this experience. It gave me an appreciation for the city in which I live because I had access to superior med help. Previously, i had focused too much on the negatives around me. I have more appreciation for my life and my health and my friends. It opened me up emotionally and allowed me to heal in deep places. I stepped up my commitment to healthful nutrition. Most importantly,(and I still struggle with this), I came to understand that I don’t have to be “normal”. That I’m not “less than” because I’m an introverted, attachment parenting, homeschooler who doesn’t *want* a big screen tv and the other latest gizmos. It’s enough to be me. **I’m enough.** That was my revelation, I guess. To be patient with the imperfections in life and be less hard on myself about doing enough. I’ve had a couple of bouts of pretty bad depression since then and it usually comes from losing sight of my blessings. I made a list of the things that are my personal priorities. I even surprised myself by listing #1 sleep; #2 food; #3 family; #4 friends. I’m of no use to anyone else if I don’t meet the requirements for 1+2. Whereas I never would have thought it would be acceptable to consider my own needs first, now I realize that for me, it’s crucial. I did a lot of reading of simpleliving books and took myself on a journey of figuring out what I really want from my life and when I can say, ok, well done, this is exactly what I want to be doing this moment and it is enough! I’m just rambling here… I’m not sure I’ve even answered your question, Annie, but I wish you well on your own journey of fulfillment and peace. Lee-Anne

  18. Annie says:

    Thank you so much, Lee Anne for this! While I think our struggles differ, the way you focused your priorities is amazing. It may be simple to decide that sleep and good food are paramount, at least it’s simple in theory, it’s true that it’s not always easy to make sure one’s own needs are getting met. This is a hard one for me. My husband supports the idea of my getting my personal needs met and yet struggles in the actual practice and has even become resentful to pick up the slack when I try. He simply isn’t capable (willing?) to really support me in this way and it’s a burden for me to have to do so much for our family and our relationship. In some ways, I’ve dropped a lot of the load when it comes to our relationship.

    Getting a good night’s sleep is definitely an issue for me and I know if I could have it on a regular basis, it’d probably make a huge difference in my life. That said, I’m not sure how to get it in the first place- at least without first easing some of the stresses in my life first. A real catch 22. I’ve thought before about using melatonin for a period no longer than a week to help get my body on board with the idea of sleeping but have yet to really try this.

    Some of my stresses are what many people struggle with- money is stretched thin even though we do with very little, getting reconnected with my husband after being so focused on caring for my children, staying organised (getting Lily’s school reports done on time, remembering to get to events…), mother in law issues that are almost comically obtuse, not having the money to take some classes for myself- assuming I could make each class with my husband’s shift work….

    I can’t tell you, Lee Anne how grateful I am you took the time to share. It’s given me the opportunity to gain some perspective on my own issues thanks to your words and my replying. xx

  19. taisa says:

    Oh beautiful Annie, I wish I could give you a big hug and serve you a cup of tea and just spend some time together. It sound like such a difficult time right now for you. Sending big hugs, dear friend. If you ever need a solo trip for some sun and skiing- there is always room for you here!
    love Taisa

  20. Annie says:

    I would love to have a hug and cup of tea with you. I am very nearly well again, thank goodness! I was sick of being sick. Thank you for being such a dear friend. xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *