Season of rest for me means physically, emotionally, and mentally trying to enjoy life in the moment, within limitations of course. Pacing myself and listening to my body, which is always challenging with symptoms, fatigue, and physical consequences of the “after effect”. Spending time intentionally recognizing and appreciating blessings around me, no matter how small, while avoiding letting negative experiences get in my mind, replacing distracting worries or concerns for things in the future with what’s important right now.
Self care becomes more of a priority for refueling/refreshing. That’s not to say there will not be bad physical days/symptoms - as undoubtedly they will continue as well as required actions/coping. During this time of rest, I will find reasonable ways to enjoy quality time with my kids, sometimes pushing my limits but minimizing risks in ways that may help reduce too many physical strains without hampering too much of the meaningful experience.
I will continue to work on having more patience, grace and forgiveness within myself through God’s eyes instead of others’ judgements or my perception of what others may/may not be thinking. I will focus on what I can control and allow myself to trust that other things will fall into place with time, God’s plan, and help.
During this time of rest, I will try to find and accept a central calmness, after being in a survival mode so long. I will intentionally focus on improving my connection with God, attend church on days with tolerable symptoms (continue to attend online if my symptoms are too bad) with intentions of eventually connecting with actual individuals on a more personal level.
I am unsure how long I will be in this restful - recharging state. I am not placing any time guidelines, as I believe it will be flexible. I figure that eventually life will either pull me into a more active “growing” state, whether it be due to goals of self-improvement period, helping others/family, illness related issues, symptom control, or hopefully not anytime soon the survival or grief mode. Personally, I understand that these states of mind or modes are “fluid”, they come and go with life and its experiences. I think it’s important that I do recognize them in some fashion though, as it allows me to remember that with the uncertainties and obstacles in life, we don’t have to get “stuck” in one place but can count on more positive times to re-emerge (unfortunately times of sadness/grief/fear etc will as well).
My goal is to appreciate and enjoy the positive days the best I can, continue to find ways to grow and better myself, and when I have to go through the tougher times, continue to lean on my Faith and knowledge that God promises and personal experiences prove better days will find their way back to me.
An interesting and confusing year,
complete with blessings, fears,
challenges, and memories of a lifetime.
a new year was upon us,
full of hopes, goals
plans and untapped possibilities.
brought us a magnificent super bowl,
Mahomes led the Chiefs
to an exciting and energetic win.
the world went crazy,
Covid 19 began it's terror,
instilling concern and panic for many.
remote learning for students, sports halted,
virtual medical appts became norm,
NASCAR i-racing and stay at home order
Carmen's first two novels written and self-published,
toilet paper shortage,
eager for Covid to go away
Colby's high school drive-up graduation,
NASCAR back in action but without fans,
required face mask throughout many states.
another book written and published by Carmen,
remote vacation in a mountain cabin,
dad got a very playful puppy.
new school year, for many once again remote,
Colby's freshman year with covid restrictions in college,
Carmen writing and classes from home.
football partially returned with low to no fans allowed,
COVID protocols still required everywhere,
Local restaurants and businesses suffering.
Halloween canceled for some,
World is so strange and at times scary.
Covid-19 still causing so much uncertainty and fears.
presidential election mayhem,
colleges that were in person ending their semesters,
Thanksgiving traditions altered to protect one another.
Christmas traditions altered once again,
I became sick with COVID.
Many prayers for family to have a healthy 2021
G ain and/or keep motivated to hang-on by thinking about, considering, & create plans w/ my kids.
R emind self that experience tells me it will eventually change/improve some.
O riginate plans of what I’d like to do when I begin to feel better, when symptoms are tolerable.
U nderstand, learn to better recognize and avoid triggers when possible.
N ot everything has a solution, sometimes just have to deal, breathe, live through.
D on’t fight too hard, forcing or thinking failure may actually make matters worse.
E liminate self-destruction, if self-care or coping strategies aren’t working, don’t let it bring me down.
D oing best I can in the moment, so be patient and forgiving to self, stop the blaming of self.
During flares and/or low points.
Helpful free resource I discovered on twitter to help with relaxation that may be beneficial to others as well. https://t.co/QVGhvEwZLZ?amp=1
The Sacrifice, written by my daughter Carmen, was published on Amazon in May 2020. This is her 2nd fictional novel that has been published. In her latest book, the main character becomes sick and eventually diagnosed with gastroparesis. Carmen does a fantastic job describing the ordeal that someone with gastroparesis may go through prior to, during, and after being diagnosed. While Eden, the main character, learns more about what's going on with her medically and how to best deal with it, she is faced with additional (non-medical) life problems as well. Through it all she tries to rely on family and friendship, while also learning more about herself. THE SACRIFICE is a fictional, creative, and emotional read. While much of the book is realistic, including the gastroparesis descriptions, there are also some unexpected twists and an element of supernatural in this book as well. Carmen’s description and details throughout the book are so vivid that it’s easy for the reader to believe they are actually there among the characters, I know I did.
About her writing, Carmen states,
"I never thought that I would be the one to write books while I was still a kid. But here I am with my second novel. I have always enjoyed writing for the most part, but during the past few months, I am truly starting to realize that I have a passion for writing. When I was just nine years old, my life completely changed. My mom was diagnosed with gastroparesis. I didn’t know what to do, or how I could help her, when she was always feeling horrible and in the hospital. With family by my side, I learned a lot throughout that year, and continue to learn more things each day. At times, I’ve felt like everything was pouring down on me, but didn’t really know how to handle it all. I eventually learned how to open up to my family and lean more on my faith. My goal is to use my writing and experiences, along with creativity, to spread messages of encouragement to others.
I was inspired to write THE SACRIFICE because it describes the struggles teenagers can have when living with or trying to survive chronic illness and family challenges. The disease, gastroparesis, that I included in this book is the same disease that my mom has been living with. I may not have the disease, and I may not be able to feel the pain that my mom does, but I see the pain that she goes through every day in my life, and that gives me the ability to relate to it. This book is fictional and has some unexpected twists, but also expresses to the reader that you can make it through whatever troubles you are going through and you should embrace what life gives you. I hope that everyone who reads this book learns something from it as well."
Summary of THE SACRIFICE:
“Eden is a seventeen-year-old girl that is enjoying her last summer before senior year, but an unexpected curveball gets thrown at her with a life-changing disease. Her twin brother, Bennett, and best friend, Carter, stay by her side, but once a tragedy happens, she begins to feel the pain that she never imagined having. One letter ends up being the mystery that she wishes she never opened up. Will she be able to find closure, or will she give up on everything that she's ever worked for?”
You can purchase your ebook or paperback copy of THE SACRIFICE from Amazon now!! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0892DJV6G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_12-0EbYPCRE
Carmen’s first book, UNBREAKABLE, is also available on Amazon.
Advocacy to me means being vulnerable enough to share my personal health experiences and journeys in an effort to have meaningful and hopefully beneficial impact. While learning and maneuvering through symptoms, appointments, frustrations, tests, medical procedures, emotional falls, successes, etc, I still have an opportunity to help someone else. Who knows, possibly even learn something to help myself. Advocacy is a way to help hold on to some sort of hope for better tomorrow, if not for me, at least for future generations.
Advocating provides me an opportunity to help others by offering support to those that are searching for someone they can relate to and understands what they are going through. It allows me to share knowledge about my illness and spread awareness on social media and publicly. I can participate in advocacy projects and campaigns, volunteer with helping to plan, manage, promote, etc, which sometimes adds a sense of value and purpose to my life.
For me, the majority of my advocacy takes place on my computer from my couch. Timing is flexible. Recently, however, my mind has not been connected with advocacy. Don't get me wrong, I still share things that others create once in a while, participate in surveys, respond to a message/question sent my way, etc.. . Maybe it's because I'm so "burned out" from dealing with my personal issues or having to spend way too much energy trying to deal with my own struggles, that I have nothing left to give right now. Hopefully, the new plan between my doctor and I will help improve these current symptoms.
My concentration, mind fog, lightheaded spells along with "normal" issues have been a big distraction and problem, not only with advocacy, but life in general. I just feel so frustrated and exhausted, physically and mentally, right now. But that's ok, just means I need to spend extra time focusing on my self-care for a while.
A proud mother, educator, Gastroparesis & GI Motility Disorder Advocate,
Like my content? Want to thank me with a small token of appreciation? https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1LH7R639ORBML?ref_=wl_share
More Blog Entries