Spring left me with school activity after school activity to attend. Our oldest was in 7th grade and our twins were graduating from 5th grade. The end of the 5th grade year there are a lot of activities going on, including a science fair and 5th grade camp. We had extra work that needed to be done and the extra activities created more transitions than normal in our family.
Our family's summers are usually crazy hectic, for the most part, in a fun way, but the fun still has a certain element of stress. This year was no exception.
In our city, school gets out at the end of June. Both of my boys are on the Autism spectrum and change sets them off. I absolutely HATE the first week that school gets out, and, again, the first week that school begins. Yes, hate is a strong word. And I feel strongly about how much I completely dislike those two weeks. I've tried to change my attitude about them, but the stress runs too high in our family during those transition periods.
Well, summer began as usual - kids arguing over just about everything. My boys have one meltdown after the next. My stress level went up and I instantly went into cope mode.
We went camping for 5 days over the 4th of July. I love to camp, but getting a family of 5 ready to camp, along with the boat ready to go in the water and trying to keep everyone meltdown-free is another story. By the time we got home we were back into another transition and I, again, went into cope mode.
All three of my kids are in scouts. My boys went on a couple of weekend trips with the Boy Scouts, and attended a week long Boy Scout Camp. My daughter attended Girl Scout Day Camp and I worked the cooking station at that Day Camp. Each of these outings threw our kids back into transition mode.
Then a small crisis happened with my mother after she had surgery. I had to drop everything and bring the kids to Oregon to care for the issues. More transitions - this time completely unexpected transitions.
Then, of course, back-to-school... shopping for school supplies and clothes is not easy for my two boys to do. Clothes shopping for my two skinny, hard-to-fit, boys was rough.
Needless to say, I managed to go through most of the Spring and nearly all of my Summer operating in cope mode and not taking care of myself. I feel it in my body. The stress is taking it's toll. This past week my whole body has been wracked with pain. It's time to remember how much I need "me" time. How much I need to do soul work daily.
The end of last summer I ended up hospitalized with Congestive Heart Failure caused by Stress Cardiomyopathy. This summer I began to wonder if I was headed down that road again. Now I know - somehow I must stop and take care of me. Like my Truth card says - I am worth this time.
Dear Renee, You must start taking time to nurture yourself, no one is going to do it, and the world needs the very best of you.