Getting Back on Track

For some people, early pregnancy is a few of weeks of fleeting nausea and then there's a huge burst of second trimester energy. Not for me. At least, not for me in the last few pregnancies. This time isn't quite as bad as last time. I'm actually vertical occasionally and I've already left the house more during this pregnancy than during the whole nine months last time. Still, I'm dragging. I'm still pretty nauseous. My handy-dandy glucometer tells me I still have a perpetual case of low blood sugar. This time, I'm also very cranky. That's new for me. I'm trying not be cranky, but the crankies keep winning. Life feels very out of kilter. It's time to get back on track. But I know I will be challenged by the effort involved in balancing my physical (in)ability with my hopes of restoring peace to my home and to my heart.

A friend recently reminded me of the burnout chapter in Real Learning. Good idea. I started by reading that. Then, I made myself a list of the things I know to be necessary for me to pull myself out of a funk:

  • I need to sleep more. A nursing toddler combined with a husband who keeps very irregular hours are really not good for this aging pregnant woman. I need to nap and to figure out how we can all co-exist peacefully in this house at night.
  • I need to re-establish a household routine and restore the order necessary to making sure that our lives run smoothly. There's a little voice that says that I can't expect optimal functioning while pregnant and sick but there's a louder voice that tells me that the stress of a poorly run and messy household makes me feel much worse. Not quite sure what the solution is here but I'm reading Simplifying Your Domestic Church, a free download from CHC in hopes of being inspired. The truth is,  I've never seen Peter Walsh or Martha Stewart address the unique challenges of homeschooling a huge family and keeping up with the "good things" while pregnant. I have high hopes that the CHC people will be a little more understanding and a lot more practical.
  • I need to get outside early in the day every day and I need to make sure that I keep our nature dates every week. I know that this time nurtures me in a way nothing else can.
  • It always helps me to do something creative with my hands. I lost my Miraculous Medal necklace several weeks ago. I figured I'd find it by St. Anthony's feast. I didn't. I still haven't given up hope, but I think I'll make a different one for now.
  • I need to keep writing. This is probably the trickiest of the resolutions, because I'm really wrestling with whether or not to publish any more. My life keeps filling and interacting with the world outside my home often drains me of energy and attention for things--and people--inside my home.It's clear I need to drastically reduce internet time again. It's a constant dialogue with God. I only want to do His will. And then, I'll be hit with something at 4 AM and know I won't be able to sleep until the words are allowed to spill out. There's no doubt that I need to write. It's the parameters I need to put on the publishing that are not so clear. To that end,
  • I need to re-commit to my resolve to  organize my life around the rhythm of prayer and no other rhythm. This is the big thing. This is how all the other pieces will fall into place. I've been re-reading Jen's series on bringing peace to daily life. She has so many, many good things to read there. And so much of it is counter-cultural:-). The more children I have and the older they get, the more I find myself being drawn into the culture. Even though my children aren't in school, I have to meet the demands of other people's schedules and I have to consider how other people think I should be spending my time because they are pulling on my children's time. And then there is the cacophony of voices whispering, while heads are shaking in disbelief over the lifestyle we've chosen. It's a lonely world out there. Even within the homeschooling community, there can be a very real sense of isolation. Only God is constant. Only God is ever ready to be the light in the darkness. He wants me to seek Him. He wants me to find Him. Even though I feel like I'm barely going these days, I need to take those "hard stops" and pray-- often.

So that's it: the grand plan for getting back on track.

Beginning right now.