2018 and Free …

2017 was a year filled with so much LIFE … and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I started 2017 in full recovery mode. My second round of meningitis at the end of 2016 was no less devastating than my first ten years earlier. I knew the healing process I had laid before me. At times that knowledge made it worse. Other times it made it better because I knew what to expect. I think in a way it made me more compassionate to myself. A rarity, indeed. But I wasn’t myself and I loathed it. I spent months in a fog. My days were filled with naps to combat the unrelenting fatigue and lists because my memory was so poor. My anxiety was at an all time high. I dealt with a significant amount of PTSD that came with an intense amount of anxiety. I was frightened I would have another recurrence. And that pain is NO JOKE. Understanding the severity of my encephalopathy was unnerving. No one can figure out how I was functioning “normally” with the amount of brain swelling I had. But I believe that the terrifying drug reactions I had after I got home really pushed me into a whole new level of fear. I literally thought I was dying. I don’t think I had ever been that scared in my life and sadly it has stuck with me. I can still get to that level of panic with even the smallest of triggers. Yes, healing is a long process. But I am happy to have to the opportunity to do it all again. This could have gone a different way for me and my precious family. And I refuse to be anything but grateful. Refuse.

In January 2017 I somehow convinced my doctors to let me train for a marathon. I truly believe that this was a huge part of regaining my strength again. As the days passed I got stronger and stronger. My memory improved and my fatigue got better with each passing day. If ever there was a time in my life to redefine myself, this was it. And it was incredibly liberating. Who could have ever imagined that the very illness that confined me gave me so much room to grow?!?! Definitely, not me!

When I look back on 2017 it is with mixed emotions. My illness and recovery made it hard. But life still happened. And that made it WONDERFUL. I was able to celebrate George’s high school graduation and watch him plan out his future. I was in awe of the growth that I saw in all of my children. Being a part of their daily lives is a gift from God that I will never take granted. NOT EVER. Summer was just straight up FUN. Having all four kids home for the entire summer was something I needed more than anything. Family heals folks, family heals!

Traveling was also a huge part of my 2017. We took lots of little trips and I was blessed with an amazing trip to Alaska. We celebrated birthdays and accomplishments. YAY, I was there and healthy enough to enjoy all of it! In 2017 I even managed to complete all 16 CEUs to keep my nutrition certification. Now THAT was a miracle having struggled with memory issues, HA! There was so much more too. The privilege of having these experiences and all the others often left me feeling overwhelmed. Like “WOW, thanks God! I’m here, alert and actually living this life!” Words can’t capture how I have felt time and time again. “Humbly blessed” comes to mind but it still falls gravely short.

Anyway, my point of writing about all of this is that regardless of the underlying need to heal and recover, life amazingly still engulfed me and took me with it. Despite the tough times I faced I felt an abundance of joy. I loved every difficult and fantastic moment of 2017 and everything in between. And surrendering to my new journey released me and allowed me to redefine who I was … again.

2017 was hard, but it was also beautiful. THAT sums up life in a nutshell. And as long as I have breath I will cherish every moment of it. If 2017 has taught me anything, it was that I do not have to remain tethered to unpleasant circumstances. That my mind, body and soul can still seek and find the freedom that hope gives us even in our darkest of hours.

So I guess that brings me to my 2018 New Year Mantra. Here goes …

Well, I hope you all have a year where you feel FREE!!!

Advertisements

A turning point …

Holy moly. Yesterday I wrote about getting sick. Well, it was an understatement. As the day progressed I got MISERABLY SICK. I haven’t had cold and flu symptoms that severe in years. I spent most of the day laying on the couch. My family was so good to me. They all pitched in and helped. Last night I couldn’t believe how bad I felt. It was horrible and I was a little worried. I can usually function pretty well when I get a virus. Not this time! No way, no how. I went to sleep hoping and praying I’d feel better in the morning. I was pretty restless but then at about 1 a.m. my fever broke. Yikes! I haven’t had a fever break like that since I was a kid. I was a sweaty mess. As I laid there grossed out and drenched in sickness yuck I felt relieved. I knew that my icky soaked state meant something good. Yay!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you reach a turning point!!!

Unscheduled down time …

I guess it’s my turn. I’m sick. Not super sick. But pretty miserable with a sore throat and stuffy head. Everyone in our home got it but me. Until today. Not the way I had hoped I’d head into the New Year. But that’s OK. I’ll enter into 2018 with positivity in my heart and remember that forced rest is not always a bad thing.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you enjoy some unscheduled down time!!!

Thanks, I needed that …

Sleep sleep sleep. I got over 9 HOURS of sleep last night. God and the Universe must have had a hand in this because this is the longest I’ve slept in months. And it felt WONDERFUL. I’m sure my family will appreciate it too, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you say “thanks, I needed that”!

Taking the sting out …

Libs has a tennis tournament this morning. It started yesterday and her opponent defaulted. So we went to lunch at a place near the tournament that we don’t get to go to a lot. It made the 40 minute drive AND the 40 minute wait time (we got there early) for the match to be called not so frustrating. Yesterday she also didn’t need to be there until 2 pm, which is WAY better than having to be there earlier and not get to play. This morning 2nd Round begins at 9:30. I had set my alarm on a vacation day! Ouch. But thankfully I woke up before my alarm went off. I love it when that happens. I feel like I didn’t miss out on one of the biggest perks of winter break. SLEEP. I can’t be 100% sure but I think I see a recurring theme happening over the past day.

Well, I hope you all have a day where the sting gets taken out!!!

The party’s over …

The day after Christmas has always left me with a particular feeling. It’s not an unpleasant feeling, at least I don’t think so. It’s just different than the hurried excitement that came with the past few weeks. This is a feeling of welcomed rest. Ahhhhh …

Well, I hope you all have a day where the party’s over!!!