Getting better is really hard for me, not because of the physical, but because of the mental. I am a huge "man up" fan, so dealing with the pain, while not fun, has been okay. What really bothers me is not being "back to normal" already. You know, because it's June and I had 16 hours of brain surgery in February, so really, what gives? I know that in the grand scheme of things I am doing way better than we ever could have hoped, but I'm not "back". I want to be driving and taking care of my kids and my house and back to being myself. I'm running my website again, which is nice, but based solely on the fact that my website can be done ahead in chunks when I feel good. I pre-post things to facebook/twitter/blogger and then it looks like I'm always doing well :) It's a good trick!
Today, the kids went to camp. Riley and Logan are doing Cub Scout Camp, which my mom is attending every day. I know that she loves the kids and she wouldn't do things if she didn't want to, but the fact that she's out there getting bitten up and sunburned instead of me gives me guilt. Savannah Lynn is doing a skating camp, which I'm sure she'll love, but I've never sent my kids away for a week at such a young age, and I know that the party line around here (because my mom and Austin love me) was that "It wouldn't be fair" for Savannah not to get to do something fun, and not "you're incapable of being fun all day alone", but I know that she's really at camp because I'm not back to being a good enough mom.
It took me a really long time to feel like I was doing anything worthwhile with my life to begin with. I'd always gone along with the "career first, family later" mentality and really got sucked into "you can be anything you want" idea- but that never included being a mom. I tied my entire identity into grades and awards and my ability to "be" things and I wanted to have a job title that made me important, so when I had Riley, I struggled to not suck at being a mom and to still be "someone". I'm not sure how many Student Government senators have kids, for example, but I had to keep doing it. I didn't even tell my professors I was pregnant with Logan until I was 2 weeks from my due date, and then only because one of them asked. When I finished school and started staying home full time, I really struggled, too, because I wasn't "doing anything". I still felt like I had to prove myself and host more playdates, make sure that Riley and Logan were better at things, push push push. It wasn't really until after I had Savannah that I had any kind of peace about who I was.
I spent a lot of time in scripture after Savannah, and really prayed on the idea that my role could be helping Austin and raising our children and that those things weren't just sufficient, they were an entire calling. It was a totally new perspective for me that washing laundry and feeding my family and loving my kids, when done for a purpose of pleasing God, was enough. I was enough. I didn't have to justify myself to anyone, I didn't have to fight to be important, in fact, my marriage got markedly better when I stopped fighting Austin for control of things all the time. Shocker. Anyway, that means it basically took me 5 years to get myself together and figure out that being a wife and a mom was worthwhile and that I could pour myself into that and rest in the knowledge that I wasn't just leaching oxygen from the senators, lawyers, and CEOs out there.
Now, because I can't even do that, I'm really struggling again. Today, I made pretzels. The kids were at camp, I felt pretty good, I decided to make pretzels. It took me a long time because I'm still slower than normal- although nowhere near as bad as I was- and by the time I was done and cleaned up I was exhausted.
Today, all I did was make pretzels.
Is that worth anything? Do my doctors ever go home at night and think about what a waste of effort I must seem? Hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone into my care, and countless man hours in medical staff planning and operating and implementing and following up. So much work and effort and money...
And today, I was exhausted by pretzels.
I've been trying to take advantage of my "time off" to really think about what my life should look like and what is really important in my days, which has been fantastic to ruminate about, but it's also frustrating to decide about what's important and what I want the structure of my days to look like and not to be able to do it- not to actually be able to implement those things in my days.
Soon enough, I suppose. But, for now, if you'd like a pretzel, they're on my counter.