So I have learned two things these last few weeks. One is that simplifying is a lot harder than it sounds. You think since it has the word simple in it, all would go smoothly but when there is no where to put your things, it becomes a little less simple. It is a freeing feeling getting rid of clutter, but it's a long process. Not something you can do in a weekend. There is now a path in the garage around our worldly possessions but we still have a long way to go.
The second thing I've learned is that date nights are a necessity for a healthy marriage. It isn't a frivolous want. Josh and I went on a double date with friends a couple evenings ago and it was a blast. We went bowling and then out to dinner. I even indulged in a glass of wine and didn't worry about how it would effect my breast milk. I decided that Carson could sacrifice a night of going to sleep without nanas so mama could have some sanity. It actually worked out really well. He fell asleep with a bottle of almond milk. He hasn't repeated that since but I was grateful for that one night. We didn't spend a lot of money on this evening out and it was great for our marriage. We have let life get in the way so much and really the whole point to this move was so that we could do things like go on dates and not be too exhausted.
I have been reading through The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. again and they really stress throughout the book how important a healthy marriage is to the well being of the whole family. It also stressed the importance of not getting burned out as a parent and taking time out for yourselves as a couple and individually and to set boundaries. With us being tight financially and all the stress that has been going on lately, we've let date nights and personal time go by the wayside. It has taken a toll. Thankfully, it's an easy fix. For some reason, I didn't pick this message up the first time I read through the book. Maybe because I was focusing on just my role as a mother. This time I'm reading it through as a Mother and a Wife and it's been very encouraging. I'm excited to start this new chapter in our life where we have a little more balance and I'm thankful that our new life style can accommodate that.
Also, this is big news in our little family. We recently discovered the cause of my chronic fatigue. I have had mono for 12 years. Well, once you have it, I guess it's not something that really ever goes away, but some people have recurring flare ups and I'm one of those people. The second my Naturopath thought this might be the issue, I immediately had an aha moment. When I was 13 years old I had an episode of a really sore throat, extreme exhaustion, and lymph nodes so swollen they looked like tumors on my neck. My mom took me to see the doc and even through I was a teenager they for some reason thought it was leukemia. They tested my blood, which did show extremely high white blood cell count. So I had to go in a month later to see if they had gone done because if not, they were going to continue on with testing for...cancer. My count was down when they tested again and even though I still had fatigue they couldn't figure out why so they sent me on my way. So here I was sitting there 12 years later in another doctor's office going duh!!!! Because I didn't know I ever had mono, during these flare ups I didn't know to rest. I would continue on as normal just very very tired and my neck would ache from my swollen lymph nodes and because I never just stopped, I didn't give my body a chance to heal and it would drag out the flare up for a month or more. This would happen about 2 to 3 times a year. Now that I know what the cause was, I can now take measures to prevent it and I know what to do when it happens. Although through this process I've been finding a lot of emotional issues I need to deal with. It's been a hard and raw process. Naturopath's look at the person as a whole including emotional stress. The first thing he said to me is how do you handle stress? Stress is 90% perception and you perceive too much. At first I wanted to get defensive, but then shortly I admitted that yes, I am easily stressed. I am overly sensitive. He also pegged me as a person that doesn't set boundaries for myself. My jaw hit the floor. All I could say was, you're right. He suggested I see a counselor to heal emotionally, learn to set boundaries, and for stress management tools. It was hard to hear that a lot of my physical ailments were caused by emotional issues. It seemed silly and trivial and somehow my fault. It's nice to have the answers though. Plus now that Josh knows what is going on, he can pitch in to help me get some rest when it's needed (like now). I was proud of myself for all that I have accomplished with active mono infections. I was sad that I have wasted so much time being tired, when there was a pretty easy fix. It's nice looking to the future though and God has timing for everything. I was also relieved to know that recurring infections are not contagious. That made me feel better because I could barely sleep the night after finding out thinking about who I might have infected. I thought of my sisters first, then friends in high school, and of course Josh and Carson. It was a scary thought to me so that was a big relief!
Alright, I know this post is long enough but here is my list for this last week of what I am grateful for:
1. That we discovered a cause for my fatigue (and it wasn't all in my head...gotta love validation).
2. That we are starting to get settled in our new home and loving it!
3. For a child who makes me laugh daily.
4. For wonderful friends and awesome date nights.
5. That God answers prayers.