A Peak Back In by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston

I can’t believe the weeks that have flown by since the last time I posted.  Everything has passed by in such a whirlwind, it’s almost impossible to believe it…except for the fact that I’ve been grabbed by the ankles and pulled full force at lightning speed, kicking and screaming, trying with every ounce of strength I have to hold on tight just begging for some peace and stability.  Or is that my youngest screaming right now?  I’ve been hearing it so much lately, it’s hard to tell!

It’s been a difficult Autumn so far.  The change of seasons hit me hard, and I know we’re nowhere near the end of it.  It was expected…I mean, after five other “Summers Turned Autumn” behind you, you start to get used to what’s going to happen with your fibromyalgia.  In just two months, I’ve experienced the one year anniversary of my father’s death, the start and adjustment to Kindergarten with a virtual school, the daily struggle with a very stubborn three-year-old vying for attention as she watches me work with her big sister, another hospitalization for my mother, and the intense nesting feeling that I MUST get my household in order before the winter months hit and I find myself struggling even more.

I LOVE virtual school with my daughter!  On the days that it’s extremely stressful and seems to be bringing on a flare, I remind myself repeatedly how great this is for her.  She loves it…loves having me there with her…loves how excited we both get when we cover something we both find interesting.  She loves our high fives when she earns a high score on one of her assessments.  She loves the fact that we aren’t chained to a desk…so far we’ve covered her lessons in her bedroom, the living room, the kitchen and the family room (It doesn’t seem to matter to her that those locations are pretty much determined by Mommy’s current fibro condition!).  And it’s AWESOME!  What we both probably love the most is how we aren’t chained to the house any more than we’re chained to that desk.  It feels great to be at the zoo, playground, farmer’s market or library while we both know in the schools nearby there are children sitting quietly at tables while we’re out exploring the world together as a family, laughing all the way!  I also need to remind myself that even with all that comes with this arrangement, it is in the end the easiest arrangement for me.  I can’t even estimate how many mornings I flared and struggled to just get out of bed over the last two or three years when I worried about how the early school years would go for me.  After changing plans in the middle of summer from the late morning to after one in the afternoon more times than I can count, I saw that my painful mornings went far beyond just the cold winter months.  And it was a clear message that besides my daughter’s needs and abilities, my limitations would have to be carefully considered for quite some time as we decided what direction to go with her education.

I’ve missed posting so much!  I’m hoping this week will be the first of my return to blogging without any more interruptions by life.  The past few weeks as Sunday approached it felt like a panic was erupting as I searched for a few spare moments to spit out a blog post.  Most of those nights my blog wasn’t written because my only spare time was after the children went to bed.  My nightly routine is always say goodnight to everyone, head to the living room, and park on the couch for a few minutes of downtime before I move on to any other chores needing to be done.  It doesn’t matter what’s on the to-do list…those few moments of peace and serenity are CRUCIAL to my sanity!  However, you can’t blog if those moments of serenity result in the nearly immediate passing out on the couch.  As we get more and more accustomed to my daughter’s school and curriculum, I’m hoping other things will turn around.  I’m really anxious to be blogging again…while looking ahead to the task at hand feels stressful, looking back on missing out on it feels sad and to be honest, a little lonely.  I may not have been part of the group for very long, but it immediately felt like community when I started.  And that’s something else I need that’s crucial to my sanity.