Am I Wrong To Hope That Dance Is Canceled? by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston

It’s 11 p.m. and I’m of mixed feelings…it was several weeks ago when I first began to wish Spring was already upon us, hating cold and ice and snow.  And now here I am, on the couch, laptop on my lap, video playing on the TV (Harry Potter, to be exact) and wondering if the weather will turn after midnight as forecasted…three to eight inches of snow expected.  Am I WONDERING?  Or am I truly WISHING for snow to arrive?  After wishing winter away…hating every degree under forty…staying indoors as much as I can…here I am hoping snow does arrive, and a LOT of snow, so I don’t have to take my oldest to dance tomorrow night.

Am I wrong to hope that dance is canceled???  Is it selfish of me to be happy we may be snowed in?  Again???

Daisy meetings some Wednesdays, dance classes two nights a week, field trips for school when help can be found, playdates with the friends we have who are still understanding enough and flexible enough to schedule with us knowing all too well the morning could arrive and we’d possibly have to cancel…all activities that bring with them mixed feelings of all sorts.  My years of waiting for children were spent planning within my mind how much of my own childhood I’d share with them as they grew older.  I was anxious to share all the fun activities my parents shared with me – I dreamed of playground visits, fishing off a dock down the shore, trips to the beach or stays at the family cabin in the Poconos, playdates in the yard with friends who swam in our pool or built a tree house with us in the woods behind our back yard.  I was even more excited when my children turned out to be girls…not only could I share fun times, but the chances of my children sharing my same interests and love of hobbies were rather good.  I hoped for future cooks, writers and artists who could learn from me the way I learned my love of these activities from my own mother.

What I didn’t bank on as I was dreaming these dreams was just how difficult it would be as a mother to keep up with my little ones…and the housework…and the bills…and the errands…and the full calendar – full of doctor appointments, dental appointments, all types of appointments.  Many friends talk about how hard it is to keep a clean house while raising children.  Women I don’t even know have posted on Facebook about how difficult it is to keep up with it all especially as their little ones undo all of their efforts before the day is over.  I’m often heard saying out loud to myself “There just aren’t enough hours in a day!”  And all this comes before the added obstacles fibromyalgia lays before me.

Lately I’ve felt like my days need to be closer to weeks…either that or I need to do without sleep…in order to get anything really accomplished.  Winter weather makes a body with fibromyalgia feel like it’s trudging through thick sludge, and painful muscles and joints make moving through that sludge quite difficult.  Usually when we’re “normal” we just feel sluggish during the winter months because we have less sunlight to enjoy, but somebody with fibro who deals with an unusual amount of chronic fatigue needs more than sunlight to get through November through April when sunshine becomes active in our lives once again.  If just walking through the house with this “sludge” to contend with is an enormous task, adding all the responsibilities of a wife and mother can oftentimes seem like an insurmountable challenge, exhausting before it’s even attempted!  It takes absolutely forever to get anything done, and my to-do list seems to grow exponentially before I can get even a few things crossed off the list!

So now it’s clear why even though snow’s arrival will bring with it pain, stiffness and fatigue, it’s gift of a night off from playing chauffeur to dance class is a welcome gift indeed.  Maybe I’ll be able to get a few tasks crossed off my to-do list before it starts multiplying again and gets further away from me!  Or maybe I’ll put the hour to good use and create some special memories with my girls instead.


  1. 2 Responses to “Am I Wrong To Hope That Dance Is Canceled? by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston”

  2. Hi Jean, I’d like to say thank you for your honesty. I could have written your piece today. You have taken words from my mouth. I thought I was the only one that struggles to get the list done. And yes, I have (many times) wished for snow or rain to cancel dance or soccer. I felt guilty. Now I know I’m not the only mom like that. I am surrounded by young moms and I compare my energy level to them. Not good. I’m glad that I have found MLTS, with moms like you who share the moments too many do not. I don’t have fibromyalgia, but I suffer from nerve damage in my legs. When you described the feeling as trudging through thick sludge, that’s just the way I feel. Today, with the snow, I walked my dog, which helps me, but my knees hurt so much right now. It’s sad how pain can suck life away from us. I think that life has changed, things are more difficult than it was for our parents and grandparents. Take care and, again thank you!

    By Lori Loesch on Feb 3, 2014

  3. Lori, today is the first time I’ve found a chance to page through the comments, and I came across yours. Thank you for posting so that I TOO don’t feel alone. I’ve had many days when I felt like the sludge was winning, so while I’d like to not have others feel that way too, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my struggle. I hope this spring finds you doing better than the winter did!

    By jean on May 11, 2014