I’m a planner. A list-maker. A logistics kind of gal. It’s how I control chaos in my life and how I cope with change. If something unexpected comes along, the rest of my ducks are in a row so it’s easier for me to handle the new situation.
Then my sweet girl came along, and there weren’t enough lists or life plans or neatly folded onesies to help deal with the absolute whirlwind of emotions that came my way. I came home from the hospital without my child. There is no way to prepare for that. We were told to expect a lifetime of therapy and medical appointments. We were told our child was fragile and needed open heart surgery. I lost my job, one that I loved and was heart-work as well as a paycheck. No way to prepare for the logistical changes or the emotional onslaught of any of that.
I’m very good at compartmentalizing my thoughts. I have it down to a science, and this time it backfired on me. I focused so much on the “getting over it” part of my life and the logistics of a calendar just chock full of appointments and the adjusting to a single income that the idea of exercising and dieting on top of all of that felt insurmountable. No, more than that. It didn’t even seem fair. Add to that significant changes in our life that have nothing to do with Rowenna and staying in shape was just not going to happen. I felt like I was doing damage control 24/7 for 2 years straight and it started to feel a bit like battle fatigue.
I watched the number steadily climb on the scale. I was less and less willing to be in a picture – in fact, I have exactly two pictures of Rowenna and I from the last 8 months that I actually like, and only a handful I’m willing to show anyone. Outfits I once loved are now ill-fitting or don’t fit at all. I’m in pretty much the worst shape of my life.
But I’ve finally, finally reached a place where Down syndrome, disability, therapy, appointments, and our financial situation are such non-issues that I can take back control of parts that have been long neglected. My lists no longer have anything to do with appointments. I have long lists of knitting projects. I have a list of books I’m dying to read. I have recipes I’m going to try. I have a list of fitness goals. And I finally have the mental and emotional energy to tackle it all.
And it feels good. Liberating. Powerful. I feel back on track, energized.
Wish us luck!