Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Normal Anyone?

Debra over at As I See It Now has a wonderful post about Loving Normal.

I have to agree that I love normal too.

There have been several factors in my life in the past few years that have cemented my love of normal. The first was the time we spent living on welfare and using the food bank. There is nothing like not eating a balanced diet for a prolonged period of time, to make a person forever grateful for the taste of a piece of fresh fruit. For some reason I have been thinking lately of one doctor's appointment I had during this time. I sat there with teary eyes and told his nurse that I just couldn't handle my kids not eating vegetables and fruit. Carbs, carbs and more carbs were our mainstay during that time. I swear that not eating properly messes with a person's head. It was much harder to have hope when my body was lacking proper nutrition. I learned that it was instinctual to make sure my kids got fed first before me. It was awful, truly awful to spend all my energy trying to figure out how I was going to put a meal on the table. We got so that we joked about the wild meat I was cooking every night for supper. "101 Ways To Prepare Elk" is a cook book I could write with my eyes closed. Fifteen months post-welfare I still have times when I get giddy about what a privilege it is to buy all the fresh produce I want!

Another factor has been my ongoing health issues. I live with a new normal now. I still have times of intense longing for my old normal. Longing for the days when I could go from morning until night and have that blessed tiredness of body that meant I put in a good day's work and that sleep would be such a welcome rest. Days when I use up a spoon now just having my morning shower can be a bit hard to welcome.

But the reality is that this new normal is permanent. I can't say I love this new normal but I'm learning to see the good things about it. Yesterday, as my husband went outside to the storage shed for the umpteenth time, I told him I envied his ability to just up and go out there as many times a day as he wanted to. Depending on my spoon supply my normal varies day by day. I have days I've nicknamed "pajama days". Those days all I have the energy to do is sit in my chair in the livingroom in my pjs. "Pj days" are an opportunity to learn how to be truly present in the moment. I've sent up so many thank yous for the warmth of the sunshine on my face on those days. Learning how to manage my spoon supply has its own blessings too.

I once read a t-shirt that said "Stress: When your head says 'no' and your mouth says 'yes'. Who can't relate to that definition? I would often be left with anger issues mistakenly directed towards those people who I said yes to when it was my head and mouth in disagreement. Having a limited spoon supply means that my head and mouth match now.

Sometimes I get sidetracked by wanting someone else's normal instead of my own. Those are the days when I get the words normal and perfect mixed up. I think their normal is perfect. Hah. What a challenge it can be to settle for a perfectly normal day.

But you know what? I'll take it.

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