My boys are away having a holiday at Granmama and Papa's house this week, so my house sure is quiet....apart from my noisy little dog having a barking outburst at the mailman, the guy reading the electricity meter, or anyone else who passes by!
Yesterday was the last day of my childcare placement. I've done 10 days of placement (over 5 weeks) in a room full of 2 1/2 year olds. Talk about action packed! I will miss seeing those cute little kiddies. Such a gorgeous age group - challenging at times, but definitely gorgeous :)
Now I have a whole lot of homework to do; placement tasks to prove what I've learnt while on placement. At the end of the day, it's not rocket science. Maybe it's a bit more tricky for those young girlies straight out of high school, but for a 35 year old gal like me, with lots of life/work experience and a couple of kiddies of my own, it's mostly common sense. By the end of my stay I was hankering for a bit more creative freedom - bursting with ideas for activities I'd like to try with the children. I came home to My Mr and chatted about the fact that I'd like the autonomy of running my own room if I'm going to work in Children's Services. That, however, would require me to go on to do my Diploma and, as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Living with fibromyalgia means saying goodbye to planning too far ahead. I have learnt over the past (almost) 5 years that I need to take things one step at a time and be open to changing my plans at a moments notice. I also need to realise that it's unrealistic to think that I will be able to work any more than a couple of short days per week (2 five hour shifts would be perfect to start with). Taking on any more than that at the moment is guaranteed to see my health crash. Frustrating, but true.
I've always been ambitious. Keen to study, to learn, to advance my skills and knowledge. I have countless dreams in my head of things I'd like to do. I've always secretly wanted to become an expert in my field and eventually teach others at tertiary level. Maybe it will happen one day, maybe it won't. I have learnt patience since my health collapsed. It has been a very hard lesson at times.
I have recently finished a book by Toni Bernhard called "How to Be Sick - a Buddhist inspired guide for the chronically ill and their caregivers". While I have no background knowledge of Buddhism, I found Toni's book to be very helpful. It gives ideas and exercises for dealing with the trials and frustrations of living with chronic illness. While they do not claim to eliminate physical symptoms, I think these practices could make a real difference to the amount of mental suffering we endure when living with long term illness. I have read the book through once and intend now to go through it more slowly, chapter by chapter, to try to incorporate some of the ideas into my everyday life.
At the end of the day, this is how my life is now. I need to find ways to help me deal with this reality. Ways to find peace in spite of physical symptoms. None of us knows what the future will hold. We only have the here and now. Happiness comes from being mindful and present in every moment; noticing the beauty in the details of your life today. I try to remember that when my mind starts skipping too far into the future, building castles in the sky.
Today I will rest and recuperate after some very busy days. I will relax in a long, hot bath. I will be gentle with my tired, aching body, and try to quiet my chattering mind. Then I will be ready to drive up to my home town tomorrow and pick up my beloved boys.