I am reluctant to write off 2010 as a crappy year because it was the year that my dear, lovable, boy Lincoln was born. Also it's the year that my sweet, angel girl Ruby turned two years old. And I get more joy out of both of them than anything else in the world. The fact that I am on maternity leave right now and get to stay home and spend my days with them is something I am very thankful for.
However, I will admit that 2010 has been a struggle. I endured a difficult and painful pregnancy for the first 6 months of the year, while working full time and taking care of my toddler who was going through the terrible twos a bit early. Then Lincoln was born and I had to recover from childbirth while adjusting to having two kids under two. (I continue to make that adjustment.) In September the vertigo came and stayed for 7 weeks. I truly didn't know if I was going to survive that. It was a terrible nightmare. Shortly after the vertigo arrived, Lincoln was diagnosed with his first UTI and two subsequent UTI's occurred in the weeks following that. There were trips back and forth to the doctor, the hospital, emergency rooms, etc. Then there was the thing with my job, which I am still unsure how to deal with and have admittedly put in on the back burner of my brain. After the vertigo was cured and then the UTI's were cleared up, we started dealing with (and continue to deal with) Lincoln's sleep issues which developed during the tumultuous weeks/months prior. Then the worst stomach flu ever, ripped through our house taking out everyone (except Lincoln, thankfully) within these four walls and beyond.
The flu seemed to be my breaking point. Something happened inside me during those five days. There was a heaviness in my chest that I couldn't get rid of despite the flu eventually clearing up. Too much had happened. I had endured too much, was carrying too much on my shoulders. I wondered what a nervous breakdown might feel like and wondered a couple of times if I might be experiencing one.
In the past I probably would have turtled and allowed myself to fall into a deepening depression - oh how I felt the familiar pull in that direction. However I felt like I needed to do whatever it took to prevent that from happening. My two children depend on me for too much. It was hard but I knew I had to take action.
Normally, I wouldn't attempt anything at this point in the year. There is too much going on in December. And besides, September and January are my two favorite times of the year because I love a fresh start and those months are the best for doing that. But in my situation, I decided not to wait until January to get cracking on making things better for me and those around me whom I am responsible for.
Despite money being tight at this time of year (who am I kidding, it's tight year round), I splurged and hired the help of a sleep consultant for Lincoln. I had intended to wait until the new year to see if I could somehow curb him of his habit of waking six times through the night and taking only two very short naps a day but realized that I am getting more and more sleep deprived by the day and have less and less patience and confidence that I am doing the right thing. I decided if I have to pay to get some help and relief, then so be it. Since it takes a couple of weeks to get the "sleep plan" I decided that waiting until January was waiting too long. I will get my sleep plan next week and I look forward to the forthcoming sleep Lincoln and I will get to experience with it's implementation.
The day after I contacted the sleep consultant I packed up the children we made the drive to the doctors office to talk to him about a few different issues. The doc suggested I get a little "help" to get me through these difficult times. I had sworn off anti-depressants with the passing of my 20's but after much thought, agreed that perhaps I could use a low dose to boost the serotonin in my suffering brain. A side order of Ativan for those really crazy times couldn't hurt either. As an added bonus, the doc strongly suggested hiring the very sleep consultant that I had already hired. He used her for both his children (who incidentally are also 18 months apart). It was one more endorsement for an already highly recommended woman, and just the confirmation I needed to make me realize I am doing the right thing.
The next thing I did was put a pair of running shoes on my Christmas wish list. I *AM* going to start running again. I love the runner's high that I get from going for a good jog, alone, with loud music pounding in my ears. Fingers crossed that Santa comes through. But until then - I'm not waiting. Yesterday after a day of feeling quite sluggish and disgusting (missed my shower) - I threw on my old runners and headed out the door. Steve looked after the children for the 20 minutes it took me to do a short route of running/walking. The battery was dead in my ipod but that did not stop me. It felt... SO GOOD and I will be doing it again, and again. I'm not saying that I'm going to throw myself into a regular routine immediately - but I am not going to wait until January to get it started.
As for the rest of it? I am in quiet contemplation mode. I'm not getting too jacked up about anything right now. With the holidays and family and the kids and all that goes along with it, I'm just letting things roll. I'm not worrying about get-togethers or gifts or food or any of it. I'm not committing to anything and I'm not feeling bad for turning down invitations to holiday gatherings if it's just too much.
That's the way it is.
Now, I do have some more specific goals for 2011 but I will save that for another post. For now, I'm working on doing what I can to get a jump start on the fresh start for the new year and I'm not waiting for January.