Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Persisting to be patient, which is SO out of my comfort zone.

As far as I can tell, my toolbox hiatus is going to continue through the end of the week. I'm continuing to fight a little joint swelling every once in awhile (like one digit, toe, or elbow nodule at a time)...so my need to practice patience is still in high gear.

Truth is, by the end of last week, when I still had a handful of items on my list of things to do before Deirdre's big girl room was complete, it was really starting to get to me. Just going into the room made me mad - I saw knobs that needed to be attached, screws that needed to be tightened, hooks that needed to be hung, and other odds and ends that, under normal circumstances, I could have done in a heartbeat. But since my joints weren't cooperating, the only thing I could do was stare and get myself all steamed up. I just had to wait until Johnny was (or is, for those projects still outstanding) able to help me.

(A quick side note - my considerate and oh-so-attentive husband has put together a table, a kitchen stool, hung a ton of stuff, put up two window treatments, cooked dinner multiple times and done more than his fair share in the time that I've been on toolbox hiatus...so it's not his fault at all. It's mine, for obsessing over the things that I just can't do.

Of course, that said, what's even worse, in my accomplished-driven mind, is that normally, I would have assembled and hung all of the stuff that he has done, freeing him up to do some of the more taxing projects that are still lingering. Ugh! I can't cut myself a break, can I?)

So, to say the least, I needed a diversion. I was obsessed...and I needed to stop, and force myself to redirect my efforts.

My first step - perspective.

I needed to step back, and take a good, hard look at why I was frustrated: Was I really upset with Johnny for not dropping everything to help me out? No, of course not. These were minor tasks that weren't pressing, and he's been out of town almost every other weekend since I started working on the room. I just needed to step away from the whole thing and be a little less, ahem, driven/task-oriented/stubborn. (Of course, secretly, I do wish I could make him my little minion for a day!)

Two - was I really that desperate that I needed to hire a handy man (I'd come up with a list of about 5 possibilities, including flying my dad in from Indiana) for X-dollars an hour to come and help me finish up a room that didn't need to be finished for another month? No, of course not. Again, cue a little patience and logic.

And finally, was I really that disappointed with myself for not being able to do a couple of odd jobs around the house, that I needed to think about the insignificant ordeal morning, noon and night? Nope, not really.

What I was mad about, was that I was letting lupus get the best of me. I was allowing my desire to stay on schedule, my obsession over my to-do's, and my need to finish each and every project I started get in the way of my health. So you know who I was really frustrated with? Lupus. And in my opinion, she can handle (and deserves) the brunt of my frustration. She's the one causing the swelling...she's the one limiting my abilities. It's not me, or the handyman, or Johnny. It's her. I needed to stop blaming myself or anyone else around me, and move on.

Whew! Step one, accomplished.

Step two - refocus.

I needed to start focusing on what I could do, not what I couldn't. So I sat down, and made a list of the things I could still do (and needed to do) before baby #2 arrives (which, of course, corresponds to when Deirdre's big girl room needs to be ready), and I came up with some real winners. I have several projects to tackle that won't tax my joints, but still need to get done. I was definitely postponing them because my plan was to tackle the room first...but you know how plans and lupus go. When stymied by lupus, you often have to go back to the drawing board, revise your plan, and start again. And so that's what I've done. Rejiggered my to-do list so that all of those non-taxing items are at the top, and the room to-do's are at the bottom.


Step two, accomplished.

It feels so good to be productive and "back at it" again - rather than constantly beating myself up over the fact that, at present, it isn't advisable for me to do anything too taxing with my hands. And as my belly gets bigger, I realize that in less than two short months, there's going to be another little project that I'm going to need to tackle. And I don't think taking a "KitKat hiatus" is going to be quite as easy as tossing aside the screwdriver.

Rest up, relax, and save my joints, right? I've got a baby on the way!

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