Collecting myself… and everything else

Last week, I shared a few thoughts of when life and work collide. Little did I know that I would not be back to work for the entire week and my little one would be in the hospital through Saturday, needing oxygen and with changing diagnosis every day.

What was first a recognition that I would need space to reset, is now more of a lost feeling of where do I start again.

I am still incredibly tired, even though I have been sleeping a reasonable amount of hours and doing “no” work. But I recognise my mind is exhausted of the ups and downs of the week, of the constant status of being switched on, waiting for the next nurse, calling the doctor, feeding baby S water through the night so he did not get dehydrated, keeping the oxygen mask over him without him noticing as he would immediately take it off despite low levels of saturation. For the first few nights, I did not even try to sleep, as it was easier to just stay up than to sleep in 20 minutes intervals as the machine biped for oxygen again. All this while trying to ensure Big Sister C got some attention and did not suffer too much in my absence. It is tiring just to write it and I am not even mentioning Big Sis P, kids and Mum were here. That was lucky as I felt supported but I also wanted to ensure we spent some time together. I actually felt more supported than probably ever before, and Hubby B took the hospital chair many times to try and give me a break. I may not have given myself one (except for the day where I only had 2 hours of sleep), but mentally it was exceptional to have that option. It actually made me more rested.

So now what, as I get ready for the week to come?

I am not scared, but I know I need to pick up the pieces left behind:

  • My physical self is in need of some care, as I have dragged cough and illness for 2 weeks, certainly not making it better in a hospital environment. I have started by taking the day to rest and cuddle in a blanket as I must admit I have probably exhausted dosage of Nurofen a few days ago;
  • My mental self is in need of extra care, as I have carried such weight over the last week, certainly not helped my hopes of recovery falling overnight. I shed some tears along the way, which certainly help, and have worked on my gratitudes every day, restarted by bullet journal for November, but feel this one may be in need of extra attention;
  • My work self is in need of lots of care. The way in which I disconnected was extraordinary and very unlike me but I actually felt I would do more harm than good to my team if I kept connected. They went out of their way to help me not have to worry and me hovering over was the least helpful thing. But together with the above 2, I admit that I will need lots of whitespace time to get re-organized in what I want to get done this month and until year-end, as the holiday season fast approaches:
  • My charity-self feels lonely. The charity is the first one to suffer when one of the pieces of my domino falls. As it is my night job, it very often gets affected by me being sick, overly tired, having to work late, or just about anything else. As I feel I am failing on my CEO role, I want to re-connect and re-prioritize so I can do good in the few things that I am focused on

Not all is bad. I feel some parts of life hanged on better than others through this crisis

  • My mum-self feels pretty decent about the amount of time I have dedicated to my children over the last week and how I was not scared to prioritize and not guilty about work. That is a first. I took a few hours in different days to also attend to Big Sister C, which included Halloween Trick or Treat, Ice Skating Birthday Party, Wicked theatre and a 1on1 dinner before I headed back to the hospital for the night. And on the times that Baby S was doing ok, which were more and more of the day hours as the week passed, I have spent time playing and chatting and I notice an incredible difference in his number of words in the space of a week. He is like a little parrot copying whatever we say, in whatever language we say it. And I feel closer to me than I probably did in a long long time;
  • My wife-self feels decent enough about our partnership this week. We had our moments, mostly driven by the anxiety of the situation but we held up through this crisis unlike some others before. I am proud of that and  know that helps my strength too;
  • My family-self feels connected to my family who gathered around me physically or remotely to give me strength through this challenging week. Even though Hubby B complains I exhausted all my data (and the data extra he gave me), multiple facetime calls helped me and baby S cope with long hours at the hospital and allowed me to vent as many times as I needed;
  • My friendly-self feels connected to my friends as they supported me through this week, with encouraging words and prayers. And the ones that never found out until my Instagram message that we were back home, were quick to react and show their love and support. I can not thank enough all the offers of help I received, even though Baby S could really only take one help, and that was in the hospital.
  • My writer-self feels pretty good about using one of the late nights to re-do my blog and make it something I am proud to share, and something that aims to reflect me in my entirety (and all of the above selves). Writing has been a long-standing passion of mine and I am keen not to let it fade again.

As I write this, I am impressed to see that the list of the goods is almost as long as the list of the not so goods and in need of TLC. Goes to show that life is about balance over time, and not at all times. So I am generally more business and less friends and family, more mother and less wife, more charity and less of a writer. But I value all these, and the value is in how I can stack them along, avoiding loosing pieces along the way.

Next week, back to business (I think)…

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

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