Words of Advice from a Refrigerator Magnet
Lately a bunch of words have gotten mixed-up in my head. For instance, when I am being “stubborn” and when am I being “stupid”? When am I in “denial” and when am I “resilient”?
If you don’t know me all that well, you should know that I’m a pretty stubborn person. And stubborn can be good. It means I’m persistent; I don’t give up easily. I’m determined. (I mean really, how else would you explain the fact that I used to get my tush on six buses a day and commute to CSUN?)
But sometimes that stubbornness isn’t a good thing, because I don’t know when to back-off, when to ease-up, when to admit I really can’t do something.
Last week, I was one of three parent volunteers that walked with my son’s second grade class to the public library on their first field trip of the school year. About once a month, my son and I walk to this same library from our home. So I can do the walk. But the field trip walk was further because we were starting out from school. And the field trip walk wouldn’t be a nice leisurely stroll like it is when my son and I go to the library together. This walk would require me to keep an eye on a bunch of second graders. My husband had to work, and I felt that it was left to me to step up and volunteer. I tried to point out to Ryan that not all grown-ups can go with their children on field trips. But Ryan asked me to, he said he really wanted me to go, and I couldn’t make myself tell him “no.”
I signed up to volunteer. There was a big part of me that knew I was setting myself up for more pain, more fatigue, and more discomfort. But I was doing it in the name of a mother’s love. Right?
Not exactly. I did it because I still sort of could.
Right now, I’m in somewhat of a holding place. I’m stuck in this cycle of pain while I wait for test results and wait to determine my next course of treatment. So I wanted to join my son’s class now, in case I really can’t sometime in the future.
I know my legs are not as strong as they once were. And who knows how I’ll be walking in the future. For instance, maybe someday I will need to rely on a cane. If that’s the case, I certainly wouldn’t be able to join a walking field trip. So I did it now while I kind of could.
But that night at dinner, I told my son that I wouldn’t be able to walk with his class any more. (Of course I was able to say this now. When the next field trip rolls around, it most likely won’t be so easy for me to be absolutely certain and resolute about my decision).
Because this field trip did teach me a lesson. It showed me that I need to start using words like “restraint” and “self-care” a lot more often.