Monday, May 31, 2021

Reuben's Kindergarten (age 5 years) Recap Post

I feel like everything revolves around my chronic illness. I didn't want to start of this post talking about MY illness when it's about Reuben's school, but you can't have one without the other. We finished our first year of official homeschooling! During a pandemic! With chronic lyme disease! I deserve a metal or at least some chocolate (okay I treat myself to chocolate weekly and I honestly don't want a metal I'm a minimalist) but seriously. WOW. I can't believe it. 

I learned so much. I learned I tend to rush through school with him because I want to get to what we are doing next or because I need to cook lunch...I learned I need to slow down and make school the focus of the day. School is meant to be slow and isn't an afterthought. It needs my full attention!  

I learned I hate doing the same thing every day but my son LOVES it. He thrives (at least right now) on structure!! When I would want to skip math he would HOUND me until I would do it with him because he expected it. He is amazing. He has a lazy sick mama. Bahahaaaha.

Honestly, we did about 1-2 weeks of school with 1-2 weeks off, because of my illness, and repeat. And still he learned so much because life teaches him so much!!! We did the curriculum I designed in 2019. I designed this before I was sick with lyme (I got sick May of 2020) and did a bunch of it!! Oh, back when I had energy and dreams...we also did the delightful reading level one from SCM, their bible memorization kit and three math curriculums. One, we liked and finished, one we didn't, and the master books 1st grade math book that is half completed and we are still working on now. We also got outside as much as possible and are learning names of flowers/herbs. We read LOTS of books from the year zero Ambleside list and joined a wonderful co-op that will hopefully continue next year. It was a wonderfully hard year. Writing down the list of what we did makes me feel less guilty, I feel so guilty for all the time I spent sick with lyme and unable to get out of bed. 

I'm so thankful to be in remission!!!!

We will be doing another year of kindergarten before starting year 1 Ambleside. This next year (2021-2022) we will be focusing on teaching him to read, doing more math from Masterbooks, ordering the delightful reading level two kit, playing more violin, memorizing more verses, reading more of the Bible and...because I am so sick, instead of creating my own curriculum we will be doing Exploring Nature with Children as our core. Since I am in remission now, we plan to start as soon as everything arrives in the mail, which should be July 1st. I'm so excited! 

I did think of putting him in school. But I would miss him. And I really want to homeschool, illness or no illness. Isn't he big? He's growing up so much. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

I have forgotten how to laugh

I don't know if its 2020, battling lyme, giving up the dreams of my large family, missing my babies who are in heaven, the political climate of America, Gen Z, or the fact that target is selling 80s clothing again...but I'm going through something. 

At first I thought it was depression. Remember last year when I swore I wasn't depressed? I wasn' (I just had Lyme disease) but I might be now. Life doesn't look like what I thought it would this year and I haven't been happy. 

Life is a lot of work. A lot of work. Housework every day, homeschooling, meal planning, driving here and there, budgeting, making it to church on time. It is exhausting. I think I am trying to do too much. Now that it is summer, I am determined to plan our second year of homeschooling with REST and SIMPLICITY in mind. I keep having nothing in my basket for myself. No time to sit. I don't know where the time goes, but it is flowing through my fingers like sand. 

Another thing is my health. It is so hard to have a headache almost every day. It wears on me. I could cry just thinking about it. I am trying some homeopathic remedies and a headache balm that helps. Right now my lyme, THANKFULLY is in remission, something I am eternally grateful to God for. I can function. I can cook and clean for the most part. Already I have had 3 or 4 tick bites this season, so I am a little scared it will come back. Reuben has had ticks too, and Becky. Everyone but hubby! 

One of the biggest issues is that I feel like I have to be happy all the time. I don't want to let the people down in my life with my bad attitudes or frustration. 

But the thing is right now I don't know how to be happy. I'm upset I can't have more babies, that the big family I dreamed of will not be. I am upset that my head hurts every day and I still struggle with fatigue from lyme. I am upset by my limitations, health issues that did not exist in 2019. I feel like a cripple sometimes. I'm lonely, but also I am struggling with feeling good about my home so I don't want people to come over. I am totally overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I own and have to keep track of on a daily basis. I both hate and love the internet and really want to live without it but am not quite how to do that anymore! 

What is my new normal? With Lyme disease and chronic health issues? There are things I have to do, but what if I can't do them? I don't know. No one knows. 

Even without the overwhelming health issues, the normalcy of life is overwhelming. Each new stage my children enters is SO HARD but also why are they growing up so fast??! I need things to slow down so I can contemplate my own existence and try to order my thoughts, but every time I try to make time for that someone poops and needs wiped or my kids start fighting or I burn something I was trying to cook or remember that the dishes won't do themselves. 

Before I bore you with how horrible my life is... (it isn't) (I'm just sad and don't know why) (because life is totally awesome I mean I'm not dead so there is that)

...there have been some good things. Oh, many wonderful things that have brought joy to my heart. One, I bought us all matching jackets. I love them. It makes me so happy and we wear them all the time because we are all still cold here. 

Two, this man and this little girl wearing the dress my mother put me in when I was a little girl. 

Also, I love God, and he is good to me. I shouldn't complain and I shouldn't be unhappy. But I am, and I am also working on it by trying to read my bible, pray, and garden. Somehow getting down on my knees in the dirt for an hour wrestling with weeds helps. It seems to be the only thing that does. 

I feel even more guilt when I read Job. All he went through and he mourned but I don't remember him being angry. Perhaps I should reread it. I definitely don't want Job's life but I also don't want mine sometimes, so I am not sure how this helps.

I wish I could put a finger on what exactly was wrong so I could pull it apart and fix it. Am I not submitting to God enough? Too much of my own sinful will? Or unmet expectations that I should not have had in the first place? How do I navigate this. I don't know. But I guess life will go on without my mental clarity and perhaps the headaches are trying to tell me something. 

At least 2021 has been a lot better. 

I wish I knew what it was that I wanted. I actually miss myself. I used to be funny.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The End of the Baby Years?

I have so many thoughts about the "end of the baby" times in my life, but alas I don't feel like processing all of that right now...

No more babies in the Markey house! Because of my illness and six miscarriages besides, there will be no more little one attempts made here.

And it is sad. I am rejoicing and grieving. What odd times. God is good.

But what to do with all my favorite baby things that I cannot get rid of?!! 

I have begin sewing (by hand) some of my old wraps into things I can use. The first is this rainbow wrap! I turned about 1/8th of it into a cowl. I need to add a button to it but I bet I can do that before fall comes. I also will be making a tote bag and a coin purse and who knows what else out of it. I just can't give it away. It is precious to me!!! And no way am I storing it for 20 years in the hopes my kid will want it. They won't remember being worn--I will though. I'll never ever forget. 

(also I forgot I had bangs. Lets never do that again, future me.) Oh, two year old Reuben....SOB.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

living with lyme disease

It is sad and scary to lose my health in the prime years of my life. I have always suffered from autoimmune issues, but in 2020 I experienced health problems so bad I lost considerable quality of life. Lyme disease is insidious. Lyme disease has taken from me, at joy, my strength, my vitality, my will to has wiped the smile from my face and, in the pain of suffering, made me mourn the life I am able to give my children. 

I love my children deeply. But it is apparent to me the difference: the difference of the mother I was "before" lyme and the mother I am able to be "after" lyme. Before lyme we would go on adventures, outdoors, I had energy to do so many things that I just cannot do now. Now sometimes I cannot even read books because the words swim before my eyes, and I sleep all day. That is only on a really bad day. But I still feel so much guilt over it, guilt for what I cannot will my body to do for me as I once did without thought or awareness. 

I wonder what it will be like for my kids to grow up with a chronically ill mother whose health reads like a sliding scale on a downward trend. Will they resent it? Will they remember the times I sat on the floor and did puzzles and drug myself outside to watch them play, or will they remember the times I begged them to leave me alone so I could sleep? Do they see the pain I work through every day or understand the sacrifice it is when I get out of bed? Do they feel loved? Am I keeping up with appearances, or am I letting the lyme win?

Some days are better than others. I have even had a whole week once that was almost normal! But since February of 2021, when my Lyme disease returned after seven months of remission, almost every day has been a fight. I have an headache every morning, starting when I wake up and the only escape from it is sleep. Sometimes it is really bad, what I would call a migraine. Sometimes it is just a dull ache that I have to push through. I also have joint pain, vertigo, sometimes nausea, sleep problems, neurological lyme symptoms...and I just don't feel well. I feel sick every day. 

As someone who has been working on my health for almost nine years now--to be significantly worse than when I started is depressing. I have lost a lot of friends--but I do not blame them. It would be hard to be friends with someone who usually can't hang out, who complains all the time, who is perpetually exhausted and who can't connect much because all my strength that doesn't go to fighting my Lyme disease goes towards trying to make life as normal as possible for my children.  

I try not to be bitter about it. I have two arms and two legs, I have a house and two wonderful children and a husband who has a good job. I am still alive and it still matters to see my children grow and witness their beautiful lives. Even as I suffer I am still grateful for all God has given me. I still know life matters and I strive to find joy, and healing. Yet at the same time I am tired of feeling sick, tired of fighting and tired of using all my strength to do simple tasks. Tired of having nothing left at the end of the day and nothing for myself.