Lessons Learned From One of the Craziest Months of My Life

This month felt like a tightrope walk, an intricate maze, like flailing in unforgiving waters just trying to stay afloat as waves keep crashing overhead, over and over again.  It’s funny because I remember feeling bored in February. I didn’t have as much writing work as I would have liked to, life felt a little monotonous and I wished for more. More obligations, more time with friends, more opportunities to make money. 

Let’s just say, “be careful what you wish for” is veryyy appropriate right now. It was the day before Valentine’s day when my fiancé, Ray received a text from our landlord. It basically stated that we had to move out in a month because she suddenly had to sell the condo that we were living in. We started looking at rentals and contemplated buying the place ourselves. This hectic moment of uncertainty was unsettling. Feeling like our housing was insecure when we have a baby to care for was super uncomfortable – I felt more motivated than ever to own my own place and the more I looked around the more I thought, well this place isn’t that bad. 

So, we decided to buy it.  We filled out a mortgage application, got approved and the process began. Round-the-clock emails from loan officers, texts from realtors, and coordinating home inspections and repairs, just scratches the surface of how involved this process was. It was definitely super exciting but it was a lot to think about. Every day was filled with decision making, corresponding, and communicating (three things that I happen to find exhausting).

In addition to all this, March happened to be my busiest month yet as a copywriter. This was a huge blessing and a moment I had been waiting for. I was ready to deliver some of my best work. I had over $1,000 worth of work lined up before the month even began and I’d be writing my first ever full website copy which felt like a big step. I was stoked. 

Less than one week into the month I started to develop a UTI. I tried to treat it myself and it just kept getting worse. When I started to have unbearable kidney pain, I took the plunge and went to the doctor to start antibiotics. The stress and anxiety of going to a doctor was enough to set me back for weeks. I hate doctors and I hate taking antibiotics but I was afraid I had no choice. I wasn’t trying to end up with a systemic infection that would land me in the ER.

I felt alone in dealing with this, probably because I literally was. I was lucky enough that my daughter was at daycare on the day when the symptoms got really bad, so that gave me time away from being a mom so I could rest. But I felt scared and alone. I really wanted Ray to come home and take care of me but he couldn’t and it really wasn’t truly necessary. I just wanted company and to feel supported. 

I started the antibiotics and they worked quickly. But then, I received a message from my daughter’s teacher “just want to inform everyone that there’s been a tummy bug going around” Oh God, I thought. Please spare us.

And He didn’t. After enduring a week of moming, working from home, and fighting off a kidney infection, it was the weekend and I felt like I could breathe a little.

That Saturday, my daughter started to have some let’s just say, “tummy troubles”. All the while, I was still feeling pretty rough from the kidney infection. So, now Ray had to take over caring for her while I rested. I’m glad I had the relief from him but I felt like I needed attention myself (I know I sound selfish but I’m just being honest). 

The next day, I woke up and I felt like I had been hit by a train. My entire body was sore and achy, I felt weak, I just felt awful overall. I got up with my daughter in an attempt to let Ray sleep in a little, but only about 15 minutes after getting up I realized I was not equipped to do anything more than lay on the couch and my daughter needed a lot more attention than that. I had to call out for help “wake up, I need you.” 

Low and behold, I now had the stomach bug. I felt so weak that I could barely walk from the living room to kitchen, my whole body hurt like crazy and I had no appetite at all. It was a Sunday. I asked Ray if he could stay home from work the next day to help me with our daughter, I felt like there was no way I could do it on my own. He said yes and I felt a huge relief. Finally, I’ll have some help and I can actually rest a little and recover.

That evening, Ray started to feel off and before we knew it, he was vomiting violently in the bathroom. Well, looks like I just lost my caretaker for tomorrow. Luckily, the stomach bug only lasted for about 24 hours so my symptoms were starting to wear off but I wasn’t 100% yet. 

I still felt like I needed rest but now I would need to take over as the caretaker and rest just was not in the cards for me. It was really frustrating. I’ve noticed that I can struggle with asking for help, but often when I do ask for help it doesn’t work out in my favor so then I lose faith and I stop asking. Maybe I’m setting too many expectations? 

Anyways, so this was the start of the second week of March. We’re all finally recovering from the stomach bug when Ray’s tooth really starts to hurt, he goes to a dentist and it turns out that he’ll be needing a root canal, scheduled for the 29th. “It’s only appropriate to end this month on a high note,” we joked, thinking this was it as far as challenges for the month. Oh, but we were mistaken. 

Amid all of these other things going on, we had a home inspection earlier in the month and then had to have multiple repairs done as well. So, most of our weekends were filled with scheduling for repair people to come out, and gathering documents for the loan officers.

Now, going in to the third week of March we said, “this weekend, we are resting”. I was feeling incredibly burnt out, stressed, and drained and I knew that it was related to a lack of rest. 

About midweek, we received the unfortunate news that there had been a death in Ray’s family. So, that weekend we would be driving 3 hours to Tampa to be with his family. There was no question or frustration about it, this is something we wanted to do. So, our weekend of rest would just have to wait, again. 

And here we are, in the middle of the 4th week of March and I’ve now come down with some type of upper respiratory/sinus infection that I’ve been struggling with for about a week now. This is the third sickness I’ve come down with in only a month, it’s insane. Usually my immune system feels strong. I take (what I think to be) good care of myself, so it’s really frustrating. But I’ve realized that sickness is very humbling. I’m practicing acceptance and just trying to shift my mindset.

Overall, this month has kind of sucked! But there have been some positives too. All of the craziness has been intertwined with plenty of blessings as well. I mean, we’re about to be homeowners, how awesome is that?!

I was also able to deliver all of my copywriting work and all clients seemed to be pleased with the quality of my writing (yay!) I’ve made the most money I’ve ever made in a month as a freelancer, and thanks to my tax return and stimulus check, I am going into April feeling way on top of my finances (credit cards and car loan are fully paid off!)

Here are my three main takeaways from this month that’s leaving me feeling like I’ve been run over by a bus:

1) I am capable

Recently, I was home with my daughter and feeling totally drained. I had a couple of moments where I thought to myself “I truly cannot do this, I cannot be a mom today, I just don’t have the energy” I feared that if I keep pushing myself, then I’m just going to keep feeling sick and my health is going to deteriorate. Then I realized that I literally have no choice. At first, it frustrated and upset me. 

But then I took a look around and I realized that even though I was telling myself that I was incapable, I was actually entirely capable. I was feeding my daughter her meals, cleaning her up after, getting her down for her nap, and overall meeting her needs. It might have felt like I wasn’t capable but I actually was and the proof is in the pudding. I was making it, I was moving forward, her needs were met! I need to remind myself of this more often. Sometimes a negative mindset can totally fool you and alter your reality. 

2) Slowing down is vital

Some days it feels impossible to actually rest. But you have to just do it when you can. I actually laid down with my daughter and napped with her the other day for the first time in a very long time. It took me a while to fall asleep because I kept contemplating whether I should get up or not. I kept thinking of the things I needed to/wanted to do and worrying a little. But then I kept telling myself, “no, those things will get done eventually, right now you need to rest.” I feel like a lot of the health issues I’ve dealt with this month have been related to my restless mentality. I take great care of myself in a lot of ways, but one area where I struggle is with slowing down. I don’t let myself rest enough, I spend a lot of time rushing around, multitasking, and I also don’t always manage my stress well. You could eat all the veggies in the world but if you’re letting stress take over, you’re still doing damage and most likely sabotaging all that other hard work you’re putting in to take care of yourself. 

So, I’m reminding myself that rest is vital. I have no choice but to rest, even though it doesn’t always feel like slowing down is an option. If that means dropping what I’m doing, putting things off for later, accepting a messy house, or letting the laundry pile up – then I’m just going to let it happen. Because if I’m not cared for, then I can’t function and my whole family suffers. It’s actually kind of a beautiful thing to be relied on so heavily by others, it feels like a lot of pressure some days but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

3) I’m not alone 

It’s easy to feel alone and isolated sometimes. Some days I started to feel bad for myself “I have no support/no help/etc.” The reality is, I am not alone, but I struggle with asking for help. I need to be more vocal to my loved ones when I feel like I’m struggling because there is some support there, I just have to ask for it because no one can read my mind. 

4) Acceptance

I’m realizing that acceptance really is the key to happiness. It’s easy to be avoidant sometimes. Looking forward to the future is exciting, traveling and getting out into the world is awesome, but if you can’t feel happy sitting at home doing nothing then you’re probably avoiding something that needs to be faced. 

So, how was your month? Hopefully, a little better than mine! What are your goals going into April?  Let me know in the comments & as always, thanks for reading. ❤️

Xx

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