Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stopping

Stopping to smell the roses....

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening...

Stopping to "enjoy the moment"...

STOPPING.
We can all read the famous phrases above and have an understanding of the meaning within the words, but yet... do we do it enough in our daily life... or even ever? Do we really possess a complete understanding of words like these at all?

In the book Stopping: How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going by David Kundtz, the necessity to just stop and do nothing, if even for just a moment is explained and stressed as being necessary in this crazy ADHD world we all currently reside in. Various kinds of stopovers are explained ranging from short to extended, planned to unplanned, and the reasons we need them, or why our body and/or mind enforces them upon us.

I purchased this book several years ago and enjoyed it very much, I thought so highly of it that I actually purchased several copies as gifts for friends and relatives whom I felt might enjoy it and employ the wisdom within it's pages. I admit though, that my book and it's teachings recede into the back of my mind lying long forgotten until periodically (usually once per year) my body forces an involuntary stopover on me out of necessity... then I remember my book and I dust it off and re-read part of it during my recovery from illness. An odd tradition? Yes, but it has become just that.

I was due for one of these stopovers just last week, but one such as I had never experienced before awaited me. I began my Monday as always, and faced an incredibly full week. Everyday a list of meetings, classes to teach (at home, in the community, at church), court dates for our foster kids, meetings with social workers, travel time, shopping, HOMESCHOOLING and caring for kids, meal prep, the list was endless...

Then on Monday, late afternoon within minutes while doing errands a little tickle developed in my throat and with 15 minutes became a raging sore throat with a fever out of nowhere with chills coming and going... aches soon to follow. By suppertime I was toast and zonked out on the couch leaving Mike to feed the gang. I was totally out of the game. The next day I was doing better by early afternoon (after a shaky morning) so was off to the dentist with three of the kids. As I sat in the waiting area my fever crept back up and my symptoms returned... back home ill once more (but not as bad as the previous night) I surrendered over our childbirth class for the evening to Mike - who did a fab job from the reports I received. The kids and I hit the sack.

Wednesday... HAD TO be well due to the fact I needed to head out of town with 5 of the 7 kids for the nearly 3 hr drive to meetings with case workers and spend the night to be at an early court hearing the following day. I got through the day physically, but due to stressful events, was growing weary mentally. Arrived home Thursday late afternoon in time to feed everyone, tag team with Mike and head off to a mandatory meeting with my homeschool co-op group. Unexpectedly, this is where I found myself entering into a kind of stop, more like a grinding halt, that left me reeling. During the later part of our meeting it was a time to discuss any personal things happening in your life that others could support you with in deed & prayer. When my turn came to share, I can only say that months and months of "stuffed" emotions, thoughts, and tears came pouring out beyond my control. I had never experienced anything such as this, with a group of women who are practically strangers to boot. I left exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I was worn out. The following morning I was to teach a class at the co-op, it was the most difficult class I believe I have ever done - only because I could not think, and I was so incredibly weary in every imaginable way. I had to quit teaching early and fill the remainder of time with craft activities (which was fine, but unplanned, and not me at all). The rest of the day I felt like I wasn't even present... I longed to go to bed, I longed to sleep... if only I could just get through this day. By afternoon I was very ill once more - this time respiratory related - lungs on fire, excessive coughing, asthma attacks... the sore throat and aching were back.... I just ached to sleep, nothing more. I learned that night that my mother-in-law had decided to come for the weekend, but as much as I wanted to see her I nearly broke into tears due to my only desire & need to escape into sleep. I did go to bed that night at 7:30pm and slept until 11:00 when a sick child woke me up for a few hours.
The next day I did not attend church (or teach my class there) and I stayed home (with the one {now} only sorta sick child). My mother-in-law, being the wise woman she is, decided to postpone her visit to avoid illness and allow me to recover. I spent the day resting, and when I felt better I remembered my Stopping book... ahhhh the ritual. I read parts of it. That afternoon I also shared with Mike my Thursday night experience (which I referred to as "my breakdown"?) It was incredibly helpful to have him to discuss it with.

Although I was back in swing & out the door by that night, what I was still experiencing continued processing in my head throughout the weekend. It was by no means a grand "stopping experience", but it was enough to get me to pay acute attention to some things I need to address in my life for the positive... that I guess, is what stopping is all about.
*If you want to look over samples of this book, this is a great site with many pages/chapters online you can read. Visit the site and do a search for the title. http://books.google.com/

1 comment:

Wendy Nixon said...

Glad you're feeling better. Whew! I felt stressed just reading about your round of duties and responsibilities.

Hope you're having a great day!

Your Friend,

Wendy