So today's post is a little different than some of my other ones. More about the "life of" rather than pottery/ceramics. We meet new people, or even those that have been in our life for a while...and this one comment is almost always muttered, "It must be nice to not have to work and be able to stay home all day." Or at least something to that extent. Most people utter it as a result of ignorance - they really have NO idea what my/our day to day life is truly like. So for those that don't know what it's like, I thought I'd give you an idea. :)
As of today ( 2 April 2014), my sleep schedule is irregular. I went to bed at 0930 yesterday morning, and woke up at 1600 (4 pm). 6.5 hours of sleep is actually a rarity for me, as I usually sleep anywhere from 10-14 depending on the day...So I will most likely be awake until mid morning/ to early afternoon. Why do I typically sleep so long? Because throughout the course of the day, I become extremely fatigued from having to deal with chronic pain in my lower back, nerve pain in my legs, struggling to do every day "normal" tasks most people take for granted, that I insist on doing despite the difficulty for me. As an example, unloading the dishwasher and loading it back up wipes me out. The amount of time I am on my feet to do that simple task, taxes me. So back to the sleep thing...Generally I'm awake for 12-16 hours, and sleep for the same; so my body is not on a 24 hour sleep cycle like the rest of the world. I rotate through my days/nights. So there's that.
Then there's the chronic pain that I try desperately to hide from my 12 year old son. If he only knew how badly my body ached all day every day, he would worry himself to death. I am proud of the young man he is...but he takes on too much and worries about me waaaay too much. I shuffle around our house like an old maid on the good days, and the bad days I'm using my crutches and/or
wheelchair. Some days it's bearable and I'm able to go to my home ceramics studio and "go to work". Then there are periods of time (like the entire month of February) where I'm unable to do anything...I think I might have had my hands in clay 3 days...the entire month... My husband is also my caretaker and does just that...takes care of me. He does all the cooking, cleaning, driving, running of errands, helping me into bed when I can't lift my legs, monitoring my breathing after a seizure and my breathing becomes ragged and shallow, reassures me after night terrors and/or flashbacks...he is my rock. I can't drive, so "going out" to visit friends doesn't happen. I can't just go for a ride to get away and get some "me" time. I can't cook often because of the length of time often required to stand in front of the stove, in addition to the weakness I have in my left hand..not to mention the motor tics/tremors. Ya ever have a chill while cutting an onion, and cut the tip of your finger? I have..onion juice in an open cut does not feel well...and does not bode well in the confidence department. ha
So to recap (I know I've been rambling..sorry!). I can't drive. I can't cook/clean. I can't play outside with my son. I have no social life (outside of my connection with the rest of the world via social
media). My pottery is a hobby (that started as therapy..) that gives me something to do to feel like I'm contributing to my family...though in reality, it just fuels my ability to continue the hobby without dipping into personal money. I can't walk (let alone run) without pain. I take 12 pills a day to maintain everything (pain and seizures among other things). Running simple errands wear me out to the point that after, say grocery shopping (that takes a mere 40 minutes...), I'm exhausted and am no good for anything else once we get home.... and it all started during my time in Iraq.
So yeah...it's GREAT *insert sarcasm* staying home all day every day...
But really...ya know what IS great? I have an amazing husband that DOES take care of me. I have a mature, empathetic, intelligent, athletic, amazing 12 year old I'm lucky enough to call mom to. I DID come back with all 4 limbs and not in a body bag. I DO have my pottery to help cope with everything. I have an amazing family that has done nothing but lend me encouragement and support. I have a few good friends that let me bitch when times are tough, and laugh at the absurdity that is life. But I will also be the first to tell you...that it's NOT nice to stay home all day, every day.
Sorry for the rant. If you've made it this far, thanks! I know we have become a culture where we say whatever is on our mind...but sometimes a filter is a great thing to use...because those off the cuff comments may cut a bit deeper than ya think.