In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Taking Care

Thank you for all your kind words in my last post in regards to my health.

In answer to the questions about my injury…I was brutally attacked 8 years ago, by one of my clients at a group home that I worked at. It has left me with a permanent skull and neck injury and PTSD. Because of ongoing medical issues, I have to battle work comp in order to get the treatments the doctors recommend, so I have a lawyer to help me with it.

One week ago the doctor treating me for my injury, lowered my workability hours and sent me home with instructions to start taking care of myself.  He echoed what the doctor treating me for my thyroid had said to me months ago. “You need to learn how to take care of yourself.”

When I told the woman I care for that I couldn’t work as much, her response had been, “I’ve been telling you for months that you are not taking care of yourself.”

It’s not that I haven’t tried taking care of myself. In my mind, I have been taking care of myself to some extent. In reality with kids, work and a home it’s pretty hard to fit in “taking care of myself” time.


Remember my writing about my special needs brother that got bullied through out school?

He is very special to me.

jerry and lori

He turns 50 in a couple of days so we had a surprise birthday party for him this past Saturday.

Since he and I have been close through out our lives I couldn’t help but plan a surprise party for him.

Yes, I am well aware that this is a lot of work for someone that is not feeling good and suppose to be taking care of herself.

But he is like a big kid and loves his birthday.

So along with all of my siblings we planned a party to be held at our old stomping grounds, at the only tavern, in the very small town we grew up by.

He is really into sports so we planned a party that would include his favorite sports teams(who of course are mine to0).

I offered to make his birthday cake so decided to do his sports theme with cupcakes and cookies.

Once again, I knew this would be a lot of work but I have this tendency to volunteer to do these kinds of things out of my heart and not with my head.  

Little lady and I baked lots of cupcakes and cookies all day. And spent the next one finishing and building cupcake stands.

Of course I convinced my very talented and creative daughter to help me with decorating them and making some signs for the party.

She did a fabulous job of helping me.

The party was a great success. We had a great turnout in spite of it being a busy time of year.

Most importantly he was completely surprised.


He smiled from ear to ear.

He loved his birthday cupcakes.




…And cookies…


I had to push myself to get it all done and it was exhausting but seeing the smile on his face and hearing him say how much he loved his cake and cookies was well worth it and honestly, I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

Because I love him.

Last week I kept saying, “I just want to get through his party and then I am going to take this order to start taking care of myself seriously.

So here I am. It’s Monday and the start of my resolve to taking better care of myself. The thing is, I really don’t know how.

Isn’t that silly? I thought I did but I am finding that I really don’t know how to take care of me. I know all about taking care of other people. It’s part of my nature to do so.

So tell me, how do you take care of yourself?

Tell me, how do I take care of myself? Without feeling lazy or like a horrible wife and mother? How do I stop doing?

How do I rest when I have little one’s and a house that needs cleaning?

Even though I don’t feel good, am in lots of pain, am exhausted and my thyroid literally hurts, it feels like I should be doing something more than what I’m doing…which is pretty much nothing….and I feel guilty as hell right now.

You would think that my feeling like this would make it easy to just rest and take it easy. It’s not.

I need to learn this lesson of self care.

Please share your wisdom with me.

Hopefully, in all this doing “nothing” I will have a chance to stop by your place soon. I miss you!

Until next time, hugs & love, Lori



Colleen: said...

Lori, let me just say that you are one amazing woman! Those cupcakes look wonderful and the effort and love you put into this seem huge and judging from the smile on your brother's face, much appreciated! What a lovely picture of the two of you. You look happy and radiant!
Now be sure to rest up and take good care of yourself!!:)

The Incredible Woody said...

What a special sister you are! I think a lot of self-care is doing what makes you happy, what makes you smile. And obviously, the party was something that made you happy so I think it was the perfect start to self-care! Maybe you need to learn to delegate some of the work though;) You are one special woman!

Fragrant Liar said...

When you start taking care of yourself, you will feel guilty. It feels weird and selfish to put yourself first. Trust me, I know about this. Four babies. Get it? So put the guilt out of your mind. Really, don't even let it start to get a foothold in your mind. Then go do something you like to do.

Nothing coming to mind? Try some of these: take a long bath (take something to snack on or read), and stay in there for at least 20 minutes. Go to the store and buy yourself some flowers. A big spray and set them where you can see them. Walk around the neighborhood, and take your time about it, noticing everything. Go to a yoga class, make lunch plans with a friend and be sure you make it! Get a nice long massage! And BREATHE.

Hope some of those things are helpful, Lori. Do these things regularly, and of course anything that makes you feel happy or content. They'll pay off.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Loved the Twins and Vikings decorations and food. Gophers, too.

Taking care of ourselves. Most difficult. We're so busy with others, we never quite figure out how to do that for ourselves when we need to.

I think letting go helps. Step over the mess, have a seat. Have a cup of tea. Watch a favorite movie. Go to bed early. Let them eat cupcakes for dinner. They'll all survive.

Take good care, Lori.

LPC said...

It is almost an addiction, being so helpful. So, I agree, a long bath with something to read is first up. Then something like a pedicure, with a foot massage. Then have someone else cook you dinner:). See, I am much less of a nice person than you and I have the self-care part fairly well-explored...:).

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, girl - I'm with you! Taking care of me first is such a foreign concept that it's hard to wrap my brain around it.

I'd say learn to delegate chores, to begin with. Even Little People can do chores, like picking up after themselves, loading or unloading a dishwasher, putting away laundry. Get plenty of sleep and if you can't (I know all about that), get plenty of rest. Plan simple meals.

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know, but for now I'm going to go back and admire those cupcakes and cookies. Impressive!!


Busy Bee Suz said...

I agree with what everyone else already said.
Delegate some things if you can.
Let go of any chores that are NOT necessary.
Perhaps you can explain to the little's that you need a timeout daily, or else you are going to be unhappy.
A nice long bath can do wonders for us as well.
Take care, and forget about all the guilt...guilt is not good for you either.

Joyce A Gray said...

This will be one of the most difficult lessons for you to learn, but you can do it. I take what its called a Joycie day every few weeks. Everyone in my family knows what the means, it means I am not going anywhere with anybody for anything, it means I might not get out of my Pj's the whole day, it means I do no housework of any kind that day, it means J fixes the meals or goes out and gets something for us, it means a long nap in the afternoon. I find I have only so much stamina since my last surgery, so I know when I am running low and need to recharge. Give it a try, you will learn you will be a better wife, mother, friend if you take care of yourself.

Jeannie said...

First, you have to set yourself a sensible "work day" limit. Let's say - to start - a normal work day of 8 hours. So if you work away from home for the whole 8 hours, you have to do as little as possible when you get home. Allow an easy to prepare meal (soup and sandwiches or takeout), get the kids to help tidy up and other than a nice snuggle time reading or some other quiet activity with them, you do nothing beyond putting them to bed. On non-work away days, you fit in your cleaning and laundry, taking breaks and having quiet time as needed in those same 8 hours. When you've done your time, you must sit and relax and may only do quiet easy things you enjoy (knitting or crochet or reading or maybe some other sit down activity) Increase your active time as your strength allows but make sure everyone understands that you need your downtime and urge them to help eachother and you/

Brian Miller said...

Lori, i think you told us about your injury before, right? i have a scar on my head from being attacked by a client...i hope you continued healing...what a cool cake you made as are awesome!

Jen Daiker said...

I'm a new follower and I'm so glad I visited on such a special occassion! I can feel your heart and all the warmth you give out on this blog, I can't imagine all that you do at home!

I do hope you are taking time to take care of yourself, but I am one that understands all to well thinking with your heart than with your head! Your heart is huge!

Riahli said...

I'm afraid taking care of myself isn't something I've mastered I guess I don't have any wise words of wisdom to share. I am often making decisions with my heart instead of my head, so I completely relate to that! You are such a sweet sister, those cupcakes were awesome!! :)

Hilary said...

Lori, you're a gem. Truly you are. You absolutely do need to look out for yourself though. How you do that, is bases on what you love to do that doesn't involve anyone else, and then do it. Start though, by saying things like "I'd love to, but I really can't" and by learning how to delegate. Your cupcakes are lovely but I'm sure some of your siblings could have taken on some of them. Things like that.

And keep in mind that by looking after yourself, your giving a gift to your family. You're giving them a healthier wife, mother, grandmother.. etc. Your health is their gain.

Hugs to you.

otin said...

Just schedule yourself some time for you. Pretend that you are not even home. You can't just work work work!

I am happy to see that your brother had a great 50th!!

blueviolet said...

You are such a precious soul to do that for your brother even though you haven't been feeling that well.

Anonymous said...

You're amazing! I'm sure that party meant a lot to your brother!

Now it's time to rest and let someone else do something for you!

Take a massage. Spend the day in pajamas. Have a long soak in the bath. A quiet walk in the woods. Make a rota so that others help with the chores at home. Read a book. Watch daytime TV all day one day a week...

And most of all, realize that your body is trying to tell you to rest. So do so, without guilt!


Natalie said...

Awesome effort, sweetheart. Now SIT DOWN and have a cuppa,while the washing goes around, then blog awhile, then hang out the washing. Sit down again or have a little rest while the kids watch a movie?

slommler said...

What wonderful cakes and cookies! And I could tell he was so are beaming as well! What a treasure you are.
Rest as much as you can and learn to say no! Delegate as much as you can. Especially at home.
Good luck

TechnoBabe said...

You are still of the mindset that taking care of yourself would mean neglecting others. Not true. Taking care of yourself means prioritizing your health, making sure you are at the top of the list and learning how to be healthy physically as well as emotionally. You aren't in any competition to break all the do it all for others contest. Things will get done one way or another if you are not the one to do them. You will still be loved if you don't do all the things you volunteer for now. Taking care of yourself means you will be happier, calmer, have more time for loving others and you will be around for them to enjoy you.

SciFi Dad said...

Unfortunately, I cannot offer any help as I feel the same way when I try to take care of myself.

(I will add, however, that I think you're going above and beyond for your family - not that they don't deserve it - than the norm.)

Bina said...

How awesome and kind and sweet of you to do that for your brother, and I LOVE those cupcakes and cookies!

Okay, one way to take care of yourself is to take a long, hot bath every single day, and be sure to put at least 2 cups of Epsom Salt in the water. That's right. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after a week of doing that, and you can wash your hair in the tub still, cause it's great for your hair!

Read a book. Dedicate an hour every day just to read! Or when you get out of the tub, make sure it's time that you can put on some lotion, lay on the bed, and just close your eyes to some nice music.

Do your nails while listening to music watching a movie. Eat fruit and veggies.

All of these combined will be a GREAT start in taking care of YOU. I promise.

Bina said...

How awesome and kind and sweet of you to do that for your brother, and I LOVE those cupcakes and cookies!

Okay, one way to take care of yourself is to take a long, hot bath every single day, and be sure to put at least 2 cups of Epsom Salt in the water. That's right. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after a week of doing that, and you can wash your hair in the tub still, cause it's great for your hair!

Read a book. Dedicate an hour every day just to read! Or when you get out of the tub, make sure it's time that you can put on some lotion, lay on the bed, and just close your eyes to some nice music.

Do your nails while listening to music watching a movie. Eat fruit and veggies.

All of these combined will be a GREAT start in taking care of YOU. I promise.

Nancy said...

Start by letting go of the guilt! Keep repeating what a wonderful person you are and how you deserve some time off, too! With that being said:

Happy birthday to you sweet brother. What a kind a generous thing you did for him.

Buckeroomama said...

Those cupcakes look awesome, Lori!

You are such a caring, selfless person... bless you!

Ash said...

you're such a beautiful and lovable sister. the bday set-up looked awesome! glad everyone enjoyed it.

it is hard for moms to take care of themselves when they have 101 things to do. kudos to you and every moms alike. :)

~ash's mum

Katherine said...

You are amazing.

Love and hope being sent your way.

Loz said...

I'm a firm believer that we get back what we put in...the comments here show that lots of people see how remarkable you are.

mommytoalot said...

I have to echo what your readers are saying..but not only are you are kind, considerate, loving, creative, hard working, determined..and many more
Not only do you care for you family..all of your have time to brighten the lives of others by visiting their blogs..and blessing us with motivating, sweet comments.
Thank you Lori
your family is truly blessed.

Unknown Mami said...

Oh Lori, I just want to give you a big hug. I am so sorry for what you have been through. I suffer from PTSD and panic attacks and it is no fun.

I really wish you could let go of the guilt you are feeling over doing "nothing", the truth is you are doing something, you are replenishing your energy, resting, and taking care of yourself. A clean home is over-rated.

Seriously, I don't think you will get to the end of your life and regret not cleaning more. Think of your surroundings as a beautiful mess.

Disregard my previous request for your url. I had a moment of clarity and remembered it. I get confused easily lately.