Monday, July 25, 2011

Slowing it down - out of respect for the big girl panties, at least.

Fitting with my personality, I pretty much try to do everything at record speed. I type fast, I talk fast, I even drink fast (milk, orange juice and water, at least), and when it comes to errands, chores, and other tasks - I do them as fast as humanly possibly. Time wasted is time lost in my book - but I work to convince myself otherwise.

Interestingly, two things have recently curtailed my speed-demon mode - one of which is named Deirdre and the other, Bernadette.

1) It became readily apparent on the first day of potty training a few months back that life was going to have to S-L-O-W down if we were going to make any progress. I was going to have to let Deirdre take her own sweet time, regardless of what I had on the agenda. The waiting, trying, cajoling, and convincing were a bit exhausting - at least for the first couple of days. But then, you adjust. You realize that only good things will come from spending twenty minutes in the bathroom while your cute-as-a-button 2 year old works on pottying in the big-girl potty. That reading the same books over and over again while in said bathroom actually gives you some pretty great quality time with your little lovebuggy. It was a painfully slow process in the beginning, yes - but watching her beam with pride as her hard work, determination, and our combined patience began to pay off. And what do we have to show for it? A perfectly potty-trained little lady. Sure, she still wears diapers when see sleeps, but I figure we have plenty of time to ease out of those...she's still in a crib, still napping 3 hours a day (on a good day) and 11 hours at night. Why mess, you know?

2) The second speed deterrent was when Bernadette, at about 7 months old, developed a bad case of the startle-bugs. You got up quickly from the table, she got startled. You sneezed, she got startled. You made any sort of quick, hasty movement (like, say, when you're rushing to do dishes, fold laundry, or pick up), and she would get frightened and start to cry. Thankfully, she's over it now (because SHE'S now the one making the quick moves...scooting across the floor and the like), but for the month or so that it lasted, I really had to curb my franticness. My frenetic energy wasn't well-received, and so I changed it...no doubt, for the better.

And oh, how my recent trials in hastiness reminded of my early days with lupus. In the beginning, of course, EVERYTHING slowed down, because adjusting to the pain, swelling, and fatigue was just so overwhelming. But after realizing that life wasn't going to change or improve anytime soon, I decided to just thrust myself back into "busy-mode." I did my best to pack it all in as furiously as possible - work, personal life, social engagements - I thought the harder and faster I pushed, the more likely I could "outrun" lupus. That the disease would eventually fall away because she couldn't keep up.

But we all know how that strategy works (or doesn't work!). So once I wised up, I found myself slowing down, ratcheting back, and walking instead of running. And you know what? It worked! Life with lupus wasn't quite as taxing when you weren't taxing yourself to the hilt. And I came to appreciate "slow and methodical" versus "fast and furious." Sometimes you don't get quite as much accomplished as you'd like, and other times, you simply don't get anything accomplished at all. But in the grand scheme of things, that long list of to-do's can wait. Your health, wellness, and long term happiness cannot.

Of course, Deirdre still tries to convince me that she can wait "just one more minute" before we head to the potty. But she and I both know better. The blocks can wait. The tinkle cannot.

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