This year’s birthday really, really sucked ass. Then again, I should refrain from any toilet-related verbage for awhile, probably.
I appreciate the birthday wishes everyone sent me Tuesday even though I didn’t reply to anyone on Facebook or anywhere else. I wasn’t being rude intentionally. I was home in bed and quite miserable- and not because I wanted to be.
Monday, when I’d already arranged (of course) to take the day off for Sophia’s birthday and then to take Tuesday off for my own, I got to spend both days in the company of Montezuma and his cousin Ralph. They are not nice houseguests.
Steve-o and I left early Monday morning with Sophie to go to Easton so she could do Build-a-Bear for her birthday. We got through the Build-a-Bear (she picked the Hello Kitty- and her clothes) and then I got deathly ill.
I’m just glad I knew where the ladies’ was at Easton, and that I could trot fast enough to get there in time to avoid a most embarrassing and aesthetically unpleasant scene. Not too many people are “down with the fountain of brown.” Steve-o had to take me home and I spent the rest of the day Monday and most of the day Tuesday between bed and…well, you know where.
It was my typical bad luck to schedule days off only to be sick, but then I thought at least, 1. I had taken vacation time already anyway, and 2. getting sick while on vacation saved me the dreaded necessity of calling off, which I won’t do, unless, of course, I am physically unable to remain vertical.
Tuesday night, once I did manage to keep down some saltine crackers and Diet 7UP, I felt a little bit up to reading the pages on fasting in our Lenten study book from church. I know my sort of imposed fasting of late isn’t exactly what I’d call a spiritual discipline, at least not when the cause for one’s fast is: Don’t eat – unless you want to visit Cousin Ralph. Even so, I did not fail to see the irony in reading about fasting when all I’d had to eat in the past 24 hours was a few saltine crackers. Being hungry sucks. It sucks even worse when you know that anything you think you’re going to put down is going to come right back up.
I know as a diabetic, fasting from food, in the traditional sense of a fast, is Not a Good Idea, especially when my blood sugar was 60 Tuesday morning (don’t worry, it was 110 yesterday morning and 118 this morning, which is acceptable, so today at least, I’m staying vertical.) For the past few days, though, in spite of being somewhat vertical yesterday and today, I’ve felt like a freeze-dried dog turd.
However, even in my non-voluntary fast, I learned a few important things. One is the ever present lesson that my physical body and stamina are quite limited. Lately I had been burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle, and it caught up with me. Sometimes these annoying (though thankfully, usually brief and not deadly in the long term) ailments give one just enough time to stop and rest and realize that there’s too much noise and too much running around and various crud going on. Saturday I was between Columbus and Marion. Sunday I was between Columbus and Lancaster and then back to Marion. Monday I’d gone back from Marion to Columbus after staying in my parents’ guest room, being kept up all night by the spooky sounds of the trains.
It’s a backwater, but even in Marion the trains are diesel-electrics, not like the cool steam engine pictured above.
If you live there, you get used to the trains, but when you don’t live there, the incessant noise of the trains is creepy, probably like the airport would be for people who don’t live less than a mile from Port Columbus.
This is a diesel-electric locomotive engine- the ones that are in use today- constantly hauling thousands of coal cars back and forth across central Ohio.
The bottom line was I was running too much, and trying to cram 10# of fertilizer into a 5# bag. That’s sort of normal for me, only the older I get I have less and less tolerance for it. If my body and mind don’t get the rest and recharging they think they need, sometimes they take it by force. Sometimes they hire Monte and Ralph to do the job.
I was forced to step back and realize that no, I wasn’t going to be able to get all the laundry done. I was going to have to ask Jerry to go get catfood (and hope and pray that the catfood bags still have pictures of cats on the front so he doesn’t come home with hog feed or something.) I wasn’t going to get to spend a day traipsing about Easton with my son and granddaughter. I was more than aware that if I wasn’t able to get myself vertical and drag myself out the door that calling off Wednesday would have been a distinct possibility (and maybe should have been…)
Jerry: no, it’s not cat meat in the bag, it’s what you feed the cats. Just so I’m clear.
It’s hard to take a hiatus from our own demands, (even if we try to plan for it) but it’s even harder to take a hiatus from the demands of others.
I think I understand what John Lennon meant about sitting and watching the wheels go ’round and ’round. I’d like to get off the merry-go-round from time to time, but it seems the only time I get that opportunity is when my grip on the merry-go-round gets overwhelmed by the centrifugal force of the world spinning. I let go, and I fall off of it. Unlike John Lennon, I don’t have the luxury of staying off the bloody thing for too long, but I need to do it more often, and before I have to be pried off of it by illness, weakness and sometimes, even, my own pride.
There is an even more profound lesson to be found in all of this. All of our provision comes from God. Apart from Him I am not able to do anything. It’s not my strength we’re talking about, but His. Sometimes I need times like this to be reminded that it’s not about my plans or what I’ve set out to do. Sometimes God simply says: “Sit down and shut up and rest for once. You have no power at all save for Me.” It’s a necessary and humbling reminder.
Monte and Ralph have beaten me up pretty good over the past couple of days. I will need to change the cat boxes tonight though, because Jerry will NOT do that. I took him way out of his comfort zone by asking him to unload the dryer and hang up his clothes.