I mean, it really does. But, so does menopause, brain tumors, anxiety, hypothyroidism, loneliness, and a host of other things. I feel like when I have days like this (read: days that suck) I need to blame something: (see my list of things above). I don’t know why.
I guess because I hope I’m not just lazy. I hope that as these bad days come more often I will be able to not let them suck the life out of me and get me down even more.
Today, for example: I didn’t go to church. I went on an “adventure” yesterday (my words) and I think I overdid it. I just couldn’t clear the brain fog this morning. I woke up and felt like I was in a trance. So, I slept/napped a bit more. Did some reading. Caught up on one of my favorite shows, and while it’s still mid afternoon I have 2 choices. (Actually, I probably have many more but these are my main 2.) I can take another nap, rest my brain, or get up and clean my room and catch up on my mail and laundry that’s piled up.
I just got home from a funeral. A friend of mine died suddenly, way too soon. He was a young father and it is just such a tragic loss. Brought to my mind my dad’s funeral, what my funeral would have been like had I not made it through the craniotomies, things like that. Just a heavy morning. I know this is part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I think of my friend’s poor mother (she’s a widow) and the pain in her heart that I cannot begin fathom. Heartbreak.
I began to see a new therapist a few weeks ago. Her style is much different than the one I had been seeing, and this one is focusing more on trauma healing. I like it. I am on board. There is such a wide array of things I need to address and heal from, this just fit perfectly. I have had two visits with her, and during both I was brought to tears. Sobbing. I am shocked that five years later I still fight with PTSD from the brain surgeries. Those few minutes before I was wheeled into the O.R. have fundamentally changed me. Dare I say permanently scarred me? I don’t know. But those memories and emotions are still down deep inside me and need to be processed and released. I am very much looking forward to this. What I find rather interesting is a day or two ago I dreamt I was caught in a torrential rainstorm. A huge downpour. Other people were near me, I was trying to find shelter from the rain, I didn’t have an umbrella, I didn’t know anyone around me. I did some research on rain in dreams, there is a connection here. The release of the brain surgery “stuff”, as it continues its course, and the downpour of the rain. Dreams are incredible.
While I continue to notice deficits, headaches, problems with my memory and auditory processing, I am thankful to work in Special Education when I can. I am very blessed to be in these classrooms and interact with the students. They make me smile. The help me focus. They motivate me to do my best always. These students have no idea how much they help me navigate life with brain tumors and a rare, genetic condition. The same goes for the person I am tutoring in English. The same goes for those I work with in my calling in church as Family History Consultant.
Life is weird. Life is not what I expected, that is for sure.
It just is.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been quite lucky to travel to several Temples over several states. The following is a list of the ones I have been to and I hope to add to this list soon!
- St. George, Utah
- Logan, Utah
- Manti, Utah
- Salt Lake, Utah
- Provo, Utah
- Mount Timpanogos, Utah
- Jordan River, Utah
- Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Los Angeles, California
- San Diego, California
- Portland, Oregon
(Click here to read about why Temples are built.)
Why is it that I seem to think of blog posts as I am rushing to get to church each week?
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I have a calling to teach the women of Relief Society each month from the Teachings of the Joseph Fielding Smith.
Since I am a substitute teacher I think often of how I can present my lesson material to the sisters to make it interesting and engaging. Each month, I read the lesson and choose several sections that I think we can cover during the hour. I read the Section Question aloud to the sisters; then we all read together (or “Popcorn” as some teachers may know it to be called); then I read the question again at the end of the section and hopefully we have a great discussion about what was just read. 🙂
Last month I had prepared a different way to give my lesson. I friend of mine who is a 2nd grade teacher, and also taught for Relief Society last month as a substitute, shared this method with me and I really felt good about it. “Let’s do it!”, I thought to myself. I was excited. I had prepared. I thought the lesson would be great! Interesting! Engaging! Participation to the “T”! I was ready to go!
Except for one thing.
That morning I felt sick. Scared. Nervous. Uneasy. Unhinged. I could not figure it out! I shouldn’t be nervous to stand before these women – most of them have known me since birth. It was the oddest feeling. I couldn’t much put my finger on it. I just knew something was different. Was it me? Why was I doubting things and my ability? What was going on? What was up? Right before class I was reviewing the chapter and a sister came over to me to visit. I shared with her my feelings, and I said to her that I wondered if this was the Spirit telling me something? She said that there was a difference between doubting my ability and receiving an impression from the Holy Ghost. OF COURSE she was right. I just didn’t know how to tell which was which!
Even as I walked into the Relief Society room I had no idea which was I was going to teach the lesson. As I walked up to the podium, I began to talk. Sometimes like to make small jokes (nothing inappropriate) but I say that I am OK with throwing myself under the bus as long as *I* am the one doing it. 🙂 And I shared my dilemma about which way I was going to present my lesson to them. The:
- Standard, old hat, way I always had.
- Group the sisters according to Sections in the lesson. Give them about 10 minutes to read then go ahead. My wish in doing this was to generate more discussion between them, instead of me talking “at” them for the entire time (which is how I felt I had done it).
And, I just went into #1. The usual way I teach.
After the lesson was over I had a few women tell me that they really dislike lessons using #2. And another one told me last week that she was glad I chose #1 because it was “something I was good at”.
In hindsight I am very glad to have had this experience. While I am not the best at articulating things, it was good for me to have those “feelings” and to discern to the best of my ability and then give it my best shot.
I teach the 3rd Sundays at church in Relief Society.
Granted, I only remembered this past Thursday that my week was coming up (I still can’t believe I dropped the ball like that!) I panicked and prayed, and studied the lesson as best I possibly could. Yesterday’s lesson was Chapter 16 “That We May Become One.”
These last few days I had planned and prepared to teach parts 1, 3, and 5 of the lesson. Maybe not planned as well as I could or should have, but that’s another story.
As I finished teaching part 1 I looked at the pages that held parts 2 and 3, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was NOT to teach part 3. It was strong. It was palpable. The feeling was odd. It was like a big brick on my chest. I had to do a double take. I looked at part 3 but then my mind and vision was drawn towards part 2. That happened a couple of times. And for a moment I almost second-guessed myself and the Spirit, but thankfully, I listened to the Spirit.
I felt odd because even though I had read the entire lesson, I hadn’t prepared anything for part 2 so I felt very uneasy as the section continued. But before I knew it (I only looked at the clock 3 times!) Relief Society was over and I know that I left there feeling the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
A sister approached me later and shared something personal with me. Part 3 (that I skipped) was a very difficult read for her as it resonated with her presently. And that I didn’t teach from that section was a blessing to her (my words).
I am so thankful I listened to the Spirit and followed the prompting I so strongly received. This experience was a testimony to me that the Lord knows the needs of the sisters in my ward and what they need to be taught.