I walked up my steps today. And that gave me great joy!
What may sound like a normal, everyday occurrence to most people has been extremely difficult for me in the last several months.
My out of whack body (neck, back, leg, and hip) and an ailment in my right hip have prevented me from climbing the stairs in usual fashion. Going down stairs didn’t hurt, just ascending them did.
Each attempt brought such pain in my right hip, I couldn’t navigate the steps normally. Instead, I scrambled up stairs using my left leg as the leader on each riser and dragging the right one to follow or I sort of half crawled up the steps.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve tried shifting as much body weight as possible to my right arm instead of my right hip, while clinging to the banister railing, and attempting to go upstairs normally. Still hurt like the dickens.
But today I came home from my chiropractor’s appointment and walked up my steps. Using both legs equally. Not using the hand rail. Triumph!! It wasn’t completely without a little twinge in the hip, but still definitely is significant progress. And I am thankful and joyful in my book of Opportunity.
While my chiropractor adjusted my back, hip, and neck today, we discussed making wise choices. He, of course, is all about having a healthy body and we conversed about raising children and steering them into nutritious eating choices.
While we chatted…push…crack…turn…push…pop…turn…he asked me if I had heard about a particular well-known football player in the 80’s who had been raised in a strict, healthy environment yet got caught up in drugs and ruined his life.
My response? Never heard of him. Because it was back in the 80’s. I told my doctor I don’t really remember that decade. He may have wondered what the heck I was doing then, so I promptly explained that was my having children decade, so I can’t recall too much else. Chalk it up to being sleep-deprived, overly stressed, whatever, but those 10 years are a blur to me.
I know that the 1970’s are sometimes referred to as the “me decade.” Well, the 80’s, in my case, were the “anything but me decade.” I rarely had time to myself, let alone time for myself. Let me explain.
I became pregnant three times and gave birth to all of my children during those years (our first child was born when my husband was on the other side of the globe), so I spent much of my time being hormonal, experiencing significant body changes, not to mention weight variances, undergoing natural childbirth, and nursing three babies. THAT I remember.
I was a stay at home mom with little ones under the age of 7 and my days (and nights) revolved around taking care of children, cleaning up after them, washing countless loads of laundry and endless loads of dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning house from top to bottom, AND packing up and moving six times during that decade, with a healthy dose of church-related activities thrown in. THAT I remember.
My husband left the military and landed a stressful, demanding job which required much overnight travel, which meant I was home alone A LOT with three young children and no family nearby to help. THAT I remember.
My health took a tailspin and after doctor’s visits and medical tests, I endured major surgery and a hospital stay. THAT I remember.
I stooped over to pick up my baby son one day while I raced to get to an appointment on time when I felt a searing pain rip through my back. That night when I looked into my mirror, I saw that my body was askew. Really, really askew, distorted so that my hip was crooked. I made my very first trip to a chiropractor the next day. THAT I remember.
There were car break-downs, household break-downs, and emotional break-downs as I tried to cope with a stressful life in the 80’s. THAT I remember.
But I don’t remember what happened in the world outside of my home. I don’t remember much about politics (except that Ronald Reagan was President). I don’t recall major world events or even local ones for that matter.
I don’t remember what songs were popular on the radio or what television shows we watched (unless you count Sesame Street and those Christmas specials I blogged about previously). I don’t remember what movies came out. (Did I even GO to the movies? I don’t remember.) No wait, E.T. must have been a big draw at the movie theater because my oldest daughter was terrified of him. (“NO E.T. Mommy!! NO E.T.!!!”)
Yep. That was the 80’s or what I remember from those years.
And as much as I remember the tough times I endured in that decade, I remember the joy I experienced as well. Yes, there was joy in the middle of all of that stuff.
There was the joy of three normal pregnancies resulting in three perfectly healthy, wonderful babies. There was joy in developing new friendships in new places to live. There was joy purchasing our very first home together. There was joy in finding a church family to belong to.
And there was joy in the middle of everyday life in between the dirty diapers, play-doh stuck to the carpet, ink drawings on the entry way wall-paper, toys strewn everywhere, and the noise. There was the joy of raising a family.
And that I wouldn’t trade for anything….even a trip back to the 80’s.
So if you’re a tired, stressed young mother out there, take heart. If I survived an entire decade (and more) of such a life and can still find the joy it brought, so can you. All you have to do is take time to let it register in your memory bank so you can recall it when someday you find yourself in the empty nest.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” ~ James 1:2-3
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