Procrastination? Perfectionism?

I curl up in my nest and I write blog posts in my head.  Wonderful blog posts, funny and sweet, with lots of pictures of all our adventures.    I think I composed at least three to go with the snow days.

I have pictures of all the kids, and all their friends, and the snowman, and George eating snow… but by the time I had been up and out to take all the pictures, and enjoy the snow, and then navigated the piles of wet gear for the rest of the day, by the time I had a moment to actually sit up and type the blog post that was in my head, the words were gone.  They had absolutely no resemblence to the thoughts that practically wrote themselves a few hours before, when I was snuggled with a napping George, resting up for supper.

Oh, I wish you could have read (because I wish I could have typed) my post about Sam and his two years of service to our church as an altar server for the Latin Mass.  Sometimes it’s hard for Catholic homeschooled teenaged boys to find like-minded guys… I know a number of young men out there who feel like they’re the only ones like themselves… But I guess that post got lost to two chemo sessions scheduled too close together, which pretty much left me useless and brainless for a couple of weeks.

There are a few more that I just have to resurrect from the “write them in my head while I curl up in my nest file” though.  My friend Tracy, her cookie parties and her conversations with all the bishops… Sam’s birthday, playing Headbandz, going bowling with George… updates on my health and wellness (or lack thereof 😦  )…   

Maybe I need to start dictating posts to whichever child is keeping me company at any particular time… then they can put them on the blog, or just write them down so that at night, when I’m all used up and exhausted, all I have to do is type, and not think or remember.

And now we have another barrier to posting right while I’m thinking… the photo above is the view of my new machine from my perspective.  That’s my nose in the very near foreground.  I’m all wrapped up – from jaw to knee – front and back, all around, with high tech computer pressure sensor inflatable microtubes all put together with foam and velcro.   You know I’ve struggled and struggled with lymphedema, which has worsened despite my very best efforts.  Since I am now seriously immunosuppressed, it’s only through the direct intervention of God that I’ve not had to be admitted for lymphangitis infection this winter. 

Well, right before Christmas, we found out that the company that makes the very most advanced lyphedema management pump was able to work it out with our insurance company to provide us with the whole computerized unit for FREE.  This counts as a miracle in my book. 

However, as you can see in the photo above, which Emily took of my arm and hand, I can’t exactly type (or knit, or talk on the phone, or rescue a dropped ipod, or get up to use the bathroom) while I’m doing my treatments, which last 60 minutes each.  So there are more wonderful blog posts being generated in my head as the machine works… posts that by the time I get up, stiff and dazed, I’m in no shape to type out, much less edit and resize photos for.

There I am, all wrapped up, immobile and stuck.  (and mostly bald)  But even though the time requirements are intense, and it’s just one more thing that I need lots of physical help with, there has been improvement in my arm just since we started yesterday. 

So back to the blogging concept.  I NEED to blog.  It connects me, it serves as a journal of my journey, and when I don’t post, people REALLY worry.  But as my strength and energy dwindle, I need to find a better way.  Let go of the perfectionism and just post words without pictures?  Or just have one of the kids upload my favorite pictures, and every reader can make up their own story to go with them?  Figure out how I can have blogging time somehow get magically carved out of the more energetic moments of my day? 

I guess the other option would be to save my limited energy for just nesting with my children, and forget about writing about it?  I don’t like that option, we have to be able to come up with something better.  I’m open to suggestions.  I’ve been WEEKS away from my blog, and I’m really sorry if I’ve worried you.  The posts are there, just hiding inside my chemo-toxic, adrenally insufficient brain… 

During tomorrow morning’s hour on the big pumper machine, I’m really going to think about this.  How can I get back to investing the time and love into my blog that it deserves…  meanwhile, I’m sorry it’s been practically a month without posting.  Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise you and be right back at it tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience with me.

25 thoughts on “Procrastination? Perfectionism?

  1. Dear elizabeth I only check about every 2 weeks and orig. came from heart of my home but have been home nursing my mother m.b.c. so understand some of your suffering. I am praying for you and your wonderful family I am only writing so you know people are praying and loving you from afar I have no answers only that He is faithful and if you ask Him to be with you He will be May the sweet presence of the Lord be with you bringing you peace and joy love grace

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    Like Desiree said, a tape recorder or mp3 recorder would help you to record your thoughts. Have you considered making podcasts to go along with your favorite pictures that you have your kids post for you? It could move along like a narrative – think of yourself as being on par with all of those museums that guide you through the exhibit with the spoken word.

    I’m thrilled for you that you were able to get this machine, and even more thrilled that it’s helping with your lymphedema. It’s wonderful that you were able to spend time with the kids, and making memories. We can wait, but children don’t stop growing and changing, and they _are_ more important.

    I’ll send a message out to the NMSL that’s on facebook, and maybe someone can come up with a helpful idea or two.

    Jill
    mom to Josh (12.5!)

  3. Hi Elizabeth,

    glad to hear from you but sorry to hear about the lymphedema worsening. That machine sounds amazing– glad it is already helping. Are you Mac people or PC? My inhouse geek support says the text-to-speech software the Mac people all talk about is called Dragon Dictate http://shop.nuance.com/DRHM/store?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=nuanceus&Locale=en_US&Env=BASE&productID=201886300 There is a home version for $99. I looked for some ipod apps for you but only found text-to-speech. Know we are thinking about you and sending you love and support!

    Kristi

  4. Elizabeth, I’ve only recently discovered your blog (through Ann V), but you have been in my thoughts frequently over the past month when I didn’t see a post from you in my reader. I’m thrilled to see one today. God bless, sweet sister. May the Lord give you wisdom about how to accomplish the things that are dear to your heart. Blessings, Patricia

  5. Hi Elizabeth, Wished I lived closer, then I’d come over and transcribe while you dictated. You could try the Dragon recognition software. I’ve heard it’s really neat and they do make it for PCs. I do medical transcription and I have an 1800 call-in service I use. If you can get a headset rigged up (maybe skype?), then you could get someone to call in whenever you’re ready and dictate and then I could transcribe it and send it to you. All you would have to do is edit/add pics whenever you felt up to it.

  6. What a cool machine! How does it actually work? Does it hurt? That last picture reminds me so much of that kid from A Christmas Story whose mom over-bundles him and he falls over and can’t get up. At least you’re not in the snow, I guess.

  7. Glad you were able to get a machine that can help you, even if the treatment time is long and exhausting. I agree about recording your thoughts with a recording system of some type – directly on the computer, an mp3 recorder, or tape recorder…

    You are in my thoughts and prayers….

  8. I agree that a digital voice recorder might be helpful. I have one; it is very small and it has an USB port in the end of it so I can plug it into the laptop and download the files. You could play it when you are able to sit with the computer and it will remind you of the ideas you had.
    I think it is important for you to keep up the blogging, however minimal.

  9. I am grateful to hear how you are and left thinking how I can better pray for you. How generous you are with your thoughts, with your family and with your talents to bless others, this IS the gift whether you post or not. I do understand the need to write and trust that you and your family will create a good solution that balances your needs with your desires and abilities. God bless and godspeed on your healing!

  10. E, can you phone me if you have a headset, or is the machine too noisy for phone talking? I would be happy to type the words you say, just like another commenter wrote. Does the iPad have a microphone and relevant application? I am serious that if you post voice messages on here that at least I would be perfectly happy to listen instead of read. I will be happy to rewind and replay if my slow hearing misses some of what you say. We have had several snow days here lately, too. I look forward to regular rhythm although my kids terribly enjoy the snow-imposed holiday-like disruption to routine. I fear they will still be in school on 4 July after all the bad weather days we are having!

  11. Dear Elizabeth, I understand this only too well. Writing has been my lifeline since childhood, and since the brain surgery so difficult for me to physically do. But keeping a record is so important …. I used to do so much photography and now can’t, or at least, can only do very little. It’s so hard to let go and find new ways of record-keeping and creativity and communications. With prayer and faith I am finding ways.

    I really like the idea of some sort of recording device for you? If speaking into it is something you have the energy for? And then maybe one of your kids could transcribe it into a post? Might be a fun thing to do together. Or even dictate little on the spot posts, the things you want to remember or set down, just little daily jottings.

    You are in my prayers; God’s grace is present in every day, in every breath. We are never alone. Peace and blessings to you all.

    ~ Ellie

  12. Oh, Elizabeth. You are my hero. Your little blog has changed the way I look at life, at myself and my petty insecurites and pretentions, at the people in need around me, at how much good one person can accomplish, even in most difficult circumstances. Your posts are a weekly (or so) devotion that feeds my soul, makes me aspire to give more, and turns my thoughts to God while I read. I check almost every day to see if there’s a new one.(And yes, I worry if weeks go by.) If I were Queen of the World, this blog would be bound and published and left in a drawer in every hotel room, on a shelf in every library, on a table in every church, on a shelf in every classroom, and all my friends and relatives would know about it and wait for it as I do. You couldn’t possibly know how much difference your time and effort have made in this world. As the Scriptures say, your children will surely rise up and call you blessed all the days of their lives.

    And speaking of children, I know Emily (having heard a song she wrote and sang at violin camp) could be your fingers and your voice when you aren’t able to blog. I would love hearing from all the kids, or seeing their posted pictures, between your blog posts. They’re such creative kids.

    Praying for you and Dixon and the kids.

  13. no original ideas here, hoping that your tech support can rig up something for you. Taking dictation, typing, photography and layout seem to be some sort of home school subject at least they are here: ) glad to see this post, yes we do worry and more than that i know you are leaving a legacy for your children through your blog. glad that the treatment is helping and glad that we have some specific ways to pray for you!

  14. Elizabeth,

    We do not know each other, but I follow your blog. I’m sure I initially found you through Elizabeth Foss’s blog. You are in my prayers and I am always inspired by your posts.

  15. Dear Elizabeth,
    It sounds like you do not lack motivation or ideas for your writing–that’s huge ! Give yourself permission to jot snippets down on scraps of paper, or put incomplete ideas on a voice recorder. When the energy and time are available, your writing will bloom all over the place. Remember: “Joy comes in the morning.” Get some rest.

  16. Elizabeth, it is always a pleasure to read your posts, even if they are not as frequent as you would like. When there is a long pause, I try not to worry but send up some extra prayers for you, knowing that you are directing your precious energy towards your family. The new machine looks fab- I hope it continues to provide relief for the lymphoedoema. Sending love and prayers to you all from the UK.

  17. Hi!
    While I have been “thinking” about what I want to say, I realize you have probably moved on to a solution. I agree with Jane, you never seem to lack motivation…or ideas!

    Although we worry if we don’t hear from you, I know prayers are being said, your medical team is working hard and your special family and friends are taking good care of you. Your job is to enjoy your nest, family and rest.

    Love, hugs and lots of prayers!

  18. I hope that machine is still working its magic and that you see an improvement every time, or that it can maintain the improvement.

    Even though we do worry when we don’t hear from you, it is always an inspiration when we do.

    I wonder if your hair will come back a different color this time. I’m sure blond and straight would be wonderful for you, but red could be fun, black could be exciting, or white…..let’s not hope for white as your Mother told me that the white ones were caused by brain cells leaking out…..tee hee!

  19. Dear Elizabeth – you touch many lives. I agree with everyone above that your blog has impacted me in many ways – faith wise and day to day (you motivated me to teach myself to crochet 🙂 ) But I particularly want you to know that you impact other families with children with Downs. A friend of our oldest daughter (Michelle – whom your mom was confirmation sponsor for) just had her first child at age 39 after years of infertility. Her daughter has Downs. I sent Michelle the Downs Ed site you cited as well as your post (Sept 10, 2010) of George reading and signing to forward to her friend. Lots of prayers from NJ.

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