I'm sat watching old Matt Smith reruns of Doctor Who while keeping an eye on my blood pressure, typing out the flow of my mind while he runs, defends, defies and saves the day again.
I'm no Timelord, but I know a thing or two about regeneration.
Yesterday I started feeling pretty weak as we rounded off a couple of lovely days with our friends who were visiting and staying with us. By the evening, after muttering a few "Sweetheart, I don't feel great."s at Darren, promptly fell asleep face first on the sofa where i had landed after arriving home from the theatre and library.
Oh, here we go. Puddle-person time.
I've hit a point in my life where I almost can't help feeling frustrated. When I go Puddle-Person, I have such a range of symptoms that no realistically over-ambitious to do list is going to get even partially achieved.
Which is tricky, when you already feel like you're spinning quite a few plates. Not too many, mind. I feel good about what I have filled my world with, and what I know this season of my life is about, and yes it's full, but so is my imagination and determination, so you know, we're good.
But it's annoying. It's not just painful and limiting, it's a thousand other interpretations of a clenched fist of grievance.
So i start the routine of trying to make the symptoms less impactive and a little more managable.
And yet, the next morning, I wake up with that groan which indicates a little of how the day is going to go.
Confirmation that it's going to be those days of the month where my juggling act simply has to be shelved for a bit, to make sure I don't go into hazardous territory of sickness through perseverance despite pain.
But there is still light.
You hear that quote that you see on motivational inspo facebook posts about self love being just as important if not more so, than anything on a to do list, and it's true. But in practice, when what you encounter is so, flipping, repetitive as to occur monthly, particularly as it's separate to other monthly bodily tensions we could mention which again throw a spanner in the works, well, it feels more like a barricade sometimes.
But I rolled out of bed a little later than usual with Leo, crunched my joints down to the kitchen with my lightest clothes on to reduce the irritation in my skin, and put the kettle on.
Recently Leo and I started trying to stick to a morning routine of eating breakfast together at the kitchen table after feeding the animals and sorting my meds.
Then, we have a chat about our day, and read one of his children's daily devotionals for the day.
This morning's was about the habit of anger, and the healing of mercy.
I read it out loud to him as I always do, elaborating with analogies that would convey on a Leo level where i can. We discussed how sometimes we, particularly adults, can expect to be frustrated by something. Sometimes it's a severe anger that rumbles on the surface and can be self sabotaging, even if some of the things annoying that person are legitimately terrible. Expecting anger. The world against you.
I'm not quite there, thank heavens. I like to think I'm a relatively optimistic person these days. But there are days when instead of being kind to myself about my sickness, I do resent it. Even if i do plod along through the day getting little bits done, I have the bigger stuff that I've committed to calling to me, and to not attend to it, or to flake out on a friend with plans, particularly adventures with Leo, well, it drives me a bit peculiar. I know how to handle my bad health. I know my body really well. The management is doable. It's not out of reach, but the waiting for the time that I can get my moxy back, re-fulfill my muchness, spin my plates again so joyfully, that can touch a nerve for sure.
"I think I know a bit about mercy when it's about anger." Leo pondered out loud.
"When things happen by accident, or you know someone does something without really meaning to hurt you, it's easy to forgive. That's not really mercy. It's just not getting annoyed. It's knowing it wasn't on purpose."
Excuse me, gold star sticker for parenting self awarded here.
"But for ex-arrrmpal." He starts. "If someone kept pushing me over. But if they don't stop when i asked them to, or when they saw me hurting, I feel like I might want to punch them back, but I don't want to ree-tally-late." He says, gesturing with marmitey fingers.
"Because i don't want to hurt him, it's just feelings that want to burst. I don't think I'd want to forgive him either." He bit his lip while thinking it through. "I'd tell someone else so I could get help, but not to get them in trouble, i think. Just to make it stop." He decides. "But that's not mercy, that's different."
"That's making a positive choice in the situation that helps you both get removed from getting hurt. That's good." I affirm him.
"Forgiveness is letting it go, isn't it. Like, not the same as letting them get away with it, just giving the whole thing away, so you don't feel like it's still happening, you don't wonder why it happened to you."
I'm impressed with that kid, I really am.
"That's a great way of looking at it!" While he tucks into the last of his breakfast, I start reviewing my own feelings.
I linger on it all too long. I let things like seeing other creative work at home mums getting it all done dig at me, rather than feel good among their ranks and supportive of their efforts.
I feel bad that we're on the sofa again, and forget that i've managed to get out with Leo or Leo and the dog with or without friends or family almost every day for at least part of it for quite a few consecutive days, with plenty of happiness bubbling in those events.
I look at my lists. I look too long at them. I forget they don't all have to get done on one single day, and that the 'keeping up' part is at least semi illusion.
I fail. Or at least i feel like that.
Like critical time is dripping away from me.
So i settle for pressing into a couple of board games, a short, dizzy dog walk doing the 'check in text' with Darren and ensuring Leo knows what to do if it all gets too much for me suddenly, a load of laundry out to dry and call it a day falling head first into the same spot i fell asleep in on the sofa the day before.
Even now, I'm blogging because, a) I wanted to share these feelings and they're pouring out relatively well, and b) i need to feel productive. I've done all i can towards prepping Leo's home ed, I've filled the calendar with known dates of activity, I've done my pinterest pins for the day but any more than that; posting to my social media business channels, preparing etsy draft product pages, writing my novel, it's all just beyond me right now. The drone of fatigue that's lulling over my cranium and pressing down my limbs.
But i can still waffle in words on here, if not too well verbally.
So here I am, exploring mercy, with you.
Mercy, which doesn't force me to the sofa.
Mercy, which doesn't frog march me into specialist appointments. Mercy, which doesn't separate me from the life I like to surround myself with aggressive barricades placed only to pain me, challenge me and divert my focus from where to deserves to be.
Mercy, is not just self care because it is required and the better outcome, it is simply, as my son navigated earlier, 'giving it away.'
The healing forgiveness that blocks self sabotage in it's path, simply with an insistent thought that can overpower the pressure of the rest that can lean over you. Mercy.
I don't just know how to handle Puddle-Person days. It's good to know how to stop, drop and roll. But Stopping, dropping, rolling and letting it go, I wonder just how potent that last effort is, probably just as vital in practice as the rest of it.
I'm only human. I get annoyed by this recurring situation. But with the power of thoughts and creating that habit in place of any elevated level of annoyance, I wonder where that can take me as I pursue a life of plate spinning further, where I will be no stranger to exploring how to pick up and go again with it all after the break of perpetual motion so frequently.
It's an intimidating thought. But i considered it when we decided to home educate, I considered it when I agreed with Darren to run our businesses, and I knew it wouldn't be easy.
But I do rather like a solution. I wonder were mercy, self forgiveness, the grace in self care, can take me in this situation if i pick it up as a habit, and expect that despite all else, and try to let that be the overcoming of the frustration..
I'm inclined to believe, good places.