As I move along the road which is my journey with Parkies, I find that I am constantly learning. Not only learning about Parkies itself, but about myself as a person. My priorities are changing and I am becoming more family focussed and wanting to spend time with those I love.
This weekend we had our grand-children overnight – they are 2 x 12 year old twins and their 7 year old little sister. We had takeaways and – as per a previous promise – we all (yes us adults too!) wore onesies! The girls loved that their grandparents were prepared to indulge in such silliness. The next morning I made homemade sweets with each of them and it was lovely to spend one on one time with each child and to see their pride when they showed the fruits of their efforts to their Mum. I am going to make up a clear file of all the recipes we make together, so they can make them in the future and hopefully it will generate precious memories of our time together.
Also, stress and anxiety seem to be a factor for me. Last week we went to an auction to sell our house – successfully as it happened – and the same day an hour or two later we participated in an auction to purchase. I am happy to say that we were successful on both counts. The thing that surprised me, was the degree to which I was stressed waiting for the auctions and then participating in them. I cannot recall a time when I have been so stressed in recent memory. I know that buying, selling and moving are amongst the top stressors we can face and boy, did I feel that stress last week! I have never been to a property auction before, so a degree of nervousness was probably natural. However, I felt so incredibly nervous that I felt that I barely coped with it all. Heaven knows what would have happened if we hadn’t had a successful outcome!
We are also spending many hours in the weekends and whenever we can sorting through ‘stuff’ in preparation for moving to a smaller home. Time consuming and tiring and in it’s own way stressful. My husband thinks I’m a bit crazy, but many nights have been spent not being able to sleep for worrying about what to keep and what to ‘rehome’ one way or another.
So, it was an unusually busy weekend for us. Between auctions and grand-daughters and sorting out ‘stuff’ there hasn’t been time really to rest. This morning I think I paid the price for it. I was having breakfast and started to feel nauseous, tired and headachy. It hit me suddenly and I had to go and lie down and ultimately take the day off work because of it. After a sleep and a pretty lazy day I do feel better. Work has been particularly stressful of late and Wednesday last week I had a stressful interaction with a senior member of our team, leaving the ward early and in tears. I wondered this afternoon whether my nausea might be a combination of a stress/anxiety reaction and also that the busy weekend, with little or no down time caught up with me and made me feel ill?
I have always talked a lot in my job of ‘self care’ and perhaps I need to find better ways to manage myself and my energies. Life is busy, but I think I need to be better at self-monitoring and having at least some downtime in the weekends to recharge and renew my energies. I will also monitor my stress at work and ask for help more often, so that I don’t reach the point I did last week and feel unable to cope. I am not ready to give up work just yet and don’t want to get to the point where I am forced to do so because I am not managing the stress it induces.
So, every day I am learning. But I need to ensure that I don’t just learn that I am stressed and not managing, but that I put in strategies to manage these situations better. Ultimately, the only person who can help me is me.