We feel overextended, exhausted, overstressed and underappreciated. Sometimes we are embittered about our hectic lives and wish we had more help! I sure know I do.
We get up at the crack of dawn if not earlier and begin our morning preparations- getting the kids school bags, lunches and clothes ready, organizing our personal work schedule, scheming when we’ll fit in our exercise or yoga class and the list goes on.
We also assist in shuffling our husband out the door, if we have one! If not, taking the dog out for a long walk is about the same amount of work.
We calculate the number of hours (or minutes) we have to be productive and like bandits, race against time prioritizing the billions of errands we have to accomplish in order to keep the domestic kingdom running smoothly.
Complaining and commiserating amongst friends is OK and totally necessary for our sanity, I do it constantly!
But let’s take a “reality check,” shall we?
Girlfriends, let’s step outside our lives for a moment and into this sister’s shoes-
They always say that your health is everything. It is a worn-out cliché but so very true. With a strong mind and (relatively) fit body, we are already ahead of the game as we set out to achieve our goals.
We know it, that’s why we get all bent out of shape if we can’t squeeze in our “sweat time” several times a week.
Last Saturday, I read a very compelling story in the New York Times about a 30 year old Jamaican woman named Dayniah that suffers from a severe case of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II and is confined to a wheelchair. Her story drew me in immediately.
I was reading about this living phenomenon who has been battling this increasingly debilitating and fatal disease since early childhood and has outlived every medical expert’s professional prediction due to sheer defiance! You go girl!
This miracle of a life isn’t even supposed to be alive and must overcome hundreds of physical obstacles just to get through one of her “normal days.”
What is “normal” for her is arriving on time to the public middle school in the Bronx where she teaches despite the intense pain that vibrates throughout her body around the clock. She presses on in spite of the pain.
The fact that she is always punctual for work, arrives well-groomed with a new hair-do every other week, and full of determination is a real inspiration to her students, faculty and to all those who know her.
Most “healthy” people cannot even accomplish arriving so intact day after day.
I know I’d fall off that groom train after about day 3. Aides accompany her around the clock except at work where she experiences the most independence.
Because she cannot use the restroom unassisted, she intentionally abstains from eating and drinking anything in the morning to avoid needing to seek assistance while at work. What discipline!
Can you imagine fasting each day while still maintaining patience and energy to teach a group of middle-schoolers?
I’d probably want to ring each one of their peach fuzz coated necks for as little as being deprived of my second cup of coffee!
What this feisty young woman accomplishes in one day is more than most of us “healthy-bodied” women could do day in and day out.
If I had to do it for an hour, I think I’d catapult straight into clinical depression.
This woman is a true heroine and when asked about her condition she replies that “this is the body she got, might as well make the most of it.” Can you believe her warrior spirit?
Her lifeline cannot be “contained” inside her tiny fractured body, all slumped over in her heavy electric wheelchair. Each day she confronts the reality that at any moment her life will be cut short and her 4 year-old daughter, the object of her affection and inspiration for pressing on, will be left alone without a mother.
How does she do it?
How does such a fiercely independent and brilliant woman with a drive to survive beyond measure live inside such a sickly body?
Ladies, we gotta count our blessings each and every day- what stresses us, would be wholeheartedly embraced into the desperate lives of others.
I sure hope I can remember this inspirational story each time I start to moan and groan about my chaotic life...
Darah Zeledon, a native South Floridian, is (sort of) new on the scene here in Miami after living 10 years in South America with her large brood. As she struggles to make sense of all the chaos inherent in raising 5 little kids with no help while running a small business, her writings are her only “virtual” escape. Her musings can be read on www.positiveinchaos.blogspot.com and www.thechaosminiseries.blogspot.com