My body has been rebelling a lot the past two weeks. MS symptoms have been flaring up. Most days have been full of pain, fatigue, weakness and other random uncomfortable physical stuff. Thanks to those who responded to my prayer request from last week.
My doctor started me on a new medication to hopefully help with the neuropathic pain and adjusting to that has been challenging. It has been making me feel shaky, jittery, speedy, anxious and I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping. It will take 3-4 weeks before the side effects subside so I’m doing my best to meditate and pray through the discomfort. If it works to relieve the pain it will be worth going through the adjustment period.
I decided that I’d like my fourth cycle of giving to be focused on offering small gifts to the people closest to me. Many times I fail to acknowledge the gifts I give to my family and friends because I discredit them as things I “should be doing anyway.” The trouble with this thinking is it puts me in a postion of obligation, which often leads to feelings of resentment… especially if said family member or friend fails to acknowledge my offerings with expressions of gratitude.
If I shift my perspective to approach EVERYTHING I do for others as a gift… an opportunity to be of service… each offering fuels my energy for life in a positive way. All that said, here’s a summary of cycle four to bring me current on my giving reports.
Day 3 (X4): I accepted an invitation from my friends Karen and Jeff to go out to brunch after Church. I was feeling run down and tired and the tape playing in my head was telling me to go spend the day cloistered on the couch with the air conditioner on, but I decided to reach out and connect with others instead. Some may question whether this “counts” as a gift, but I believe that being open to receive gifts like invitations from other people is a gift. Nine of us shared a meal and enjoyed some lovely conversation. Then I came home and rested on he couch for the rest of the day and evening.
Day 4 (X4): I made lunch for my husband, Mark. He usually does the cooking around our house, especially when my MS is flaring. All I had energy to put together was a salad and frozen gluetin-free pizza, but he appreciated the effort. I cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes after lunch to give Mark a little break from dish duty. I also gave an hour of free branding advice to my friend Valerie, who runs a really great non-profit called Inspiring Divas.
Day 5 (X4): I gave a bunch of ideas to my artist friend Jenn Lukas about how to make her appearance at a San Francisco arts and crafts festival successful. I got up off my butt and managed to stay standing long enough to make dinner for Mark. This time I managed to make organic pork chops, rice and some collard greens. He nearly fell over when he saw real food on the plate rather than something that had come out of a box.
Day 6 (X4): My youngest sister, Deena, arrived for a visit so I let her take over my office as her bedroom. I tried to go on a walk with her at Runyan Canyon, but after only ten minutes I got hit with major fatigue and got wobbly. We gave up on that plan and she drove us to my favorite little taco stand where I bought her lunch.
Day 7 (X4): Mark and I took Deena to see a funny one-man show called Herpes Tonight. I know it sounds really odd (bad name) but the show was really great. The performer told his story about contracting herpes and how it impacted his relationships. There was a lot of STD education spread throughout the show as well. I actually think it would make a great assembly for middle and high school kids. I doubt many U.S. schools would be progressive enough to allow it though. After the show, we took Deena out to our favorite ice cream shop.
Day 8 (X4): I took hummus and rice crackers over to a gathering at my friend Ana’s house and got to spend some time catching up with her and two other women from my recent Ladies Who Launch incubator. I got a kick-butt gift while I was there. Ana
gave me 2 pairs of kick ass designer jeans that she said don’t fit her well because they give her “muffin top.” I think that’s physically impossible because the woman doesn’t have an inch of fat on her body, but I still took them with a happy "Thank you!" I had two pair of jeans to my name before going shopping at Ana’s so I was THRILLED to have some almost new ones that are worth way more than I would ever spend retail.
Day 9 (X4): My Mom and Dad’s 39th anniversary was this day (June 22). I sent them a nice card and ordered some flowers from my two sisters and me (which I paid for because they’re both broke). I also paid back $200 of the massive amount of money Mark and I recently borrowed from my parents to help us get out from under all of the recent medical and moving debt we’ve incurred. Only three years of monthly payments left to go!
Day 10 (X4): I gave my friend and business partner Kate
some advice about how to handle a sticky situation with a client.
Day 11 (X4): I sent prayers to the mothers of my friends Megan and Pamela. Both moms are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. I also gave my husband a $15 itunes card that I found hiding in a box in my office because he’s a total music freak.
Day 12 (X4): My sister’s best friend from childhood arrived so we added a second house guest to our abode. Hosting two people in a not-too-big apartment is a bit crowded, but fun when it’s people you love.
Day 13 (X4): I let my sister and her friend raid our fridge for lunch before they left for the airport.
Day 14 (X4): I gave a bunch of free strategy time to my friend, client and colleague, Allie
, and a little bit of time and advice to one of her clients
. I also agreed to rip up a $1,700 outstanding invoice that Allie owed money on. She wants to move forward with her business in a different way. I know that money will come to me in another form ten times over… probably from her later on when she gets a few more things sorted out.