After a few months of planning and a solid week of running around - Jason's 40th Birthday party went without a hitch (well apart from being told to be a little less noisy by the restaurant manager!)
The Birthday boy was suitable spoiled and spent the whole of the next day in bed nursing a nice headache! A job well done!
Through it all, I knew I didn't feel 100% I thought it was the remnants of a sinus infection I was recovering from. However, when the (unusually placed) head pain became unbearable after two days of ploughing-through. I knew that I needed another little trip to the doctors.
It was then, after a thorough check over, that I got my diagnosis....shingles....again...for the fourth time in recent years.
My body was screaming at me to slow down and I wasn't listening. I haven't been listening for years. Ever since both of my children have been in school, I have taken on every volunteer project I have been offered. I cant remember the last time I said no to a task requested by people outside of my family. In the past few years, I have felt compelled to say yes to everything because my children are both at school now and i'm still at home....and I feel guilty for that, hugely guilty.
I'm not yet allowed to work because of visa restrictions and it looks like it will continue to be that way for the next 3 years. But instead of embracing this new era of my life - I have felt guilty of it and subsequently loaded myself with volunteering. So much volunteering that my own family often has to take a backseat...ironic huh?!
So, over the last few weeks I have officially bowed out of all of my volunteering jobs' My CASA case was closed a month ago and I have asked for a little time off. I spent three days in bed, getting up only to feed and hug on my children (Mr B was away) and try and give this body of mine time to rest and heal.
It has been three weeks since I got the shingles diagnosis and while most of the symptoms have disappeared, I am still very aware that I am walking a thin line. That stress, self-imposed busyness and the inabilityto say no could once again land me in herpes-zoster town....and it aint a pretty place to be.
So, this is a new start for me - a start that focuses on my little family and its needs and not how lazy I look to the outside world. I feel like I have been given this gift of being available for my family and each time I accept another task outside of my family, I disregard that gift.
So, for right now...if you need me, chances are - I will be at home. Planning Maddy and Joshy's new bedrooms for their birthdays...or trying out new recipes for that man of mine. And counting my blessings a lot....the blessing of being available to my little family.
The photos are pics I dug out last week, when my sweet girl turned 9 and I was getting all clucky again!