Wednesday, 16 January 2008

I've got a tummy ache

Well, I feel completely wiped out. I finally caught the gastric flu that's been going around. I have spent the last two days desperately trying to keep food in my system and to stop shivering non-stop. Poor Jake didn't even get a walk yesterday. I will attempt one today though my tummy is still feeling a bit iffy.

Part of the problem with being ill, I find, is that the world goes on even though you don't want to. Children still need to be fed and taken to school. Bathrooms still need cleaning and -- in our case -- carefully disinfecting because the daughter of a friend stayed at our house last night. Dogs need walking, though Jake was pretty good about not going out yesterday. I was going to ask my daughter to take him, but then she got the bug too. My son got home too late from cross-country training to take him.

The other problem with being ill for me is that I have been awakened in the night by either violent shivering or bad stomach cramps. First I lie in bed wondering what medication to take, then I finally convince myself to get up and take it, then I go back to bed, feeling better but oh so wide awake.

And then to occupy myself I start to think of all my baggage. You know, all the relationships that aren't quite what I'd like them to be, all the snubs, all the friendships that have gone awry. And then I go straight back to sleep. NOT!

Last night I mentally composed a list of said baggage under the following categories: In-laws, Family, Friends, Acquaintances. This was joined by Fears and Worries. Then I asked myself why I was able to remember so many of these, but hardly any of the successes and joys in my life. Are they fewer and farther between? But does that not mean then that they count for more? Because if the measure of my life is the relationship shortcomings and fears and worries, then how do I manage to get out of bed every morning?

As I argued with myself, I found sleep finally coming on. And I had some very interesting dreams. In one I explained to a woman I no longer speak to (or rather she no longer speaks to me) why I decided that socializing with her and the rest of her crowd was not a good thing for me. And she seemed to understand. In another dream I flew to Canada on my own and found myself in the ski resort we've visited for the past five years. Without any Canadian money or way to contact my husband. I somehow got a car that I was trying to drive while in the back seat. When I realised this was a near-impossible task, I had to maneuver the car over to the side of the road, also not easy. I managed to get where I was going eventually and was greeted by my husband and children, a nice surprise since my husband has resolutely refused to go skiing with us for about the last eight years. I know there's loads of hidden meaning in this dream. Trying to drive while in the back seat and not getting anywhere. On my own with no resources. My husband unexpectedly showing up. I'll try to think about this next time I can't get to sleep.

There have been many times I've wished I was a different sort of a person, the sort who isn't bothered by people letting me down, the sort who plows gamely through life, celebrating each and every little nugget of sunshine. The sort my daughter actually is. How I envy her ability to shrug off the snubs and putdowns from people. How I envy her innate confidence. Although I come across to people as a confident person, it is a confidence that has been earned through age and experience.

My son, poor soul, is more like me. I went to his Parents Evening at school last week. The overriding theme of the evening was that he needs to work harder and pay more attention and be more vocal, except in Religious Studies, where he apparently is the life of the party. If he doesn't understand something, he needs to ask someone, preferably the teacher, to explain it further. One of my fears is that, having worked so hard to get him into this school, he will then flounder and sink to the bottom. So we (and I feel it is partly my responsibility) will double our efforts to improve his performance. It wasn't an all-round bad evening. He is doing surprisingly well in maths, which he always struggled with in primary school. He's quite strong in history and shows promise in English. Sciences are very weak at the moment, but then I always struggled in them also.

But here's the little nugget of sunshine: He came second in his cross-country race on Saturday. Each time he runs, he gets a better result. My husband was so overcome with pride when he called me (he goes to each and every race) he was practically in tears.

Enough about me. I am going to attempt a walk with Jakie (I'm tempted to bring poop bags for myself). Wish me luck!


Annie said...

I hope you feel better soon!

The success in cross country training will do the power of good for your son's confidence, and that will carry over into his other school work, I'm sure of it!

As for the baggage? My Mum and Aunt are here with me and we went to Mount Dora yesterday (have you been there?) , and it has all those wee knick knack stores - we stood reading all the little fridge magnets in one and one of them read 'Don't let yesterday take up too much of today' I think this is definitely something to live by - for all of us!

Wimbledon Common said...

Feel better soon, wakeup, I'm just glad I only caught the cold bug and not the gastric bug....

What is it about baggage and 3am in the morning? Perhaps you need to stop thinking about the person that you'd like to be and start thinking more about how you can accept being the person that you are. It's amaziong how much that can help!

Kaycie said...

Poor thing. I hope you're feeling better, soon. You do know you're too hard on yourself, don't you?

Part of your daughter's ability to let things roll off her back is definitely genetic and related to her personality; however, some of it has to be due to the safe and solid home life she's had. A child doesn't become that confident without good parents. Give yourself a pat on the back.

All kids struggle with something. Celebrate your son's wonderful talents and help him work harder where he needs to improve.

You're doing so well with your kids, Wake Up. I understand just how hard that is when you have to overcome a less than ideal upbringing of your own.

Good for you, sweetie. You're giving your kids an excellent start in life. Feel good about that.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Sorry to confuse you, "Wimbledon Common" comnment above is me! That's me alter ego!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

annie: I haven't been to Mt. Dora in many years but I understand it's really nice. And I need to get one of those fridge magnets. Yes, my son is growing more confident from the cross country.

aoj/wimbledon common: Oh to have an alter ego! Excellent advice. Thank you.

kaycie: My daughter has certainly had a more secure upbringing. But when I try to pass my insecurities onto her, as my mother did to me, she won't let it happen. Smart girl. Thank you for your kind words.

-Ann said...

I'm sorry you're sick. I guess that bug is going around Ireland too. Several people in our office were out with it last week. So far so good for me - I've become OTT OCD about hand-washing. (And I don't sit by any of them, so that's a plus.)

I know what you mean about not being able to sleep. Although I find that when I can make a list of what's bothering me, then I can go to sleep. I was up at 1am today and couldn't think of a single reason why. I ended up going in to work at 4.30 just because it's better to do something marginally productive than lay in bed freaking out.

Oh, thanks for taking me - I finally go to your 7 facts meme.

-Ann said...

Clearly sleep deprivation is getting to me. Thanks for TAGGING me is what I meant to say. :)

softinthehead said...

Wakeup - you are so right, and that midnight baggage also seems more scary then, money worries, work worries etc. seem exaggerated and all seems OK (or at least manageable) in the cold light of morning. I too have had that driving dream, sometimes I am in the back seat driving and sometimes I don't have any pedals!! LOL about personal poop bags, hope you didn't need them!! :)

Expatmum said...

Gosh, I have had that dream about trying to drive a car from the back seat. When anyone figures out what the heck it means, please share. In the meantime, hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

Here's to a "speedy" recovery and pleasant dreams. As for the dream of driving a car from the back seat, this could indicate you do not feel fully in control of your life. You might be making mistakes in your decisions, a bit negative I know but on the positive side of things, the woman who you spoke to about not wanting to socialise in her circle could also mean you have reached a cross roads. Just watch for the decisions you do make about where you go from herein.

And get a good night's sleep.

Crystal xx

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I hope you didnt you didn't have to use one of those poop bags yourself mate!

Flowerpot said...

You poor thing. I do hope you feel better soon. It's a horrible bug. As for baggage and lack of confidence - oh sign me up! I too have had to earn every crumb. Take care.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

-ann: I'm not convinced that my handwashing alone, which I am diligent about, could be blamed for the illness. It's other people's handwashing (or lack thereof) that seems to spread things. I got this after eating out at a Thai restaurant. Clearly, one of the staff hadn't read the handwashing sign.

I'll be over to read your meme.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

softinthehead and expatmum: This is obviously a more common dream than I thought. Pretty scary, though, don't you think? In my dream I remember feeling panicked because I couldn't reach the pedals, only the steering wheel, until I contorted myself somehow.
I didn't need the poop bags, but came very close. Those deep breathing exercises from being in labor come in handy at the oddest times!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

CJ: Definitely means I don't feel in control, but as a Capricorn (and you're one too aren't you), I'm neurotic about being in control. Maybe I should loosen up and not be in control all the time. Or pull myself over until I gain control again?

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

VI: Fortunately, I didn't, but now that I'm on my fourth day of diarrhea, I'm feeling a bit jaded, shall we say?

flowerpot: Maybe because we've had to earn our own self-respect and confidence, it should count for more.