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Paying the Cost

  • Posted on September 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

This summer has taken a toll on me and my family. Summers are usually a time of more pronounced need—because the boys are at home more often if for no other reason. But this summer has been full of the unexpected. I’ve been scrambling to keep up, getting further behind in the process.

Regular family obligations. An unexpected diagnosis. Regular business obligations. Coursework. A new book contract. A pronounced need to further develop non-writing skills that support my writing. It’s all taken its toll. Simply put, I’m tired.

It manifested itself as an infection that spread from a tooth to my face. After weeks of pushing myself, my body finally pushed back. So, for over a week now, I’ve been forced to rest so that my body can heal. Slowly, the swelling has gone down and the pain has gone away. I’m almost recovered—though I’ll need to see a dentist to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

It’s times like these that I like of all my well-meaning friends, who are also parents of children with special needs, who have talked about the importance of self-care. It’s not that I don’t respect their wisdom—I certainly do!—but I haven’t found a way to put it into practice, at least not consistently. When everything is going so fast and there are always more things to do than can reasonably get done, how do you pull back and set limits? I honestly don’t know. But at times like these it becomes increasingly clear that I need to figure it out!

That seems to be the next thing for me to learn.