The kids and I spent some time cleaning this morning. Dad had a board meeting he needed to prepare for, and the oldest had a pre-season baseball practice. The schoolroom is still getting put back together from Christmas, but earlier when I went down there it looked pretty good. The boys straightened the mudroom and my daughter dusted and decluttered the piano.

All of us worked on the living room. I dusted and straightened the book shelf and brought some order to my numerous piles that live beside the couch. There were things to throw away including articles I no longer needed and homeschool workbooks I decided I could part with. I cleared an entire shelf of homeschool books and had the boys take them to the shelves downstairs.

This gave me a place to put some of my school books and tidy up my corner. When life allows, January does seem to be a good month for reordering. I set a January goal for 5,000 steps a day, if I feel good. Most days I’ve felt good and have gotten the steps in, either by walking outside or stopping by the Y after dropping off the boys. I prefer the combination of both methods.

Today on my walk my mind meandered to a January prior. Halfway through the month I thought I was starting to feel better until again I was worse. Josh brought me something to eat and I tried to eat and couldn’t stomach whatever it was. I was in the bed downstairs, wondering how on earth I could feel so bad and not having to be in the hospital. I was impaired beyond knowing.

But I’d worked in hospitals and knew what they were like. Unless there was some kind of acute malfunction they were treating, there wouldn’t be anything they could do for me there. But even someone to monitor, to be aware of what was happening. In the hospital you encourage your post-op and able patients to move, to sit up in a chair, to walk down the hall even if it is hard.

“I have to sit up in a chair”, I thought, and arranged myself in a chair on the deck where the sun could work to stabilize my serotonin or do something to help me. The act of doing that was so difficult, with my chest feeling like it was being pushed into the chair. Though outwardly calm, inwardly I was so upset that I had let myself come to this, that I couldn’t even sit up in a chair anymore.

I called my parents, asking them to come get me. I spent my time there in my sister’s room. I slept in her bed and she slept on an air mattress. When I slept I slept to sounds of rain. One night I woke her up and asked if she could play some music. I called her while I was out for my walk. She was at my sister’s house. They were face-timing last summer’s foreign exchange student from France.

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