No, I haven’t actually gone fishing. I don’t fish.
However, I like the saying “gone fishing”. It brings to mind the idea that it’s time for a break, to step back, relax.
Sometimes we’re forced to take a break. That’s never how I choose to relax but this summer it felt necessary.
Revisiting an Old Season
Since taking on the title of a foster parent, my summer has been anything but the quiet, low-key kind of summer break I prefer. I didn’t enroll Dino Dan (he lives for all things Dinosaurs) in any extra summer activities and I’m glad I didn’t. Between a monthly home visit with the social worker, thrice-weekly visits with mom, two weekly visits with grandma and weekly therapy visits, it’s hard to get another activity in. We signed up for summer reading at the library because I knew that’s the most we could probably handle, and even then we didn’t fully track reading as we should’ve.
Truthfully, I knew what I was getting into with Dino Dan. He’s a great kid who needs people in his corner and I’m happy to do it. Unfortunately putting myself back into this season of parenting has its drawbacks; ones I haven’t necessarily missed.
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When I take time away from Dino Dan, I end up feeling guilty about wanting or needing time for myself. Of course, I have a support system here at home to help out but I realize not all of them signed up for this adjustment willingly so I try my best not to put more on them than I need to. Plus, it’s not like Dino Dan has ever known what it is like to have a mom that works from home so he doesn’t quite understand what it means for me to “go to work” and for some reason I am having a much harder time helping him understand the concept than I did when my own children were his age.
Around mid-June, I knew summer wasn’t going to play out the way I wanted. The husband arrived home after 11 months away (let the home improvement projects begin!) and attending to Dino Dan’s needs and getting him where he needed to be proved to be complicated enough that I knew taking on any new writing projects or clients would be difficult, to say the least. I was already struggling to meet current deadlines. Thankfully, I have an understanding editor who knew what I needed to prioritize.
Takes a Licking, Keeps on Ticking
Then there’s the matter of my own health. I’ve kept up fine with Dino Dan and if I need to rest, I do it. Since May I have been in preparation mode for another trip back to Ohio. I was spending a large part of my waking hours on the phone with doctors, specialists, and oral surgeons (time to take out my wisdom teeth!) all in the hopes of securing a date for surgery (if ever there was a time for a personal assistant…). It wasn’t long before I became overwhelmed with the planning and stress of making sure EVERYTHING and everyone was taken care of while I’d be away.
As of yet, I haven’t been able to secure a date for surgery. We moved the original time frame because we were cutting it very close to get plane tickets and it seemed like there was always something new that needed addressing.
I made the executive decision to push things back a bit in order to get over the last few hurdles the Children’s hospital and I have. With the new time frame in place, I feel far more confident about everything and am finally looking forward to the next steps. While my exact travel and surgery dates are still unknown, my EP doctor isn’t as worried as I have been because, well, she knows more than me for starters, and though I’m still in heart failure, my symptoms are very well managed.
If there’s only one regret I have about how this summer has gone, it’s that I didn’t take the summer off from the start. I could’ve saved myself a lot of hassle, stress, and a lot of general frustration. Wondering why I didn’t do that sooner doesn’t really get me anywhere; the summer is nearly over. However, in the middle of all of my “A-Ha!” moments, I did learn a couple of things that will hopefully make my return to the office in a few weeks smoother and more productive. I’m pretty excited to share them with you.
Friends, the summer isn’t over yet – I highly recommend putting out your “gone fishing” sign and taking to the water, sky, or your own backyard and rejuvenate your spirit before fall and the holidays hit, you’ll be glad you did.