Yesterday evening, I found out from Denny that No Longer Music (the band that he is on the road with) would be having a show tonight in Punta Umbria, Spain, a city just over the Portuguese border, about an hour’s distance from our house. What an amazing opportunity to go see him, our son Isaac, and the rest of the crew too, and to get away for a bit!
I immediately began thinking about how I could make this work, while my aching muscles fought for my attention, reminding me that taking this trip might not be the best idea. This has been one of the most difficult aspects for me in dealing with fibromyalgia over all these years.
You see, I love spontaneity! I adore unexpected road trips and improvised dance parties. And I may have mentioned once before that when my life begins to slip into a bit too much of a routine, I start to feel like I’m suffocating… as if a part of me is dying. Despite this playful and creative side of my character, suffering from this illness has forced me to hit the pause button whenever I want to plan any activity. To carefully evaluate whether or not it will have devastating consequences on my body, and result in me having to change things around for the remainder of the week so I can recover. And this is quite frustrating.
I may set up an appointment, agree to a job or speaking engagement, even invite friends over for dinner, only to wake up the following morning unable to get out of bed. And the options are to cancel/postpone everything or for the others involved to go on without me.
So while planning a simple, one-hour road trip over the border to Spain may seem like nothing to many of you, it becomes a big deal to me. Enter challenge #25.
I decided that unless I was too weak to drive the following morning, I was going! Because sometimes I just need to tell my aching body to shut up. To listen, instead, to my heart, soul, and spirit. I knew I needed a break, just a little time away from the grind of managing my responsibilities and everything at home on my own since Denny’s been away. And I really wanted a little more time with him. I needed to give ear to that voice and, while still being sensitive to my body’s limitations, make this trip happen!
I woke up today after one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in several weeks, but my body was still hurting and fatigued, my hands swollen. I decided I’d slowly get moving and see if the situation improved. After feeding the animals and watering the vegetable garden, I sat down to breakfast. I think I can do this. I really want to.
At some point, conviction set in: I was going to do it! And I prepared to leave.
The drive actually went really smoothly and since I rarely navigate such a distance anymore, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. Driving alone in somewhat unfamiliar territory, the road stretching out before me, huge expanse of blue sky from left to right, nothing but my thoughts to keep me company… so restful for my mind!
By the time I arrived, my nerves were frayed and my calf muscles strained from working the pedals (not many automatic cars here in Europe), but I was content! This was going to be a good day! My soul and spirit would drink it in deeply… and allow tomorrow to worry about itself.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6: 33-34
Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.