About Lindsay Wright

Freelance Writer specializing in Advertising + Public Relations . Wife to Geoff . Mommy to Briony . Living (fabulously) with Fibromyalgia + RA for almost 20 yrs

In the Stillness

10919506_419094634934044_866393344_n

At physio, heat packed and ready to do… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Since the end of November, I’ve been spending an hour twice a week with a new physiotherapist. She’s been working on my jaw issues – which have turned into shoulder / neck / upper back issues. She’s lovely. I haven’t bitten her once (noteworthy, because I can’t actually say the same about other physiotherapists I’ve seen for my jaw).

I’ve recently been demoted to once a week appointments, which is exciting because going to physio twice a week has sucked a lot of my time and energy and spoons – but scary because I know that my ‘graduation’ is coming and I’m only a little better off than when I started. It’s kind of the nature of chronic illness. But I can bite and chew again (even if it hurts) which is amazing progress. It was getting a little sketchy for a while there.

If nothing else, this time is forcing me to prioritize myself – and to be still. I spend up to 30 minutes of these hour-long appointments with my head / neck wrapped in heat packs, lying on my back with no one to talk to and very little to do. I’m not really a girl who likes to be still – so at the beginning, it was hard for me. Now, after a few months of practice, it’s turning into something that I look forward to.

Stillness is underrated, you guys. Don’t get me wrong – it’s boring as hell. It’s also hard to find (especially in this world of 24/7 connection we all live in). But it’s so important. The stillness is where you can pause and find your centre. And once you know where to find your centre and get comfortable there, you can take that strength with you into the rest of your life. It’s the thing I miss most about going to yoga classes – something I’ve needed to give up because I’m only able to do about five minutes at a time, and it’s just not worth the drive and the class fees.

It seems counterintuitive, but that still, calm centre is where all my strength and fight comes from. When I gave birth to Briony, Geoff & I both expected that I’d be That Lady who’d be cursing like a sailor and making sure that everyone in the hospital knew exactly what was going on and exactly how I felt about it. But that’s not how it went down. It surprised us both, but the more intense the labour became, the quieter I became. I went inside of myself and found my centre. I was super calm and just focused on my breath (thank you, prenatal yoga!). All of my strength came from the stillness. It was a powerful lesson.

I’m determined to make some space in my life to create and prioritize stillness this year. I don’t know yet what that will look like – and I know it will require deliberate practice – but if I’m not going to get any healthier than this, I will absolutely need to figure it out.

 

One Moment With Briony

Briony had a stomach bug on Sunday. Yesterday, we kept her home from school & dance class just to be sure we wouldn’t spread those germs around. Geoff was off and I was working from home. I overheard this from my office…

Geoff: Briony, do you want some yogurt?

Briony: Um… I think I’d prefer to avoid dairy today, Dad.

Um, WHAT?! This kid cracks me up on the regular.

The Difference Love Makes

10787717_314465162081022_332154413_n

I’m still really struggling. The arthritis or bursitis or fibro or whatever is going on with my shoulders / neck / upper back / jaw is totally out of control and I’m doing everything I can think of to do, but nothing’s really helping so far. The pain is insane and I’ve been hit with crushing fatigue at the same time. I think I’ve cried every single day for the last week and a half. But the show must go on… We have jobs. Briony has school and extra-curricular activities. My best friend had her birthday party this weekend.

Life keeps moving forward. And so, I keep moving forward.

This weekend, Geoff was working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (day shifts, so – if all goes well – he’s gone from just before 6 AM until just after 8 PM). I managed to get Briony and I ready and out the door to daycare / school and work – and home again at the end of the day. We snuggled in bed while dinner was in the oven. Then I fed her and put her to bed before I CRASHED. On Saturday, we ran a few errands and I took her to dance class. Then we went to my parents’ place – and my mom and dad kind of took over. They fed us. They took care of us. My dad built a skating trainer for Briony and dusted off his hundred year old skates and spent an hour teaching her how to skate on the St Vital duck pond while I just had to watch and cheer her on. They babysat in the evening so I could go to Emily’s birthday dinner. And when Briony came down with a stomach bug on Sunday morning, nobody blinked – they spent their whole Sunday helping me help her (and sent me home with dinner for Geoff).

This weekend should have been awful. But it didn’t feel awful. I’m actually pretty sure that I’ll remember it as a great weekend. That’s the difference love makes.

In Like a Lion

Does ‘in like a lion / out like a lamb’ apply to entire years?

I’m not a complainer… But I’ll admit that January is kicking my @$$ a little bit. I have high hopes that this year will be a year where I’ll see my health improve rather than decline (the end of 2014 was ROUGH) and I’m doing everything I can to help make that happen. But it’s hard. Every week seems to bring a new challenge, and sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease. It’s been a lot of tough days in a row. The other night, I was sobbing on the couch and telling Geoff that I just needed ONE HOUR outside of my body so that I could keep going. Just ONE HOUR… But there’s no way to take a break from yourself. And that’s maybe the hardest thing about living with chronic illness and chronic pain – knowing that it will change, but that it will never really go away.

To keep myself thinking positively, I’m making sure to create things to look forward to. Geoff and I are off to New York for his belated 40th birthday trip in less than a month and we’re starting to get into planning mode. We missed out on Tonight Show / Jimmy Fallon tickets (SADNESS!) but we’re busy trying to secure some fun dinner reservations for while we’re there – and the other day, he secured tickets to Cabaret (with Emma Stone and Alan Cumming… SQUEAL!). Broadway tickets are totally my love language.

April will bring a Girls Weekend trip with Briony to see my sister (and her Baby Girl #4 who’s scheduled to make her appearance in late February). Briony and I have travelled solo before, but Geoff almost always meets up with us a few days later. I kind of love going on these little mini-adventures with her. I hope that we’ll be travel buddies for a long, long time. (She’s already asking how old she needs to be for us to go on a Girls Weekend trip to New York. How fun is that?!)

And my mother in law will be back with us at the beginning of May (YES, that’s something to look forward to! I love her!).

Things are also – slowly – progressing with our house project. We’re still looking at house listings, but we’re becoming more certain every month that the best choice for us is going to be a major reno to our existing house. We meet with a team of designers and builders in two weeks to see their proposal and quote for the project. EXCITED is an understatement… We’re really looking forward to seeing what they’ve come up with – and starting to make some real steps toward making our dream home a reality. Of course, some of the excitement comes from the idea of having a really pretty, practical, and well organized house. But even more comes from the idea of having a FUNCTIONAL house that works to address some of the physical challenges I’ve had living there – and a house that makes room for Geoff’s mom to (comfortably) live with us part-time.

In between, I’m booking lots of little things like Girls Nights and Family Days. They all help to dull the incredible frustration of not being able to live my life exactly the way I would choose to – and they remind me that even if it’s not exactly the life I would have chosen, it’s still a pretty awesome life.

And maybe with just a little bit of luck, this year’s rough start might just promise an easier & happier ending.

People of the World

(That was intended to be a big, no rx dramatic PAY ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE type post title. But now I have Spice Girls stuck in my head. Anyone else? No? Okay, help then. Cool. I was asking for a friend.)

I often always stop at Starbucks on my way to work. I have it down to a science. I know exactly when I need to leave to do daycare drop-off and hit that magical window where there’s only one person in line ahead of me (max) so I can grab my essential elixir and get to the office on time.

EXCEPT ON FRIDAYS.

People of the world, I’ve come to realize that you have all conspired together to make Fridays your ‘treat day.’ But I’m here to tell you that if you don’t NEED to stop for Starbucks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you don’t NEED it on Friday either. And you should part like the freaking Red Sea for those of us who don’t view a Starbucks stop as some sort of a fun optional / recreational activity. My scientific calculation FALLS APART when there are EIGHT PEOPLE in line at my magical no-lineup time on a Friday morning. And when the science falls apart, everything falls apart. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Yeah. I didn’t get my espresso this morning. (Can you tell?)

Six

heykiddo 0068-2

Briony Evangeline. You’ve been in our lives for six years today – SIX YEARS – a number that fills me with awe. It’s hard to remember a world without you. I’m certain it was less colourful, less sunny, less full of joy. Because you do that. You have this way of infecting your space and the people in it with this LIGHT that’s so hard to describe except to say that it’s magical.

Here are some things about you at six years old…

You love reading like your Mommy and you demolish chapter books in a single day. You love jokes like your Daddy and you can tell a hundred of them in a row (until we are BEGGING you to stop). But you are 100% your own person.

If you are awake, you are dancing and there is always – ALWAYS – a song playing in your head (usually Taylor Swift). You have us at the dance studio two days a week – at five (now six) years old. I suppose we should prepare our schedules and our bank accounts for that to continue… And we’ll keep saying yes, just to see the smile on your face while you’re in class and the way you vibrate with pure joy & excitement on recital day.

You FEEL THINGS on a level that most other people don’t, and when you’re happy or proud – of yourself or someone else – the tears flow fast and hard. You have a soft heart. You’ll always cry when you watch someone win. Just the other day, you were sobbing uncontrollably in the backseat of our car after dance class because you were so proud of yourself for learning the last piece of choreography. Never lose that, okay?

You love to draw and paint and create and imagine (and it’s CRAZY what comes out of your brain!).

You are ridiculously smart. You need to learn like you need to breathe. You watch your favourite movies in French or Spanish for fun, just to see if you can figure out what they’re saying. You love a good workbook. You are curious and you ask questions. And it’s ALL GOOD.

You are a communicator and an organizer. You need to write things down and I love finding your little notes all over the house – and seeing your THREE meticulously updated calendars (one in your room, one on the fridge, and one at Grandma & Grandpa’s house… because OBVIOUSLY).

You remember EVERYTHING. You only need to hear a joke once to have it memorized forever. If we discuss a potential plan, you’ll hold us to it forever. And ever. If I lose something in the house, I can usually just ask you where it is. It’s kind of creepy, if we’re being honest… But also kind of awesome.

You are a fascinating mix of introvert and extrovert, of dependence and independence, of seriousness and silliness. You can’t get out the door fast enough to go play with your millions of friends at daycare (it’s like Cheers when you walk in there!) – but you are just as excited to come home at the end of the day, or to have an ‘at home’ day on the weekend. You seek out quiet and your own space, but you’ll always welcome others in. You have this incredible sense of what you need – and this incredible ability to create that for yourself. That will serve you so well.

You LOVE… Oh, how you love! You are kind and generous and thoughtful. You make everyone in your life feel so special. You always have a hug and a snuggle for your mama. You’ll proactively grab my phone or something else to carry downstairs for me when you notice I’m struggling. If something is your favourite, your first instinct is to share it. I hope that you will never become more like the world. I hope that the world becomes more like you.

You are little, but you are FIERCE. See, on the outside, you are this tiny blonde sweetheart – but may God have mercy on the soul of anyone who gets in your way. It makes being your mommy challenging some days, but I would never change this about you (even if I could). You’re the kind of person who this world needs because YOU WILL CHANGE IT. You already do, by being you and spreading your joy and light and magic dust.

It is the greatest gift I could ever dream up and the honour of my life to get to be your mommy. Thanks for sharing another trip around the sun with us. We can’t wait to see what the next one brings <3

Forty

It was really, <a href=

vialis 40mg really hard to pick the BEST silly photo of Geoff. If you know him, doctor you know that there was no shortage of potential candidates.” width=”453″ height=”604″ /> It was really, capsule really hard to pick the BEST silly photo of Geoff. If you know him, you know that there was no shortage of potential candidates.

Can we all just pause for a second and talk about Geoffrey? See, he’s turning forty today – and that gives me FULL license to brag about him a little bit (or AS MUCH AS I WANT TO).

Here’s the thing about Geoff. He’s the one who proved me wrong. See, before I met him, I would have told you that things like kindness, generosity, and selflessness were a lost art. But Geoff lives those things every single day. He’s THAT GUY. That guy who lets you park your car at his place while you’re away on vacation – and cleans it while you’re gone (and then offers to come and pick you up at midnight). That guy who will always trade shifts with you, even if it makes his own schedule worse. That guy who spends his day off driving me to work and then asking me for my list of things I needed to get done. And if you make a big deal out of any of these things, he gets super uncomfortable because he’s like, ‘What? ANYONE would do it.’ But that’s the thing. NOT ANYONE would do it. But THAT GUY would. I love THAT GUY. Everybody loves THAT GUY.

And I was lucky enough to marry him.

Forty years of Geoffrey is definitely something to celebrate! And that’s exactly what we shall do.

Friday Night

Remember that time when we had a baby and we chose a name for her simply because we liked it – and found out almost a year later that the bryony plant was used for centuries to heal people and make them well again? Tonight, I was snuggling with that very same baby, having a mother & daughter movie night at the end of a truly difficult week and I thought to myself – for the thousandth time in almost six years – that it’s true. She heals me.

Rock Star

Image 5

Okay, cialis so this is kind of a mommy brag post. But it’s my blog and I’m allowed to do that.

Briony started both Grade One and daycare this fall and she’s been nothing short of a ROCK STAR as we all learned to navigate this new chapter. This is not something I take for granted. Our little princess has been happy to head out the door every single day for the last 2+ months – and when we pick her up at the end of the day and ask how her day was, check the answer is always ‘AWESOME!’

I met with her teacher last week and learned that the school is every bit as happy with her progress as we are. She’s reading and writing so far beyond grade level that they’re not totally sure what to do about it – and she’s doing well in all other areas too, including her social interactions and relationships with other students. Not bad for a still five year old!

She’s doing just as well in her extra-curricular activities. This fall, she moved up to ‘big kid’ dance classes, which means that she got to choose her specialty/ies and the classes are starting to be less about play and more about structure and technique. You guys, she was born for this stuff. She’s doing an hour of Jazz on Mondays and an hour of Ballet on Saturdays – and practicing at home in front of her mirror on every other day. She’s the tiniest in her classes, but she works so hard and loves it so much. It’s so fun to watch her progression – we’ve noticed changes in her technique and even in her posture and leg strength just from the first two months of classes. SO AWESOME.

On a related note… I kind of can’t believe we ever even TALKED about red shirting this kid. I was so worried about her November birthday – but I should know by now to never, EVER underestimate this kid. Anything she lacks she more than makes up for in determination and attitude. I am totally in awe of her.

B’s First Bomber Game

I was lucky enough to get to take Briony to her first pro football game this month. Actually, her entire school was invited to go to the last home game – and we were excited to say yes (and because Geoff was working, we had enough tickets to be able to invite my parents along for the adventure!). It was a first trip to the new stadium for all of them (not technically for me, because I was there for Jay Z and Beyonce this summer… but this was a slightly different crowd – hehe).

We didn’t win, but it didn’t really matter to her. She was too busy giggling at her friends’ antics, cheering on the Bombers, watching the cheerleaders, munching on popcorn, and yelling ‘LOSE, STINKY LIONS!’ (sorry not sorry to any BC fans who happen to read my blog).

Looking forward to bringing her again next year!