Shingles Belong on Roofs, Not on Bodies.

 Just had to put that out there.

TODAY'S MORAL OF THE STORY:  kill the stress in your lives, people.

Take it from me. 

Moving about life at warp-speed constantly is killing us slowly.  How do we undo that?  I haven't the foggiest for that's the only way I know how to live.  But I'm trying to figure it out.

Just when I think I've accomplished something by saying no to that "One More Thing,"  suddenly there are about 9 more OMT's to fill the vacuum.  I've come to the realization that I am a hoarder of sorts.  Not really of material things, cause I could really care less about having things to hold on to. 

(Just don't look at my house, it would appear otherwise.  Truth of the matter is that things accumulate at my place.  No lie, it's the Bermuda triangle of the greater Pacific Northwest it would seem.  So stuff shows up and I have no idea what to do with it all in the little time we actually have at home.  So nothing happens with it as our life continues to warp around the stuff.)

What I've come to recognize I hoard are assignments.  Not so much so that others can ooh & aww at what I accomplish.  Instead its a matter of feeling like I need to help wherever I can.  I hate to see others in need, and if no one else steps up, then I fill guilty if I don't.  Call it what you want, "Superwoman Syndrome" or "One-More-Thing-Like-a-Hole-in-My-Head Disorder" (though OMTLAHIMHD is a little absurd as far as acronyms go)...but the reality I've also come to is that I am not alone.  I have kindred spirits also afflicted by this same ailment.

Though its good to be actively engaged in worthwhile endeavors, there is a point when something that was originally worthwhile can viciously shift into something worthless.  When we don't listen to the warning sirens going off in our heads, the situation escalates to physical impairment...where we no longer have a choice as to what we can do, simply because we are essentially depleted and are therefore doctor-ordered to house-arrest so as to assure we will let ourselves rest & re-set. 

Normally, besides exhaustion, it's the flu or a gnarly head-cold that I reap as reward for my physically negligent activities.  A dear friend of mine's consequences manifest in regular bouts of Mono.  That's just the physical ramifications.  What unseen damage are we doing to our spirits?  To our minds?  To our families?

This go-round's stress in my life has raised the physical ante and yielded an unhealthy case of Shingles.  Not cool, stress, NOT cool.

The doctor's orders? 
  • Don't scratch.  
  • Keep the sites covered.  
  • Wash hands.  
  • Stay away from the elderly & children under the age of 1 (since the chickenpox vaccine isn't given until 12 months old).  
  • Take my anti-viral meds to reduce the severity of the virus' antics.  
  • Take my newly acquired anti-seizure medication to stop the nerve pain.  

The thing is I've had no problem with all all of those orders except the last batch. 

Stop stressing?  Pshaw!  Impossible.  Say 'No'?  Does the doc not remember who I am & how the word no is my kryptonite?  I say no & it feels like I've let the whole world down.  Plus I haven't any substitutes I can simply pass tasks too.  Stay home?  Again, does the doctor not know where I live?!  The boonies would be great for tranquil peace & quite, if it wasn't so inconvenient to have Mr. LKP work all day long and THEN do everything in town I would've done while he was at said job.  Plus, having an extremely involved high-schooler doesn't jive well with the whole stay at home idea.  Not to mention I have a business to run...and aside from my shoot-to-shoot assistants (Mini-Me & Mr LKP) my staff consists of me; no other shooters, no other editors.  Not to mention the time of the year puts a damper on how far out things can be stretched in a day, let alone the next few weeksAND REST?!  Oy.  Even if I could make myself stay home and NOT work on photos or the administrative part of my biz, rest is illusive.  There's always laundry and dishes demanding attention, not to mention critters to tend to, and order to obtain/maintain.  

Safe to say, following every recommendation has been insanely difficult. 

In addition to my normally crazy life of Booster Clubs, church callings, volleyball coaching, a radio station to represent, a photography business to run, a family to raise, sleep to get, and an illness to recover from... a dear friend passed suddenly last Saturday, and the grief has been unbearable for our entire community.  Rescuer-Mode kicked in, as there was her family to care for, healing to encourage, and services to help organize (my part was the photos for the memorial service & dinner that followed)

No matter what I was dealing with personally, the words of Mosiah 18:8-9 continually repeat in my head:  "...as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; ...Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things..."  Their needs were more important than my own, and that was the fuel I have lived on since Saturday morning. 

I wonder, if not me then who?  If not now then when? 

Obviously death is a trial for all who remain here on this earth; a trial to every facet of our lives.  But now that the services are complete, and the need is not as immediate (aside from meals & checking in on the family + spending time with them), I'm finding more moments of rest.  I'm finding more strength in NO.  I'm seeking more balance.

The reality is, the world's not slowing down anytime soon, ladies & gents.  As a matter of fact, this is considered to be the winding-up time on the Earth; a time prophesied of since ancient times.  It it the drum roll leading up to the Second-Coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. 

We can expect that much will be demanded of us, including our time, attention, and energy.  So in this moment which we find ourselves now, we must work feverishly to establish a pattern of balance in our lives.  That way as the vice of time tightens, we will have relief that others may not be able to comprehend. 

I know this is a bit of a roller coaster for my train of thought. 

But hang in there with me, for it is truth. 

Since this death of my friend, much more has also occurred.  Mr LKP & I were able to be proxy for my grandma and grandpa (both whom we lost last year) as they were sealed for time & all eternity in the Columbia River LDS Temple.  We were also able to serve our family through this proxy temple work, with our cousins, as my mother & her deceased sister were able to be sealed to their parents finally.  An election day resulted in many opposites of what we had been praying for, both at a state level and a national level.  And in just the last 48 hours alone, two more tragic deaths have also come to some of our other friends' families, one being sweet little Clara

Time is short.  
The veil is thin.  
The need is great.

What should we be more occupied with then?  Our habitual Superwoman Syndrome/OMTLAHIMH Disorder which keeps us eternally BUSY with less than eternally-beneficial and less than worthwhile distractions?  (By the way, have you ever heard the definition for the acronym B.U.S.Y?  It is "Burdened Under Satan's Yoke."  Suddenly BUSY is not really something I want to be.) 

No.  Instead we should be seeking balance spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, civically, and within our church responsibilities and our family responsibilities.  We are the instruments held purposefully in our Heavenly Father's hands.  If we are squandering our efforts on the distractions or imbalances of Satan, then we are rendering ourselves dull & ineffective for the precision necessary in the Lord's delicate work. 

Therefore we must be asking ourselves those same questions above, {If not us then who?  If not now then when?} in regards to the precious spiritual work which is increasing in demand. 

Being there for others is a good thing.  As children of God, it is our stewardship to look after those around us, and help where we can.  However, we need to step back often and re-evaluate if the endeavors we are involved in are really necessary and if they are healthy.

If they are neither, then we must say no. 

Rather than simply saying no, we must also put boundaries in place so the time allowed by one 'No' can be reserved for more eternally rewarding pursuits than the 9 less-than-worthwhile distractions Satan would instead have us fill the vacuum with to prevent us from meeting the righteousness needs of the Lord.

By all means, tend to His sheep however best you can.  But be sure this does not deplete you.  Be sure you can still tend to yourself as well.  We are of no help if we are rendered helpless due to personal neglect.

So that's what I'm working on. 

In this season of increased merriment & activities, pray for balance and seek peace.  Those two  things better ensure the longevity of our usefulness to those we serve.


NaDell Ransom said...

So many things to think about. I think I need to reread this constantly and slow the heck down!
Really, really hoping you feel better soon.

mCat said...

Oh what a great post! Simplify is coming to mind.

I had shingles about 20 years ago. Right where my bra would go. MISERABLE! Hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

2browndawgs said...

Fabulous post. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend and little Clara. Very sad.

The shingles are no fun. The mother of a friend of mine had them recently and they were made worse by her rheumatoid arthritis. I know they are terribly painful. I hope you are feeling better.

I am still trying to get over Tuesday. I am trying.

Garden of Egan said...

Great post.
Listen to it!!!

Bless you for being there for your dear friend. So very sorry about that.

Hope you are feeling better!
Love you.

wendy said...

I've heard so many awful things about Shingles. SO SORRY you got that. You must take care of yourself....you can't help others if you are not healthy yourself.
I agree with M-Cat.
Just simplify,
You will always be the type of person to help and care for people
I can tell that just from this post.

so very sorry about the death of your friend. It is just so hard, I know.

Spread Your Love For the Gusty Ridge Ranch


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