Here I am in bed: it's four in the afternoon, and for the first time today, I am actually able to look at a computer screen without feeling like I'll vomit. (Even though I have had two Skype chats: one with one of my dearest friends, Heather, and the other with my sis and mom and dad and bro-in-law. It was so good to speak with them all, but it must have been painful for them to watch me: a blob on the bed, grunting and looking like Cousin It from Munsters.)
And no, folks, for those of you who don't know me up close and personal, it's not a hangover. Never had one. Never will.
That being said, I have a sneaking suspicion it might be the wine. Friday night is date night for Don and myself, and I usually have a glass or two with dinner. Usually Sauvignon Blanc. Usually Marlborough out of New Zealand. Then we come home and snuggle up in bed and watch Mad Men or Downton Abbey or 30 Rock or some other racy couples show.
It's often within an hour or so of getting home that the headache begins, builds through the night, and I wake up feeling as though a piece of shrapnel went clear through my head. No amount of medicine, over the counter or prescription, seems to help.
The guilt doesn't help either, of course. I work hard all week long, by and large enjoy myself immensely at work, but hugely look forward to the weekend ahead with my beloved family. I've pretty much banned any outside parties, save from our closed friends, out of our lives on weekends, because I so enjoy our time together.
The gals are invited to countless birthday parties and there are many sporting events and opportunities we could avail ourselves of, but mostly I just want us to hike and cook and play on our dirty little beach and watch movies and hang out together. (Okay, part of it is also that I have a very strong anti-social streak that most people don't realize I actually have because I "turn on" socially very well. For about half an hour. And then I'm done. I could have happily been a hermit if I'd had a stage and could have broadcast myself live (because while being anti-social, I deeply crave limelight).
In spite of my grandest intentions of spending every available moment with my loved ones have I "hung out" for more than five minutes today with any of my three favorite people on the planet? Nope.
Aside from Emily giving me a head butt this morning (unintentionally, but it didn't help the migraine), and Charlotte petting me like a little kitty who had been run over by a truck, and Don helplessly standing over me, saying, "How can I help?" I've had no contact with my gorgeous family. They've gone off to hike and play and eat and I have lain inert in my bed for the better part of six hours.
If not the wine, what else could this Saturday sickness be? Is it possible that I work so hard during the week and feel so duty-bound to "put-out" and be "on" that come Saturday morning I've got nothing left in me but a fleshy shell of pain?
I'd like to think that's not true. I AM happy at work and, no, I don't take sick days when I probably should and I DO sometimes pretend to be more in control than I actually think I am, but who doesn't?
I don't see every parent succumbing to their beds come the weekend from sheer exhaustion and overwork. Do I just have a weak constitution? Is it because of my vegetarianism? (I think not!) I never get colds or flus or coughs or even tummy aches much: mostly I get debilitating headaches that make me question whether I even want to be alive.
The worst of it is (Okay, the pain IS the worst of it), but the second worst of it is the tremendous guilt that accompanies the day lost to my family. As daddy and daughters bond and indulge in fun activities, poor sick mommy rots at home and feels inadequate and sad and lonely and angry at herself for not having the sheer fortitude to just lunge herself out of bed and carry on in the face of excruciating pain.
Surely other parents do it all the time?
I like to think of myself as a strong woman. I was a Pioneer Girl extraordinaire (the evangelical equivalent to a Girl Guide or Brownie) and a farm girl who could arm wrestle any boy into the mud given all my manuring-out-the-barn practice. I've never been particularly athletic (no hand-eye coordination), but I have legs like tree stumps and a heart of steel (and gold) so aside from a back injury, I could have been a female body builder.
Yet I'm brought to the mat again and again by the sharp-scissors-through-the-head syndrome that results in the feeling-like-a-pathetic-mommy phenomena which then hearkens the I'm-such-a-crummy-parent voice that reverberates through my skull and probably exacerbates the pain.
So what to do? This, my fifty-first blog, appears to be my bitchiest and most hopeless so I had better come up with a list of positive to-dos and set about enacting them or I will no longer be able to call myself inspirational. (I call myself that; I'm honestly not sure that anyone else ever has.) Anyhoo, I want my aspiration of becoming a cross-section of Ellen and Oprah to stay alive so I'm going to end on a positive note with my "newstarteveryday" list. (And if anyone has any insights/recommendations into my weekend maladies, please pass them along!)
For the remainder of the day:
So long as my children whisper, they can spend time with me in bed. (Unfortunately, there can also be no jumping on the bed).
I will listen to happy podcasts (in the dark) that will make me smile even though no one will be able to see me.
I will drink more water, as my bf, Claire, just recommended in a text to me. She seems to think it will help me feel less sorry for myself. She has also warned me off of writing a confessional blog, but it appears I have already done that.
I will be thankful for the fact that very few calories have been consumed today.
I think I will drink something carbonated because bubbles always make me feel better. (Of course, there will be no alcohol involved in the carbonation.)
I will get away from this brightly-lit screen and stay away from the Internet for the remainder of the day. It's just too easy to get slurped into the virtual world and not live in the real one. My real family is coming home soon so the rest of the day belongs to them!