Sunday, November 7, 2010

Relaxed and Thankful

David and I had someone very wise recommend to us that we each take 3 hours off a week to get away by ourselves and do something we enjoy. We have found 3 hours a week to be a goal too lofty at this particular season in our lives, but we have found rotating Saturdays to be an attainable one. David gets 3 hours one Saturday, I get the next, and we make sure we have a fun family outing the next one.

Yesterday was my Saturday. When earlier in the week I told David my plans (to take a book and the laptop to Starbucks, and read and surf the web uninterrupted while drinking a tasty decaf mocha), he suggested I get a massage instead.

Pshaw, I believe was my response. Like a trip to the spa is really in the budget. David then, recognizing my inability to relax and unclench lately from some stressful days right in a row, went ahead and just booked one for me.

I think I'll keep him.

So yesterday I hopped in the car and headed to a spa. I was really excited. I have been for massages a handful of times in my life now (almost all from gift certificates, if you must know), and I have a deep affection for them. This particular spa encourages you to come earlier than your appointment time so you can take full advantage of their steam room, lounge area, and soaking hot tub. I arrived a half hour before my scheduled time, put on my swimsuit, and made my way to the hot tub, which to my delight I found completely empty.

I sat there for a few minutes and willed myself to relax. One of the devil's greatest lies he tells me is to trick me into believing that by constantly thinking about or worrying about my family while I am away from them somehow supernaturally holds everything together.
It's ridiculous, I know. But it's a lie he tells me EVERY TIME I am away, and I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself if is not truth. I am not in control. I am not preventing calamity by worrying.

As I took deep breaths and my muscles relaxed in the warm water, I tried to allow myself to enjoy this and not think about the money. You can't put a price on relaxing, I'd tell myself. Yes you can, it's $70 plus tip, I'd counter to myself. Finally I forced myself to recognize that this little trip was going to cost the same whether I enjoyed it or not, so I may as well do my best to embrace it fully.

I decided to focus on giving thanks...

I gave thanks for a husband that knows me so much better than I know myself sometimes, and looks out for me in such thoughtful ways.

I gave thanks for income that allows us to splurge on things like this every once in awhile.

As I went into to change out of my suit for my massage, I saw my stretch marked-ridden stomach, I took a moment, bowed my head and gave thanks for my full term, never-needed-a-moment-in-the-NICU twins. We have been so blessed.

(Long side bar here. In that moment I remember something I had totally forgotten about before today. My postpartum hospital days were spent in a post general anesthesia and oxycodone fog, and there is A LOT that I do not remember. But today I remembered that Abbey almost had to go to the NICU for a bit. Her blood sugar was really low after the trauma of her delivery, and they were keeping a vigilant watch on it. I remember them coming in -hourly I think?- and pricking different parts of her tiny little body for blood draws to test her levels. At one point the nurse told me "we will give her one more draw, and if her levels haven't gone up by then, we will need to take her to the NICU for a bit." and I remember FREAKING OUT on the nurse and basically telling her that she was going to need to relocate all four of us then, because I had missed Abbey's birth and the first hours of her life, and even though I was still vomiting and shaking from the general and therefor couldn't really hold my babies, there was NO WAY I was letting her out of my sight now that she had finally entered it. Nope. Not happening. I remember texting friends and family (do you remember that Heather? I think I remember texting you...) and saying "they want to take Abbey away to the NICU, please pray!!!!" Thankfully, her next level was in range and she never needed to leave us. I have no idea why I remembered that today - 7 months later, but I did. And I was thankful all over again)

I went in and had my hour long massage, and felt myself relax limb by limb. Heavenly. I felt my breathing slow way down. I felt my shoulders drop, and wondered how long it had been since that had happened. I gave thanks again for such a thoughtful husband.

After it was over, I listened to the massage therapist give me tips and try and convince me how helpful a monthly massage would be for me. "Think of an investment in you," he offered. And while I agree that taking some time for me makes me a better momma and a better wife, monthly hour long massages are just not going to find it's way into our budget, and that is okay with me. I am just thrilled with the decadence of today.

I left the spa, and walked to my car feeling elongated and graceful. I then made my way home to my waiting family. I walked in the front door to a smiling husband, and a daughter and son, both bouncing up and down (in the exersaucer and jump-up, respectively) excited to see their Momma.

And again, I gave thanks.

Here's to relaxing.


Aunt Carol said...

You wouldn't consider sharing your husband, would you?

So glad you were able to do this.

Love, Aunt Carol

Lauren said...

Such a thoughtful husband you have!!!! So glad you had some "you" time!!! :)

Vanessa's Dad said...

Well done! I'm so proud of you. It's wonderful to be a grandparent, and grandkids are great. That's no surprise> The Joy of watching your Kids parent well, that is also a Joy of being a grandparent.

You and Dave are wonderful parents, and wise to invest in yourselves with a little time away, which helps make you wonderful parents.


Lauren said...

I love this post. But all I keep thinking is "Wait a second... PLUS TIP??" I got like 15 massages (covered by work benefits) while I was pregnant and never left a tip. I didn't even think about it! Was I supposed to?!?! I feel terrible!!!!

lol, seriously, though!

Family of 5 said...

Just reading this post made me feel relaxed! Thanks for being so transparent!! You are such a wonderful woman of God and it shines through!!