I have breakfast in bed almost everyday. But there is a story around it. There is always a story.
About the time I was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2013 -we had another big Change in our family. My children who were now young teens -the boys about 13 and my daughter about 15- started public school and they took a bus. Prior to that my husband-Kevin- or I would drive them to private school and pick them up. Often we did this together as my husband had a flexible schedule being in sales and/or personal training (often he as had more than one job at a time. )
When the kids began public school the bus was a blessing as I had been just diagnosed with cancer and getting up in the morning got hard for me. After surgery i was sore and then radiation kind of slams you into a perpetual tiredness that took months to wane after the treatment was over.
I will go on recorded to say I have never been a morning person. Ever -not even as a teen. I have forced myself up at early hours in the past to take shots of sunrises (I prefer sunsets!) and also to drive myself to my various jobs but as the years began to open up opportunities for people to work flex schedules I took advantage opting to come in later to work in the morning and to stay later at night. For years now I’ve worked from home running a company we own so the 5:45 am alarm for me was gone. In fact I stopped sleeping with an alarm clock by my bed years before we could tell Siri on our phones to wake us at a certain time. I felt it was such a luxury not to be told when to get up.
We moved to our little farm over five years ago and in the beginning i got up every morning to do chores. But Kevin begangetting up earlier to train clients in our gym and he began to do the morning farm chores. It was too early for me and after cancer treatments I had physical issues that precluded me from doing the chores alone. That kinda was a bummer even though I wasn’t missing getting up -I missed being able to do some of the things I did before. And mornings are so pretty here. Maybe not the early Kevin mornings but an hour later is still really nice. But since I couldn’t do much I stopped getting up for morning chores. Sometimes I miss those mornings and I do get up and walk outside and do the chores that I can do and enjoy the peace of the morning. But more often I linger in bed.
There was a time when I was in my early 20s that I became ill. It was a weird thing. I felt tired like I had the flu all the time. I would sleep so deeply only to wake up in the morning to be tired again after being up only an hour. A lot had gone in around that time for me health wise – I had had a surgery for ovarian cysts but I recall that I was feeling the fatigue prior to the surgery. I wasn’t able to work full time. At the time I was living with my grandmother (Nana) and she was diagnosed with cancer and died a short time after my surgery. I was wrecked from losing her. I ended a long relationship at that time and I was going to have to move from my grandmothers apartment and find another place to live. I also began to date a new person who I would date for the next five years. That relationship was probably not something I should have started then but I was so lonely. Perhaps it did help me to get better as well as it made me stay active going out on dates and trying to appear like I felt well. Fake it until you make it.
I struggled so hard feel better and after my dad read an article on Epstein Barr virus he suggested I ask my doctor for a blood test. And there it was. The diagnosis. But nobody knew how to get rid of it.
I remember praying to God to help me. One day I had lugged my bicycle down the steps from my nanas apartment after she died but before I had to move out and I was determined to ride someplace. I had fallen in love with cycling when I lived in Boston the year before and I could ride some huge hills in Vermont and New Hampshire. Cycling up heartbreak hill in bean town was nothing- but that day in front of my grandmothers apartment I could hardly bike around the block. So I prayed hard for God to heal me and I vowed that if that vast tiredness would go away and I could function like a normal person I would never waste a moment of time again in my life laying around.
I had secured a full time job by then and everyday I got up early and though I felt bad much of the time I put in a full day’s work. I made a habit of going to bed early and within a few months I began to feel better. I can say I have probably never felt as well since that diagnosis thirty years ago than I had prior to getting Ill but I felt much better than I did while I had it so I just moved on. And since then have come to read a lot more about that virus and the effects it has in the body. Some of it explains my anxiety disorder but that is another story.
But I stayed true to my vow for years and got up early each day vowing not to waste time lingering in laziness – I got my life back after all.
But as I got closer to 40 I began to hate getting up really early and by that time I was working from home so I had some flexibility but I had little kids so there was no lingering in bed.
My kids came to me though adoption so I only had one baby who did wake us many nights after he came home at 8 months and he had early morning feedings and needs so early was a given. After I became a mom at 37 I was never so shell shocked and so tired.i still wasn’t a morning person then either but someone else came first. So up I went. It was quite overwhelming and so very wonderful at the same time.
For years , I did get up early to drive my kids to school, to assemble lunches or to make breakfast for the kids. Actually Kevin did the breakfasts more than I did -now that I think of it. He is an early morning person – the chipper kind after a cup of coffee. I got up in the morning -but took longer to get downstairs as I wanted to be dressed for the day if I was going to take the kids to school. It was just a thing I had to do. So Kevin had my bagel ready for me every morning so I could have it in the car on the way to school.
Their school began at a reasonable hour in private school. In public school they have to get up at the crack of dawn to get their high school bus. Too early for me.
And since I was going through cancer treatments and was not feeling well I opted to parent from bed. At first I did get up to eat breakfast while they were readying themselves for school. I wanted life to appear normal even though I didn’t feel well. But that became stressful as I would just get nervous if they were dilly dallying and I would begin nagging – stressing them out. So at some point I began to parent from bed yelling or texting my questions from the comfort of bed “is Luke up?” Or “let the dogs in ” ” don’t forget you (insert item name here)”. Things seemed to go better for everyone most of the time with this system and Kevin was there if he wasn’t training a client
After my cancer treatments were over I was so tired and depressed that I began to linger in bed more. I was awake but I just didn’t want to get up This time I didn’t vow not to waste time. This time I decided to enjoy the rest. I had lived frantically much of my life and still do some BC having teens -well it’s busy. I needed that time to linger in bed in the morning to just be. I had to heal mentally and physically.
I began getting up after they left for school. I would have my husband prepared breakfast in the kitchen area ( our kitchen is an area out in the open) with Kevin or alone in the solitude of a house that is void of kids for six hours. Sometimes that’s glorious -that emptiness -and sometimes it’s so lonely.
Typically Kevin -still an early riser -will get up to train clients in the morning ( he still has multiple jobs – just less of them now) and each morning he makes my breakfast (a fresh egg from our hens and a piece of bread of some sort) and for a good while he would leave it the microwave. I would go out when I was ready and heat it up and sit at the counter. But after a few months of that I decided to take it into my room and eat in bed. It was luxury for me.
I suppose Kevin caught on to this and he began to ask if I wanted to eat in bed and and now on most mornings he brings me my breakfast in bed. It’s just a thing a thing he does. Kindness and caring are in his DNA. He was with me every single day of my cancer battle. Friends said they’d take me to radiation so he could work but he went to every one. Never complained -he just loved me through it. Even in my darkest hours and there were many.
He doesn’t have to do it- the breakfast thing. He just does. We balance each other well I think. I may not do the same for him -If he were the late riser. I may not make him breakfast in bed everyday. . But I do other things to show I care and to keep the wheels turning in our little family. But he’s a gem and I know it. I’m not trading him in -he is stuck with me I tell him often. He doesn’t seem to mind.
It occurs to me that I need to start getting up earlier. Not the crack of dawn but earlier because the lingering in bed has become longer and longer and I’m getting less productive. Some of that is ok but some isn’t because I still have a job and though the business can run some on its own and it has slowed down a lot – I still need to work on it. ( I’m really ready to retire from that job but that’s yet another post). I have gotten into some more creative things like furniture painting and I find I am turning to those things first when I get my day started late and then I’m flustered later trying to catch up on the work stuff. I see where my priorities are and maybe they need a shift.
But back to the breakfasts in bed…if I rise earlier will I miss them? Of course! But it’s not really about the getting the food in bed it’s about having a partner in life that is willing to meet you where you are in a loving way and let you know you are good even if you want to linger in bed every morning or scream and cry on a bad day or run in a manic way on one of those crazed days where the mind never quite focuses at all. That person says you are good – you are loved. It’s as simple as an egg and a piece of toast..