Oct 012011
 
You know these little bags that the Lupus foundation sends in the mail? Great. Hold that thought.


Recent Melton Marital Conversation:

Craig: Glennon, why do we still have these things in the pantry?

Glennon: The Lupus bags?

Craig: Yeah. They’ve been in here for years. We have 27 of them now. Are we ever going to do anything with them?

Glennon: I don’t know. I don’t want to throw them away, but they probably won’t be yummy anymore.

Craig: Um. What?

Glennon: I don’t know. They’re pretty old.

Craig: Oookay. Well, do we have anything to donate?

Glennon: Huh? Donate?

Craig: Yeah, I mean, we should use these. We should donate something. That’s what they’re for. Why are we just collecting them in our pantry?

Glennon: You think the Lupus foundation wants me to donate them?

Craig: Not donate THEM, donate something IN them.

Glennon: What? How? Donate them to who?

Craig: TO THE LUPUS FOUNDATION.

Glennon: Wait. The Lupus foundation wants me to donate the popcorn they gave me BACK to the Lupus foundation?

Craig: Silence.

Glennon: That’s weird. Fine, what do I do, just leave all the popcorn on the porch? Will they come pick it up? What do they do with it? Why did they send it to me in the first place if they just want it all back?

Craig: Silence.

Glennon: What the hell? What? WHAT? What is going on??


Craig: Jesus, honey. It’s not popcorn. It’s not popcorn, Glennon.




Thanks for nothing, Tricky Lupus Foundation.

*Craig has sworn to God that he will not discuss these sorts of conversations with our therapist.

Happy Weekend, Monkees.

G

Oct 042011
 

You are now entering Cliché City. You’ve been warned. When the goin’ gets tough, the Doyle/Meltons fling around clichés.

Today I thought I’d try to answer the G, how are you doing? questions. Thank you so much for caring.

About the loss of the adoption- so far, I’m actually fine. It’s funny, you want all of these things, and then you get sick and you realize that the only thing you really want is to be healthy.

It’s true that every once in a while I feel a little flabbergasted, when I consider the hours and days we spent on paperwork and the nights of lost sleep and the thousands of dollars and tears and prayers that we’ve used up on this adoption during the past two years. It’s strange to just – all of a sudden – walk away. It tempts me to wonder if all of it was wasted. But deep down I don’t think that any of our efforts to love or to follow our dreams are wasted.

One time an American visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta and looked around at the hundreds of people dying in the streets and he said to her, “You’ll never save all of them. You’ll never even make a dent. How do you continue this work when you know you won’t be successful?” And Mama T looked at him and smiled and said, “I am not called to be successful. I am called to be faithful.” And I think that’s a good thing for us to remember.

One of my best friends, Jess, sent me a prayer recently about how in the West, we are so focused on goals, on results, on outcomes. But we can’t control outcomes, almost ever, so that’s probably a waste of time. I think we can only be faithful, today, to ourselves and to our families . . . to our friends and our dreams, and at the end of the day, we have to let it all go. We have to quit worrying about what becomes of it all and just be grateful we had the guts to do our little part, as we understood it. And we have to try to remember that it’s better to travel than to arrive, anyway. I think I was faithful for the past two (six) years to what I thought God wanted me to do. I spent my whole mind, soul, and strength on that dream. And so I feel pleased with that effort, and I won’t judge the outcome. It’s okay. I’m a different person than I was when I started this adoption journey, and maybe that’s the point anyway.

It helps me to see stories LIKE THESE: to see my friends who started this adoption journey at the same time I did and are home now, raising their Rwandan angels. And to watch this story unfold...one of our own…a MONKEE.. in Rwanda, picking up her baby right now, as you read this. As I read these stories – through tears of joy and loss – I am reminded that when and if it’s supposed to happen, it does. There are no mistakes. I did not fall through the cracks, it just wasn’t meant to be for me. Not now. If it’s God’s plan, nothing can stop it, and if it’s not God’s plan, there is nothing you can do to make it happen. Trust me. I’ve tried everything.

And still – The universe is unfolding as it should.

My dad used to say to me: Life is what happens when we’re making other plans.

I’m not sure I really believed that completely. I sort of thought that you could write your own story. Make your own plan, make it happen. Nah- I thought. Life is not what happens to you….life is what you make it.

But now, in the fallout of the adoption and the Lyme and on and on . . . I have come to believe that both are true. I think Life is what you make out of what happens to you.

Lyme is what is happening to me right now….and I am GOING to turn it into something good, something beautiful and helpful. I read this quote recently . . . people can tolerate suffering, but not meaninglessness. That’s how I feel right now. It’s fine . . . I’ll be sick, I’ll heal, I’ll let a few dreams go in the meantime. I’m a big girl and I know that nobody promised me that life would be easy. But I’m not letting any of it go to waste. I am going to make it all mean something. Someday.

Maybe not today, cause I’m too freaking tired.

I’ve never experienced anything like what Lyme’s done to me during the past month. I wake up tired, and I spend my morning tired, and then around 2 o’clock I feel as if someone has placed one of those heavy bibs they use for dental x-rays on top of me, and all I can do is crawl up the stairs to bed. And when I get to bed, sometimes I’m too tired to reach for a pillow, or to roll over. Too tired to roll over. It’s true. A couple of times I actually thought . . . I’m dying, I am definitely dying right now. I have what seems to be out of body experiences. My body feels so heavy that my soul seems to hover above. And during these near death experiences I always have two thoughts: OH GOD. They are going to come to take me away and everyone’s going to see how filthy the bathtub is. And also, if Craig remarries someone who can cook I will be so pissed. I will HAUNT THEM. I will mess up all her casseroles.

I don’t know why these are the deepest thoughts I can muster when I’m near death, I’m just telling the truth.

So anyway, this Lyme Time has sort of brought me back full circle. I feel like a baby sometimes. I am learning how to take care of myself, maybe for the first time ever. I spent the first half of my life tearing apart my body, then the second making and feeding little bodies, and now, for the first time, I’m learning how to help my own body and soul thrive and grow.

So that’s what I’m doing over here these days. I decided to stop saying “I’m sick” and start saying “I’m healing.”

This is how I’m going to make sense of all of this – make it mean something.

Through my own healing process, I plan to learn what people need to heal. Because I believe that all suffering is the same, and that we all suffer from something. Disease, abuse, shame, depression, pride, anger, stress, loss, hopelessness, loneliness and on and on and on forever. And I think we all need healing. Every last one of us.

So I think that if I can heal, if I can unlock the keys to healing for myself, that I’ll be able to help you, too. I don’t really understand that plan completely yet, but that’s my plan nonetheless.

So far: this is what I’ve got. I’ve got a sign in my kitchen that says:

Deep Breaths

Take your medicine

Feed yourself

Water

Fresh Air

Sun

Bath

Friends

Yoga

Pray

That’s all I’ve got so far.

What are you healing from? And what helps you heal? Let’s help each other.

Oct 082011
 



So – the past month has been pretty bad, I’m not going to lie. I mean, I did lie, like all day, every day, in my cozy bed. One weekend I went to bed at eleven am on Saturday morning and woke up at six pm on Sunday. I was really, really, super sick. Scary sick. We figured that my Lyme was becoming dramatically worse. Craig and I were looking for nannies because I couldn’t care for the kids anymore. We let the adoption go. We adjusted to the idea of playing one man down. We did our best to stay positive, but we were scared.

I saw my doctor last week. When she came into the examination room I was curled up in a ball on the table and couldn’t even raise my head to say hello. Her face looked pained and she said, “Oh, baby,” and she put her hand on my forehead. I thought that was really nice. Doctors should do more of this sort of thing, I think. Then she said, in a nutshell – “You look awful. All your shine is gone. Something is wrong with your medication. This isn’t Lyme. Your body is shutting down because it can’t process your oodles of antibiotics anymore. Let’s stop everything for a few days and see if you feel better, and then if you do, we’ll cut your meds in half.”

I woke up the next day feeling like a million bucks. Literally. The first thing I did, obvi, was go shopping. Craig came home and saw all the bags in the foyer and said, without gusto, “yay. you’re better. yaaaay.”

I am better. I mean, I still have Lyme, but I’m my old Lymie self, which is to say that I’m pretty much normal with added confusion, absolutely no depth perception and extreme bouts of fatigue when it’s time to vacuum or grocery shop or bathe the kids. And I’m so grateful.

But I’m also extremely grateful that I got so sick for those two months.


Each morning for the past few weeks, I have peeked out my door with giddy anticipation to discover a gift on my doorstep. Candles, inspirational poetry, organic fruit, stationary, gift cards, cozy pink socks that I’m wearing right now. Each gift came with a note that said some variation of . . . You are loved. We’re praying for you. Love, Anonymous. My neighbors. They got together and planned a Love Ambush for me. I just moved to this neighborhood last year. It just amazes me. And it helped me. Just to know that I was literally surrounded by all that anonymous hope and love. And that I didn’t even have to write thank you notes because the gifts were anonymous. I’m a grateful person and a writer, but I despise writing thank you notes. How’d they know? I was thinking yesterday- if I hadn’t gotten so sick, I wouldn’t even know where I live. I wouldn’t be aware of how beautiful this place is, and the people in it. I might not be bursting at the seams to pay it forward, to find the next hurting mama and plan Love Ambush #2. I now have new eyes with which to look at my neighbors, who are miracles. Thank you, Lyme.

Craig and I started marriage therapy two weeks ago. It’s been hard, but good hard. We feel new- like we’re starting over. We needed this, bad. Craig’s been a single parent for a bit and he’s been scared. It’s taken a toll on him, but he wouldn’t admit it before- he was so busy being hopeful and strong. He’s a hero, I think. We are fine, but we don’t want to be fine. We want to be great. Like my friend said, we don’t want to just be good people, we want to be good partners to each other. And I have a husband who wants this as badly as I do, and who is willing to work and fight for it. But we wouldn’t have known this if my illness hadn’t forced us to face our fears. I now have new eyes with which to look at my husband, who is a miracle. Thank you, Lyme.

I put my kids to bed last night. I know it’s supposed to be precious time – bedtime, but I usually hate it. I read and sing and finally get them down and then they pop up one at a time for an hour and it’s like a twisted game of whack-a-mole. But last night I didn’t hate it. I loved reading to them and singing to them. Because it was the first night in two months that I’d had the energy to put them to bed. To tuck them in. And it was sort of wonderful. I’ve been given new eyes with which to see what an honor it is to care for little souls and hearts and minds. Miracle, really. Thanks, Lyme.

And the Monkees . . . Oh, you Monkees. All your comments and love and emails and encouragement and understanding. One of you sent me a book that is saving me right now. And a beautiful sign that says, “Look For the Good” in decadent hot pink calligraphy. I plan to follow directions.


Now – losing the adoption. Trying to get perspective on that one is interesting.


We explained to Chase that it was over a few nights ago. That there was no baby boy coming home. That God had said nope. We explained that we didn’t know if it was actually a No. or a Not Yet. But we told him that either way, we were fine and hope he’d be fine, too. We told him we were already the luckiest family on Earth and we didn’t need anything other than what we already had.

Chase sighed and said, “Mommy, this doesn’t seem to be working out for us. Maybe we should just adopt a highway.”

For the record- this is my favorite thing that anyone has ever said to me in my whole life, and I am currently researching whether one must pass a background check to adopt a highway. I can see it, honestly. All the Meltons in orange vests, picking up trash on the side of the road. I might rope us all together like a chain gang. I hope we get our own sign: This highway Has Been Adopted by The Meltons. Too perfect.


There is actually a whole lot of beauty in letting the adoption go, and I’m finding it. Look For The Good, right, Molls? The baby would have taken up all the energy and time and love that I can now offer to the people I already have. The people I’ve grown new eyes for. My parents, my friends, my neighbors, my husband, my children, my Monkees, myself.

Something about the past two months has shifted my perspective dramatically, for now.


I’m a spaz. I just am. I’ve lived my entire life, up to now, as a complete spaz. The voices in my head are always going a mile a minute and I’m just all over the place. I’m well intentioned, and sweetly all over the place, but still. It’s exhausting to be me, and sometimes I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Like God just gives me projects to use up my energy so I don’t explode or drive people too nuts. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I need to find a way to channel my energy into peace, because I deserve that.

So. I am going to stop trying to save the world, and instead use my energy to notice how beautiful the world is just as it is. It occurred to me recently that saving the world might not be my job. It occurred to me that my only real job might be to slow down and notice the world, to be amazed by it. It’s almost too good to be true, but it might just be true.

So I think I’m going to try, for the next year, to live with the belief that the world is all right. This is a tough paradigm shift for me to attempt. Because I usually think, one million times a day…Oh My God, the world is falling apart, the world needs my help. I MUST HELP. EVERYONE NEEDS ME! AAAAHHHH!!


This, as I reflect upon it, might be the teeniest bit egotistical.


And with the lost adoption and the Lyme and all the confusion and Anna and huh? I just feel exactly like Homer Simpson, in one of my favorite scenes ever, when he’s tripping on magic peppers.

I just need to Stop Doing Anything for awhile.


I just want to look around. Love my neighbors. Get to know people. Listen, look, breathe. Appreciate my blessings instead of trying desperately to create new ones.


In short – I need to calm down. Which may be my biggest challenge to date.

I’m excited. But not TOO excited. Calllllmmmmlllly excited.


I’m off to do my yoga and then spend my day soaking up my blessings. Looking, listening, breathing, smiling.


Remembering that the world is all right and that it is my privilege, as a child of God, to soak it all up fearlessly.


The world is a gift to me, not my problem to solve.

Love, G





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