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

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  53 Responses to “STOP DOING ANYTHING”

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  12. Lyme is such a troubling disease. But I think strides are being made in the medical community to make it more commonplace for conventional doctors to recognize and treat the disease. I saw this article on Mind Body Green this morning and immediately thought of you… this doctor was able to overcome Lyme and you can too!! (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9180/how-a-natural-lyme-disease-treatment-changed-my-medical-practice.html)

  13. One Thousand Gifts, as well as Ann Voskamp's blog has also played a huge part in my healing. I have been on the journey of simplifying life and slowing down for the past couple of years. I Take Joy blog by Sally Clarkson has also been a huge encouragement in raising the kiddos. I have been thrilled to have now found your blog as well. Seeking the beauty, seeking to love this brutiful life; even in the tough times!

  14. Beautiful post, so honest and self-aware. And this was especially beautiful: "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."

  15. When you least expect it your baby will be with you. In my own experiance as a birth mom it was difficult to find a home for my biracial child that SOMEBODY would want, well it was a daunting task, I found the family. Then days before she was delivered I got a call at 10 pm, from my social worker that they did not want her. Believing I would not want to be part of her life.. UM EXCUSE ME…. I chose OPEN ADOPTION for a reason. So, I had to so some searching at the same time as taking care of my CRAZY 3 year old…. I did not expect this,,, NOW WHAT WAS I to do.. the only choices I could see.. keep her( NOT THE BEST, BUT if I HAD to I would do it. After all I am a mom, right?,) and 2, find a new family.
    So I drugged my but back to the adoption agency, which I will NEVER recomend to ANYONE in MN.. and looked through the MASSIVE piles of profiles, sure I could have closed my eyes and said enee menie mo and bam, this is your family.. but I could not. I found a new family that never expected it.
    I hope I chose the right family.
    And 4 years after they put their profile in the books, they were chosen. Its their first daughter so I hope she is their princess, but one may never know.

    So my point is.. DON'T GIVE UP HOPE! Your gift will arrive when you are least expecting it.
    I wish I could give you this gift. Where were you 2 mos ago:)

  16. Thank you for helping me find God in the every day. This is no small feat! Just thank you. Thank you for writing. Thank you for being.

  17. I've been following Anna's blog for over three years – found you last week through hers. SO glad I did! I can't imagine how hard suffering through Lyme has been for you and your entire family. I'm so impressed that you and your sweet husband are going to therapy to be GREAT rather than good! I have a friend who said we should ALL go to marriage counseling at ten year incriments. It's silly to just be status quo! Yay for you two!

    And as Jennifer Jo said above: "Whack-a-mole, oh my stars. That's EXACTLY what it is." Momma mia, I've NEVER heard a better description! So so so so so so so so so true :)

    Praying for you today!

    p.s. 22 MINUTES!? You did this is 22 MINUTES?!

  18. this is HUGE, g! HUGE! i'm so happy!
    love you.

  19. So glad that you are taking time to care for yourself and your precious family. Love the wack-a-mole comment–perfect!

  20. go on with your bad calm self!

  21. What a beautiful post! I'm delurking to let you know about a friend of mine who completely cleared her Lyme with a cleansing program by Dr Koyfman (I'm from Canada and I have no motive here other than to tell you about this – search for Koyfman Center). I relate to what you said about wanting to help! She had all the same symptoms and I was so concerned about her. Sending love!

  22. Your writing is a gift and a ministry. I've been a silent lurker here for awhile, but I wanted to let you know how touched I am by your honesty and vulnerability, by your wisdom and bravery. Your post today brought to mind one of my favourite poems. Reading it reminds me that the frantic busyness that I seem perpetually drawn into is not always God's will for me. There are seasons of rest and waiting on His call too:

    When I consider how my light is spent
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
    And that one Talent which is death to hide
    Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
    To serve therewith my Maker, and present
    My true account, lest He returning chide,
    "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
    I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
    That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
    Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
    Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
    Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
    And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
    They also serve who only stand and wait." (John Milton)

    With love and prayers for continued healing,

  23. Glad you are doing better. I knew all those meds had something to do with it and starting over would help. Keep on keeping on!


  24. I am about to cry. You are so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people; people who just want to help, without throwing it in your face or making you feel worse. Chronic illness is so much easier to deal with if you have supportive people, loving people. I think I want to move to your neighborhood because mine isn't like that. I try but I think people are too busy or something. I would kill to have people who think about me and do something unexpected and helpful without making me feel badly for needing the help or expecting a return favor. I'm so happy for you but it makes me sad for me and that stinks. It makes me realize once again that I need to refocus on the good things I do have and that so many others have it worse than I. Sigh. It's just so hard and honestly I'm so tired of hard. I'm so tired of sick. I'm so tired of tired. And it doesn't help that I'm not feeling Him.

  25. Glennon, So happy that you are getting some relief. I went through the same thing with my Lyme medications. Praying for you!

  26. I often think we must have drank from the same garrden hose as kids because I recognize that brilliant and exausting energy anywhere. What you call a "spaz" I think of as a saint in the making. God must have some pretty big chores for us in store if we have been given such a strong spirit here on Earth. Thank GOD we have at least become humbled enough to serve through all of this. Figuring out how to contain a bursting spirit within our limited bodily vessel is not necissarily the problem, but perhaps the whole purpose. That, I remind myself, is the golden ticket to reaching heaven. Peace is the answer to any question and the result of everything. Notice how the bible refers to peace even more than it does to love? I always used to imagine heaven being a bustlng place with everyone running around doing God's will. But we are so often told to just be still, calm, patient, slow. I dont quite know how my crazy energy is going to fit into a peaceful heaven, but I think that may be my next lesson to figure out while I'm still here on Earth. Just some thoughts from your friend at the hose…

  27. ALL of the above…LOVE Chase's response, and yes—–we DON'T have to save the world, we don't have to be superwomen — -spend a little time enjoying God's gift while you're feeling well enough, your writing is plenty of 'pay it forward' for the moment.

  28. I am sooo glad you are feeling better! And Chase? How cute is that!? I see a highway in the Melton future. Here's to OCTOBER. Sept can suck it.

  29. What book did your friend give you? I love the love ambush idea, especially with no obligation for thank you notes. Love from a fairly new monkee. XO

  30. Nice to hear you're finding some energy again. What a blessing that you have such wonderful friends and neighbors! :) Hope you continue to feel better each day….

  31. Glennon,
    First, I'm so glad you are feeling a bit better! What a relief that it was "just" your meds making you so sick!
    Second, your plan for the year sounds wonderful! Can I just tell you that I was in a panic as I read….I was so afraid you were going to say you were taking the year off from writing! You may not be saving the world, but you sure make it a more beautiful place to be. I, for one, would be a bit lost without you. Thank you for all that you do…and I can't wait to read about the beauty you discover.
    Oh-and adopt a highway? That's a clever idea, right there. That Chase is a keeper!
    Hugs to you and yours <3

  32. Whack-a-mole, oh my stars. That's EXACTLY what it is.

  33. Glennon-just popped in after a busy week and oh my goodness. Sorry you had the cruds+. Glad you are on the mend, heart, body, and soul.

  34. Glennon, for once I have nothing wise or profound or funny to say or even anything I THINK is wise or profound or funny. Just this: AMEN, sister.

    Or, as we Quakers say, Friend speaks my mind. May we always be so blessed with gratitude.

  35. Such good perspective for me. I'm so glad you are feeling better! I, too, had to give up an adoption when I wasn't well. And then (very shortly) thereafter, God stormed the barn with my precious girl. Maybe He's slowing you down and helping you "see" or maybe, just maybe, he's preparing you. :)

  36. Practically petfect in every way. -Mary Poppins
    Love you G.

  37. Yay! So glad to hear you are feeling more like your old self. And glad to hear the perspecticles are working their magic for you.

  38. Oh, I'm just so glad it was only the meds making you feel so bad! And I am even MORE glad that your doctor is so wonderful.

    And that Chase? You could collect up all these Chase-isms and share them on a calendar — he's hilarious and also kind smart.

    Love you guys!

  39. Awesome post! Inspired and proud of you!

  40. Nice reference to homer Simpson. I totally remember that episode. Absolutely hilarious.
    Jennifer m

  41. G,
    At Rosh Hashahna services this morning (the kiddie service) we went around and said the names of people who needed healing prayers. Laura said "Simon", as she does every year and this year I said your name. I'm so glad you're feeling better and that you know what was wrong, that I could cry. I was really kinda stressing about you.

    I totally understand the new perspective on life after being kind of in the pits of hell. As twisted as it is, I never felt closer to Laura, more loved, more grounded, or more aware of the beauty of humanity than when Simon was really, really sick. It was like we got off the stupid busy merry-go-round that is the busy, busy life we were leading and we just sat there and were excused from all the stupid stuff. And everyone else stopped for a minute and gave us their undivided attention and unconditional love. It was the most amazing experience of my life, those few months. Hideous and beautiful in almost equal measures.

    I hope you are able to hold on to the connection you feel to the world. I’ve mostly lost it and am back to feeling alone again most of the time (but I know that’s pretty much just the story in my head). I hope you can hold onto it. You have a really big group of people here to remind you.
    As Simon would say, “Goooooooooooooooooooooooo Glennon!”

  42. Praise the Lord for your health back! And for good doctors.
    Two things have put a little honey on the hardness of changing mantras for me.
    1. poetry by Mary Oliver. She is just lovely and has the ability to see and tell so many good things.
    2. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I could read this book over and over because really it is looking at our souls, looking at our world, and loving us and the One who gave us each other- good and hard. Thankfulness is a practice. And a tough one at that.

    Thanks for continuing to share with us! I appreciate your voice.

  43. I've had similar times in my life, where the frenzy, the challenge, the heartache and the illness seem to attract nothing but more frenzy, challenge, heartache and illness. I hope your knew found strength, health (as fragile as it may seem) and peace attract more of the same for you Glennon. Ironically, you and your blog are part of my new found peace, sanity and positive outlook, as fragile as they may seem 😉

  44. Love this…..nourish your soul G !! Hugs, Cin

  45. I am so glad that you are feeling better. You have gained a wonderful outlook, and I'm so grateful to you for sharing it.

    Does this make me a monkee? Because that's cool.

  46. Glennon!
    Love! This has been one of my revelations lately too! This world is big and beautiful and messy and scary and God's. It is ok for me to soak in its beauty and love and pray for its problems and sadness and pain. God has GOT THIS. :)
    I can't remember where I heard this, but it hit me like a brick in the head… "My life, right now, is NOT filler. It is not just time to "get through" until I get all the things I have been dreaming of or hoping for." If i check out to tomorrow, then today is my last and most important day…Not when things are the way I think they should be. I really want to meet to a good, God loving man, SO SO SO bad. I can not wait around for that to happen anymore and miss out on the 4 little men I am trying to raise and their precious sister. My life is exactly the way it is supposed to be right now and it will change. So I better enjoy today.
    Following Anna through her heartache right now has brought back a lot of the memories and heartache that I went through when Baby Joseph died. It has been good for me. It gives me immediate perspectacles. I am blessed and safe and full and loved and living an abundant life right now. THIS CAN AND WILL CHANGE. So I will be grateful today and soak up my life for exactly what it is. BLESSED. I will also carry Anna and her family with me and keep her as a constant prayer request to God for peace and healing.
    Thanks G. I just love love love you.
    XoXo Susie M.

  47. Yay!


  48. I think your adoption is complete… You have adopted all of us monkies. You have already taught me so much about love and family and myself. I look forward to each new lesson you offer as your gift.


  49. Happy. happy for you. happy for me. love.

  50. WONDERFUL post, and, oh my goodness, what a wise son you have!

  51. love this.

    You do, do, do deserve that peace. (did I just say doo doo?) :) We all do. Just recognizing that is huge, I think. I'm trying to get off of the hamster wheel myself. baby steps. baby steps.

    And, I love Chase. Great wit.

    I hope that relieving your body from having to filter all these medications is strengthening to it. Sounds like it already is.

    Your neighbors are beautiful. Lots of good in there. And how awesome are they for signing it anonymous? Now, everywhere you turn in your neighborhood, you will think, this may be the sweet soul who loved me…

    Miss Molly

  52. This is so beautiful I don't even know what to say, but it makes me feel joyful and weepy at the same time. It is so good to hear that you are better, and appreciating the abundance you have. Something about wanting nothing more seems to bring about another dimension of more, at least for me, and that is a big focus of mine, to stay in that zone instead of the hamster zone! Love what Chase said, that is too hilarious, a Melton highway would be awesome!!

  53. We are all about creating grateful hearts in our family. Sometimes that means we sit back and revel in God's goodness and sometimes we take that goodness and use it to help the world. Both/and. I have to admit I've found that noticing all of God's gifts can be a lot of work too. Joyful calming work though!

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