The Next Step   

...getting through life one step at a time.

...getting through life one step at a time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


If you've been following my "next steps" over the course of the last year (and how hard could that be with only 5 blog posts in a year?) you know that I am transitioning back into the work force. I spent 4 years home with the 3 girls, and as the twins head toward Kindergarten in the fall I positioned myself last year to create a new career path that would be flexible enough to deal with the kids schedules, and still profitable enough to make it worth my time.

I spent most of 2014 in school to learn about massage therapy - which really is all about anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. It was challenging, amazing, interesting, hard, stressful, and really fulfilling. Heading off on a new journey outside of mommyhood was exciting! I aced my courses, graduating summa cum laude, and wrote a business plan that impressed my teacher, her business contacts, and a business leader in the area. My website was up and running early on (though I've already had a total remake done) and I've been building my brand, using my background in marketing to serve my new goals.

And here I am, going back into the workforce one step at a time. It's been 3 months since I started earning money on a regular basis again, interacting with co-workers, developing relationships with clients, and practicing my trade.

And it has been HARD! As I suppose all major life changes can be. But I catch myself every now and and have to kick the filter into high gear before I'm about to complain about a 10 hour work day, when I have friends and other moms who do 5 of those a week.  Right now I'm just up to 3 1/2 days a week. And that's only if my client schedule is full. I spend my "down time" paying bills, making sure my licenses are in order, figuring out that whole pre-payment of taxes thing, and marketing.

I am an independent contractor working in a chiropractors office, going on the occasional "out-call" where I go to someone's home, and I'm about to spend two days at my daughters school doing free chair massages for the teachers as part of teacher appreciation week.

It's a lot of work, and it's frustrating at times, but it's really a great beginning to a new career that I enjoy and works around my home life. I am in constant awe of the parents out there who have been managing their households and a full time career where someone else sets the hours.

Not much attention has been given to this blog, which is a good thing as far as personal growth is concerned. I started this blog when I was feeling desperate and lonely and in need of an outlet. The less I *have* to use it, the better it is for me. But I love my blogging friends and still want to share what's in my head at time. I just need to figure out the next step.

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Thank a Mom for Being a Mom

Just wanted to toot my own horn a little cause I think I hit a home run with this one.

My mom has basically moved in with us to care for my girls (and me) as I recover from ankle surgery. Of course, it's my right ankle, so I can't even drive until I can put weight on it again. It's been about 20 days with another three weeks ahead of us.

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to express my gratitude other than just saying "thank you" a million times a day.  So I bought this book for her, and then wrote a little poem to go with it. Nothing quite says "I love you" like declaring it in public, so I'm sharing this with you all now. I hope you enjoy it, and share it with your mom if you like.

Of all the moms I love and know,
There’s one for me, just like snow.
Uniquely shaped like God intended,
Many parts carefully blended.
Facets deep and cut just so,
A work of art, just like snow.
Each flake amazing,
Refractions blazing,
With just a little shining light,
Each one becomes a glorious sight.
But while flakes of snow are but fleeting,
The heart of a mother is ever beating,
With warmth and joy and loving care,
Giving everything, a soul laid bare.
Forever serving others first,
Despite her own needs or thirst,
This person, this woman, this mother,
Fills a need like no other.
To everyone who has come to know,
She’s unique and special like the snow.

--Lori V.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

5 Stages of Bed Rest

When I was pregnant with the twins, I was on "modified bed rest" for about two months - which basically just meant house-arrest. I could peruse the fridge as I pleased, bake whatever morsel I was craving, and had no trouble making it to the bathroom every 15 minutes, or as needed. I just couldn't leave the house. Grocery delivery and detailed, specific lists for my husband pretty much took care of the day-to-day issues.

Two weeks ago I had ankle surgery that was apparently 40 years in the making, but only took about 14 months to plan and execute. I had "an osteochondral defect of the distal tibia" (a cyst in my shin bone) and "an os trigonum on the posterior talus" (accessory bone on the back of my ankle bone) that were idiopathic (they don't know what caused them, most likely present at birth.)

I scheduled the surgery for the last week of the summer semester so I would have as much time as possible before the fall semester to recover, so I could get on with my massage therapy training. Turns out, I was slightly misinformed about how long the recovery would be. When I asked the surgical coordinator she gave me the blanket "everyone recovers at a different rate." When I told her I was off pain meds after a c-section in under two weeks she just said, "Oh, you'll be fine then."

What she did NOT tell me about, was the mandatory 6 weeks of no weight on my ankle. I was told to elevate the ankle for 4-6 days after the surgery, but nothing about non-weight-bearing for weeks.

I'm still not sure how I am going to manage massage therapy practice on one leg. But it will be among the top questions I ask next week during my follow up appointment with the surgeon.

Until then, I'm on bed rest (for real), and am sharing with you now the 5 stages of bed rest that I've discovered over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, my mom basically moved in with us to run the house while I recover.

1. Sleep. For the first two days after surgery I pretty much slept the whole time. I hibernated between doses of medication while my mother chased my three girls around the house and made sure every one was fed. Unfortunately, the medication was not of the same caliber as what they gave me for the c-section, so I don't have any fun stories about how I could make the bed swing to and fro, and side to side.

2. Irritation. After the numbness wore off, the itching started. And the plastic device wrapped around my ankle that could be hooked up to a pump to circulate ice water around my ankle began to feel like that plastic suit they make you wear in a sauna as part of bizarre weight-loss programs.  And the plaster half-cast splint thing running up the back of my leg intended to keep my ankle immobilized gained 10 pounds daily. And the cotton batting covering all of the aforementioned surfaces began to resemble wool socks, causing sweating and overheating in just one foot. And every hair on your head is pushing back against your scalp and twisting into a rats nest that you actually fear will encourage rats to take up residence in your hair.

3. Bliss. The incredible two to three days after you hack into the ace-bandage-wrapped split to remove one of the sauna-status-inducing layers. Your mom is bringing your meals to you in bed, your DVR is chock full of shows you have been wanting to watch but your kids interrupt you every 2.2 minutes, and your head is no longer too heavy to follow the rapid fire jokes of The Big Bang Theory.

4. Boredom. Your DVR has nothing left but new episodes of Bubble Guppies, and reruns of dumb shows your husband likes to watch. Your first outting to get a hair cut (to get rid of the rats nest) lasts less than an hour and wears you out so you feel like you are back in Stage 1. After you recover from your hair cut, you have enough energy that staying in bed all day is no longer an attractive plan. You start to over-post on Facebook like when you first joined and had no idea what to post on Facebook.

5. Experimentation. You start thinking you can cook dinner on one leg, so you start making home made macaroni and cheese, including shredding the cheese. You are so pleased with your success, you decide to clean up too, instead of leaving everything for your mom to clean up later when she returns from the grocery store with your three little darlings. Then one of your crutches slip in some water you spilled, and your good food slips a little too. And you understand what the recovery nurse meant when she said, "For safety's sake, if you have to touch down, it's not a big deal."

I keep flipping back and forth between Stages 4 and 5 - and right about now, the itching is starting to come back a little.

That follow up appointment where I hope they liberate my ankle from hot and sweaty confinement can't come soon enough (two more days!!)
Though I'm wondering if it will hurt at all. Judging from the length of leg hair I can see, and the assumption that it is growing and weaving amongst the cotton fibers inside the splint, I can only imaging a velcro-like ripping sound when it's all removed.

Wish me luck!

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