The Cure for the Common Cold (Probably)
The Better Title: Distilling Life By the end of pregnancy most women are begging for mercy. All they want is to go into labor yesterday. The prolonged discomfort causes them to hasten what could possibly be the most uncomfortable situation of their lives, delivery. Labor and delivery is preferable to perpetual pregnancy and once you are anywhere near your due date, you start wondering if perpetual pregnancy is an option.
One of the reasons that pregnancy is so uncomfortable is that you can't do much to alleviate the other discomforts that have nothing to do with pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my third son I got a really bad head cold. I just couldn't shake it and there isn't really any cold medicine a pregnant woman can take to alleviate it. Ryan, my hubby, was feeling bad for me. His co-workers would ask how I was doing and they began to also feel for the poor sick pregnant women with four other children to care for on top of this nasty cold.
They sent help. They sent a sinus flusher. It is a squeeze bottle that you add a mild saline solution to and squirt up one nostril. The solution squirts up that one nostril through the sinus and out the other nostril. You use it to flush everything out of your delicate nose parts, especially helpful when you can't use any medication to loosen things up.
I was reluctant to try it. I have gotten water up my nose a time or two and that was never an experience that I thought I would like to repeat purposefully. Ryan stopped at the store to pick up the distilled water that the box called for and got it all set up for me. He was insistent. It was either this or take me out back and put me out of my misery. He assured me all the ladies at work swear by it.
I finally agreed to give it a shot and shot it did. It shot straight up one nostril and out the other in a horrifying burst of burning and choking. I stepped out of the bathroom and dropped to my knees on my kitchen floor. Jesus Take the Wheel, by Carrie Underwood began playing in my head. I was crying. Real tears were pouring down my cheeks. 'That was the worst thing that has happened to me,' I screamed. Now, I am pregnant with my third child remember,....I have felt things, difficult things. 'Why do your co-workers hate me!...Make it stop!' It felt like my face was being torched from the inside out.
Ryan was not so impressed by my dramatic display. To prove to me that I was being totally ridiculous, he too gave the sinus flusher a go. He too hit his knees beside me. That's where we began reevaluating all of our life choices, starting with flushing our sinuses. "I thought my co-workers were good people, but evil is in their hearts." Where do we go from here? Some things can't be undone.
The children witnessed the whole thing. There was a lot of quite eye blinking and nervous laughter. They knew that getting water up the nose is no fun. Many a bath-time had been ruined by wayward drops of water. They warned me that I was walking a dangerous road by forcefully squirting the contents of that bottle into my delicate nose parts. They tried to talk me out of it. "Mommy, don't squirt that up your nose," they begged. Oh, the wisdom of babes. What's done is done. They were doubly shocked that Ryan, when seeing me in my aftermath, joined me. At least they now know for certain that daddy and I stick together. If this ship sinks, we sink united. Adam&Eve with an apple eating. Bonnie&Clyde with criminal activity. Ryan&Amie with sinus cleansing.
Here's a fun fact. Remember how the box called for distilled water. My hubby stopped reading the label on the jug he bought at the word 'distilled'. That's how we both ended up with nasal passages filled with distilled white vinegar. I just blindly went shooting liquid where it doesn't belong without thoroughly reading pertinent info. (In case you are wondering why we didn't smell the vinegar right away, I could smell nothing at the time and Ryan has a notoriously dull nose. It comes in handy for him when I say, 'Can't you smell that diaper!")
Lots of things can be 'distilled.' Water, vinegar, alcohol, ect....all can be distilled.
Distill according to the dictionary means: to subject to a process of vaporization and subsequent condensation, as for purification or concentration...to extract the essential elements of; refine
Glad to know that the vinegar coursing through those delicate nose parts of mine was in it's most pure and concentrated form. I would like to now assure you that no real damage was done. We can still smell things and taste. It was touch and go for little while (i.e. 2 weeks). I venture to guess that our nasal passages are cleaner than most but do I need to tell you not to do this? Don't do it! I don't think I had a cold after that. I had other problems but I think the cold virus died. (I had 99 problems, but a cold wasn't one!)
Listen to the cries of my children and never stick anything into your delicate nose parts unless it's a small toy or fingertip. Never mind, take no advice from my children or Ryan's coworkers on putting things up your nose. Just don't. Read labels carefully. Live a good and happy life. Ryan's coworkers are good people. This one's on us. Ryan wanted to take a vow of silence on this story. I didn't agree. I couldn't agree. Somethings just need to be said. This experience is part of my authentic truth.
Let's take a poll: If you agree with me that this is a story that needs to be told and retold, please share this post. If you agree with Ryan that this story should disappear, look away, LOOK. AWAY. NOW. ....Or side with me and share it!
Even though you now know I might not be the brightest twinkly light, can I break this down for you a little? Can I pretend that squirting vinegar nearly up into my brain gave me some life wisdom to pass along? When you have housed distilled white vinegar in your sinus cavity, you've been through something. I believe that all things can be used for the good.
Our days need some distilling. Especially our days with our kids. We are busy! Do we get to spend quality time with the people we claim as most important? Do we spend enough time on the purpose we are most passionate about? Are we overly distracted? Are we in a big hurry, rushing ourselves and our people?
Somethings just need to go or stop. Just as Ryan and I needed to reevaluate where our life was headed while vinegar was assaulting the backside of our faces, we all could use some reevaluating in our life. For me personally, I need some better boundaries with my phone. It is in my hand far more often then I would care to admit.
A couple of months ago I bought a Kindle Paperwhite as an act of separating from my phone. I did nearly all of my reading on my Kindle App on my phone. Alerts, texts, e-mails, and google rabbit chases were muddying my reading time. Reading time was one area in my life that needed distilling, purification. I figured out away to distill reading back down to just reading by getting the Kindle Paperwhite. (You could say, just pick up a paper book. There are so many reasons I am a big and long time fan of Kindle but I will save that convo for another day.) I want you to catch this as an example of distilling in my life. I purposefully chose to separate reading from my phone because that was problematic for me. Now my kids know when I am actually reading. They call my Paperwhite, Mommy's Book. I still need to get the phone out of my line of sight a little more. I need 'distilling' in other areas of my life as well.
A dear friend and mother was taken by cancer from my life and the lives of her loved ones far too early. When her young son was asked what he missed about his mommy his simple answer was, 'She helped me put on my shoes.' That always puts a knot in my throat. Helping get shoes to cover tiny toes is such a mommy thing to do. Their pudgy little fingers don't cooperate just yet in allowing them to accomplish this simple necessary task for themselves. It is actually a vulnerable moment. Imagine someone putting your shoes on for you right now because you are unable to do that for yourself.
In the hurry and frustration of most attempts at leaving the house, I would hate to think that helping my kids put on their shoes would be the memory that they take with them should we ever be separated. I am not usually my best at that moment. I am frazzled and harried.
The act of serving my children in the simple and frazzled moments, needs distilling for me. If I can let the task of helping my children get shoes on distill down to the one thing it really is, loving service, I might enjoy it. I might be patient in it. I might appreciate the moment rather than be frustrated by it. And if heaven forbid, I am separated from my children much earlier than I wish, I would be proud that one of their fond memories of me, was helping them with their shoes. I pray that my children remember me as one who lovingly, patiently served them. I am glad for my friend that her loving service is something that she is fondly remembered for.
So how do you do that? How do you distill those problematic parts of your life back down to their simplest, most enjoyable form? I don't pretend to be an expert. There are parts of my life that I would enjoy more if I focused on them one at a time. Maybe the illusion of multitasking is the problem. We try to get too many things done at one time and are frustrated when we can't, nothing is getting done well, or everything is taking way to long to complete. I also know that setting up routines and systems for accomplishing repetitive tasks saves me time and brain power.
This is all worth reflecting on. Those are two things that I am trying as part of the distilling process in my home right now:
- Not Multitasking as much (just reading, just cooking, just eating)
- Setting Up Better Routines and Systems
A couple of things I am ruminating on. I think the term 'distill' is going to keep swirling in my mind for a bit. Guess that makes sense, the vinegar took a couple of weeks to fully fade.
Whether we are reading, putting shoes on kids, cooking, folding laundry, ect. We have the opportunity to distill those tasks down into simpler more meaningful moments. Reflect on where you could use some distilling. Make a difference in your own life.
Thanks for reading.
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