Today, I am deliberately disobeying doctor’s orders. Let me explain. I have been told to stay on bed rest for the next week. I completely understand why and I trust the doctor. After all, she is the one with all of the letters after her name--not me. She’s the one that can look at the ultrasound screen and tell me what I’m looking at--not me. And she is the one who has been doing this for thirty years and has seen everything under the sun--not me. However, I made the executive decision to leave the house today and it’s based on these facts:
- I hate winter. Technically, it is still winter. It is currently 55 and sunny. If I don’t go outside immediately, I am sure I will melt into non-existence if not simply mediocrity.
- I asked my cat what we--yes, we--should do today. Twice. I am sure I don’t need to explain why that warrants getting out of the house.
- If I do not leave my home, I will really go against doctor’s orders and begin lifting heavy things that I not longer want in my house. This includes three years of Real Simple magazine. If you have just now realized that you haven’t read Real Simple in three years and you need to catch up, I know of a cat you could shoo away who is currently sitting on them and you, too can have your own pile of outdated magazines.
- I ate a bowl of cereal out of a bowl that I stupidly neglected to clean the dust from the kitchen renovation out of. I am tired of dust today. At least my dust. I am currently staring at a dust bunny in a coffee shop that doesn’t bother me a bit.
While there are other compelling reasons to leave my home while I am supposed to be on bed rest, I thought those were the top four. So here I am, at a coffee shop enjoying the sunshine and eavesdropping. This adventure out today has made me think about my current condition and my attitude toward the things happening to me the past few days.
So I walked into the coffee shop and immediately thought, “Who are all these people not at work? They can’t ALL be breaking bed rest rules like me! But what other reason do they have for not being at their jobs?”
The answer is probably more simple than my imagination made it, but I assumed that most of these people don’t have jobs, so I immediately felt better about not being able to be at my job. Now here comes one of the hardest parts of any day for me: Taking off my coat. When I have the marshmallow jacket on, no one knows that I am pregnant. When I take it off, I imagine that most people are thinking, “Hey, lady! Get a gym membership or get rid of that drinking problem!”
In reality, I am sure that most people assume that I am just beginning to show in my pregnancy, yet I still am so self-conscious about my confusing waistline. I look around for the best place to sit and I can already tell that there is no one I can sit next to today that won’t annoy me. Within one minute of being in the coffee shop, I see a mouth-breather, a guy who describes everything as “effing” rad, a woman who is trying to force a laugh at the things he is describing as “effing” rad but I can tell has about a thousand other things to be doing, and a husband and wife with three children under the age of four (two of which were crying, one of which was taking advantage of his parents’ distraction by eating part of a magazine). The wife, who seemed tired and mad, looked at me as if to say, “Oh, that was me four years ago. I could still fit into my skinny jeans, full of hope and excitement. Look at me now. My kids are inconsolable, one of them is finishing of the personal ads with a glass of milk, and my husband is on his Blackberry Googling ‘Walk-In Vasectomy Clinics.’”
I also imagined that most of these people assumed that I don’t have a job, but I brought my laptop just to prove that I am important and worthy to be working from a coffee shop. In any case, I am in a room full of strangers who likely don’t care about why I am at a coffee shop in the middle of the day, yet I feel so ashamed to be here. I feel ashamed that I am not at my real job. Ashamed that my body is malfunctioning and I have to be on bed rest. Ultimately, I am scared that my life won’t turn out the way I planned all because of one week of rest for my unborn child.
It is in my nature to analyze and reanalyze my every thought and action. I want to make sure that my motivations are pure and that I have a rationalization for thinking and feeling the way I do. In this analysis today, I am beginning to realize that I am in the middle of a gigantic paradigm shift in my life. I made plans to finish graduate school, finish out a good year in my job, exercise until the day I give birth, and have all of my proverbial “ducks in a row” so in July I can bring my child into a home that is peaceful and put together. I don’t know what the outcome will be of this week. I assume I won’t be able to exercise or clean my house the way I like it. I will likely finish graduate school on time and I will probably go back to my job. But, there is a chance I won’t. Maybe there is something seriously wrong and I will deliver my child next week. Maybe I will finish graduate school next fall and I won’t get to walk with the rest of my class in May. In my mind, all of these possibilities would kill me. They would crush my spirit because I would feel that I am not only disappointing myself, but everyone else. I would be a failure.
On the other hand, I have to remember that God and I don’t measure success in the same way. In fact the people in this coffee shop probably see me more like God sees me. They don’t really care what I am doing at this coffee shop in the middle of the day. In fact, if I sat down and talked to that worn-out mom, I imagine that she would tell me I’m doing everything right. She would probably even tell me that her crying, magazine eating children are the best thing that ever happened to her and she would have made the same decisions I have had to make.
So, here I am in this crowded coffee shop, pretending to be on bed rest, thankful that God is in control and I don’t have to be anymore. It still pains me that things might not turn out the way I planned, but as I feel this child kick inside me, I realize that my success and worth in this moment lie in trusting God that he will do anything to sustain this little boy’s life.
He upholds the universe by the word of his power. . .in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.