Keeping up

TBI has a way of making one feel like you’re driving an old back-firing moped while everyone else is whizzing by in their 2018 Harley Davidson with the shiny chrome banana pipes.

Do you ever feel like keeping up with life is just too much? I do. The feeling of being so extremely overwhelmed by keeping up; homeschooling four kids, being mom, tending the home, trying to heal, and just living life makes me feel like it’s an impossible obstacle. I’m trying so hard, but it’s like running on a hamster wheel, exerting energy but not feeling like I’m getting anywhere.

When I was young, my dad, brother and I would take long walks to places in Philadelphia because we didn’t have a car and sometimes walking was the preferred method to buses or subways. I could never keep up because my dad’s long Marine Corps strides were not easy for my little legs and my brother being 5 years older had longer legs too. They were always having to say “keep up.” I tried, believe me, I tried, but the long journeys we took were so frustrating to my 7, 8, 9 year old legs. I had to walk/ run the whole time because it was the only way to keep up.

I’m glad of it! Being the baby of the family could been very detrimental in coddling or babying me, but my parents never did. They never babied me and let me off easy, just because I was their youngest and a girl. They knew how tough life is and didn’t sugar coat my childhood with pillows of fluff, and candy coated ideals.

When I realised my job as a child of keeping up was twice as hard, I could go easy on myself, not chiding or berating myself because I couldn’t keep but, instead, I could feel like I accomplished something as my efforts to keep up payed off from trying twice as hard.

Today, I’m dealing with this. It feels impossible to keep up. The house stays a wreck, school work presses in, and most days I barely have a chance to brush my hair. But when I see other homeschool moms going here and there teaching Latin, Greek, music to their kids and I can barely do the math and language arts, it hurts. But I realise it’s ok. I have a TBI. Not an excuse but a huge obstacle to overcome while trying to keep up. My kids are all excellent readers, great at math, and learning. Maybe not able to do all the fun stuff and extras like soccer and scout troops as before, but they are four great kids and loved. It’s ok! I need to speak this often. It’s okay, because with TBI things are twice as hard for me but in reality, I can keep up……. just in my own way with God’s help.

Yes, my moped still runs, even if it’s slow and not very pretty but that doesn’t matter because I’m still getting there.

Viv

Author: Viv

I'm a TBI warrior whose hope and strength comes from God.

111 thoughts on “Keeping up”

  1. Cool moped! That is really cool you ride! I loved riding my Grandpa’s old moped. He had a Batavus Regency. It was so much fun! I understand the stress and the hamster wheel. I feel that way many days as I fight Celiac Disease and work at accomplishing all my tasks. As you know, God is always faithful to pull us through! My prayers are with you and your family! God bless you!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you. I no longer ride but in my younger years I rode on the back of my dad’s ruby red Harley….it was fun!!🏍 He is faithful to pull us through! God has shown me daily just how much I need Him. I’m thankful, so thankful. Thank you for prayers! I truly appreciate them!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Vivian you are AMAZING!!! Four kids in homeschool is a BIG deal, and with TBI, and to top it off… they are good kids and loved! Not every parent can say the same. So… who cares if your hair isn’t brushed daily. I am sure you still look pretty and your kids hug you and love you just the same. I live on a hamster wheel with far less so don’t beat yourself up because you are doing amazing things!! God bless you and your family! Nice moped!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you SO much Christy! I was giving myself a pep talk by writing this and your words REALLY mean so much. My kids are my heros. They love and accept my infirmities and we even crack TBI jokes together to lighten things up. Yes, they are loved so much and I praise and thank God for them constantly. We can live on our hamster wheels together Christy, supporting each other and cheering one another to keep spinning!! Much love pretty lady!!πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

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      1. Yes, I agree Ana. God’s going to use these kids in big ways!! We are truly blessed. I don’t know where I’d be without my four angels….they’ve kept me here and fighting. πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes!!! I know. I remember one time my therapist said to me, x has happened to you, x has happened to you, x has happened to you, what keeps you going?
        I said, my kids. They are, I’d be in a fetus position in a corner somewhere drowning in my chronic pain, if it weren’t for them. They’re truly Heaven sent. I’m convinced of that. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸ½

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      3. I am too dear Ana, I am too.!!πŸ˜‡ They do keep my mind off the pain and symptoms a lot. When I was so weak, all I could do was die down, they would put on skits for me. It was hilarious! Especially when they used props!🀣

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      1. There are some really pretty buns now-a-days though… those β€œmessy buns” with the β€œright amount of hairs falling out” look nice. I can never do it BUT they look nice. πŸ˜†πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ™Œ

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure you are doing an amazing job! My wife and I homeschooled our children and I know how exhausting it can be even without health issues!
    One thing we learned is to ask for help when we needed it. Folks from church are usually more than willing to lend a hand. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Despite the TBI, you sound just like any other mom! Tired, stressed, no breaks but everything still runs like a well oiled machine! I do hope you can get some rest though. Everybody needs R&R.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, thanks! I’m learning to pace myself and rest but it’s not easy to since my personality wants to hit the ground running, shot out of a cannon…..but I can’t. My brain won’t let me no matter how much I try to push through with determination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much! I truly appreciate that!

        It’s crazy, we saw the images of his brain from an MRI and it looked completely fine. But 2 points were off by no more than a millimeter (or less) and it caused so much! How wonderfully and fearfully designed!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We have just finished homeschooling, and there were times that we were more involved outside our home than others. But in all of the times, our focus was not on the extras. There are so many benefits to homeschooling, and it is such an opportunity to help your children learn Biblical values, how to love each other, how to rightly divide truth from error, interact with people of all ages, etc. Some of our best times were those that we spent at home; the outside classes and clubs were “extras” if and when we really wanted to. Our children also learned a lot from my physical limitations as they developed – things like compassion, having a servant’s heart, how to cook, the role of perseverance in a Christian’s life, why God allows trials, etc. All in all, there is so much value in homeschooling, and most of the value is right there in your own home.

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    1. Thank you dearest Kim. I highly value your advice because you’ve been here, done it, got the t-shirt and now on the other side of it. I’m probably halfway done as my oldest is in high school now and my youngest is in the 3rd grade. It’s helpful to get your hindsight on this because, you too are struggling with your health but God got you through. I’m so thankful for that! It encourages me!! Yes, the extras are fun but ultimately not what’s the most important. You are so right about that! Hugs Kim!!

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  6. Vivian, I can so relate to you. I homeschool the kids. I can relate to the house being a mess, and always feeling not being up to scratch, or the kids being behind. And I look at others and they seem to have it all together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwww, thank you Michelle. I’m so blessed to be able to homeschool despite my infirmities, I’m truly thankful. Oh, yes! It’s discouraging sometimes isn’t it? But we press on because the alternatives (in my thinking) are not an option.

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  7. πŸ‘πŸ½ keep up at your own pace! I agree. We have to stop looking at other moms and comparing ourselves, our lives to theirs. We’re all living different life circumstances, while some are a bit easier than others, we’re all fighting a battle just the same.
    I do this too, I’m now trying to keep up with homework, 4 different grade levels, 4 paper homework and 3 computer assignments, not to mention side school projects. I have to nap before I homework time. My brain needs a rest before that. Even then when I do start with the children, my head feels like it’s going to explode!
    At you own pace. This is a race, but not a race to the finish line, we’ll get there when we get there, in Gods time, not ours. So, there’s no need for all the frustration that too often builds up.
    Great post Vivian!
    And once again, hope you have a blessed and Happy Birthday! β˜ΊοΈπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very correct Ana, we are only opening the door to more frustration and feelings of not measuring up when we compare our circumstances to others. I just realised how similar we are with both helping with homework! Yes, four different grade levels too: 9, 8, 5 and 3 grades. I’m struggling up keep up with the oldest two’s math. Algebra isn’t hard for me, it’s the geometry with arcs, angles, degrees and such that give my neuro fatigue a good challenge. I can literally feel my brain’s energy reserve draining my body. Yes, my head gets that explosive feeling too Ana! Ugh, it’s tough, so tough….but God is bigger than all this, I keep reminding myself daily.

      Awww, thanks. I’m being loved on by my brain injury group via facebook today!! It’s wonderful and overwhelming but in a good way. I wish you could come celebrate too. We could sit quietly and text eachother, sipping tea. I would love that!!! Hugs!!πŸ˜‰πŸ€£πŸ€—πŸ€—

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      1. Lol! Just the mention of geometry and my head begins to throb! πŸ˜‚
        My brain isn’t for that anymore! It’s waiving the white flag, like really?! Nope!
        Vivian, it’s tough, to put on the brace face, remind myself to put one foot in front of another and remember that I’m actually not walking on what feels like a bounce house. πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
        I know! I wish I could say wine, but meds and wine don’t mix. Darn! How nice would that be, to be separated from the crowd by sound proof glass. No need to ask people to please stop yelling when in fact they’re not. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ lol When my husband speaks I have to ask him to tone it down, it’s not him, it’s me, my ears are just so sensitive to noise levels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it’s tough Ana, so tough. Have you heard this song?

        The first time I listened I cried and cried for several minutes. Good tears. Courageous tears. Healing tears.

        Awww, me neither. I miss wine. My nervous system can’t handle it anymore and I get sick. Boo. The noise sensitivity has been dreadful. Honestly, I never knew fear until I couldn’t handle lights and noise. I felt like I would go into shock from it all but my nervous system has gotten better in some ways but in others….well, I guess it will take time.

        I have thought about getting those sound proof headsets that shooters use at the shooting ranges…..🎧

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh noooo! The video isn’t playing.
        Yes! I was going to buy baby headset for my youngest baby fearing she’d wouldn’t tolerate the fire works show at Disney. I forgot to buy it, thankfully, she looked the fireworks and didn’t mind the noise. πŸ™ŒπŸ½
        I think they start at maybe $20. I shop online, if I must physically go to the store, I like to know the layout – a must, I go for what I need, and out the store, then I can do it. Otherwise, it’s tough to stand the noise.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh😣 I’m so sorry. I can’t seem to send links properly here on WordPress. I’m getting ready now to go see my mom and two aunts here from CA. It’s not going to be easy, but I only see them every 2-3 years and really want to. I’ll have to spend tomorrow recovering but I will try to send the song link again now. It’s definitely a song we can relate to. πŸ€—πŸ˜πŸ˜š

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I can’t wait to hear it! I have to do it in order to remember how – I just did it in my most recent post too! Uhg, my brain is fried!
        If you go to the post, go to the HTML tab, paste the YouTube code there and click on Preview to make sure it’s posted correctly – it should work.
        I wish you the best time with your family, yes, just rest tomorrow! But the time spent will be worth it. It’s a never ending cycle Vivian, at least we know the outcome.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh, okay. Thank you Ana. I will give it a whirl. My brain feels mush right now. A great time with family though. My mama gave me two vitamin b-12 and said to take them. Lol, it did help me get through it. I may try to order a bottle of chewables as so many from my group recommend it. Yes, we do know the outcome and we will be ok. πŸ€—

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes! I was taking them for some time, but I got tired of taking so much medication in one day. That one got the boot. But it does help!
        I’m so glad you had a great time! Yes, it’ll take a few day unfortunately. It’s like a bad hangover without the drinks! Gosh! And I don’t even drink!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I understand that so well. I’m surprised I haven’t hit rock bottom yet today but maybe it’s the big adrenaline boost from seeing my beloved family. Lol, it’s definitely not fun. Me neither. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Tell me about it! Haha! There should be a room for us β€˜non-sleepers’ like πŸ€ͺ seriously! Even on top of taking sleep aids because I absolutely can not go to sleep on my own, I’m wide eyed! 😳

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Awwwww precious, I’m so sorry. No, I haven’t because my sleep issues aren’t constant thankfully. Took a pill last night and finally slept. 😴

        Like

      11. And mushy brain – πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™€οΈ all day! It’s hard to think straight! Gods helping you homeschool. I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years and I just can’t build the courage just because of my health, there are some mornings where I can’t even get out of bed!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Yes, Oh yes, I know. It really is a huge task but thankfully my oldest two are self taught mostly. Awwww, I know my body wakes up slowly, I have to just lie in bed for 30-60 minutes before getting up, or my brain and nerves are even worse. I’m like a car, needing to warm up so the engine can get going before being driven. And then I still sputter along….πŸ˜ͺ

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      13. Oh yes, Ana!!! I boo hooed like a baby the first time I heard it because it was just what I needed to hear. I’m so glad to share it with you because you are stronger than you know. We are putting on foot in front of the other!! Much love, prayers and hugs!πŸ€—πŸ˜š

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Thank you! Yes, although we should be positive, it’s tough, it’s tough when you’re the one that’s sick and you’re the parent, you also need encouragement, we te not made of steel after all. ☺️❀️

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Oh, I do. Yes! I have a list on my menu called Songs of Hope with more favorites. My oldest helped me pick out many of them. They’ve truly helped. Music has such a healing ability. Just not too loud though. πŸ™„πŸ˜š

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  8. This is wonderful Vivian. I can SO relate. I can’t keep up either, yet God sustains us. I’ve had to learn that my best is good enough. God can use it. He is and will use you too. Isn’t that wonderful!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that we can relate with one another because it brings hope and encouragement too. It is wonderful! About a year ago, I turned it all over to God, saying, “here Lord, it’s too much” and you know my kids tested higher than ever before for state tests…..it was the letting go….God is good!!

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  9. Viv. I have only one word for you. You are a “Super Mom” Although you have a “thorn” yet you are meeting all expectations. You are a “blessing” Please check my blog post for today. It is applicable to you. πŸ˜‡πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

  10. God Bless You, My Sister!! You are doing Beautiful!! I want to share this with you, that I had typed out early this morning to share with others. Because I know that there are many who are out there that may be thinking this way. Because I was one of them Once upon a time. I too have my days are moments. When I was diagnosed with Lupus: [” There are many people that find out they have an illness, and they give up believing that they can’t still be used by Jesus Christ. The devil is a ((Liar)). Stop listening to him, and keep listening to the Voice of the Savior Jesus Christ. He doesn’t lie, He is ((Truth)). I Personally shall keep pressing on, doing what He has called me out to do in His Name. So Keep trusting in Jesus Christ, and keep about doing His ((Will)). His Been My Strength Every day. To God Be The Glory!!] God Himself has a plan for our lives. He wants us to be a help to our families, and to others as well. We both know that our Help comes from Him. He uses us for His purpose. So you keep encouraging us ((All)) Agape!! Shalom!! ((Hugs)) \0/\0/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Betty!! Your words bring so much comfort to me!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this truth to help me and others. You are a gem. I’m so glad we are friends!! I want to be an encouragement to others too!!! Much love Betty!! πŸ€—πŸ˜šπŸ€—πŸ˜š

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  11. Sister Vivian, you are encouraging others, I’m one of them that has been encouraged in how His using you. God Choose you and believe you me, He does know what He is doing. That is why He called King of Kings and LORD of LORDs!! Amen!! You and your family have a bless and peaceful weekend. ((Hugs)) πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. God Bless Dear Sister Vivian. I love you too. Our Heavenly Father Loves us so much. Allow Jesus Christ to continue using you for His purpose!! ((Hugs)) πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Vivian, I just found your blog and it is inspiring. I read Keeping up and I know exactly how that feels. I am a little over ten years into this TBI thing and started a blog to share the journey and let fellow travelers know that there is hope. Here is the link https://hopeaftertbi.net/ By the way, I won’t be joining you on a moped ride. Since my TBI was caused by a motorcycle/pickup accident, I have sworn off two wheelers. Keep fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rodney, thank you for reading, commenting, and following!😊 I’m so sorry about the TBI you experienced from your accident. Your mission to give hope to others is exactly what I’m also needing and hoping to give too. I’m excited to read your blog and learn more of your TBI journey. I am part of a brain injury group on Facebook and we have several members that received their injuries from motorcycle accidents. 😣🏍 Blessings to you.😊☺πŸ’ͺ

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Love the analogy of a moped and motorcycle!!! Made me think that it could also describe in an emotional way how low self-esteem can feel…. And Vivian, if I had TBI and was homeschooling 4 children, there’s no way I would feel like a moped! I would be a one wheel missing bicycle with no handle bars and the chain is missing speed. Homeschooling with TBI — you are more of a Harley than you think!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? You are very kind Jeff!! When I was reading your dilapidated bike description, I was thinking, yes, this fits me perfectly!! Haha!πŸ˜‚ thank you for encouraging me this morning. I’ve had a rough time lately as I hurt my back. My doctor says I pulled my para spinal muscles and I’m in PAIN. So, I’m taking a week or two off of school…… yay! Mom needed a break. Good to hear from you Jeff! God bless you. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

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