I can't remember the first time I heard my mom tell me this. It stuck with me... is replayed often in my head, shouted, really, as I'm putting the picture frames back up on the console table (happy big boy and his slightly OCD remote arranging comes before frames or any sort of decorative placement), wiping the milk off the couch (relaxed baby and calcium come before furniture), scraping the jelly off the floor (activity and independence come before order and wood). It even encompasses our 'fur' people- it's why Truman didn't end up at the glue factory after he trotted out with one of my favorite shoes to chew on each and every time I sat down to nurse a baby- until I learned/remembered that it was best for both of us- his life and my sanity- for him to take a nap while the baby ate. People before Things.
It's why I hadn't been shopping for WEEKS... I was focused on my people- my amazing little people, my nursing home people (turned down 2 jobs in 2 weeks... sigh), my family and friend people. And it was good. And I didn't even, really, miss the shopping... well, alright that may be *slightly* less than truthful, but I didn't really, REALLY miss the shopping until a few nights ago.... when I called my hub B to see if he and the crazies wanted to meet me in at the mall to play on the indoor climbers and eat some tortellini, maybe wander throughout Macy's.... B, bless his amazing heart, must have sensed some of the stress and blah, bleh, and blech that have been adding up (ok, ok, he lives with me, he loves me, he was most likely tired of hearing about the blah and bleh, and blech, and equally done putting up with me in a rotten mood because of said blah, bleh, blech) so he said 'why don't you just go shopping'.
Really? ok!!! Ok!!! OK!!! I will. I did. but... but it wasn't crazy shopping. It was thoughtful shopping, keeping in mind that I have a lot to DO that, really, puts People before Things.
1. I'll be going to Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. in March- we will be speaking to those in Congress about our People, about the laws and policies that will make the future better for those we love, better for my amazing Abraham.
2. I'm running (read: jogging slowly but surely) and running consistently to be ready for the Fragile X 5k on April 21st and the 10K on April 29th for Landon's Dragon Slayers/St. Jude. Running for so many amazing people that are living lives touched by FX-and not just surviving, thriving. Running for this amazing little boy and so many others like him, as he battles on and KICKS Cancer to the curb.
3. I am being more social... are you laughing?? I think I can hear you laughing... ok... I'm working on being more consistently happy to be social, and for me, this involves clothing- yes, yes, shallow... but at least I admit it. I am working on doing more with people in my here and now life that I had avoided during the first year of Abe's life, that time prior to our diagnosis, and for the first months or even years after... i didn't want to talk to them, go anywhere, do anything because i couldn't talk about the sadness and fear and anger that I had. the emptiness that i felt anytime i saw their happy children doing amazing things that my sweet son couldn't... and maybe still can't. I'm working on rebuilding those relationships that I pushed away- DOing things, spending time with people that are important to me, that have different struggles and mountains to climb- because no matter what you have or don't have in your life---you have struggles, you have worries, you have days that drive you right to the edge... we all do.
So I shopped, happily. I found bargains to wear while I'm DOing. I found chic deals and steals that I will soon post pictures of, that I will wear while GOing. I took time for me...because I am People too, and stress- stress is just a thing. People before Things.