In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Notre Dame Swim Team bus accident (referred to as simply, “the accident”), I am hoping to share 25 Things I Have Learned In 25 Years. 

I need to take care of myself. I think this comes more with age; however, there are times when I need to remember that my body isn’t like everyone else’s and that I really need to take better care of myself.

When we are younger, we can “power through,” we think we can do anything, and we tend to ignore a lingering cough. As we age, this becomes harder and harder to do, or we’ll end up in the hospital. (And I’m not that old, so it will become even more important to listen to my body as I continue to age).

Last year, I continued to “power through” and ignore some health signs that “weren’t that bad,” and I ended up in the emergency room with a kidney infection. Thank goodness for friends who came in the middle of the night to drive me and to stay with my kids so they didn’t wake up with no parent in the house. I needed to take better care of myself; instead, I was out of commission for about two months.

I was reminded of this this morning while driving home from dropping my son off at the bus stop. I am tired, as most moms are in December, and I suddenly remembered that my nephew arrived home last night after his first semester at the United States Air Force Academy. I got teary (see I AM EMOTIONAL) thinking of his reunion with his parents. And then I reminded myself that I get more emotional when I am tired; AND that I am more inclined to get sick when I am tired.

My train of thought drew me back to a few Christmases ago; I was really sick. I was run down and tired (again, I was a mom in December), and I remember a conversation my husband – very lovingly – had with me when I felt better. He said: You can’t do this. I don’t want our kids to grow up with their memories of mom being sick every Christmas. 

That was the third year in a row that I had been sick on Christmas. I needed to take better care of myself. And I have.

I am tired, but I also know there are things I won’t push myself to do. The cookies might not all get made. The presents might not have bows. The teachers won’t have homemade gifts, unless someone else makes them (which she did – thanks Lisa!) And my house might be a mess. But I will be happy on Christmas Day (and happier during the season of Advent) having learned to take better care of myself.