How about that for a writing hiatus? Just shy of one year. And what a year it has been!
This year I took time to get healthy. And I guess that involved not writing a whole lot. In the past writing has been a way to process for me, and well I did SO MUCH processing this year with my counselor and then on my own that writing just fell to the wayside.
I’ve learned a lot about myself via above mentioned counseling, as well as the enneagram, have you heard of it? It is an amazing tool and I would highly encourage you to go take a test and dive into it’s wisdom. Some of the tools I used were This free test. The book “The road back to you” as well as “The Path Between Us” and the Ennea-app (available from your app store).
This year I started a small business selling the Unicorn Tears face creams jk- it’s Rodan and Fields, but it has allowed me to dream a little bit. Don’t worry I’m not gonna turn this space into one big Rodan & Fields advertisement. However- I do want to share how it opened me up to dream a little bit.
For the last while I have carried the insurance for my family. The hospital I work for has great benefits, so I knew I could not ever quit my job or even reduce my hours. However, in the last six months several things have happened. 1. I started my Rodan & Fields business and realized I might have a viable money making option that is a bit more flexible. 2. Emmaus qualified for a medicaid waiver which means due to the nature of her chronic disability we have been able to qualify for medicaid for her. Which is a HUGE win. If you haven’t heard, having a child with complex medical needs is EXPENSIVE. So the fact that our state is willing to share the burden of that cost with us is a pretty big deal for our family.
When we had Emmaus I had planned to be a stay at home mom, and quickly we realized that likely was not in the cards for our family. As we definitely would need my income. So now that those two things have changed, and I might actually have options it is let me dream a little. I actually love working, but this has just let me think creatively about what that work could be.
I have fallen in love with sharing our story. Credit it to too many hours of watching Ted talks, or listen to Brene’ Brown books and the fact I am a weirdo and love public speaking- I have been sharing our story by speaking in front of large groups. Sharing with others about living with reckless hope among the hardship of life has been AWESOME. Talk about thrilling (or terrifying if you like most of the world hate public speaking)! This world is a really broken place, and there are so many things we have to grieve along the way. And we have a choice to hold onto hope while we stand in, and endure our grief. I have realized that climbing the ranks at the hospital that I work in is not on my agenda. Instead, I want to do as much work with the TS alliance as I can. I want to speak frequently encouraging women, health care workers, and families of children with special needs. And while none of those arenas are jumping up and down offering to pay me (yet), working my Rodan & Fields business (while still doing a bit of nursing) might make that a possibility.
I actually just had to write a bio (I know, I’m big stuff now, huh?) and submit a headshot for a speaking engagement I have coming up this fall. Wanna see?
Laurisa Ballew is a nurse by trade and mother to a special needs child by fate. She fiercely believes hope and grief walk hand in hand in life, and that storytelling is the universal language that connects us all. Laurisa has three daughters and writes about the constant humility of parenting in her blog Raising A Sisterhood. Laurisa has spoken for organizations such as The United Way and Children’s Mercy Hospital. This year she won the volunteer of the year award from the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.
BTW- incase you were wondering, it is weird to write your own bio. And I look much cooler in that paragraph than I am in real life.
One thing that hasn’t change is that these girls of mine still humble me everyday and mothering them is the single most challenging thing I have ever done. And they are kinda great too.
Good to be back!