When I talk with people about what I do, their response is frequently, “How do you fit it all into a day?”
My response, generally, is, “I don’t.”
The concept of “a day” is very different for those of us with chronic pain and illness. Some 24-hour periods are mostly spent looking forward to the next 24-hour period, when we’ll feel better – well enough to do what we should be doing in the present period but simply cannot.
Other 24-hour periods are spent picking up the pieces of days when we were too sick or pained to accomplish everything fully. Half-done laundry, for example. Or, that phone call with a friend that was interrupted by severe cramps from holding the phone.
Quite awhile ago, I realized that it was virtually impossible to think I could live as I did “before lupus,” in that my energy flagged oh, so quickly, if I attempted to sail through a “regular” day. Chores, doctor appointments, errands, social responsibilities – each require a level of attention and energy that are simply too draining if glommed together into one day.
So, my concept of “doing it all” has become quite different. Meaning…
I prioritize daily, deciding how I feel, what my level of energy seems to be, and what is most pressing.
I am forgiving, especially of myself. If I cannot do everything I’d hoped to do, I don’t give myself a personal scolding and I do not allow myself to sink into, “How weak are you?”
If “big things” are planned, I scrape and claw and resolve myself to do just one, yes, one, in a day, and I allow for recuperation time. (Is this always possible? Well, “things happen,” such as unexpected deaths, illness, or as at the holiday season, jammed calendars. But, I try, oh, yes, I try.)
Throughout, I try to remember that life is fragile, health is vital, and God’s time is not our time.
Which works out perfectly for those of us with chronic pain and illness, as “typical” time is not ours, either!
Joy and peace,