Another factor that has shaped 2013 has been that my fibromyalgia symptoms have become more of a challenge. Since the death of my kid's daddy (and my former hubby of 20 years) in December 2011, I've definitely noticed a intensifying of the symptoms overall. What I've worked on in 2013 is using the time and energy I have each day very wisely because it is brief. I need to sleep about 12 hours a night and take about naps every day. Sounds yummy, right? Unfortunately, the price I pay for pushing myself past these limits is body aches, migraine headaches, and ultimately something called a "fibro flair" which feels a lot like having the flu.
Every person's experience with fibro is different, this is just mine. I have have noticed that the other people I know with this "condition" were kind of driven "type A" folks. This makes the limitations it places on us so hard to handle. Because we are always looking around at all the things we "should" do on the way to take a nap!
The reason I'm sharing this is because I want to say that, while it is super frustrating, I have learned some lessons from fibro that I don't know I would have learned otherwise. Mostly I've learned about managing my time and energy. I look at it like a budget every day. I can't get overly ambitious because that will push me into a state of complete rest, so I must take my time and evaluate my choices carefully. I must set priorities and stick to them if I'm to get my goals accomplished. :) Sound familiar?
So, I make lists. Then I prioritize them. My family is always at the top of my list. I try to do some art every day. House work is important to me, too, because if the house looks too crazy, it affects my self-esteem. Exercise makes the list every day, too. Even if I just walk around the block with my puppy dog, doing something every day is important to me. I've had to back completely burner several things I like to do including teaching for now.
I've applied for disability through social security because I simply cannot work a full day and support my family any more. I cannot commit to anyone that I'll be at any place on a given day or time. I never know when one of my symptoms will make keeping that commitment impossible. It is my sincere hope that, when my financial issue is less acute my symptoms will be, too.
Until that time comes, I'll just keep making my lists, using my time wisely, and maintaining a minds-set of gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy in this wonderful life.