Balance

This weekend I did very little, because I chose to do little, not because my body forced me to. That’s not to say that I was bursting with extra energy, but I could have pushed myself to do more and I didn’t. I did a huge grocery shop Saturday, organized my meds, and attended a baby shower today. Besides that I vegged out and binge watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix (I’m going to be Frankie when I grow up LOL).

I ate chocolate and pho and cheese and crackers and drank tea under a blanket on the couch. Alone. Happily. By choice. My laundry basket is full, my dishwasher is clean (and full) and my kitchen is dirty. For the first time in a month. And most significantly, the first time in ages (a year? Maybe 2?) that it’s dirty because I’ve chosen to chill and binge Netflix and not because my body has forced me into submission.

I’m eating strawberries and cheese and crackers for dinner tonight. Because I’m being lazy. Rather than because I physically cannot manage to cook.

It is not easy for me to give myself permission to be lazy. I think I was probably like this pre-Lyme as well, but now there is this whole factor of “because you can do it you should push yourself to do it”. Suddenly I’m struggling to balance my life because my body isn’t forcing me to slow down as strongly as it has been.

There was zero balance to my life before I got sick. All work and no rest. Hence, life forcing me to see the flip side of that coin, forcing me into disability and too close to losing everything. In order to learn how to slow down I had to be forced into almost a full stop.

I wonder, had I slowed down sooner would I not have gotten as sick? Probably. But would I have learned as much? Doubt it. My drive and insane need to always be busy was so strong that I had to be almost bedridden to stop it.

Now I think the trick is finding the balance before I push myself back off the ledge. This weekend I had a choice. I could push myself and have my kitchen clean the way I like it and my laundry done and ready for the week like I prefer. Or I could lay on the couch and binge watch Netflix comedies. The shows would still be there next week if I cleaned and so would the mess if I watched the shows. I chose the shows. I chose relaxation. I chose rest. I chose nurturing myself.

And how beautiful is it to HAVE that choice! 

For the last 2-3 years my decisions have been based around what my body and mind physically could or could not do. To be laying on the couch binge watching Netflix meant that I was physically unable to do more. To have a messy kitchen meant that I had physically been unable to clean and likely that I had no dishes left. To eat cheese and crackers for dinner meant that I physically could not cook for myself.

I hear my friends complain about how mundane they feel their housework is or their daily routines are – breakfast, clean the kitchen, do laundry, make lunch, workout, walk the dog, go to work, come home, make dinner, clean the kitchen, go to bed. To me, and likely to anyone who’s very ill for a long time, to be able to do those things every day is such a wonderful choice to be able to make! Today I chose Netflix knowing that tomorrow or even later tonight I can and will choose to clean. And it won’t be a big deal.

Except that it is. Having a choice is a big deal.

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