Fibromyalgia does not rob me of my life, it does not ruin my life, it does not run my life. Fibromyalgia does, however, affect my life, focus my life, even enrich my life. Fibromyalgia has challenged me to make do with what I’ve got (as far as endurance goes). And at least once a week (and often once a day) I am tested. Will I recognize when I’ve reached my limit? Or will I overdo it? When it comes to answering such questions… Saturdays are especially tough.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Saturdays. I wake up early and anything is possible. I pick up the kitchen and declutter the dining room. I enjoy the early morning sun pouring into the living room. I watch some HGTV. I prepare for upcoming posts. I catch up on tweets. I plan my day. I pick my Saturday project. And when Daniel’s up and at ’em I tell him my grand plan for the day and we get started…
We’ll take a trip to Walmart, and (hopefully) Lowes. We’ll clean the house, do some laundry, and organize a closet. We’ll rearrange furniture, play the wii, and talk about our week. We’ll prepare for guests, spend time with friends, and get ready for Sunday. Individually none of these items sound exhausting, and when we pack ’em in one after the other there’s no time to feel exhausted. But when dinner time comes and I finally take a seat that’s likely where I will stay until I head to bed.
I get excited just thinking about a project. So I begin and stick with it until it’s complete, with little regard for how taxing said project may be on my energy level and/or health. Daniel is the type who recognizes all the work projects entail and, as a result, is less likely to begin (knowing I’ll do that part for him). We balance each other well. I start and get excited and he’ll support me and work with me.
Anyway… the point is I am selectively devoid of the ability (or desire) to stop a task simply because I am exhausted. I’m not sure if this has always been the case, or if it’s a “skill” I’ve developed from living with fibromyalgia for over a decade ago. Either way it’s a a huge opportunity (translated: shortcoming) for me. Actually, it’s a blessing and a curse.
Since I made it back to work full-time last June, Daniel’s been good about reminding me to pay attention to my to do list and my sleep schedule. Both have a significant impact on my health and, therefore, are of great importance to him. Although I sometimes get annoyed when he reminds me of the time or encourages me to take a break, I appreciate his concern and willingness to pick up the slack I leave when I take a break or head to bed. I am especially appreciative on days like today… a Saturday during which I have NOT overdone it. Perhaps I don’t feel as though I’ve overdone it because I, in fact, have not done much today (not true, I survived a grocery run). Or, maybe I am not exhausted because of what I have and have not done throughout the week.
Sunday night Daniel and I were in bed and asleep by 9:30. I can’t even do justice how unusual this is. Daniel and I would rather read, write, game, organize, eat, yawn, and chat than sleep. Working full time allows us so few hours together neither of us is in a hurry to get to sleep. We both choose to live sleep deprived (Daniel more so than myself) in exchange for downtime with each other. You know how it goes. It may lead to a few minor disagreements on those days when we’re super sleepy, but the conversations and company are well worth it. Point is, 9:30 gave me 2 hours more sleep than I typically get and Daniel 3-4 more.
Throughout the week I kept the house more tidy than is typical. I played “Martha Stewart” each day after work and spent up to an hour tidying things before I collapsed on the couch. We ran errands instead of bumming around in the evening. Daniel got caught up on homework and his writing. We didn’t let life wear us out. We stayed on top of things.
All-in-all answering the aforementioned questions, “Will I recognize when I’ve reached my limit? Or will I overdo it?” is rather simple this Saturday:
Yes. Although I have not yet reached my limit I am prepared to acknowledge when I do. No, I will not overdo it. I am learning to pace myself and treat the week like a marathon, not a sprint to be completed on the one day I have with absolutely no reoccurring event.