Reflecting upon the last couple of months, I can see why my current circumstances are what they are.
I acknowledged that it was going to be a push; a real challenge. Yet I did not dwell on it nor give it much attention, which may have been, in hindsight, potentially more helpful.
Typically the month of December is a rather busy one for me and my family. Apart from all the end of year school events on that the grandchildren are involved in and the usual preparations leading up to the xmas/new year period, we also have a number of family members’ birthdays.
This did all come to mind when I opened an email in my inbox that was in regard to an online writing course I had registered and paid for. The email advised that I only had a few days before my access to commence the course would expire. This was contrary to the twelve month period advised in the course outline and on the tax invoice descriptor.
Upon considering contacting the course provider to question this apparent glitch in their system, I then had the thought that things happen for a reason, often unknown at the time. With this in mind, I decided the universe had its reason, so I would not question it and just commence the course now; go with the flow.
So on November 26th, 2018 I dove into a 30 Day Creative Writing Bootcamp course. For those with swift calculation skills, yes, that meant the last day of the course would fall on Christmas Day. Trepidation hit a few times however I resounded in the idea that if I could complete this course at the most chaotic time of the year, then I will be able to surge forth towards my 2019 goals with vigour.
My excitement for the challenge and the course were evident to those closest to me. As I worked my way through it, determination rose to a level I had not experienced for some years. Each module complete was a stepping stone towards course completion; an achievement I am proud of.
After seeing in the first hour of Xmas Day, followed by a few wee hours of sleep, I awoke early and eagerly rose to complete the final module of the course. I have to admit there was relief when I clicked the ‘Submit’ button for this last module. Joy, excitement and pride quickly followed.
I then made a choice to take a week off from writing, having written some twelve thousand plus words in the thirty days previous. I needed a restorative break; time to rejuvenate. I had new concepts for my Facebook Page on the planning board for 2019 that I would introduce in January, writing for my blog and manuscript plus another course to commence. Plenty on my plate from the New Year, so a week off was not only inviting but also necessary.
In hindsight, I truly did not dedicate enough thought and attention to evaluating where I was at and how much of a rest I really needed. It became rather evident towards the end of that week’s ‘holiday’ that it was not long enough; I was feeling exhausted.
Decisions were made to prioritise my wants with my needs. At this point, I still was not fully listening to my body. It soon made me take notice though. I had launched into a Fibromyalgia flare. FM (as I refer to Fibromyalgia) is a chronic condition I have, which had been in ‘remission’. All the pressure I had put myself under without paying close attention to the subtle signs of an imminent flare, now resulted in being right in the midst of one.
Essentially this meant that there was no way seven days of time out was going to cut it. What turned into two, three and even four week’s also have not been enough. I have to work within my ‘energy envelope’ and even some days I have pushed that a little too far. That is not a helpful practice towards recovery.
Lethargy has been a close companion. Fatigue; mentally, emotionally and physically is not fully abated by rest. Sleep has not been consistent, qualitative or restorative. Challenges in my personal life merely added more weight to the situation.
Now into February and still some plans are temporarily on hold. Recovery will occur; patience is required through this. I am thankful that I am able to sit at my desk at times and undertake what I love to do. Gratitude surfaces for the two free-form writing sessions I have achieved in the last couple of weeks.
To me, that is indicative that I am on the path to restoration, rejuvenation and recovery from this FM flare. When it began, my mind was like a window that had the blind pulled down and the curtains shut over it. It was a closed off space; nothing could get in and more-so, nothing was coming out. It feels so wonderful to have the blind up, curtains drawn and window open, even if only occasionally at the moment.
Although I had not planned an extended break from writing, things happen for a reason. I also had not planned to be at the point on the calendar and still not commenced other tasks towards my goals. I need to trust the reason (which is still unclear to me) and know that in time that I will do all that I wish to.
Life has a way of looking after us when we are not paying attention to doing it well for ourselves. This flare has been a stark reminder to me of what will happen again if I don’t listen intently to my body’s and what it requires to function well, if not optimally. I need to balance the love of the ‘work’ that I am doing (writing, creating, acquiring knowledge, managing my Mumma Sue’s View Facebook Page and Positive Wellbeing Friends Group) with the management of the FM and self-care.
Remission is the goal and determination, patience and helpful self-care will get me there once more. Whilst my kindness to others is foremost, during this time it is not only helpful but also necessary to be kinder to myself.
This current situation and circumstances may not be what I had planned yet it is what it is, temporarily. What I had and still have planned will eventuate and I excitedly look forward to that!
Remember, sometimes the kindness you give to others, needs to be focused on yourself. Take care one and all x
“Soon, when all is well, you are going to look back on this period of your life and be so glad you never gave up.” – author unknown