I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a year and a half ago and since then I’ve been learning to watch for signs of flare ups and, as a result, accept what has mostly been unpredictable. I have figured out a pattern that occurs when I travel for work. My work trips are almost always whirlwind 2-3 day stints of travel, meetings, travel home at midnight. That’s by design. Home is my haven. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and explore new places, but I rarely am able to combine that with work. Too much energy is depleted with work to be able to enjoy an add on trip.
Most of my physical flares came on quietly. I either woke up in a bad way or went to bed in a bad way. Either way, I couldn’t pinpoint when it hit. It just did. Until about a week ago. My husband and I decided to go out to eat instead of make dinner. We tried three different restaurants that all had either a cover fee for the live music, a menu we didn’t care for or a wait that would have brought us to the point of hangry. After a few laughs and chalking it up to an adventure, we opted for a quicker option down the road. Pei Wei. A good, quick dinner, which fit the bill for the night. On our way home, I felt a wave of exhaustion hit. More like a Tsunami. As I sit in the passenger seat, I felt my body deplete.
That’s when my world shifted and I was fully aware of how quickly I went from laughing and enjoyment to exhausted. I was speechless in my own mind.
I’m trying to get it through my thick head that I should not worry so much. Why do I worry so much? What am I afraid of? It’s like cracking open a coconut with a toothpick. Useless.
Case in point: I just sent my work teammates an email that I will be out this afternoon for a little while attending my son’s game. We all work remotely and manage our time well. This should be a non-issue. In fact, I worked half of a day that I technically took completely off and ended up having to work to get a project out the door, so I can easily make up for the time lost.
Why do I stress about it? Why do I worry about what they all think? Why do I care? I should care more about getting to my son’s game and being fully immersed in that and not worrying about work.
What’s the worst that can happen? I guess I could get written up or fired, but I don’t think that will happen. I’ve worked long enough and I’m at a point in life where the importance needs to be placed on the right things… like family. Family is priority and that is exactly the discussion I had with my new boss when I interviewed. Work is important, but family is much more. This next few years will be gone in the blink of any eye. I’m not missing a beat.
It’s really ok. It really is. But my stomach knots up and I get minor heart palpations… I hate that. Why the heck does that still happen to me?
I need to enjoy this time. I need to drill a hole in that coconut, add some rum, stick a straw in it and drink up.