The Edge of Pain

It’s funny, yet not at all funny, how pain changes a person. I’m not talking about core beliefs or character, although, over time with enough pain, those may fall victim, as well. I mean when an onset of pain occurs; attitude, priorities and relationships are faced with the proverbial machete and chopped down to size to what’s really important. Suddenly, the worry about that work report dissolves into thin air. Who cares. Pain sure doesn’t.

Pain can either clarify things or completely muddle them. Pain is also very selfish, but reasonably so. When the body screams for help, you’d better listen.

This is my battle quite often because of my ghost affliction – Fibromyalgia. It’s the type of chronic condition that affects the musculoskeletal system, causing pain and fatigue. As a bonus, when I’m stressed, I get a flare up as my door prize. Imagine the feeling of your muscles all over your body cramping up and staying that way for long periods of time. Hours. Maybe even a day or two. Imagine your skin being so sensitive that the touch from your spouse feels like fire. It’s not you, it’s me. I have barely anything to give during a flare up. I’m lucky if I have a couple spoons left in a day, if any at all.

I don’t even want to be a taker when I’m in pain. I don’t want anything from anyone. I just want to be. I cannot tolerate a neck rub or a simple light caress. Fibro is an isolating condition. Leave me be in my cocoon of soft clothes, darkness and quiet please.

If my head is not splitting, it is a time when I do a lot of thinking. I think about how grateful I am that my condition is not worse. My pain moments make that crystal clear. I feel for those with Fibro that spend their days in bed and cannot work as a result. Fibro Warriors, indeed. I walk a fine line with my condition and the high-stress my job brings, but I’m darn grateful I can still do it.

Pain may bring me to the edge, but I find strength in the fact that it hasn’t pulled me completely under.

 

Indirectly Killing Trees

This is not me. I swear. I don’t want to be this woman.

The purpose of my job flies directly in the face of the practice de-cluttering and reducing waste. It could be argued that it helps support less clutter, but I know better. This is a realization I need to process through. How do I work and support something I don’t believe in?

Ask my best friend. She’ll tell you that if I could rid the world of anything, it would be… garbage. I picked garbage as my answer before cancer and hatred in the game of “If” during our road trip from CA to IL. And my job contributes to it, to some degree. Most of it can be recycled, but who wants to contribute to the amount of stuff that needs to go through the recycle process? Besides that, I contribute to the increased number of trees that are cut down. That is horrifying. My job supports tree murdering.

I feel like the person enabling puppy mills now. Because buying a puppy at a pet store supports the puppy mills that mass-breed dogs for their shops. It’s a total guise that buying a puppy from a shop “saves a puppy” when behind the scenes the poor mother dog that is caged constantly to continually breed to supply these shops is horrifying, as well. Ok, maybe killing trees is not as drastic, but it does have an impact to our earth, the animals that live in them, the air we breathe and our carbon footprint. I care about that.

I love the people I work with, but I don’t like one of the biggest by-products of my job. And, I’m incentivized to do more of it. I make really good money, but this is not kosher. Not kosher, at all.

I feel a Fibro flare coming on…

 

Epic Fail = Clarity

Well, it took me only a week to ditch my New Years Resolution to write for 29 days straight. A week. What a fail. And the thing is, I didn’t realize it right away. So, the second weekend in January, our family went on a long weekend trip to San Antonio for my son’s football combine weekend. When we left the house at the crack of dawn on a Thursday morning, the adventure started, my routine blew up and writing was the furthest thing on my mind.

I only realized the loss of time when we returned home late afternoon on Sunday after last minute grocery shopping and a quick dinner, when I laid my head down to sleep back in the comfort of my bed. Oops. What surprised me the most was how it was not even a thought in my mind that whole trip. Hopefully that simply meant I was fully present in the moments of my trip. It was a great trip. Except for the first day when I needed to monitor and be responsive on some of my work email.

Anyway, the point is that my 29 day experiment dropped like a rock, regardless that I could have written via my mobile phone. What an epic fail.

I stewed about it for a number of days and then realized another part of the reason for the failure. During my time off through the holidays, my regular routine was blown-up. I had time to do extra things that I wanted to do. I started working out, eating more consciously and taking time for myself.

Naturally, when break was over, my regular routine ensued, which pretty much includes stress-filled work days, scrambling to make a half-way decent dinner, deciding to shower the next day instead, followed by body and mind exhaustion. Fibromyalgia is like that. It gets the best of the energy I used to have. My ghost affliction.

So, I came to the conclusion that I likely would’ve failed even without the weekend trip thrown in the mix. That was the critical moment during my commitment that I needed to dig deep, grit my teeth and carve out time to write. I did for the first few days, but then it felt pressured.

I don’t write well under pressure. I have to feel like doing it. Suddenly, I felt like I was under the gun. An excuse? Maybe. But that’s how I felt.

With all this reflection and reading several articles by Becoming Minimalist, I am getting back up, brushing myself off and will allow myself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent. Great point. I get a do-over. Why not? I am not one to give up. When the rocks fall over, stack them back up.

Thankfully, this thought process resonated with my efforts to write. I enjoy writing – it’s my go-to place to release my cluttered thoughts and become centered. Practicing minimalism is more than letting go of stuff in one’s home. It’s also about gaining clarity in your mind. It may have taken a few weeks to untie the knots in my head about failing epically with my resolution, but now I am clear.

I have also found my focus on what I want to write about. I am starting over my 29 day experiment. I am on a quest to find ways to live more simply and find the balance I need to feel better physically. Maybe, just maybe, it could help others. I can only hope. My journey will be documented here.

 

Stress Flare

The first day back to work after holiday break was a day filled with pulling numbers and manipulating spreadsheets. All day. My brain is frazzled.

Tomorrow is due to be a back-to-back meeting day. On the heels of today and in anticipation of tomorrow, I’m having a major flare up. 

Stress=flare up=body in knots=headache=exhaustion.

2017 is starting off really suckie.

I Lost It

Last night I dreamed a very vivid moment when I lost a tooth. Not like when you are 6 and you lose the top portion of a baby tooth. I’m talking from root to tip, the full length of a tooth and one of my lower incisors, no less.

I was horrified.

I held the tooth in my hand and stared at it appalled at how easily it fell out. And then I preceded to try to put it back in place in my mouth to no avail.

What just happened? And why in the hell did I lose my tooth?!

It was the next moment that horrified me even more. When a person came up to me and said, “Don’t worry. You won’t need it anyway.”

What?

I’ve heard or read or something that dreaming that you lose a tooth or teeth means good luck. It sure didn’t feel that way during my slumber. I woke up feeling a bit uneasy and, of course, quickly running my tongue over my teeth to check that all was in tact.

Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe it means that I should not hold on to things so hard. I don’t know.

I’m open to ideas. Anyone? Bueller?

Fighting the Sleepy Gnomes

This is not how I envisioned my first day of 2017. I woke up feeling very achy. Mind you, I did not have one drop of alcohol yesterday for NYE, so it’s not that. It’s my ghost affliction. I did what I usually do when I wake up that way. Took my “Mac Daddy” pain pill and got moving.

I even took a 2 mile walk this morning. My Fit Bit gave me lots of praise, especially since my goal is 5,000 steps in a day. Setting the bar nice and low there.

It pretty much went downhill from there. My energy level my physical level and my mental positivity. Down. The. Drain.

This is not how I want my New Year to start, and I’ll be damned if I let it further define this year. I thought Fibromyalgia was not progressive?? But then again, doctors are stumped by this chronic condition, so what do they really know. Not much.

I fought my every urge to crawl into bed and throw the covers over my head for the day.

I cringe a the very thought of losing a day in that way. But that is what I have read from many sufferers – they sleep all day and end up awake all night. Is it possible I could be slipping into that realm or can I fight it enough to stay on my “normal” schedule and continue to have a somewhat okay routine like I’ve had the past year?

I will continue to fight for that, but I’m tired. Really tired.

I decided to have a glass of wine before dinner, which probably wasn’t the most brilliant idea. It tasted good, but it just makes me more tired. I continue to fight the sleepy gnomes. Those are the invisible beings that sit on my eyelids and beckon my eyes to shut and go to slumberland. They sing to me, soft lullaby’s that sound so comfy and warm and it’s a place I want to go.

But not at 6pm at night.

Lord, help me find the strength to fight this ghost affliction just for today.

 

 

The 29 Day Experiment

I’ve read that it takes about 30 days of doing the same thing to create a habit. I’m going to test the theory for 29 days, as suggested by @BecomingMinimalist (my new favorite site for inspiration).

So… what am I going to do for the next 29 days?

Write.

Whether it’s a blog post, a sentence or a word. I’m going to write something. Why? Why not? Besides, it’s my way of decluttering my mind. My closet is not the only thing that’s going to benefit from my efforts. Every since I was young and started journal writing, that instantly became my mental outlet. It clarifies me.

I’m not going to put a lot of requirements around what I write or defining a focus or anything. It will simply be to write something. Twenty-nine days is not really a lot of time, when I think about it.

One of the presents we got our son is a calligraphy set – with feather, ink and multiple pen tips. I’m hoping this inspires his creative side again. At 15 and extremely athletic, his artistic side has been overshadowed a bit. I know it’s in there, though. He is a fantastically detailed drawer, but a perfectionist to a fault.

So, this is day one, and those are my thoughts.