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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Perfectly Patient

When I was a kid two of my favourite characters were Beth from 'Little Women' and Cousin Helen from 'What Katy Did'.  I wanted to be as patient and kind as them, I even remember wishing for something to happen to me so I could prove I could be just as good as they were (can someone say, be careful what you wish for!).

Yesterday my patience was tested to the limit and I have to say I believe I managed quite well, considering I'm usually the first to tap my fingers impatiently.  Yesterday my M.E. was really bad meaning that I had to rest for 30-45 minutes for every 15 minutes of doing something.  Despite this I didn't actually get that bored.  I guess my imagination is to be congratulated for that.  But by the end of the day I said sod it and gave up with the resting - I knew I should keep resting but I just couldn't stand lying in that bed for one more moment.  So yeah, maybe my patience isn't that great.

Anyway, this post has more to it than just me explaining how being ill all the time does not automatically mean you are good and kind and patient (even if it is true).  My point is, though they were my favourite characters, they were not the main characters.  Beth and Cousin Helen were simply there for the protagonist (Jo and Katy respectively) to look towards as perfection.  But as characters, Beth and Helen are just not that exciting; they don't do anything, they have no conflict.

Therefore, I can say that, while I might still aim for perfection, it is completely acceptable to get stressed and frustrated (especially with my body) sometimes - after all, I am human, not a secondary character!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Follow Up

On Friday I guest posted (read it here) for the first time.  I have to say it was a scary move for me, but after the response I received, one I'm very glad I took.  So firstly, hello to all new followers - thank you for making my day and taking my follower count up to 50 (I'm still in a bit of shock) and of course thank you to all you who have followed me and continue to do so; every time someone reads a post or leaves a comment I am reminded why I blog and why I love it so much.

Now that I've said all that I honestly don't know what to say to follow it.  It was a long weekend for me - I went to a BBQ which totally exhausted me though it was good to see a few people I haven't seen in a long time, and even made a new friend (we're facebook pals now so it totally counts).  As for what I have planned for this week, I'm not entirely sure.  I know a lot of resting is on the cards, and hopefully some unpacking as well (seriously, the bags of my stuff dominating the floor are beginning to get to me) though this is easier said than done as much of it needs to be unpacked into furniture that isn't here yet! 

How did you all spend your weekend and what plans do you have for the following week?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Guest Posting

My very first guest post is up at Derek's Vandal Blog, so if you have a chance pop over and give it a read.  In the meantime I would be getting on with my one thing today but can't seem to find what I need - typical!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

One Thing Today

This morning was not a good one.  I woke up feeling like I hadn't really slept which put me into a bad mood - generally speaking, this is not a good start to the day.  However, I seem to have bounced back from it and while I'm still not the happiest I've ever been I'm beginning to cope with the idea that my M.E. has become much more limiting.  By this I mean that in the past month I have noticed that I leave the house a lot less often (and sometimes, like today, I don't make it out of the bed) and struggle to do anything other than sit up and go on my laptop.  Needless to say this isn't doing my depression much good.

But, as I said, I'm beginning to cope with this and am starting to feel positive towards my life again.  This is in large part due to the website Sustainably Creative.  This site was created by Michael Nobbs who also suffers from M.E. but it offers advice on how to use the little energy we have to create to our full potential.  I am also a subscriber (for which I pay a tiny amount) so get additional emails and podcasts sent to my inbox regularly.  All of this inspires me.

Pic credit - Michael Nobbs

The podcasts are called One Thing Today and are simply Michael talking for 5 minutes over a cup of tea, about what he is going to do that day.. just one thing.  Listening this morning decided that I am going to try and implement this in my life and try to get just one thing done each day (usually using the 20 mins a day idea).  Today was writing this blog.  Tomorrow will be a little something to do with my secret project.

This means that from now on I'm going to be posting 3-4 times a week rather than every day (although check back tomorrow as I'm guest posting!) in the hope that I will be able to use a little of my energy to work towards my creative goals.  I'm hoping to keep you all posted on how it goes (though without giving away too much straight away, of course) and hope you'll find my journey useful in some way.

[Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write about this product, I have not even been asked to write about it.  I simply have written about it because it's helping me and I love to share my favourite things.]

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Everyday Chores

For the past few weeks I haven't really been able to get out much.  In fact, right now, my range of movement is from the bed to the sofa (and my laptop), the toilet and back to the bed again - and this is an improvement.

While I've been sitting/lying down, unable to do much at all, Chris has been doing the chores I normally do - in specific the washing up, the cooking (okay, so we normally share this one) and the laundry.  Now, before I continue, I realise just how lucky I am that I have someone who does all this for me and makes life livable for me.  The thing is, I like doing these things.  Seriously, in the past few years I've fallen in love with my routine of washing up every morning (I never have the energy by the evening).  I like the way I don't have to think about what I'm doing, I like that it's easy (mentally anyway) and I like seeing the dirty pile recede as the clean pile grows.  It's the same for laundry.  I like having the control over these little pieces of my life. 

Control I no longer have.  (Well, I guess I could nag and eventually it would be done just as I like it done but I hope I never become that person.)  And it's more than that.  It's because I didn't have the choice.  I didn't choose not to be the one washing up, I didn't choose to have my entire life revolve around a laptop (well, I could choose for it not to but I don't think even  I could cope with that amount of loneliness).  And that's what really bites.  I don't want this life.  I want to shout and scream that phrase over and over.  I doubt it would make much difference.  And I know it wouldn't fix all my problems.

The truth is I don't want this disability and watch everything I can't do happening around me.  But I can't change that.  I know that I can't change that.  Sure, there are things that I can do in the hope that it will help my health improve (and, believe me, I'm doing the ones I can), but fundamentally I am stuck like this.  And I know I have to just breath and deal with it, work around it.  I know that I can still achieve something, even if it takes a lot longer/is a lot smaller than I'd like.  All I have to do is change my attitude.

That's right, I have to change my attitude towards my life.  I know this.  But I don't know if I'm ready.  I know what I have to do to move forwards but I can't seem to make it a reality.  I wish I could offer you an inspiring tale of the hope I have (and I hope one day I'm able to) but right here, right now I don't have the strength to change for the better.  So I guess I'll just keep plodding (or typing) on, dreaming big and knowing what to do to get there, but unable to take that first step.  A least for a while.  I'm hoping the more I remind myself the easier it will become until one day I find I'm there - hey, at least I'm hoping in some form.

Monday, 20 June 2011


Since I've been home I've been feeling...lathargic.  And that's on the days that I can get out of bed.  It's hard knowing that whatever I do will come back to bite me in the ass later or the next day.  It's worse because I'm simply wasting my time, opting to use my energy to come online or watch something.  I say wasting even though I know that's not what it really is.  It's me getting back into the swing of things, slowly.  And it's the slowly that's throwing me.  I feel like I should be charging ahead with my plans, catching up on all the time I've lost from being ill.  But the truth is I'm still ill. 

I am not nearly as bad as I was - I can leave the bedroom for more than half an hour now, but neither am I back to the level I was at before.  I can't spend all day planning and crafting and writing, I can barely think of anything to write here right now.  In short, I feel lost, suspended between my optimum and my disability (that isn't quite what I mean but it's the closest I can get right now).  So I am taking each day as it comes and trying not to beat myself up that I'm not able to get anything done.  I know I need to take it slow, it's just convincing myself that it is okay that is the problem.

What do you do to unwind?  How do you avoid the guilt that inevitably comes along with this?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I'm Back

As some of you probably noticed, I disappeared for a week.  This was completely unintentional and unavoidable yet I still feel slightly guilty that I couldn't let you guys know first.

I don't really know how to tell you what happened to me so I'm going to spit it out - I was in hospital.  Before you panic, I am okay(ish) now though still recovering.  I had an infection that totally screwed with my M.E. and caused a lot of problems, thankfully I seem to have come out of the other end relatively unscathed.   I won't lie and say it wasn't scary, because it was, but I had Chris and my family supporting me constantly which made it much more bearable.

Needless to say, having a week in hospital has made me realise just how bad my disability can get and I can't help but be grateful I don't have to live like that all the time.  But it has also knocked my confidence in myself and in life a little, so please forgive any rambling that may follow in the next few weeks as I try and work out where I go from here.

I am hoping to continue posting as often as I can during the week but I'm hoping you'll all understand if I miss a day or two (or three) as my priority now is resting and trying to get back to the person I was before (or at least to a person I can live with being). 

I hope your last week went better than mine, please share as I need some uplifting things to keep me going right now.

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Thankful List

I won't lie, lately life has been getting me down.  Most days it's a struggle to see the point of getting up and doing something.  Other days I bound out of bed only to be struck down with exhaustion from the effort of making breakfast.  Basically, life is hard.

But, I'm determined to not let it get to me.   I don't want to be this person, moping about without direction.  So I've decided that when I wake up I'm going to start with being thankful, and today I'm going to share with you a few things I'm thankful for.

  • I'm thankful I have somewhere to live
  • I'm thankful my cupboards are well stocked
  • I'm thankful to have a large, loving and supporting family
  • I'm thankful for the friends I have
  • I'm thankful that my M.E. doesn't restrict me to my bed most days
  • I'm thankful for the internet (many days would be much worse if I couldn't peek out into the world through my screen)
This is just the tip of the iceberg of things I'm thankful and grateful for.  So, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Time and Ramble

Time is a strange thing (if indeed it can be classified as a 'thing' - it's more a concept than anything else, but that's not what this post is about).  In the last three years I have discovered that the more time I have, the less productive I am.  I don't know if this is true for everyone, but it certainly is for me.  It seems somehow that it gives me a false perception of how much time I have - if I have a whole month to complete an assignment it is likely that not much of anything was done in the first week or two.  I wasn't the worst at time management, I did learn how to get most of it done so I didn't panic towards the deadline (well, I got better at time management by the third year at the very least). 

And now I'm finding I have the same problem.  I don't feel like I have anything to do everyday.  Of course I know that isn't true - there is packing and unpacking, tidying, cooking, applying for jobs, reading, stitching - but I don't feel like I have a purpose I'm working towards.

Okay, I've tried to give myself one (remember there's a super secret I'm keeping from you all) but it doesn't really feel real I guess.  It's still just in my mind and while I am slowly working to making it become a reality, until I get it off the ground I don't think it will feel 'real'.  It's almost like I'm just making things up in life instead of keeping it to the page.

And that's another thing - the writing.  I honestly don't know what's happening with my writing.  Part of me wants to write (part of me always wants to write) but the rest of me feels a sense of 'what's the point anyway' so I haven't been doing a whole lot of writing (other than exciting things like my C.V. and cover letters!).

Sorry, this whole post has turned into a sort of ramble.  I'm not sure what the point of this was (noticing a pattern here?) but I figured writing it down is probably the best thing to do.  And the reason I'm writing it here (in a nice public place) is - I guess- me hoping that someone else has felt this way.  It would be good to know I'm not the only one though I don't want a load of sympathy unloaded here.  Or, at the very least, someone else will stumble across this post just as they're feeling the same way and it will give them a grain of light (mixed metaphor muchly!)

Monday, 6 June 2011

Carnival Photos

Right now I'm surrounded by boxes - some half unpacked, some untouched.  That's right, I have moved.  Only it doesn't feel like I have, at least not completely.  But then again, I haven't got all my stuff here yet - I still have packing and cleaning to do before bringing the final things here and unpacking (and in the process hopefully making this apartment feel like home).

Due to all the craziness of moving I'm afraid I don't have any space in my mind for blog posts.  I can't even show you the new place as, while I've taken photos, the camera lead for the laptop is at my old place (yeah, I'm that organised!).  So today I'm simply going to share a few photos from the carnival parade we watched last week.  I love the colours and energy at carnivals and this one was no exception despite a steady stream of water falling from the sky.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Public Reading

I have been itching today to write a blog post. I have missed writing here each day, and, while I'm certain I won't be full of blog posts immediately, it's certainly something I'm planning to work on.

As I mentioned in my previous post on Friday I read an extract of my work at uni.  I realise that many people are terrified of any public performance, but I have to say I don't really understand why.  Perhaps it's because I've had acting training, but I don't hate standing up there sharing my work.  Sure, I was a tiny bit nervous beforehand, which certainly wasn't helped by the fact that my nose started itching half-way through, but I can't see why it bothers people.

I enjoy shouting out to the world - this is me, here I am, judge all you like, I don't care.  I'm not sure if I've always been this way but I honestly don't care that much whether I do a public reading or not.  It's more difficult if I know the audience personally, but even that is becoming less of an issue the more I do it.  However, the problem I mainly have is the one-to-one stuff.  Maybe it's because there's something comforting about a crowd - if anyone wants to do anything negative, they either have to get the whole audience to move with them or keep it to themselves.  And generally speaking they keep it to themselves as they don't know how the rest of the audience would react (at least, that's been my experience).  Not to mention that I know how to fake it.  Faking confidence is a huge help in situations like this.

Okay, I seem to have gone off on a complete tangent (and I'm really not sure where I'm headed so I'm going to stop here).  My point is - don't be afraid to stand up in front of the crowd and share your opinions and your work; the chances are, you're not going to be eaten alive (though I'm in no way guaranteeing your safety).