So a few weeks ago I was thinking about limits and considered rehabilitating my attitude towards the limits having fibro places on my life. Instead of resenting them, I thought, I should start getting more out of the things I do have the energy to do.
That’s easier said than done. Especially this week. I started a temporary position that eats up most of the waking day. I get home at five-thirty or six and then I’ve got four hours at best to get everything I need to get done. A common occurrence in the United States, I know, and many people have even less time than that. But they’re not fighting fibro fog. And on Wednesday, the day we get off due to the Independence Day holiday, the day you’re supposed to do things with friends and family, I had to skip plans I had made with my sister because by the time four o’clock rolled around I was too tired from what we had done earlier in the day. And as much as I enjoyed the stuff we’d done earlier that day, going to a concert would have been enjoyable, too. Sometimes holidays really aren’t holidays for people with fibromyalgia.
But then I was going through all of the documents I got this summer at the workshop that took up most of my June (an Invitational Summer Institute that is part of the National Writing Project)–I had to put off going through it all because there was too much information handed out during the workshop to process it all as it’s happening—and I came across this quote on one of the handouts:
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumbnail.” From Walden
When I first read that quote I knew I had to write about it and think about it more, but I didn’t have the time to do so right then. And then I was distracted by a million other things—there is that word again—a million. When I first read the quote I thought that was a bit of a jump, to go from thousands to millions, but there, I just did it out of a desire for hyperbole. It feels like a million things because there’s so much to do and it never ends and so much of what I really want to do just doesn’t get done.
I think it’s very hard to be a modern American who has to earn her own living and “keep your accounts on your thumbnail.” Right now I have no children and though my temporary position has close to full time hours but my regular reaching job is part time, so my accounts are a little less numerous than what some others have. Still, there’s more accounts than I would like to have, just by virtue of having to make my way in the world. But I guess I could early try and compress. My accounts have to be work, a little time for personal writing every day, a little time for exercising three or four days a week, time for my husband and family every day…and maybe a little bit of tv/Internet/book time thrown in. That’s a half dozen or so, right? Oh, and there’s running errands (have to pick up my fibro medicine today), doing favors for the family, going out with friends every now and then, figuring out what class I want to take this fall…oh, it’s starting to add up again…
At least I know I’m going to try to relish every last bit of it.