Invisible Illness

Productivity

Everyone defines productivity differently.  Overachievers seem to have a hard time considering themselves productive because they set such high standards for themselves (and everyone around them too).

I used to be an overachiever.  Dealing with my fibromyalgia has changed that.  I’ve had to lower my standards for myself in order to maintain my mental health.  When I first was dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, primarily the fatigue, the brain fog, and the pain, I often found myself unable to complete the simplest of tasks.  And it upset me.  Truly, to the point of frustrated tears, upset me.

So I started changing my idea of being productive.  I started taking baby steps, making lists of big things then making lists of smaller things that led up to the big things.

Big things like fixing up our yard.  A task made even harder because I have a rambunctious almost-3-year-old who I can’t leave unattended for 5 seconds without her causing trouble.  And harder because Hubby has left me practically a single parent for the last several months with his 2-jobs-schedules that left us with barely any mutual days off.  So I broke those things into smaller things.

New yard furniture.  A new yard umbrella to give us shade.  Mowing the lawn.  Pulling weeds from the empty flower beds.  Moving the bird bath (which is solid stone/concrete and takes several people).  Re-planting our crepe myrtle.  Cut back the overgrowth on the side and back of house.  Mark out the deck dimensions.  Purchase supplies for deck.  Build deck.  Build lattice privacy wall.

Smaller things.

Run the dishwasher.  Empty the dishwasher.  Run laundry.  Fold laundry.  Put away laundry.  Vacuum.  Sweep and mop.  Pick up toys.  Dust.

Smaller things.

Read a chapter.  Research.  Write.  Post.

Smaller things.

Text a friend.  Call a doctor’s office.  File paperwork.  Take me-time.  Shower.  Brush my hair.  Brush my teeth.  Eat.

These days I’m excited for accomplishing small things I used to take for granted.

Meeting my step-goal (which is less than the 10,000 recommendation).  Drinking enough water.  Finishing homework on time or even early!  Taking care of laundry.  Loading the dishwasher.

Things I used to be able to do without much effort can now take all I’ve got.  I just don’t have enough spoons to do everything.

So I’m working on adding some spoons.  It’s tough and requires hard work and a lot of effort.  But I also want to make sure I’m as prepared for Disney next year as I can be.

I want to be able to keep up with DD.  I want to be able to be excited with her, not exhausted.  I want to be able to get out of bed every morning with energy, not sore muscles.

I know I have no real control over my illness.  But I can control how I react to it.  And I’m fighting back.


~ML

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