Ok. This is another post mostly about RA and not so much about food. There will probably be a passing mention of food but no recipe. You’ve been warned!
Tonight had me thinking, intensely, about how to balance. This is definitely not the first time I’ve talked about balance. It’s a category I choose from when tagging my blog and it gets chosen quite a bit. I’ve even written several posts specifically about balance: Pain Relief and Balance, More Balance and Dessert, and Summer is Over and Finding Beautiful.
The thing is, it’s a constant battle. Constant. Friday I had a mild incident that left me with a sore finger that required some x-rays but was found to be nothing. I went out to dinner Friday night with Mark and some friends and had a wonderful time full of good food and laughter (while looking British because my pinkie was straight out!). Saturday I did some shopping with another friend and felt like I had relaxed. I felt fine. I thought I was fine.
That’s the thing. I always think I’m fine. It’s as if I’ve lost touch with what “fine” means. Because “fine” means just moving on. Doing what I have to do every day.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of laughter here.
But I wonder if spending so much time hurting and feeling bad has made me completely lose touch with some parts of who I am and how I feel. I had a massage today and it was completely fabulous. But my friend the massage therapist would say things like “Does this hurt?” and I seriously wasn’t sure. My first reaction was “No” and then when I thought about it and felt the joint or the area sometimes the answer would change to “Yes.”
When I had PT some months ago the very young Physical Therapist admitted that he thought, when he first met me, that I had worked on a farm my entire life. Then he realized my hands were just swollen. I can no longer wear my wedding rings (or any rings or bracelets for that matter) because they don’t fit properly and they hurt but I didn’t even realize that my hands were swollen. What is wrong with this?
I started thinking about this today because I had made a commitment to help with a community project. I agreed to distribute bags to the houses in my neighborhood for the annual food drive for a local shelter. I did it 2 years ago as well. Today we put bags on the doors in my neighborhood and next Saturday we go and collect any food anyone has put out. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? A little exercise and some good community service.
A dear friend always comes to help me and brings her teenage children. She took one look at me and said “You look tired.” It’s always a cold and windy day when we do this and by the time I had walked for 2 hours I was done. DONE. I came home and was ready for bed at 4:45. I couldn’t cook dinner. I had no energy left to do the laundry that is piling up. After about 2 hours in bed I was ok and crawled out to eat dinner, clean the kitchen, and then write this post.
But how do I decide what I do and what I don’t do? Since I feel substantially better in the summer do I only volunteer to help in the summer and cocoon inside in the fall and winter? How do I honestly and properly monitor how I’m feeling before it is too late and I’ve hit the wall?
Truly I’m asking you. How do I do it? How do you do it? Because I don’t seem to be great at this. I want to live the most fulfilling life possible. I want to have fun and laughter and spend time with my husband, my children, and my friends. I want to be a part of my community and make a positive impact where I live. But I don’t want to be falling asleep at 4:45 normally.
How do you prioritize? How do you balance?
I wish there was a magical formula or some words I could say and wave my wand. But if that was the case I don’t think I’d be worrying about my RA.
My world is pretty wonderful but it is reality. I need to work on balance some more and I would love your comments, suggestions, and ideas.