“What goes up, must come down.
Spinning wheel got to go ‘round.” Blood, Sweat & Tears
I slept straight through the night, two nights in a row. When I awoke, it was cold and beautifully sunny. I hopped out of bed, grateful to be in the best mood I’d been in for days, and energized and excited about the day ahead. I was making lunch to bring to a friend whose leg had been broken by a wayward calf as he wrangled the beast at the rodeo.
What a difference a couple days can make! Last night I slept poorly, waking every two hours. Hot, then cold. Needing to pee, then needing a drink. And nightmares: I was in a pond full of alligators and one (that looked like my spotted cowhide rug), kept jumping up on me like a dog, trying to bite my head off!
I finally dragged my derrière out of bed when the sun began shining through the skylight. I would take a nap, or do yoga nidra later. I had just finished preparing a nice breakfast when I suddenly felt lightheaded and queasy, as if I was on a merry-go-round. I jokingly wondered aloud if I could be pregnant (no, absolutely not). I washed my morning meds down with half a Svelte protein drink and crawled back into bed. It was the only sensible thing to do.
I had things to do, but I couldn’t take care of anything else, unless I took care of myself first.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised in The Era of Martyrdom. I was taught that a Good Wife/Mother/Daughter/Sister takes care of everyone else’s needs first… and hers last, if at all. To act any other way was selfish. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties and did my first personal growth workshop that I learned ‘twasn’t necessarily so!
“Take care of yourself FIRST, so you can take care of others,” is one of the two most important concepts I share in my book, Sick and Tired & Sexy… Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness. The other one is, “For things to change, first I must change.”
These concepts are vital to living beautifully both as we age, and especially if we live with chronic illness. In both cases we can’t do all of the things we could before, we may not have the energy we did before, and we may not look like we did in the past.
Giving up isn’t an option for me, and sticking our head in the sand certainly won’t result in a beautiful and fulfilling life. So, what choices do we have?
It’s a choice to take good care of ourselves, and if we aren’t doing so yet, it’s a choice to consciously change. Choose to dig out buried dreams and give them your best shot now. Savor being a beginner. Finally consult a therapist about issues you’ve dealt with long enough, but haven’t known how to fix. Take the time to simplify your life, clear out clutter, tie up loose ends. Living your life freely, joyfully, and confidently will change how you look at life, and how you look. It’s also very sexy.
If you need someone’s permission to go for it, to become your own hero, consider it granted!
I may be spending my day in bed, but I have my journal, a great book, a challenging crossword puzzle, and Pandora radio (try Deep Dive Corp – thank you, Holly). Outside my window vines are climbing a fence, trees are flowering, thunderbirds turn lazy circles in a pale blue sky. The spinning wheel keeps turning. I know from experience this is so, and it makes me grateful for even a bad day.