It’s amazing what 5 days away from work and my 4-hours-a-day travel routine can do to my energy and stress levels. I haven’t had 5 days away from work since last August and having worked through Christmas and a very busy January, just 5 days away from the constant demands of deadlines and train timetables has paid dividends.
I feel rested and much more in control of my emotions. I am less short-tempered and more amenable. I can deal with change in a measured manner and I don’t feel that I’m “on the edge” and about to explode constantly. I carry much less tension in my neck and shoulders and my sleep is better.
I love my job, and I thrive on the energy and variety of work but I can’t help the way that my mind and body react to stress. As I have often said before, stress is not necessarily negative. Stress can often be positive and provides the necessary energy and creativity to get the job done both on time and done well.
If I had to describe to chronic fatigue syndrome in one word it would be “frustrating”. From the symptoms to the manner in which I have to mange this illness it is nothing short of frustrating. I still haven’t come to terms with my limitations but I am learning how to manage my illness much better. I know I have to rest more, to relax more and not to be too hard on myself when I don’t accomplish what I set out to achieve. It’s slow progress but it’s still progress.
Looking forward to the next 2-4 months I have a very busy and exciting schedule with lots of amazing things to look forward to. I am trying to keep a lid on my excitement as this wastes precious energy and whilst it’s “not the real me” as I usually wear my heart on my sleeve, it has to be the “new” me if I am to retain my equilibrium and improved mood.
When I was young I loved Aesop’s Fables and my favourite tale was about the race between the Hare & the Tortoise. Looking back, I think that the hare was afflicted by CFS as he had a spurt of energy to initially overtake the tortoise but had to take a nap halfway through the race as he had run out of energy. This allowed the slow and steady tortoise to take the victory. It’s classic CFS!
So the moral of my story is, train yourself to be a tortoise and leave the high-energy-sapping activities to someone else.
The weather forecast has been poor all week, but I was always hopeful that somehow we would escape the snow and ice coming our way and continue with our normal Saturday ice-skating lesson routine.
Alas it was not to be and as the snow gradually turned into a frenzied blizzard early this morning I turned the radio on just in time to hear the traffic report which also told me that the motorway junction we exit to fetch Will was closed due to an accident. Going cross-country didn’t seem such a good idea when the strong advice was not to travel unless necessary, so being the sensible soul I am, I resigned myself to no Will this weekend and no ice skating either and arranged to stay at home.
This hasn’t been such a bad thing though as it has meant I have enjoyed a lazy day which is a rare occurrence for me and one which I would normally rebel against. I like to be on the move, to do things. I don’t rest until my head hits the pillow and then only for an average of 4 hours sleep so for me to go back to bed and sleep until 11.30am this morning was a rare thing indeed.
With nothing to do outside, the garden is under 6″ of snow, the wind is bitter cold and the road treacherous, I have enjoyed sorting out my blog (note the change in format and colour) adding some new links and pictures and deleting the old ones which no longer work whilst listening to old ABBA CDs and watching Inspector Morse episodes! What an admission and bang goes any street cred I had left! But it’s not so bad….
They say a restless body can hide a peaceful soul A voyager and a settler, they both have a distant goal If I explore the heavens, or if I search inside Well, it really doesn’t matter as long as I can tell myself I’ve always tried
(Abba, Move On)
“The secret of a happy life is to know when to stop – and then go that bit further.”
I have spent the last few weeks living out of a suitcase and seemingly doing nothing at the weekend apart from washing, ironing and preparing for the next week away. It’s a double-edged sword. I like visiting different offices, every team, every business unit is different and has their own people dynamics and it is this variety that keeps me enthused and passionate about my job. But, everyone needs a break and after a few weeks of being constantly on the move I have come to see my big sister and her family who live on the East Coast for some quality R&R.
After only a few hours I already feel more relaxed, at ease and at peace.