Coping, Favorites

Walking the Tightrope

I have errands to run. I’m wiped out a little headachy. Perhaps that’s because I have run errands, cleaned, gardened, painted and sanded in the last three days. But I’ve also read, talked on the phone and watched baseball, which I thought would count toward staving off exhaustion.

No matter how well I think I ration my energy, I keep falling off the tightrope. Last week was as busy as this week, except that I didn’t rest at all. Last Wednesday I was drained and spent most of the day reading. Thursday I had a killer headache. I thought I did better this week, but the results are the same.

There are all sorts of metaphors for not depleting oneself (energy units, points, credits, spoons, marbles, dollars). These are great guiding principles; it’s putting them into practice that’s tough. I can list everything I do and try to assign worth to each one, but where do those values come from?

Will going to Macy’s, the appliance store (still looking for a range that fits), and the natural foods store have equal costs? Should I take fluorescent lighting and my expected level of frustration into account? Is the value of stopping at the tea shop on the way home positive or negative?

Even though I’m a Libra, balance has always eluded me. When it’s baked goods and multiple cappuccinos in one day, this isn’t too bad. When it’s my body, pain and happiness, I need to exchange the net under the tightrope for a trampoline.

2 thoughts on “Walking the Tightrope”

  1. Hi Kerrie –

    You put my daily struggle into words so well. I have been out of work on disability for 4 years due to migraine. I am trying to find some way to “have a life” within the confines of this unpredictable illness.

    “Planning” seems like a joke to me. I wonder if I will EVER feel like my life is “manageable”, in any way, again. Each day I wake up and there are the questions: “Can I take a shower AND get groceries, or should I skip the shower, to be safe, because there’s no food in the house?” … “Do I have energy for a walk, because walking would give me more energy, but then will I need a nap?” … “Will I EVER get this apartment UNPACKED???, return those calls???, get a haircut???, etc?” How do I find balance when the “to do” side keeps growing and the “can do” side keeps shrinking?

    Some days I can do the “live in the moment” thing, which is great. But often I crave SOME degree of structure and achievement in my life. I feeling like I’m always falling farther and farther behind.

    Your blog is great. Your writing gives me solace. Thanks, -Kate

  2. I love this blog. This is what I battle with daily…balance! I still work full-time and intend to keep doing so, but it is exhasuting with chronic headaches. Evening-time, typically spent on chores, errands, and projects, often needs to be used for resting, reading, relaxing. It is a tough balance. Exercise,for me, has suffered. It is the one evening activity that I can’t fit in as often anymore. I just need to be well for work the next day, and that often involves lying in bed, reading or doing sudokus, with a heating pad on my neck and a cold facecloth on my forehead half the evening! That is the one battle with chronic pain…to have a life but to keep yourself functional. And it requires vigilance, attention to your every move, which in itself is tiring.

    Great blog Kerrie…you just summed up my life (and so many of ours) beautifully!!

    Thanks, Terri!


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