Relationships. They’re so confusing. My parents were married for 58 years. My father was a hermit and my mother was a social butterfly and yet they fit together like they were meant to. Those two jigsaw puzzle pieces just fit perfectly. It doesn’t happen all that often.
Do you remember your first job. Looking back can you remember all the little pieces that had to fit together for it all to work? Think of the World Trade Center. That fateful day somebody missed a bus and didn’t make it to work on time. Or the man that stopped to buy a birthday card and was late. Or the person that overslept because they had had a fight with their significant other the night before. That saved their lives. Puzzle pieces. That’s what life is.
Every action that we take, every reaction that we have, changes the patterns of our lives. Sometimes the pieces fit together easily and everything is perfect. Sometimes the pieces don’t fit and you can’t figure out what’s wrong. Sometimes. And we never know which times are going to be good and which are going to fail miserably.
The picture that emerges when pieces fit together can be life-changing. If I had gone left instead of right would the life I lead now be the same as it could be. You can quite easily drive yourself mad trying to figure out the ‘what it’s’. But then isn’t that the charm? The Not knowing? I like to be surprised and that is the one thing that is a constant in a life well lived: surprise!
Ally, my cat. She thinks she is Management but I beg to differ.
Managing is a learned skill and I have learned that it is better if you appreciate that lesson early. One must learn to manage time, manage energy, manage fatigue and to manage our own emotions. How we feel can and does have a very profound effect on our lives and in particular any disease we may be dealing with. I find I am usually in much better shape when the sun shines and I am warm. Silly perhaps but I never said multiple sclerosis was logical.
Some days I simply MUST buy something. Or perhaps I just feel like going for a walk down to the lake. I refuse to run my life like a business with deadlines and responsibilities. We have enough responsibilities in our lives without creating more.
Managing your fatigue or your energy levels is really quite easy. If you are tired, stop. It is that simple, lie down, put your feet up, put your head down on your desk, just stop. People have to understand how important this is and make allowances for you and you have to stop being strong and toughing it out. You will do yourself damage if you do not give in to the fatigue. Plan for naps or even just make a little time to put your feet up. MS in particular demands it and this I will comply with. You cannot beat it, you cannot win. Take a nap and then enjoy the rest of the day. You may only require ten minutes but if you let it go you will require more time. Fight the battles you can win and compromise on the rest.
Managing one’s behaviour is a very difficult task. I know I shouldn’t get angry when something doesn’t go the way I want it to. People will promise to do something and then are unable to because of other obligations. It isn’t fair of me to resent them. I know that intellectually, but I still get angry. I am not the only person in the world and certainly not the only one with a disability. Acting like a Prima Donna is distasteful from a distance and even more vile when you realize you are the one doing the acting! How we behave in a given situation is based on so many factors. How we were raised will dictate how we judge a situation and our response to that situation will be based in part on how we feel that day, how we have responded previously in similar circumstances, who we are with, etc.,etc.,etc. No one can say how they will respond until they are faced with that particular moment. Ten years ago I would never have believed I would have treated my present circumstances in the way in which I have. Actually ten years ago I would not have believed I would ever be in this situation. Maybe this is where I was meant to be. Maybe this is what I am meant to do. I want to be able to look back on my life and be proud that I lived a good life. I’ll tell you if it worked in fifty years or so.