Sometimes you need to let loose and have some fun.
Yesterday I squandered time, and money, and energy and it was glorious. I spent a beautiful day getting a pedicure, shopping, and then having dinner with my family. I had an iced coffee, I ate too much, I drank too much. I laughed all day and caught up on gossip. I bitched about work (a little), I ignored my emails and my cell phone. I didn’t rest. I didn’t do anything productive.
This morning I woke in a fabulous mood and I tried to remember the last time I enjoyed myself like that.
(Originally written 10/24/2014)
If you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, do you ever leave a doctor’s office wondering if it’s all in your head? I’ve been battling what has been diagnosed as chronic sinusitus and an earache for months. Today I finally consulted an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) only to be told that I have no signs of chronic sinus infection and no fluid on the ear. But I definitely have unexplained hearing loss in one ear. This leaves me with far more questions than it answers and wondering once again what the heck is wrong with me.
Is My Relationship Working?
If all relationships are different, than how do I know if mine is working?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my marriage. And when I say "thinking," what I really mean is worrying. Should it be better? Is it harder than other people's marriages? Do we have more problems, more conflicts, less in common than other couples? I turn these questions over and over in my mind like worry stones. These questions have worn grooves in my brain.
The answer to all my questions is "yes," and "no." We have more conflict than some couples, less than a lot. Some couples must work hard to find things in common, others probably can't wait to get out on the trail (wagon, bike, campaign, whatever trail) together. All relationships are different.
To say all relationships are different is somewhat reassuring, but leaves much unanswered. If all relationships are different, than how do I know if mine is working? How do I know if this is a good relationship with some challenges or a really difficult relationship that could work if we are both committed to trying or a bad relationship that should be chucked into the scrap heap of love?
I’ve been showing up sick at work all week; not contagious (I think), but just not well. When people ask if I’m feeling ok, I just tell them I have a lingering cold. Having a “lingering cold,” is pretty acceptable this time of year.
What I haven’t been telling people is that I have some unexplained hearing loss, that the fatigue is back, and that I am schlepping from doctor to doctor in a quest to find out why I’ve had more or less unrelenting “colds” for the past year.
I’m not exactly pretending, I’m just making my illness more digestible for others.
In her book, “In the Kingdom of the Sick,” Laurie Edwards talks about the phenomena of “faking wellness.” Chronic, unexplained illness is boring for me and, I think, ridiculously tedious for others to hear about. I find I pick and choose the situations in which I cop to being sick and those in which I tell people I’m feeling, “fine.” I have a small group of people that know about my endless quest for better health, but mostly I fake “well” or at least I fake “not sick.”
Usually I’m ok with this choice, but sometimes I wonder if I’m isolating myself by not being honest. Am I being a good friend by not burdening people or am I cutting myself off from intimacy? I’m not always sure.
Do you tell people when your symptoms get bad or just “fake well?” I’d love to hear how you manage.
Creating a Life with Purpose
I stopped looking for my purpose and started living purposefully.
I spent many years trying to find my true purpose in life – I know I’m not alone here. I wrote long, agonizing journal entries, I prayed, I chanted, I meditated, I took seminars, and pop quizzes. Whatever I did, there did not seem to be a definitive answer.
What helped the most was getting cancer, almost dying, and going through the cleansing fire of intense chemotherapy. (I don’t recommend this method, by the way). I know what you’re thinking: I am so lucky to have had a life-changing experience to set me on my path. Not everyone gets that opportunity.