Well, it’s spring break, and it’s been a bit of a different kind of week off for me. Usually, I spend spring break with a few days at the beach, a lot of cleaning and organizing, and my youngest daughter comes to visit if she can get a few days off from school. Well this year…..the planets are aligned differently I guess. It’s been nice, but different. I’ve had another doctor’s appointment (ugh!), with yet another adjustment to my meds. I’ve been to the farmer’s market with my husband, and to a couple of local museums (you just can’t beat buy one get one free coupons!). We’ve fixed a television and a toilet. I’ve studied for, and passed, another three hour test for my post licensing real estate course. I’ve rested a lot. I’ve scared a snake……he scared me first. I’ve been annoyed with Facebook and the data breach. I’ve watched a lot of television shows that I enjoy. I’ve tried to organize a few things around the house. That’s a slow process, but I’ll get there…..maybe. Otherwise, you might find me on an episode of Hoarders! Just kidding! I’m not anywhere near that….yet! So I”ve been able to get a few things accomplished, while relaxing. Nothing exciting at all, but I’m doing the best I can, and it’s exactly what I need.
I used to think that needing to be busy and doing something was important for the time off from work. And it is….but that something may involve just going for a walk to get fresh air, or watching movies and relaxing, or reading a book. Teachers work hard. I spend an hour and a half in the car every day for a commute. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet away from my busy, lovable 1st graders! Besides, having a chronic illness has forced me to make changes. I’m not missing out on life, but I do have to adjust! Even though my activity level has changed, the week off still seems to be flying by! But part of me still feels like I should be doing something.
Part of these lifestyle changes have involved a bit of guilt. I feel like I screw up fun for other people. I can’t have things too loud. I get tired easily. I need to hold onto things or people for balance. I feel dizzy and light headed most of the time….some people will say it matches my personality! And my head hurts! I may not be the life of the party, but if you tell me to walk across a room unassisted, I am the party! I’ve never been one to need to be the center of attention because of an intense social anxiety problem, but I’ve always enjoyed being out and about, and doing things. I like meeting people in the right setting. I like learning about people, and new places. So making lifestyle changes is hard. I would guess it would be similar to trying to eat healthier, exercise more, or stop smoking or drinking. Those seem to be pretty common and relatable, and we need to support anyone who is just doing the best they can. Have you ever been out to eat with someone who is on a diet? Or at a party where alcohol is being served with someone who is struggling to stop drinking? It’s hard for them, but we support them. They’re doing the best they can. That’s all we can ask of them. No guilt.
So I guess I need to stop putting guilt on myself, and remind myself daily that I’m doing the best I can…..that’s doing something. No one else is going through exactly what I’m going through. Sure, other people have had this condition, and I’m so grateful to my friends who are there for me to answer my questions (especially my friend Karen from college!). But no one knows what I deal with daily, just as I don’t know what they deal with. I would assume that everyone is just doing the best that they can, no matter what their circumstances. That’s all we can ask of each other.
If I’m grumpy, it might be my best for that day. If I’m sleepy, it might be my best. If I’m goofy, it might be my best. If I seem fine, it might be my best. If I want to walk around a quiet museum, it might be my best. If I’m confused or in pain, it might be my best. I have to stop allowing myself (and others) to make me feel like I’m lazy or rude or not pulling my weight if I am unable to do more. So this week, what might seem like a mediocre, boring spring break to others is my best, and it’s exactly what I need for me. If we are all doing our best, then we should all get along just fine, right? How about we all do our best for support, understanding, and not judging what we don’t understand. I promise it won’t cost a thing, and it might make life a lot easier. Do your best for you, and don’t feel guilty for it. That’s doing something.