Monday, October 25, 2010

The To Do List

I am a To Do list queen, and a queen procrastinator as well, so you can imagine how well those two go together. Then add Fibromyalgia and Prednisone on top of that and what you wind up with is a frantic quivering mess that gets nothing done but everything started! Then the internal rebel kicks in and I get mad at the To Do list for being too confining, trying to control me, and I ignore it. But after a while everything starts piling up around me and I start feeling out of control, so I start compiling that To Do list again, glad to have somewhere to put all the loose ends flying around in my brain so I can stop obsessing on every household chore or trip to the store that needs to happen. Before I got sick my husband would get so annoyed with my To Do lists. They were a mile long and he has told me on more than one occasion that I create a list for 1 day that would take any normal person a week to complete, and then I freak out when it does not get done. This behavior has hardly improved post-illness. Well from hangin' out at The Fibromyalgia Fun House I see I am not alone! To Do lists are constantly referenced. Its so important to get this done or that done, and a person that wakes up Lilac easily sacrifices their good feelings to that To Do list as the day slips into Mulberry or heaven forbid Amethyst. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Expectation. Whether it comes from us or others, or some strange warped combination of both, is a killer to the Fibromyalgia patient. We are either selfish or lazy if everyone else's needs are not met so we push ourselves to perform, complete, achieve, dragging that sick person along for a ride they are ill equipped to survive. We are unfocused or indulgent or scattered if we can't manage our daily responsibilities, take care of ALL the things that life has determined critical for survival. All the while we are GIVING OUR HEALTH AWAY. We are lucky that Fibromyalgia is a non-terminal illness that can be managed. And we are cursed because what it takes to manage it is 99% of what we have to give. So how do you marry the two? I sit here looking at my office, an explosion of old computer equipment scattered every which way and a closet stuffed so full of junk my feng shui cringes every time I open the door. The Yorkie peed on the Porkie on our walk this morning so that pushes dog grooming up to the top of the list. Laundry and bills have not taken a vacation and the house is so dusty and carpet needing a vacuum so badly I would not have a blind person over! My toenails resemble Jim Carrey's in Dumb and Dubmer and the Yorkie keeps puking on the carpet 2 seconds after standing on the linoleum. Then there is The Fibromyalgia Crusade, my budding little infant baby that needs a tremendous amount of nurturing and coddling every day to grow into the majestic and towering Oak she is meant to become. A safe haven for us all to rest in the shade of acceptance under.

When I was just out of college and working at the furniture store I attended a sales training seminar that was quite eye opening. It was hosted by this shot-gun of a motivational speaker who had figured out how to engage the customer in a whole new way. Tricking them, throwing them off their game so we as the salespeople had the upper hand. One technique that always stuck with me was to dish right back what they were giving , BUT WITH A SMILE :) Be it doubt, criticism, anger or disinterest give it right back but wrapped up in a sticky sweet little package that held no room for argument. I think we need to call on this approach to start changing the way we are treated, both by others and ourselves. We have to stop taking the criticism and complaints and judgment of others personally and stand strong and believe in ourselves that we are sick, this is real and we are doing the best we can! Last night I jumped off the rebel train and made that To Do list, too many fragments flurrying around my brain. It is long and important and full of time-consuming activities. But for the first time I gave it no time expectation. Yes this is all stuff that needs to get done, but what is most critical for the continued success of my life? I am picking the top two and leaving the rest. It will all be here waiting for me tomorrow.

Thanks for joining,

1 comment:

  1. O yes Leah I usaed to be obsessive compulsive cleaner. Also very organized mom always new where anything and everything was at all timesa. Now It's a disater in my house. I strt projects all the time and leave them. The person I have become is the very same person that irritates me. Procrastinator and slob...LOL The hard thing is my hubby just married me last New Years Eve. He never knew the other Dawn. I keep telling him I used to be so much better..I promise. Then I realized quit putting so much pressure on your self your not her anylonger and do what you can. This last year was so worse than the other 9 with the fatigue. I found out I have Hypo theroidism and CFS. So my doc prescribed me adderall for energy. At first I was a maniac and thought this is going to kill me in the pain arena. Now I am used to it already I have a high tolerance. Some days it takes me several rounds of medicine to get out of pain and get my but in gear (thats why I pull all (nighters) I feel so guilty if a day goes by and nothings done. I love your blogs and you are a pretty smart cookie for 3o something..:-)