Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Used To Exist In The Land Of Time

A while back my husband and I were watching one of those wife-swap type shows where they stick the messy mom in the OCD mom's house and vice-versus, and we get to watch both families flip out. Not because we purposely sought it out, but because it just happened to be what we were watching. On this particular episode we were introduced to the most awesome couple we have ever not met. They were a hippiesh bi-racial couple living in Venice Beach. Very relaxed and go with the flow kind of folks living very unstructured lives. Of course they are "wife swapped" with an Italian New Jersey housewife who spends her days scrubbing her house from top to bottom and fulfilling every beck and call from her husband and children. While in that little confessional reality TV room the California husband and his 2 feet long dreadlocks announce that he "used to exist in the land of time" but had decided to give it up. It was too stressful. He did what he wanted when he wanted and that was the bottom line. My husband and I looked at each other quizzically and then burst out laughing. We were not aware time was an optional state of being!

Since then it has become a long-standing household joke. It usually pops its head up when we are running late to something we really don't want to go to. You know, like work or well, work! But I have noticed all sorts of time issues since my CFS/Fibro journey began. I feel like each day is a race to catch the clock someone threw out the window the second I wake up, and I can never quite catch it. I never get done all I need to do. I have also developed this "being late" issue that is becoming quite a nuisance and introduces a significant amount of stress to my life. As a child my mom was the one that was late. I would throw fits and tantrums because she was frequently drastically delayed and I took it as a personal affront. As a teenager into adulthood I was usually frivolously early. Sure it was annoying, sitting there waiting all the time, but that was just who I was. 

Then came CFS and Fibro and I became the one with the late problem. If I had a penny for each time my husband has asked me how much longer until I am ready to go, I would be retired on some island somewhere sipping Pina colada's and rolling around in cash. I nearly miss practically every doctor appointment since they only seem to run behind when I am not. My mother now waits for me to arrive, my husband keeps reminding me that showing up as the party is ending is NOT "fashionably late" and I have learned how to put on mascara while driving. And then I signed up for this Spanish class. Senora profesora was strict. Walking into class late was a very uncomfortable feeling, as her eyes, along with the rest of the classes, bored holes into me. So I had to figure this one out. I realized if I switched the order of my get-ready routine around I could shave minutes off my "late problem". I may not look as good, but at least I was there! Its all these little things in life that amount to one big headache in learning how to live with a chronic illness. Switching around long-established routines, learning how to let things go, remembering what is important and what is not worth fussing over. This everyday struggle is never an easy one, but until I can choose to no longer exist in the land of time, I gotta keep trying to figure it out.

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  1. Late is my MO. I'm almost always late to work. It just takes me linger than normal to get me and the boys ready and concentrate on a the tasks needing to happen. I am not the multitasker I used to be. I'm still in the land of time but am surrounded by people who accept it without too many squabbles. I'm afraid until my youngest is out of the house I'm stuck in the land of time.

  2. When I was still out and about, late was certainly my default setting. I don't think healthy people realise just how hard it is for someone with CFS/fibro etc to actually be on time for something!

    Now i'm bedbound, and with a completely upside down body clock, I guess I really DO live 'outside of time'!! Hehe. :)

  3. hi Leah,
    just wanted to let you know i passed on an award to you today (thursday 10th) so pop on over and accept it!
    leigh x

  4. The older I got, the latter I ended up being to work, appointments, etc.. For a 9 a.m. appointment, I'd find myself thinking I'd have to leave about 9, even though I knew better! I'd eventually catch this corrupted sense of time, but not always soon enough.
    It is like I am on a 26 hour circadian day, and the rest of the world is on a 24 hour rhythm.