It's my time
Time is our most valuable resource. Time enables us to decide and act on what we what to do with our lives. Our time here is finite, so we need to use it wisely.
However, having a chronic illness can be time consuming and energy draining. From waiting rooms, to visiting many specialists, to food prepping, and carefully planning out your days, it can be exhausting to manage. Sometimes it feels like a part-time job and losing this time can be frustrating. On the one hand if I don’t manage my chronic illness, I become very sick and end up losing all my time and energy being bedridden. Alternatively, if I do manage my chronic illness, I lose time to the management of it, BUT I can use the rest of my time and energy to do what I love.
To me, I will always put the management of my chronic illness first. Although this is something that took a long time to become okay with. My chronic illness is a part of me, but it does not rule my life. I think of my chronic illness as a cute little dog. My chronic illness needs some love and attention, otherwise it gets upset and causes chaos.
As I lose part of my day to managing my chronic illness, I need to be careful with how I use the rest of my time and energy. I cannot make more time, but I can find time during my day and allocate my time to certain tasks. A fantastic metaphor for time and energy spent is the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. Each day you have a limited number of spoons, in this case you have 12 spoons. Each task you complete uses between 1-4 spoons. Therefore, you need to choose your tasks wisely and some days you will need to rest and recharge.
So, use your spoons to do what you love! Visit family, travel, go to local events, see your friends, find a job that you love, dance like no one is watching, invest in some hobbies, smile always, and don’t look back. You’ve got your spoons - now determine how to use them.
How do you manage your time and energy when having a chronic illness?
Image credit: Lisa Fotios