Eyes Bigger Than My Oomph

So I have a wee bit of a problem, a willing spirit but a tired body. There are just so many fun things to do like presentations and panels and nonprofits to start and groups to organize and craft projects all calling my name. Then there are the things I should be doing such as making ketchup, cooking a real meal, watering my plants, and answering email. It seems as if I am either running around doing stuff or sitting on my couch feeling too tired to move. No middle ground exists.
For what it is worth, this is not the recommended lifestyle for anyone with a chronic illness that impacts energy. You are suppose to take life with moderation and achieve a balance between doing and resting.
I have no balance. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And I can’t even figure out how it happened. One minute I was keeping up with everything and still having free time not spent flopped on the couch and the next I feel like a hamster trapped on one of those wheels only allowed to rest when the wheel stops moving.
Can I just tell you that it sucks when you have cool opportunities, the skills and talents to do well at them, and can’t because you have to take care of yourself? In this at-the-speed-of-light world where everyone runs around chasing their tails, I know the feeling of wanting to do more than you can is familiar. While I empathize with people in that situation, I’m complaining (whining?) about a different animal. Or maybe it’s the same thing just a matter of degrees. I like to think I’m coping with something unique, but in all likelihood I’m not.
There is a gratitude in all this because three years ago I would have been thrilled to have such a dilemma. Back then I was struggling to stay on top of far less. So, yes, I appreciate the fact that I am able to do more. The choices I have now, about the direction of my life and “career,” are luxuries that speak to a level of health I didn’t think possible.
AS I work to find the sweet spot where I can do most of what I want without abusing my body, I am coming to realize that happiness might not be so much about getting to do what you want as it is about not wanting to do more than you can. Struggling to always keep up detracts from the joy you reap from pleasurable endeavors. Maybe happiness is about not having eyes that are bigger than your oomph.

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About Jen

After acquiring a degree from Vassar College in psychology, I moved to Western Mass where I ran a peer mentoring network for disabled college students as well as activism and organizing around disability issues. I also conducted research on disabled women’s body image. An Upstate New York native, I eventually followed my heliotropic nature to the sun of Southern California. I divide my time between writing (disability fiction and essays) along with moderating San Diego Bisexual Forum which is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. In my off hours I can often be found in my neighborhood live music venue enjoying our local talent.

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