Archives for posts with tag: my calendar is not my experience

I’m looking ahead at the year and sorting out time off plans. Yes, already. I am soooo “that” person. lol I find that doing so gives me a better idea of where I hope to spend my time, and on what activities. It gives me a chance to ensure that I’m also allowing enough opportunity to recover and rest between adventures, festivals, weekends away, and all of the busy things about living life.

There was a point in my life, not too long ago, when such attempts at planning was pure lasting frustration; my planning wasn’t respected by partners, even when the events were shared. It was… hard. For me. My subjective experience, and internal narrative, suggests that I “bent over backwards” to accommodate change, and to be flexible, but… here’s where honest self-reflection has some pay-off; I’m pretty sure I made everyone fairly miserable with noteworthy displays of disappointment, dissatisfaction, and frustration, as much as anything else. Unpleasant on all sides.

Last year was complicated. Lots of well-intended changes of carefully laid plans. Lots of life, and interrupted or changed plans following through on circumstances. Also, rather an enjoyable amount of things that were also planned, and enjoyed precisely as planned, with considerable satisfaction and merriment…so… there’s that. What got missed, often, last year (until near the end) was to also plan, skillfully, with real commitment, the time I needed to care for myself, too.

This year, I hope to improve on that. 😀 It’s not a resolution. It’s just a commitment to myself; I do so much to meet other needs, for myself, for other people, this year I also want to meet my own. Seems doable on paper. I’ve a quantity of time off to use. I’ve some key dates I reliable want to have off every year. I’ll start there. Request that time off now, and see what’s left. Check in with my Traveling Partner on some shared activities and interests. Secure that time off, next. It’s a system that works. This year, I’ll also be mindful that major events need major rest time, and ideally, no two consecutive weekends will have major plans – and definitely any two consecutive weekends of major events or activities needs a real weekend of rest (maybe with an extra day) between them, and anything else planned. Calendar filling up? I start saying “no, I can’t this year – next year?” and getting some variety in the rotation using alternating-year planning. 🙂 Will it work?

…I guess I have to begin again to find out. 😉

The map is not the world. The plans I make are not the life I live. The calendar in front of me is more a… suggestion. I don’t tend to view it that way very often; my calendar seems so ‘real’ when I make plans. For example, today my calendar tells me that I’ve a date planned with my traveling partner, and that I am hanging out with friends tomorrow morning-ish, and grabbing lunch together. I am spending the weekend camping – my calendar says so, and I’ve the reservation number for my space and the address of the park right there in the event details. So… how is it that I’ve started today with this head cold that does not appear anywhere on my calendar, and is not accounted for in any of my planning? Seriously? It seems ages since I was last sick… why now?

I noticed my stuffy head when I woke up at 1 am, for no obvious reason. The room felt hot, and my mouth was very dry. At 3 am, I still hadn’t fallen back to sleep; my stuffy head was making me snore, and my own snoring was waking me every time I started to drift off. I got up and wandered around in the dark long enough to take preferred symptom-treating cold remedies, have a big class of water, and blow my nose. I slept some, woke again, slept a bit more, getting up for coffee at more or less my usual time…which I may not finish. I will probably go back to bed, whether I finish it or not. I make a point of putting boxes of tissues here and there, where they will be most convenient. I get all the cans of chicken soup from the pantry shelves, and stack them on the kitchen counter. I find the exertion tiring on a level that re-confirms that I am ill. Like a child or a puppy might, I sink to the floor where I am, there in the kitchen, ‘just for a minute’ because I feel woozy and weak for a moment; I doze off, head back against the cabinet door, feet stretched out, a bit like a rag doll left behind, forgotten. What a fragile vessel this is.

Camping will have to wait; being ill is best managed in comfort.

Camping will have to wait; being ill is best managed in comfort.

My snoring startled me awake, and I feel appreciative this time; had I slept in that position for any time, I’d likely h ave awakened with a crick in my neck that would have added additional pain to the experience of a common cold. lol I get off the floor. I take my coffee with me into the studio to cancel the camping reservation – someone else will want that great spot. It’s a good weekend for camping…or seemed so yesterday. Today I stare unenthusiastically out the window near my desk. I ache all over. I’m tired. I push through all that and message my partner; he’s not going to want to get sick, I’m pretty certain of that. I message my friends – I doubt they want to get sick either. My tinnitus is more engaging than birdsong this morning. My coffee seems flavorless, pointless, and uninteresting; I’ll make myself swallow it before I return to bed, to avoid the headache later if I don’t.

Why bother writing about being sick, though? We’ve all been there… It’s a thing we go through. Well… A.) Why not? B.) I started writing, so… I’m writing, and this is the experience I happen to be having.  And C.) It’s also a different experience of having a cold than used to be typical for me, which is unexpected. I don’t feel vaguely threatened, frightened of sleeping, vulnerable to attack, uneasy, anxious, or awash in wild uncontrolled emotions; these are experiences that once characterized being sick [for me]. I’m just sick with a head cold. Incremental change over time. Learning to take better care of the woman in the mirror, and this fragile vessel, making myself a high priority day-to-day, and treating myself generally well finds me defaulting to a very difference experience of being ill. No tantrums (so far). No inexplicable anxiety (so far). No giving in to poor self-care (so far). No lashing out unexpectedly at other people as if to blame them for the experience and inconvenience of being ill (so far). My health is better these days and improved overall self-care has resulted in many fewer experiences of being sick. I feel like crap today, and I’m irked to be faced with my weekend plans unraveling, but for now, I feel mostly pretty grown up about it. Nice change in experience.

I ache all over. Sitting up, writing, my head is less stuffy (oh, right – cold medication!)…but I ache, and sitting upright actually feels like… work. My coffee is cold enough to just drink, so I do. My head aches, and my ears are ringing (more than usual, some medications do that). I’ve no enthusiasm for birdsong this morning. Today is a good day to take better than usual care of this fragile vessel. I check the battery on my Kindle (although I know I am not actually going to read), and grab a box of tissues. Today I go back to bed; everything that isn’t taking care of me can wait, including camping, romantic evenings, and hanging out with friends.