Turning Over a New Leaf

2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

New Year’s Eve was not how I planned. I wanted to celebrate. I had organised to catch up with friends but that didn’t work out so I thought I would go join in local festivities. What I wasn’t counting on was being overwhelmingly exhausted. Chronic Fatigue is ever present, it has been A Mountainous Journey. Sometimes I have a good day of energy (or few) where I feel full of beans, it is like experiencing life before Chronic Fatigue. Other times like NYE I feel like tiredness infiltrates everything; my body feels like weights have been added to it when I wasn’t looking, my head feels like it has cotton balls in it with heaviness. My whole being screams with impressive loudness SLEEP which ironically can make me feel I have a hangover and disrupts my sleep at night time. It is hard to get the delicate balance right; doing too much makes the symptoms worse but doing too little also makes the symptoms worse.

I ended up staying home and being in bed by 10pm. Not exactly what I had in mind. To make matters worse I had a mini panic attack. Tears. Racing heart. Difficulty breathing. Feeling trapped. I thought that if my plan for NYE didn’t work out what about all the other (long – term) plans I have? In that moment I allowed my panic to grow and my limitations with it. I say mini panic attack because I was able to bring myself back to more neutral ground. How? By telling myself several truths:

  1. It is perfectly fine to take care of yourself and your health
  2. Not everyone will have big plans to celebrate NYE
  3. You have been celebrating pretty consistently throughout December
  4. Keep hopeful in your plans – just because they have not happened yet doesn’t mean they won’t

I decided I needed only one New Year’s resolution, I chose learn how to drive. Some factors I considered while choosing this resolution was:

  1. Is it realistic? I have allowed perhaps a more realistic time frame, considering originally I was hoping to learn how to drive by February.
  2. Do I find joy in achieving it? Even though learning to drive is difficult, I do enjoy driving.
  3. Is it achievable? The OT (Occupational Therapist) and Driving Instructor are optimistic that I will be able to learn how to drive it will just take time, although they are not sure how long it will take!
  4. Is it useful for my future self? Learning how to drive is a resolution that keeps on giving now and into the future.

I encourage you to be hopeful and to never give up. To turn your ‘leaf’ over and see life from a different perspective. Last year one driving lesson I seemed to do everything wrong; I struggled to stay in my lane or make a U – turn etc. I felt quite discouraged. The next week, the other side to my leaf, I had another driving lesson and everything went really well. It is all about perspective and not losing hope in our plans just because we struggle in any particular moment.

Love,

Cathryn

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