20 Dec The Luxury of Taking a Break
Let me begin by saying a quick apology for taking a break and not posting for the past couple of months. Then let me continue by saying that I’m not really all that sorry…
One of the things that I’ve learned about having fibromyalgia is the importance of taking care of yourself first. When I started this blog, I knew there would be times that it would be impossible to post every week. It’s a great goal to make, but probably next to impossible to keep. But I won’t stop trying, if that makes a difference to you.
As a way of explanation, I’ll give a few reasons as to why I had to stop blogging for a while. (To quote my late father-in-law, “Excuses are like rear-ends. Everybody has one and most of them stink.” At least that’s the cleaned-up version…) So, I’ll just call them reasons instead.
Reason 1: My Primary Business
In addition to being a blogger, I also own and operate a Digital Marketing business. This is my primary source of income at the moment, though someday I hope this blog will eventually take that spot. I recently picked up several new clients that have kept me very busy. Which is a positive problem to have, when you think about it.
As anyone with fibromyalgia will tell you, pacing is absolutely vital if you want to manage your health. Therefore, when the other business is booming, the blog has to take a backseat. At least for now…
Reason 2: Family Issues
Two of my close family members have had some health issues, one of which required surgery. The other one will eventually have surgery and I’ll have to take another break then.
On a different and happy note, I was able to spend some time with my parents, son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. But travel almost always wipes me out for a while. I wouldn’t trade a minute of the time we spent together, but I also must carefully guard my energy both before and afterwards.
There were some other things, but I’ll just leave it at that…
Reason 3: Holidays are BUSY!
When it takes almost everything you have just to do the regular things, holidays can become overwhelming. I love this time of year, but between the extra celebrations, preparations and expectations, it can quickly become too much. So, I find it’s just better to scale down extra duties as much as possible and enjoy the things that truly bring me joy.
Don’t stress too much about the decorations, the parties or the fancy foods. The world won’t stop turning if you don’t cook a full turkey and dressing dinner. If that is what you love and you can manage to pull it off without causing yourself too many health issues, then go for it. But, if you can’t, give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up about it!
For example, one of my favorite memories from childhood was the Christmas we ate chicken-noodle soup from a can. My mom was sick, and Dad only knew how to use the can opener or make ketchup sandwiches. So…soup was the main dish for Christmas dinner! It’s funny, but my family fondly remembers that Christmas more than most of the other “fancy meal” Christmases.
AND…It’s okay to let others do the hard work! Be sure you take time to just enjoy the moments!
Reason 4: Cold Weather is Brutal
I don’t know about you, but my fibromyalgia symptoms are much worse in the winter. I think there are several reasons for this. First, the cold makes me ache and I find it hard to stay warm. If I dress too warmly, then suddenly I get too hot and have to quickly shed some layers only to immediately become too cold again.
Second, cold weather requires wearing more clothing, and since my skin is really sensitive to touch, this also can set off a flare.
Thirdly, because it’s cold, I don’t get out in the sunshine enough and can easily sink into the blues.
The list could go on, but you get the drift…This is just a hard time of year for me.
All that said, I have decided not to stress too much about taking a break from blogging. Stress just makes everything worse and, frankly, it isn’t worth it.
This blog was started because I want to help others who might be dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms to live a better life. And, I’m giving you permission, right now, to take a break from whatever is stressing you, if it is humanly possible. Take a deep breath and enjoy this season with your loved ones.
As my family has learned the hard way this year, you never know if this might be the last time you get to spend time with someone you care about. Make the most of every moment and don’t get too carried away with trying to create a picture-perfect atmosphere. That only exists on the Hallmark channel and Currier & Ives Christmas cards.
Instead, cherish each moment for the joy it brings. And, for goodness sake, don’t let others pressure you into doing something you don’t feel like doing! Pick and choose the things that really matter to you and put your limited energy into those.
So, from our home to yours, I wish you a beautiful and Merry Christmas and a very Happy & Healthy New Year!
Until then, here’s a virtual hug for you!
P.S. for some other great strategies to help you handle the stress, I invite you to read Simple and Mostly Free Strategies for When You Feel Overwhelmed