Afternoon/evening/morning to you all! Have you had a good weekend? Here in England there's been a lot of snow (4 or so inches...which to us is a lot).
Unfortunately I haven't been able to go outside & make a snow angel or a snow bunny (snow bunnies are way better than snow girls), since I was ill Thursday until today.
I started feeling a little better yesterday (Saturday), well enough to get some reading in, which I hadn't been able to very much while I was ill. That was dire!
Today I'm feeling much better, if a little tired. I'm reducing a night med, to try and get to a set dose so I can possibly switch to a different make which may be better for me. I've been taking 1 dose for a week, then reducing it by 10mg for the next week. I've got 20mg to go and already back to waking up at 4am regularly.
"So tired...please leave me alone!" (Quote by Nayu, picture from no idea.)
It's been a while since that happened a lot, so I'm still adjusting to being awake so early and surviving until my usual bed time (10pm - if I go before that, I wake up even earlier. #epicfail #insomnia #waitnotontwitter) That is why I crashed out for 3 hours at lunch today with anime.
It cheered me up and is relatively passive. I'm whizzing through this post asap so I can curl up with a book - when I'm super tired I actually find watching things is too much - at least reading I know the words will stay black and white and I can read them at my own pace. Get to start a new book this evening which is always exciting!
You're probably wondering what the title of this post means, right? (Psst, if you are forgetful like me the title is Nayu's News #49: The Key to Life!)
(One of the characters from the manga & anime Maria Watches Over Us - ?Shimako?)
The key to life is not an actual key like the dumpty key from the anime Shugo Chara...
...it's a concept called Pacing!
"Pacing? What's that?" (Quote by Nayu, picture from no idea)
Pacing is something I've learnt over the past two years, to deal with everything my chronic pain & chronic illness throw at me. Instead of doing something all in one go, pressing on despite being tired/in pain/feeling sick/etc, the task is broken into bits with rests in between each other (time & length vary). I really thought I had it sussed...but it dawned on me sometime last week (I think, I'm a bit hazy on when it happened) that although I thought I was pacing - balancing tasks with lots of rest, I wasn't.
(I wasn't knitting at the time but I think I was thinking of cross stitch)
How did I realise this? Well, let's give an example of a day off from work (not Wednesdays I have craft club). Once I'd woken up et al I'd get up and begin blogging. I'd try to stick with 2 hours, but sometimes it ran to 3 hours. Or 4 hours.
Yes, I know one friend will be looking at this and sighing. She is very happy with my new schedule!. Anyway, post blogging I'd eat lunch, then straight away write say 2pm-5pm - mostly til 6. I would do 15 mins writing followed by 15 mins resting (reading). Then I would watch anime for the evening.
To me, that was pacing. Only, as I've already said, I realised it wasn't. I'd learnt to do tasks slowly, breaking them up into chunks and resting inbetween. For example laundry. Once it is dry (family help me with transporting it about the house) I'll take it off the airers and put it in a pile in my room.
I would leave it until the next day...or even the day after the next day. Then I'd fold it all and sort it. Sometimes I would wait another day between this step and the final one which is putting the laundry away. By pacing when I each step, the task is more manageable for me.
So...why wasn't I using this approach for anything involving work on my laptop?
Writing, blogging, email - all of them fall under the category of a task!
"What? What? How did I get this wrong???"
Upon realising I'd spectacularly failed at pacing a part of life which is mega important to me, I realised I needed to change. I needed (to some extent) chuck out my scheduling. So I promised to do things when I felt like it.
This didn't lead to slacking off a lot. It is more listening to what my body tells me, and not to do a marathon session of blogging/writing, no matter how rough I feel. It is to stick to time limits. And it works!
For instance yes I did some blogging and editing this morning. I was strict on how long I did those tasks, but I was less strict on how long I relaxed for. Instead of 20 mins reading I ended up nearly double that because I wanted to finish the book. At one point, instead of reading I decided to research some presents for my family, and I didn't keep an eye on the time for that. I didn't feel guilty that I'd overspent my leisure time - I was happy, just as Kirino in the anime Bamboo Blade is happy.
Letting myself do what I feel is liberating. I'm having way more fun then I've ever had. Although I still have a rough idea of what I'd like to do at each time of day, if my body so much as whispers it needs to rest then I get out the anime and rest. Reading is activity, sadly, which I can't always do. Equally I can't always watch anime because sometimes I find it (including the quiet ones) too fast/jerky/colourful and I then have to read.
It's a bit frustrating sometimes because improving my pacing can mean I'm reading less/writing less/blogging less.
However, it's so beneficial that I don't feel grumbly for too long ^o^
(My Twitter avatar Holo, the wolf goddess from the anime Spice and Wolf)
No matter how many germ gremlins attack you/stay away, I feel that everyone can benefit from pacing. I've no idea how I survived doing all I used to do. I'm not looking back with this technique at all. If you have any suggestions for pacing, have discovered the wonders of pacing, or would like to ask any questions, please do comment! (no links please - I delete comments with links in). I'm not a professional in any respect, but I do have experience of pacing, and have been taught a few tips by professionals in the medical field.
Thank you for listening to me chat about the key to life - pacing!