For the third time I’m joining in with A Chronic Voice’s monthly link-up, where Sheryl gives us some writing prompts and we gratefully use these to chunter away! Please check out her website to get involved and/or read other people’s blogs.
Perspective is always an interesting thing. I put up photos of my life living on a narrow boat on Facebook and often feel it’s that classic ‘isn’t my life great’; smiling faces project only joy with clearly no room for anything else. At the time I put them up and have some awareness of how ill I’ve also been in the two weeks since I last did this. However, looking back at the last four months, and looking at the photos I’m amazed at how little I remember of the bad days. It does serve a purpose of capturing all the really positive times I’ve experienced – all the things I’ve done or places I’ve seen – even if I’ve felt like crap at the time. This capturing means I feel like I’m still achieving something.
When I went from full time to half time hours due to a sharp increase in migraine symptoms, I thought finances would be more difficult than they were. In fact I quite quickly adapted to spending less, and enjoyed flitting around charity shops or buying from eBay. Going from working 20 hours a week to four to five hours a month, however, has been a bit more hard core. Our combined income is less than my first full time salary so naturally life has had to change more dramatically. Living on a boat makes some things somewhat easier; I’m not tempted to order so much online and there isn’t always a corner shop selling chocolate pastry twists to tempt my taste buds. Other challenges such as farms making and selling pies on the side of the canal provide other temptations…
Last Christmas was the eye of the storm for me with my migraine condition. For the first time – to seek some control – I created a spreadsheet with details of what I was giving each person; my Mum, Dad, sister, sister’s partner, my partner, secret santa at work, spare gifts for neighbours just in case they gave me something…I’m starting to feel stressed just thinking about it again! I was making as many of these as possible due to the above financial situation, which just added to the multitude of things to remember; limoncello that had to be stirred every few days, chocolate truffles made and then put in the freezer, and various cupboards around the house with other crafts squirrelled away.
This year – and perhaps forever – I’m taking away the need to control by deciding not to control any of it: I’m not going to give or receive Christmas presents. I feel lighter, letting go of the need to control which I thought I didn’t have any choice but to do.
With chronic illness comes many exchanges; you exchange a social life for being a hermit; jobs for jobless; active to inactive; fast to slow. Exchanging life in a city, in a house, to a boat – mostly – in the countryside you may think increases the hermit life. Perhaps it does. In city life this felt very forced upon me though; I was hair-standing-on-end aware of what I was missing out on socialising. This exchange has been a conscious choice, and where there is choice, there is power, and with that some acceptance and peace.
I missed out on July’s link-up so felt motivated to ensure I joined in this time! Feeling like I’m part of a bigger group of people, as well as making the folk who read my blog anyway, aware of this wider community is hugely motivating to me. Thank you Sheryl and thank you link-up peeps 🙂
Out in the sticks
Not stuck within bricks
Soft green hermit
A comforting fit
I snap to select
Mindful that sorrow
Can change tomorrow
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. I’d love to hear if you’ve had any similar reflections/experiences. Subscribe yourself to get emails when i write more blogs (roughly every two weeks)