How is everyone?
Well, my time off was useful, even somewhat restful. As usual I tried to pack too many things into the time, and didn’t accomplish everything that I had hoped would be a shining example of COMPLETENESS by today. Sigh.
An interesting thing I’ve been noticing now that I’ve had a little time to process: I am having to relearn many things. Very odd things to need to relearn, in fact.
For one thing, I having to relearn what is means to be healthy!
That should be a no-brainer, right?
But if we humans are nothing else, we are adaptable. And if you’ve got chronic illnesses loitering across your life, you have to adapt to them: chronic is ALL. THE. TIME.
Before too long you reframe ‘okay’, or ‘healthy’ or ‘a good day’ in terms of the new normal: “This is the best I can expect with this illness, so this is now my sense of a good day.” You don’t THINK that, it just becomes so.
And after YEARS of that new normal, trust me, it gets to be the only ‘normal’ you can clearly recall.
So being here, in an environment that is a bit healthier for me, I’m hitting these patches of ‘healthy’ that poke out beyond my ‘normal’!
And I’ll remember that once I felt like this, before I was sick. But it’s a shock now. I’m having to learn how to feel healthier than I could previously even remember.
And I’m having to relearn community.
Now, this one is really an offshoot of the improved health, but sometimes now I find myself with enough energy to do more than just survive the day.
Don’t get me wrong: marathons are NOT in my foreseeable future, nor is ADHD. But I CAN actually handle investing a tiny bit in my community now.
I am not exaggerating when I say that for the last few YEARS that was simply more energy than I’ve had.
So I had completely lost the concept of community engagement as something positive. In my last location, I limited it as much as humanly possible, just to have enough energy to do the required bits of life.
Now, here I am with a wealth of cool people to know, and interesting places and activities to explore, and more energy than I need to just maintain basic function! It’s wild!
If anyone ought to be the Limits Guru by now, it’s me, right?
And yet, having that little increase in energy has required a little relearning even there. It took me a little while to remember that MORE energy is not the same as LOTS of energy. Now I, of all people, have to learn to pace myself!
Who would ever have imagined that?!
So, I’m having to figure out what I truly CAN contribute to – because I’m still in no condition to take on every cool thing and stay healthy – then slowly step back into a space I thought I had left behind for good.
Curiously, I’m also having to relearn my values.
Or, maybe revaluate is a better term for this one.
I live in a small town. And, it’s not quite in the middle of nowhere, but it’s also not anywhere near the greater metropolis.
So there is a new kind of balance to navigate here.
Do I drive to the big town a good half-hour away, to patronise the local Co-op, or do I content myself with Safeway, part of a huge conglorporation, but right down the hill?
Similarly, I have long had a desire to reduce the plastics in my life.
Living here can push me further toward that goal: we do not have trash and recycling pick-up, and a landslide closed the direct route to our recycling and waste disposal centre, so getting rid of plastics requires a 40 mile round trip. BIG incentive to ditch plastics!
On the other hand, since my shopping options are limited, it’s harder to find the things I buy without plastic wrapping.
And of course, I am on a very limited budget right now, which makes it necessary to be creative in a place where organically grown food is not the majority priority!
Another example: It’s really important to me to support the local economy. But ours is based on an unsustainable monoculture that is likely to implode before too long. How do I most helpfully navigate that set of opposed values?
So, it’s been an adventure. At the very least, it should help to keep my mind elastic for awhile!
I’ve certainly relearned my value for quiet. 😀
And for temperate, grey climates and beautiful surroundings!