Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lupus rule of thumb: take time to get time


What was I thinking?

That’s what I keep asking myself as I reflect upon the happenings of the last three months. February, March and April marked an interesting time at Sara G. Enterprises. I was busy, busy, busy - first, with Pillbag and Despite Lupus business: establishing a new manufacturer, rolling out a new Spring line, traveling for speaking gigs, workshops, and gift shows, and setting up a handful of new vendors for both the Pillbags and the book. On top of that, managing the renovation took on a whole new meaning as we entered the final phase of the process, and keeping my health and wellness at the forefront became an even greater challenge from the (dis)comfort of our rental home. I think the motto of our small little rental goes something like this: Naps Discouraged.

Of course, I’m thankful that we’re lucky enough to renovate, and that we found the deal of all deals for a rental house. And I know what a blessing it is that my good health has allowed me to pursue my goals with my book and Pillbag businesses. But here’s what stumped me. I chose to carry on over the last three months WITHOUT an afternoon babysitter. I’ll say it again – what was I thinking? 

With an afternoon babysitter just a few days a week, I get the rest I require, I get the work I need to get done, and I’m transformed into a happy, healthy, balanced mother of two young lady bugs. Without the sitter, I’m stressed, I’m distracted, and I’m unrested…none of which are ideal for optimal lupus living.

So why did I let my babysitter leave me for her season of softball without finding a temporary replacement? A couple of reasons. 1) Our rental house is so small that, believe it or not, having a fifth person around during nap time can sometimes be a bad thing. 2) It was an enticing prospect to save a buck on babysitting at the same time that we were spending a buck (or two) on our renovation. 

Those things are both true – but I suspect the real reason is because I just didn’t want to take time in my already short-on-time schedule to find a replacement. I didn’t want to have to make calls, schedule interview visits, rehash our routine again, explain my napping situation to someone new, or figure out transportation and other logistics, just to have the newbie not work out.

Note that we’ve never had a babysitter NOT work out. And I’ve never had to conduct more than a few calls in order to score a sitter that comes highly recommended. But I convinced myself that it was going to be too much time and too much energy to make happen - and that my efforts were better spent trying to play catch-up with the already limited time I had.

Basically, I didn’t want to take time in order to get the time I needed.

I don’t think I chose wisely.

I should have realized that the long-term benefits of finding a sitter would far outweigh the small amount of effort it would take to do so. Looking back, it’s easy to calculate the hours of productivity lost, and it’s clear that the emotional value of having a few hours to myself each day, and the relief of not having to work after the girls went to bed would have been immeasurable. But I never considered the benefits. I was just focused on the inconvenience. 

There were plenty of times, when lupus was concerned, where I was too focused on the inconvenience of needing to do "X". Whether it concerned a doctor, a medicine, or a lifestyle factor that would allow me to better manage my disease, there were times I waited all too long before acting. So here are my parting words:

Have you been meaning to call the doctor about symptom “X”, but just can’t seem to find the time? Speaking from experience, I'm suggesting that you take the time. Call the doctor. Get your illness treated.  

Have you been remiss about scheduling blood work, starting a new prescription, or asking for a referral? Don't delay. Just do it today.

The effort it takes to make these things happen could save you a week’s worth of pain or suffering, and you could unknowingly be delaying treatment or forgoing results that could help you immensely. It could mean the difference between having a great summer, and one that’s not so great.

There. I've spoken. Now I'm off to call a babysitter. 

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