Lupus and Getting Things Done: The Balancing Act

Over the summer, I made the fatal mistake of checking my planner during the last week of July. It was still turned to the page for June 16th. Doh! 

I had big plans back then, at the start of the season. Work stuff, house stuff, kid stuff - things were going to get done around here!

But the weeks flew by, and here we are, working our way through September. How does the Fall sneak up like that??
 Truth is, I actually got to a majority of the things on my list, just not in the expeditious manner I thought I would. But that's life, right? Sometimes, things don't go as planned, and it takes us a lot longer to accomplish something then we ever thought it would. 

That was one of the biggest adjustments I had to make once I was diagnosed with lupus. Recalibrating what I could do on any given day. 

It was hard to scale back. I was aggravated that I had to choose between activities or tasks, based on how I felt. I didn't like being forced to let some things go. I wanted to accomplish everything set before me, plus some, just like I always had. 

But my health necessitated that I ratchet back. And so I did. 

I started prioritizing. I consciously chose what to take on and what to let fall by the wayside. I reconfigured my day so that I could maximize my energy, even if it was different than the way I'd always done it. 

And what happened surprised me. Rather than getting frustrated because I wasn't capable of accomplishing ten things 100%, I found fulfillment in tackling three or four things really well. Racking up a "W" in the "DONE" column when it comes to life with a chronic illness is HUGE. It gave me confidence. It made me proud. It provided hope. 

Even today, I look at prioritizing as eliminating those things that can simply wait. (I remember telling this to someone much older and wiser than me one time, and they replied, "Oh, honey. It can all wait.") Other times I look at it as goal-setting - cutting away the stuff that doesn't matter so I can focus on what really does. Somedays, those goals are pretty mudane. I recall the early days with lupus when taking a shower and staying awake for dinner - all in the same day - was considered a goal and half! Other days (usually prednisone days), I was able to expect more of myself. But I still had to calibrate how much I could do without putting my health at risk. Life with lupus requires striking that constant balance. And as with most things, finding that sweet spot gets better with practice.  

Have you put your balancing act skills to work today? It's not too late! 


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