'Tis the season...to overdo: Keeping lupus in check

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, my very favorite time of the year. It is indeed the season of giving...but I must admit I tend to make it the season of doing. I unfortunately convince myself that these final weeks of the year are the best time to catch up on, finish up, finalize, and accomplish all of those things I've left outstanding throughout the course of the year. It's the busiest time of year, and yet I decide to make it even busier.

But this year, I've tried a different tactic. I've attempted to make it the season of saying "no". And thank goodness -- with my mini-flare still afoot, a ton of Pillbag shows I'd previously committed to, and a holiday event I volunteered to co-chair for Dee and Bee's school, I've had plenty (read: too much) on my plate. Details on how all that turned out to come in a later post...

For now, let's just focus on the opportunities I took to say "no". Hopefully, it will motivate me to continue doing so - and maybe you'll get the nudge you need to take a pass, too:

*Said "No" to a conference call at 3pm on a weekday: Nap time is nap time. Was it a bear to find another convenient time to talk? Yes. Were we a bit pressed for time because of the re-schedule? Sure. But my colleague and I made it work, the project stayed on schedule, and no lives were lost. (See? Things don't necessarily fall apart just because we say "no"...)

*Said "No" to an impromptu lupus event where I was asked to set up a book signing: I had four days notice, the event was on a weeknight, and the venue was two hours away...a perfect recipe to ignite my disease activity even more. So I politely said "no", and asked for a rain check.

*Said "No" to two additional Pillbag gift shows this season: No doubt members of my family already think I do too many of these during the holidays - so they'll be happy to know I actually turned DOWN two of them. It's hard passing up on opportunities to capitalize on the busiest time in retail, but I did it. And I don't regret it for a moment. (I haven't had a moment to do so!)

*Said "No" to hosting Christmas dinner: With our brand-spanking new house and nice new kitchen appliances, I was sure I would host our family dinner. But my sister asked if she could do it, and in the spirit of the season of not overdoing, I said okay. There will be many more dinners to host, ideally ones when I'm not in a mini-flare. Three cheers for not being too proud to say "No", and kudos to my sister for being sly enough to ask so that I wouldn't host. (If there's any doubt that my sister knows what she's doing when it comes to keeping my disease activity at bay...doubt no longer. She's a pro - every lupus patient should be so lucky to have a sis like mine!)

And I'm not going to lie to you - once I got in the habit of saying "no", the word really did start to roll off my tongue. Accept another volunteer opportunity at the girls' school? Nope. Cook dinner when my in-laws were in town? Not a chance. Run extra errands to knock things off my list? No, no, and no. I just got in the habit of thinking of my health first, rather than letting my desire to "do" get in the way.

It's a wonderful season, this season of not overdoing. I hope you've been able to enjoy it, too!

(Now, before you think that I was flawless in my ability NOT to overdo...think again. Stay tuned for the next few posts!)


GG said…
Your sister is one in a million! We add to your kudos!
Nikki said…
Good for you! I have lupus and struggle with saying no, but when I do I always feel better. Nothing worse than pushing yourself too hard and paying for it later!

Eileen said…
I gave this "lecture" to someone on a forum just this morning - I told her to be kind to herself as her post did sound a bit "on the edge of collapse". There are 2 wonderful words in the English language: NO, as in "No, I'm afraid can't do that at the moment" and YES, as in "Yes, I really could do with some help"

The people who go off in a huff as a result are the ones you don't need in your life if you have a chronic debilitating illness.
Sara Gorman said…
thanks for your comments, everyone! my sister IS the best, and thanks, Nikki and Eileen, for understanding!!

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