Do you often feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything that you wanted to accomplish? You are not alone. Many ordinary folk have the misconception that the chronically ill just don’t know how to manage their time. The truth is that we don’t have enough time to manage.
I was a pro at managing my time prior to living with daily pain. I could plan out my days and weeks, filling every hour with something different. It was rare to not finish what I had set out to do. Because I was so good at managing my time, I assumed that this wouldn’t change after becoming chronically ill. Oh how wrong I was!!!!
It doesn’t matter how wonderful of a planner you are, if you are suffering from a chronic illness you are no longer in control of what you can or cannot do. The reason why is that you now have less time to manage. And to make it worse, you never know how many days or hours you will have to work with. It took me 13 years to realize that there was no way I could ever finish the amount of tasks that I used to be able to do when my body wasn’t consumed with pain. It was totally and completely unrealistic to expect that I could all that I did before with only one or two “good” days a week, and that is if I am lucky.
Gone are the days of doing laundry on a set day of the week, now I do a load whenever I feel up to it. Gone are the days of saying I will spend so many hours a day doing this or that. I never know what my body will allow me to do from one moment to the next. I could wake up feeling pretty good, yet find myself in horrific pain a few hours later. I have also learned that there is no catching up. I do what I can, when I can. I used to see this as a failure on my part, but now see that it’s out of my control. My conditions may control what I am able to do and for how long, but it is up to me to make the best of the time I am given. As for those who choose to judge how I spend my good hours can just bugger off. If I waited to have fun until after my to do list was complete, I would never have any fun at all!!!!
The next time someone tells you that you should just learn to better manage your time, remind them that your to do list is just as long as theirs, but that unlike them, you only have a few hours a week to accomplish them.