October Linkup With Sheryl From A Chronic Voice https://reclaiminghope.blog

Monthly Linkup With Sheryl From A Chronic Voice

It’s been a couple of months, but now that things are settling down around here again, I wanted to join the Linkup with the lovely Sheryl over at A Chronic Voice. Each month she graciously hosts a linkup for bloggers who write about chronic illness and provides some thought-provoking prompts for us.

This month’s prompts are (and yes, mine are out of order, much like me ha ha):

October Linkup With Sheryl From A Chronic Voice https://reclaiminghope.blog

Does anyone else feel like this year is just speeding past???? It seems like we were just welcoming the new year, and now it’s apple-picking season again! My Mom is fond of saying “the older you get, the faster it goes,” and I’m really starting to believe it. The time is just flying!

Unfortunately, once we get to this part of the year, things only seem to speed up even more. For us, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a sprint. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but over the last few years the Christmas season has become a time of stress instead of the joyous time of year it should be.

To combat that, last year I made a conscious decision to start slowing down and actually enjoy the holiday season, and this year, I plan to start my slowing down early. This time of year, the apple orchards and pumpkin patches are bustling with activity, ghost tours are being offered, and there are Fall festivals everywhere.

Trailer full of pumpkins https://reclaiminghope.blogI’m sure we’ll make our usual trip to one of our favorite orchards, but this year my goal is to branch out and visit some others. I love these visits because it gives us a chance to slow down and enjoy the beautiful scenery, an apple cider slushy, and the resident farm animals without expending a huge amount of energy.

Visiting the Apple Orchard https://reclaiminghope.blogDepending on the weather and the length of time they take, I’d love to go on one of the ghost tours. I think they’re really tours of some of the more historic places of interest than haunted places, but I think it would be fun to see our city in a different light.

Part of being able to slow down and enjoy everything is budgeting my energy by budgeting my time. Like most people with fibromyalgia or many other chronic illnesses, I have a limited amount of energy, and I have to budget that energy just as we budget our money.

With a typical financial budget, we have a specific amount of money that comes in each month, and a good spending plan ensures we don’t overspend and run out of money before the month ends. By the same token, budgeting how we spend our energy each day helps us do the things we need or want to do without completely bankrupting our supply.

Pacing activities throughout a given time frame allows us to keep our energy budget “in the black.” By planning and spreading our activities out over time, we give ourselves the best chance to keep our energy supplies more stable and keep from overspending.

This energy-budgeting process can take some time to figure out, and may require some trial and error, but it really can make a positive difference for allowing us to do the things we want to do. Of course, we know that there are some days that we’re overdrawn on our energy budget before we even get out of bed. During those times it’s important to put something back into our account by taking a recovery day.

Learning to live our best life with a chronic illness really requires an ongoing process of evaluating what is working for us and what isn’t. This evaluation process can take several different forms. It may be something as simple as recognizing that something we’ve been doing is no longer serving us well, or it may be an actual formal evaluation of what we’ve been doing, how it’s been working for us, and how we may need to adjust our self-care plan to improve.

Sometimes it reveals that things aren’t working so well and making those adjustments may involve escaping from old ways of thinking or doing things. Occasionally we have to loosen the bonds of those controls we put firmly in place to protect ourselves and try something new. I’ve talked before about how those controls that helped me so much in the beginning started to hold me back. It wasn’t until I loosened them and started to step out of my comfort zone that I was able to start moving forward again in my quest to enjoy my life.

One of the quotes I shared in last week’s Wellness Wednesday post was by Jon Kabat-Zinn and concerned not taking our thoughts personally: We Do Not Have To Take Our Thoughts..... Quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn https://reclaiminghope.blog We learn to believe many things about ourselves, mainly because we do tend to take our thoughts personally. If we remember that we don’t have to automatically believe everything our thoughts tell us, we have the opportunity to write a new narrative for ourselves, to realize that what we’re thinking about ourselves may not be true at all, and escape those bonds that are holding us hostage.

Thanks so much to Sheryl for hosting our link-up each month. If you’d like to participate, we’d love for you to join us! You can join in here.

What are you up to this time of year? Do you have any special activities that you enjoy around this time?

Blessings,

~Terri

 

10 comments

  1. Love your take on this month’s prompts! Seems like all of us are budgeting with similar things this month (or maybe an ongoing process heh). And love the little trips out, they sound like they’ll be so relaxing and lovely. Wishing you a beautiful autumn! x

    1. Thanks so much Sheryl! I know for me, the budgeting is an ongoing process, and I suspect that’s the case for most of us.😊 Thanks again for hosting this linkup each month. I hope you have a beautiful season as well!

      1. Yes indeed! Oh and yes, I really liked that you called it ‘our’ linkup! For the most part many online sources, articles, etc always place more emphasis on the ‘I’ or ‘Her’ etc, and I’ve had editors tell me to edit my work to change ‘we’ to ‘I’. Perhaps it’s a cultural difference as I’m Asian and tend to say ‘we’ a lot more haha. But I liked that you felt that the linkups belong to you as well 🙂 Sending hugs! x

      2. That’s really interesting about the emphasis on ‘I’ or ‘her’ rather than “we” or “our.” I use we a lot also. To me, it just feels more inclusive. With your (our) linkup, I feel like it’s a party, and since I was invited, now it’s “our” party.😁 Thanks again for getting us all together each month. I always look forward to seeing what the prompts will be. Hugs!

  2. Totally with you on the whole ‘where-did-the-year-go’ part!! I love that you visit your favourite orchards, that’s a great thing to do for the season and going to a few others this year might introduce you to some great new places. Slowing down and enjoying what’s there sounds like a brilliant idea, especially when factored into your energy budget. This has me realise I haven’t put much (any…) thought into this season as I had wanted to do something, even if it’s trying pumpkin carving a second time around or going to the cinema as I’ve not been in ages to see a scary film (I have free tickets from coupon collection so it fits my financial budget too!) Fantastic post and use of the prompts 🙂
    Caz xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! This year really has flown by, hasn’t it? If you try the pumpkin carving you’ll have to share pictures….😊 I’ve never been good at that; when my son was young I just did the basic jack-o-lantern face and left it at that. Taking in a scary movie sounds fun. The new Halloween movie is coming out soon, I think maybe this Friday. I don’t watch too many scary movies because they’ve gotten so graphic, which doesn’t really make much sense because I watch The Walking Dead every week. Maybe I’m just afraid of being afraid.😂 Hope you’re doing well!

  3. Thank you for this post I really needed to hear the energy-budgeting part of it! I struggle with depleting energy budget way too often! I also liked the idea of choosing to slow down during this time of year. I am going to give it a try 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you found it helpful. Budgeting our energy seems to have to go along with chronic illness. When we only have a little energy to begin with, we have to find ways to use it most effectively.😊Thanks for your comment! Blessings to you!

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