Letting Go of My Need to Not Miss Anything
To understand, first you may have to read this, the original essay: The Spoon Theory.
Next, you have to understand that in my head, I don't have a chronic illness. Not like my friends who battle pain. So, I don't always feel like I'm entitled to count my spoons, even on days when I really actually have to. I feel a constant battle to "keep going," even when I'm clearly just about to melt down.
Sure, I have asthma. In my head, that doesn't count. Oh, but wait. Sometimes it does count. SAD/ depression? Doesn't count. Oh. Wait. Maybe it does. Having a high needs child? Yeah, that totally counts. Even I can see where I need regular breaks to get away from the stress of mothering. But getting myself to take those breaks (aside from when he's in school) is hard.
I don't want to miss anything.
As a kid, I never wanted to go to bed before anyone because I might miss something!
As a young adult, I'd watch movies/ TV shows that clearly I should not have watched (I get nightmares) because I did not want to miss anything! (I have for the most part been able to stop this behavior because the cumulative effects are so great and not having more nightmares is a very good incentive. Still, I occasionally make mistakes and watch something that is just over my limit. Oops. Move on.)
I'm almost forty (in three years!) and you'd think by now I'd have learned, really, truly learned, that I am going to miss something. A lot of somethings, actually. In terms of the scope of life on earth, I am missing nearly everything! There is no possible way I can ever -- even if I had more spoons that any other human being alive -- experience everything there is to experience.
And moreover, I wouldn't really want to, even if I could.
The experiences that I have, that are mine, are unique because they are mine, because they are the ones I have chosen. And the ones that really stay with me are the ones I was able to handle because I was well rested and not hurting. And to do that, sometimes I have to let go of other experiences.
It's time to let go of the worry that I'll miss something. I'm missing "something" all the time. Replace that with "what do I truly want to experience here?" and "what can I handle?" make a decision and move on.
Sometimes I need to stay home and read a book, when everyone else goes to the City. Sometimes I need to sit and think instead of going out. Sometimes I need to decompress and go to sleep super early.
The trick is, getting into the habit of allowing myself to do that even when there are things I'm definitely missing (that I don't actually want to miss). The trick is, choosing to take care of my own actual needs instead of my wants.
I assume I'll have to keep reminding myself and keep practicing. So, consider this another reminder. (And a valuable bit of practice, as I made a decision on Saturday to let myself stay home and do nothing instead of going to NYC and it was a good decision.)
I know I'm not the only one having this issue right now, so tomorrow I'll do a Lexie Link Love dedicated to self-care.