Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Epstein-Barre, Lyme disease, etc. sure can put a dent in your career/life plans. Things you took for granted are suddenly put on hold. You wonder, “Will I ever do _______________ again?”
You don’t often see the plus side of aging but there is one. Each day as you get older, you accumulate the richness of experience.
These experiences – when collected together – become a source of great comfort. You can see how, in the past, you believed you could never go back to work, exercise, garden, or join in activities with friends. Time and experience showed you that it’s possible. Maybe it took baby steps, but you’re in a better place today than you were yesterday. Sometimes that “better place” may only be emotional, but that’s the start of physical improvements.
Emotional healing leads to physical healing.
I no longer feel “left on hold” by chronic illness, but what about other activities? As most of you know, I’ve been writing a book about healing (FibroWHYalgia will be available in a few weeks!) for several years. I wrote the main text for the book in that first year, and then took another year for more research and polishing. This past year has been all about making it real.
I can’t say how often in the past three years I’ve said, “I’ll do that when I’m done with my book.” I put everything on hold except for unyielding things like packing my house and moving. I realized the moving van would arrive whether or not my book was done.
For the past month, I’ve put nearly everything on hold (including blog posts) as I proofed the book … ad nauseam. With each proof, the number of errors reduced, but other new ones popped up. Final editing is sort of like the arcade game, Whac-A-Mole, but without the fun.
I had to finally say enough is enough and accept a book that’s not perfect.
Here again, life’s experiences come to the rescue bringing me comfort. I’ve known all along that my book won’t be perfect, but I needed to prove to myself that I could make it as close to error-free as possible. Yes, I’m a Type-A personality.
Because of past experience, I know that finding more errors or things I’d like to change is inevitable. The same goes for my physical challenges. I’ll always want to find ways to improve my strength, flexibility, and overall health. I’d like to reduce my pain to zero (wouldn’t you?).
They may be challenges for tomorrow, but for today, where I am is simply good enough.