Waking up Sunday morning, gazing out my bedroom window: “Hey look, the sky is blue.” I’m surprised and look for inspiration: “It might be a good day for riding the sidewalks in my power chair after all.” Instead, I roll over in bed, “You’re tired!” I admit. I don’t even want to get out of bed.
“So, what are you going to do? Go to the gathering, or, stay home?” I stay in bed, until the ringing phone becomes an excuse to pull myself out from beneath the covers.
“I’m tired,” I repeat, as I move sluggishly to the bathroom.
As I slowly get my breakfast, I think: “I admit defeat.”
And tell myself,”You are too tired to go out today.”
“What!” I retort: “Did I hear the word defeat?”
“Sure, use the word defeat and suddenly your relationship to MS is a power struggle, complete with a winner and a loser.”
I continue, but now I’m annoyed with myself: “You’ve worked too hard to play that game with yourself. You need to admit that maybe there were other things you wanted to do today.”
Playing the parent, you tell yourself that listening to your body is about taking care of yourself. So you can do the many things that are important to you. And, you remind yourself that you won’t get them done all at the same time, or necessarily, when you want to get them done. Sometimes, you will have to baby your body, like a very good parent.
So, you choose to stay home, clean a week’s supply of fresh kale, do some writing and yoga. You will enjoy conversations with your children and long-distance telephone calls with your family. Taking good care of yourself is about making a promise to yourself for the future.