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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learning from my Meltdown

How do you picture your ideal daily routine? In my mind's eye I picture Yoga and meditation first thing in the morning followed by a healthy protein rich breakfast with freshly brewed organic green tea. Email, FB and Twitter connections. Then I productively work from home connecting with and helping clients in various ways or studying for a couple hours. Cathe Friedrich workout time. Shower, then a veggie rich lunch. Back to work for a few hours. Email, FB, Twitter, food tracking break. I prepare a protein and veggie rich dinner and enjoy sharing the happenings of the day with Mom and whoever else may join us. In the evenings I meet with clients; or spend time with my sisters, nieces and nephews; or chat with my friends online; or read; or meet with friends in person; or provide volunteer Reiki to cancer Fighters or Survivors or by request; or relax with my favorite TV shows and make a meal plan for the next day. Before I lay down to sleep I write inspirational, honest, and sometimes funny blog posts about the positive effects surviving cancer has brought to my life. Self- Reiki treatment lulls me into a beautifully relaxed state and I sleep deeply. 

This is the daily routine that I tried to force upon myself last week in the form of the Google calendar. I set up my whole week starting each morning at 7:30. That approach failed. I rebelled against my own creation. Crazy, I know, but it happened. It even led to a total emotional meltdown last Wednesday. I cried myself to sleep in bed in the middle of the afternoon. Other issues contributed, too, but I mostly melted down under the pressure I was putting on myself to be my version of perfect. Yes, I am perfectly aware that there's no such thing as perfect. I guess I forgot. I blame the chemo-brain. 

Since meltdown day I had been trying to figure out what was keeping me from this ideal routine I had dancing around in my head. It wasn't until this past Sunday when it all came together in my head. I have 3 major challenges to face:

  1. My body still requires a lot of sleep. Although it's been 7 months since my final chemo treatment, my body is still healing and dealing with the side effects. One of those side effects is tiredness. I get worn out faster than before cancer treatments. My stamina is improving slowly, and I am very thankful for the progress. I want to give my body the time, space and grace that it needs to fully heal and that requires sleep. A part of me is embarrassed by it. A part of me is frustrated with this body. A part of me wants to ignore it and hope it goes away. My Spirit is wiser than my feelings, though. My Spirit knows that there's no time limit to this journey of healing, and that there's no shame in it either. I must accept it, and embrace it. I also have to take responsibility for it. That means getting into bed earlier so I can get 9-10 hours of sleep each night and wake up before 10am. (Please pay no attention to the time stamp of this post.) 
  2. I spend too much time e-socializing. I recently fell in love with Twitter and like many early romances I allowed it- happily- to eat up my time. Even though Twitter and Facebook bring educational and other positive aspects to my life I have to control how much time I spend e-connecting. The time I've been spending online is better spent studying, working or sleeping. Yes, it does kind of suck. Being a responsible grown up just sucks sometimes. I'll suck it up. 
  3. The third challenge I face is trying to change too many things about my routine-and, yes, myself- at one time. I think that's the biggest reason my Google calendar schedule failed last week. It felt overwhelming. It LOOKED overwhelming! I'm a Type A personality, and it just doesn't mesh well with chemo-brain or chemo related tiredness. I need a routine, but not a rigid hour by hour schedule. I need self-enforced boundaries that benefit me in a valuable way. I need and want to extend my body grace and gratitude it needs in order to continue to heal, strengthen, and improve.
I recognize that I can't create my ideal daily routine overnight. (Finally!) I do, however, have the ability to take a few graceful and purposeful baby steps. I will start going to bed- and to sleep- earlier. I will limit my e-socializing time to 2 blocks of 30 minutes during the day. I will use that newly 'found' time to study and build my professional life. I will give my body the gift of Yoga at least twice this week and the gift of self-Reiki at least 3 times this week. (I promise I will write something on my Reiki page very soon, too!)

Step by step and grace by grace I will create my ideal daily routine and ultimately the life of my dreams. I'm beginning to embrace the changes I need to make to create the productive and peaceful life I want for myself.  All things in moderation, right? 

Is there anything keeping YOU from the life of your dreams?

 What can you start doing today to move towards it? 

1 comment:

  1. well it took me an hour to write a whitty heartfelt comment thanks to little people and i hit submit....POOF it's gone!