This is not easy as ever since childhood I have always felt the need to push myself to be/do the best I can and have, most of the time at least enjoyed doing this. However having had a bad flare last month due (at least in part) due to this I need to remember that even doing what I love i.e. making jewellery and then getting busy working on my etsy shop counts towards doing too much and pushing myself. As does seeing my daughter and grandchildren.
When I last saw my consultant mid flare her last words to me were "Don't push yourself, you mustn't push yourself". At first this made me feel very down, angry and frustrated but as I thought more I realised not just how right she was but that following this advice means I no longer have to feel guilty about not being busy doing things all the time, about having to take breaks and rest. In fact I now realise this is the first time a health professional has said it like this. I've been told I need to rest, that I can't expect to work the length of days or as intensily as I used to, that I need to listen to my body, but never before not to push myself.
What I am now realising is that by not pushing myself I get as much done in the long run and taking this advice and approach to life, together with my "PEARLS" approach (see previous blog post) to deciding what to do is, so far at least a winning combination.
The other piece of advice I keep remembering is something that was said to me several years ago by a very good Educational Psychologist when I was getting frustrated about getting parental involvement with a pupil I was concerned about. "You can only do what you can do"
So...what have I been doing since my last post? Well, working at my "day job" putting in place and teaching interventions for pupils with reading difficulties which includes flagging up concerns I have and where I need to remember "I can only do what I can do". It's a great job in a great school and so satisfying to see pupils making progress.
And Gilli's flowers?
I was invited to have a stall at a craft fair on 12th February at Valentine's Mansion in Ilford so I'm preparing for that by doing some restocking.
I had a cheque from a jewellers who sell my jewellery along with a request for some more and I have also been working on a new bespoke bridal range.
These are my basic designs, and as I will be hand folding the flowers they can be made in any colour. It's a bit of an experiment so it's now a case of wait and see - but again it does mean I don't have to push myself to get lots of pieces finished ready to sell, I can build in working time and if it is popular I can keep control by saying my order book is full ( not that I can see that happening!).
So, so far at least, having "permission" not to push myself is working for me and makes me feel as though I have at least some control back over my disease/disability and with that comes a sense of contentment and happiness. I know I will still have tough times and that work days will always take it out of me but I'm enjoying it while it lasts!