I was asked a question on the What The Jules Facebook page today and thought I might cover this issue here, too. The community has so much great advice, “we have all lived through so many experiences can teach each other so much. I love this community!
When I have an activity in front of me, depending on what the task is, I can ‘cheat’ my way through it. I try to pace things enough so that I’m never in the position that a whole ‘something’ has to be done at once, but let’s face it — it happens. If it’s a day that we can’t ‘just do it’ we need more options. We are not Nike commercials nor are we the Energizer Bunny. There are many times when things must get done, but something has to give. One of the problems is that we have created expectations. We have completed so many tasks when not feeling well, that it is hard to explain that this time we can’t. It’s not to say that we should be saying no more, it’s to say we need to be always filling our toolbox with ways to modify both the ‘No’s’ and the ‘Yes’s’. So, the ways around any problem work for an evening dinner, a party, or a project at work. Check this out: ProjectX has to be done today and it has not been started. Is project x cookies for the soccer team, 15 people for drinks and dinner or some god awful mound of paperwork? Is there someone who can help with all or part of this?
I really hate asking for help, but on a day that I can’t ‘just do it’ and it must be done, this has to be considered. When I do ask for help, I always promise my helper some of my time on a later date. This is especially good if you know another chronically awesome person. They will totally get where you are coming from and gladly accept your help at a later date when they are unable to get that must-do project of their own done. If project X is a very niche project, you may have to find someone with very specific skills, make sure you remind them of things you do that are unique. Perhaps you are crafty and can offer to make a special birthday gift for someone in their family.
This is a tough go-to. Money is tight. Buying cupcakes or cookies is one thing… If you are having guests for dinner and you just can’t cancel there are great dinner cheats that don’t involve ordering out. I often go to my local butcher for already stuffed chicken breasts and pre-done kabobs when I can’t fully prepare a meal. That is different then the economic scale of hiring a cleaning crew for the day or a contractor to assist with a work project that you don’t have the energy for. Anything that can be done by you can be done by someone else for a fee. You would be surprised what is out there for hire. The problem is, are you in the position to do that and is this that one task you are ready to turn over to a pro? I always ask myself this before I hire someone to do a job, ‘How much would I pay myself to do this?’. My time and my energy are worth a lot to me. I base what I would pay someone else on what I would pay myself. If someone charges more than I would pay myself to do it, I will do it myself. I may be re-evaluating this philosophy now that I am far less employed than I was before. I am doing a lot more for myself now than before, but I am getting tired too. Still, I have been thinking of having the cleaning crew back for just one day to do the tough stuff. Look at project X and ask yourself what the budget is to get this done… and what is the emotional budget for not getting it done or for forcing yourself to do it on your own. What is the trade-off? I use the term ‘Begging Forgiveness’ more as a turn of phrase. I don’t beg forgiveness for anything my illness does that is out of my control. Let’s just make that really clear. Unless it’s for my kid or the IRS, if I can’t do it then I can’t do it. Sometimes we are just too sick. If missing what we missed didn’t kill anyone then I think the world will keep spinning. Just last week I slept several of my days into oblivion. I awoke with only a couple of hours left before my husband came home and I was overwhelmed with guilt. I have not gotten very good at letting go and just saying ‘hey, I am sorry, but I just couldn’t do it today’, so my saying that this is one of the options is a bit hypocritical on my part. Instead, I cheated out a few ‘visible’ tasks. I half-heartedly made the bed because it makes my room look so much better. I marinated meat and told hubby he got to play with his new grill (father’s day gift) which was a combo of asking for help and paying for convenience (buying him a new grill so he could cook). And then finally after 3 days of this nonsense I finally told the family that Mama Jules was sick and going to bed and that was just the way it was. Sorry folks, I can’t ‘just do it’.Everyone has to come up with their own strategies to keep up with this life we have been given. I would like to think that if I keep up on most things I won’t ever have a crises moment of something that is an emergency and left undone, but ha… we know that’s just too funny to consider ever being realistic. Shit happens, it happens to the non-ill, so it’s going to happen to us magnified.When I answered this for Diane I was less detailed. I wish I knew what exactly she had to get done because I think there is one more piece to this that be really helpful.When it all seems like it’s impossible, sometimes you just need to ask a friend ‘How would you get this done when it seems impossible?’ I often find I need to take my glasses off and put someone else’s on for a while. Clears up my vision wonderfully. So, Diane…I am über creative and this was a rather general answer. Email me at Julianna@chronicallyawesome.org and tell me what’s going on. I may be more specifically helpful.
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