If It’s Not One Thing, Make It Another

posted in: Day In The Life, Sicky, Tips 15
The idea here is that the little kitteh is making a list of things to do. Image: Wikipedia.
The idea here is that the little kitteh is making a list of things to do. Image: Wikipedia.


One of the hard parts about not feeling 100% is that it’s advisable to rest, to stay put. I am terrible at resting and staying put.

On a physical level, it’s just plain difficult for me to settle down in a chair for very long. I’m up, I’m down. I sit down to sew and oop! Gotta get up for some ice. I sit down to write and oop! I’m up because I really should go get the laundry out of the dryer before I get too into things. I sit down to have my breakfast and oop! I’m up because I need salt. That kind of thing.

But that’s just the micro-level stuff. It’s hard for me to stay put on the macro level, as well. After a string of days laying low, I feel so off. I want to be leaping and leapfrogging and feeling fabulous but I feel logie and grouchy and antsy. It’s important to mention, by the way, my desire to leap and frog about does not mean I have a yen to go outside and catch butterflies or hike the Appalachian Trail or swim laps all day and then link arms with my friends and dance till the sun goes down (or comes up? I don’t know, I’m exhausted just thinking about all that.) Leaping and leapfrogging and feeling fabulous to me can be as simple as getting up and feeling good, then being productive at my desk and then maybe going to lunch.

When I can’t do these things, when doing laundry is hard not just because I’m iron-deficient but because I’m mildly depressed over being iron-deficient, it’s hard to get up over the fence.

Today, I did things that helped. It always starts with little things. I made a list that was manageable. Here’s what was on the list:

  • fold laundry (*good job for doing it yesterday!!)
  • go to the library to return your book
  • go to post office
  • answer pressing emails

And guess what? I did all of those things (plus a few more) and I feel better as I write this.

If my blog is ever of use, it’s because I can tell you what’s happening to me and then, if it’s happening to you and you identify, you won’t feel like you’re sitting by yourself. Maybe you’re not anemic, but maybe you’ve been sitting still and feeling weird about that or feeling bad about it. My suggestion is that perhaps you might like to make a short list. It worked for me today.

Just try a short list.

15 Responses

  1. Colleen
    | Reply

    Wow great for you. In my head you were not able to dress and go out, thank goodness you are much more mobile than I invisioned

  2. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    Mary, I have never been anemic, but I am down with a sinus infection right now, so I kind of understand how you feel. There is LOTS to be done, because our annual Bolder Boulder p arty is Monday. My husband has been doing most of the work around here, including grocery shopping & dinner preparations. I feel all kinds of guilty about not being able to pitch in right now (+ the house needs lots of cleaning. Everyday, I think surely by tomorrow I’ll feel up to getting something done. Let’s hope that day is tomorrow! I have plenty of lists–just need the energy to get them done!

  3. Robin Adair
    | Reply

    So glad you were able to do your sort list. I have a thyroid problem that is really dragging me down. ! Like you I am not good at resting and sitting still. But I have been mostly house bound between that and another health problem. I live in the country so to get any place is a 20 minute drive so that is getting to be a big deal. Today I have to go to another town to renew my driver’s license and am dreading it. My eyes are getting so bad I am afraid I won’t even pass the vision test 🙁 But I will go as it needs to be done. I get lots of inspiration from reading your blog. My motto must be the same as yours (never give up), but sometimes it is hard to not want to just give in and have a good cry as i am alone now and children thousands of miles away. Hang in there Mary, you are doing great and I know you will be better soon.

  4. Samantha
    | Reply

    I am late to this party, but have been struggling with, until very recently, undiagnosed intermittent vertigo that has disrupted my life for the past three years. There are days when I just can’t process and need to stay home. So I TOTALLY get it. Making lists is great, and small tasks are a good accomplishment. I can handle knitting and hand stitching and those pursuits make me feel like I’m doing something. I hope your hemogoblins get a grip and give you back your get up and go…. But until they do, gotta let the body do what it needs. I am very sorry for your situation and my heart is with you, lovely lady!

  5. Patti-Ann Kubacki
    | Reply

    Mary, it sounds like you are finding ways to handle things and that’s great. I had mono at one point and just lifting my head off the pillow seemed to take all of my energy and then I dealt with the after affects for years. It is very hard when your body refuses to cooperate but you have to listen to it. Your body needs the rest and your mind will just have to deal which you are doing and that’s the important thing. Feel better soon.

  6. Cindy
    | Reply

    Good advice Mary! Have you ever tried crocheting? It is very calming and has gotten me through difficult times.
    So good you were able to get your items on your list accomplished. Take care and hope you feel better soon!

  7. Dayna Williamson
    | Reply

    I have been there and totally understand what you are saying. The depression comes from the fatigue (not tired as some would think. it is totally different.) and inability to live. I kept telling my doctor I felt like I was fading away and would cry because I felt so helpless and he would just give me another tranquilizer. Finally I had a doctor who really listened and although they still have not found out WHY they have found a treatment that makes me feel alive again. I go for my next monthly transfusion on June 1st which is great as I will be getting a total knee replacement on June 6th. I pray for you and hope the day comes where they find ways to overcome your illness. I have a daughter who has Krohns and she runs into similar problems.

  8. Kathleen Kurke
    | Reply

    Some lessons you have to learn the hard way….. for me, in moments just as you describe, I find it helpful to add small elements of self-care to that short to-do list. So, it might say return library book, 30 minute nap, fold laundry, call mom. I get the satisfaction of accomplishing something on my list, and that item on my list also contributes to my recovery and well-being. Slowing things down will often speed something up.

  9. Elizabeth A Benedict
    | Reply

    I so admire your perseverance. Keep up the good fight.

  10. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    Glad you could get out a little. I find doing a little normal helps with the frustration at having to dial it back for a while. Off to make my list today!

  11. Catherine
    | Reply

    Mary, take care and rest. Only YOU are important. Everything else can wait.

  12. Pam Williams
    | Reply

    I can relate in my own very special way.
    Had a month’s worth of food
    Poisoning. Good times!!
    Bless our collective hearts

  13. Robin Adair
    | Reply

    Went to renew driver’s like I said this morning ! I was afraid I would not pass the vision test. I was right, I did not pass it. It has been a bummer day, hope thing are going better for you Mary 🙂

  14. Kristie Cook
    | Reply

    I can understand the feeling! I lost my thyroid to cancer 4 years ago & some days it’s a struggle just to get out of bed. All I can think about when I have low energy (or no energy) is what I’m not doing. Making a list at the end of the day of what I did accomplish usually makes me feel a little better. What’s funny is people tell me all the time I make them feel like they’re not doing enough when I feel like I’m not everything I want to! I wish you more ups than downs & many days of creating!

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