I recently found out that one of my favourite authors is doing an event in Liverpool in August. I was pretty stoked as she's a US author so I've only seen her once before. The problem? It's the same week as I'm going to an event with another US author I've only seen once before, one on the Monday and one on the Wednesday.
Why is this a problem, exactly? Because I'm not sure I can cope with 2 events in 3 days - especially at the beginning of the week and extra especially when one involves travel to Liverpool. I hate having to consider these things now, I hate having to plan my weeks so precisely. When I lived in London, weekly pacing was still something I had to consider, just on a much smaller scale. If I was out 3 evenings in the week I would be sure to have a quiet weekend to compensate. If I was at a work event on the weekend, I would try and get my lieu day for the following Monday so I had time to recover. Pacing at that level was practically second nature to me by that point, which means that when I got sicker I felt like I was learning how to plan my time all over again, starting from scratch.
I was used to a life where I could more or less do what I wanted, when I wanted. Taking a weekend off after a busy week felt like a luxury, not a necessity. Trying to keep Friday nights to myself was a chance to unwind and indulge, not a requirement.
Back in the old days, I wouldn't think twice about multiple events in one week, whereas now, if I have a medical appointment one day I have to seriously consider whether I'll also have the energy for a social activity. Arranging a cinema trip means writing off the rest of the week. And it is SO frustrating. I've missed more film releases than I've caught in the past few months and I've barely seen anyone outside of my immediate family/partner for weeks. The fallout from my week away was another week, followed by a further week of actual illness.
I feel like I'm missing out on so much. I know films will come out on DVD, friends will still be there, restaurants can be visited another time, but that's not really the point. The point is I had my life at a place where I mostly liked it. Where I was living the kind of life I wanted to live; the kind of life I envisioned myself living. Busy and cultured, full of friends and theatre trips and meals out and extended city breaks. I feel like I'm moving further away from that person and back towards the one whose only hobby to speak of is binge-watching boxsets whilst chain-eating multipacks of crisps. And while that person was fine while I was her, she isn't the kind of person I want to be anymore.
Chronic Illness robs you of a lot of things but the frustrated feeling that you aren't living your best life is one of the cruelest. Especially because I keep trying to be this person. I book things, I plan things and I either have to cancel them and feel shit about it, or push through and then feel shit in an entirely different way. This week I've been swimming, am going to the cinema, have a medical appointment, and tickets for a play and dinner reservations at a restaurant I'm excited about on Friday evening as a payday treat. Not to mention the other 2 lots of exercise I'm supposed to be doing to try and fix my body. And I sit here typing this post out wondering if I'm going to have to cancel something, and if so what will it be. Next Friday I'm going down to London for a week and instead of being excited about it (I'm going to see The Cursed Child, ffs) I've been worrying about how I'm going to cope while I'm there, and how bad I'm going to feel, and for how long, once I'm back. We've had the EU referendum result recently, not one I'm happy with, and I would like to go out and protest with some of my fellow Remainers, but I know I'm not well enough to manage. Instead I'm resorting to passive-aggressive posting on Facebook and scathing rants about how our government is pure evil.
I don't want to just accept that my life has to have less in it now, but I can't help but think I'd be happier if I did. And feeling better when I do take it easy is a tantalising incentive. What I probably need to do is find new ways to fill my life with things that aren't TV. It's one of the reasons I started this blog, after all. But most crafts involve your hands and my hands aren't up to much lately.
God this has been one depressing post. I usually try and inject at least a modicum of humour into these things (cue blank stares and comments of "oh, these are supposed to be *funny?!*) but I'm afraid I'm coming up dry today. Must be the weather. Or possibly something to do with that EU Referendum outcome I mentioned.
Have a picture of a cat instead.
Oh, and if you have any suggestions for things I can do that don't necessarily involve leaving the house, or ways to pace myself better, I'm all ears. Or eyes.