Does your to-do list seem to just keep growing? Does it stare at you tauntingly from the desk or wall, knowing you will never defeat it? Is it more of a growing list of things you can’t seem to get done than a list of things you will realistically get done today? I’ve started to think of mine as a list of shit I probably won’t get done today or this week, but plan to try to do one day when I feel like I can fit it in. As that is an insane length for a title, I call it my “want to-do” list, an always growing list of chores, projects, and brilliant ideas that I will tackle, just as soon as I have the energy and brainpower needed to do that.
Unfortunately, especially in winter, checking things off the list is slow. As my body reacts to months of pain inducing weather changes, reduced activity, and lack of fresh air and sunshine, my ability to get things done shrinks. That’s how it is with chronic disease, the more active your symptoms have been, the harder the normal stuff becomes. If those symptoms include reduced mobility and dexterity, some things become temporarily physically impossible. Since the must do list doesn’t get any smaller, that means less energy for the stuff I’d like to get to. Rather than constantly beating myself up for being chronically behind, I decided to change the name of the list. From ‘to-do’ to ‘want to-do’, ta-da, pressure removed, bliss restored, stress reduced, ahhh.
Now I can get back to ignoring the things I cannot do, knowing they are safely stowed in my notebook for a day when I feel capable of doing them justice. When I find I have spare energy and time, I can pull it out and find something to check off, until then, it’s not taunting me from my desk, making me feel like a complete and utter failure because I am currently incapable of getting it all done.
Do you struggle with feeling chronically behind? What has helped you deal with those always changing limits and abilities? Find support and understanding in the Chronically Tenacious Community