Connecting with my inner princess isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve been independent, creative and restless for far too long. Not doing things or doing less, or getting someone else to do something for me feels like laziness at best, weakness (failure) at worst.
Even putting off grooming dogs feels wrong. Its work, slacking off work is just not acceptable to me unless I literally can’t get out of bed. Soon as I feel a bit better I want to start working. Maybe its my work ethic fighting my inner princess which won’t let the princess win easily.
Getting old sucks. I still think my body can do the things it used to do when I was younger despite repeated proof that it not only can’t, it sometimes downright refuses to.
You get used to doing less cause it happens slowly. The first time you get a really sore back from lifting something means that next time you try to find another way, the first time you get sick after eating something you shouldn’t you start to consider avoiding that food next time*. It happens so slowly that somewhere along the line you don’t even realise its happening.
Or like me, you keep trying and keep paying.
*If I had listened to my body more maybe I could have avoided the last almost 2 months. Of course I would still have had to have my gall bladder removed, but not in crisis with complications. But I am me, and I’m not a quitter. I keep trying to do things I should know I can no longer do.
If I had listened to my body many years ago I wouldn’t have ridden on the last afternoon of a 5 day trail ride in the bush and I wouldn’t have injured my vertebrae. I was already sore by then but I refused to give in when others were still going. I have many stories like that.
It doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to life, which is how I began to feel in hospital. There is still so much I want to do and try in life. It just means adjusting to new normals. Maybe ask for help when something is too much for me, or only work on smaller projects I can manage alone.
The main problem for me isn’t resting or taking time off to do nothing. Its that I view that time as laziness. Its a hard belief to get past. I’ve always felt a non-creative day, or a day where practical things don’t get ticked off the eternally growing To Do List is a day wasted. A day spent reading or watching TV is a lazy day which my body might need but my mind makes me feel guilty about.
I’ve had almost two months of this. In that time the most creative thing I did was start a new sea rope basket, at least that’s something. I spend a lot of time thinking about creative things: usually when I’m lying in bed trying to get to sleep…
It is hard for me to accept this recouperation time as necessary when I just want to get on with things.