By: Revanche

Being realistic and knowing thyself

February 22, 2017

I tend to equate my value as a person to what I can do for others or what I’ve achieved. I’m frequently guilty of fighting against being overwhelmed by things that I cannot control by taking on the burdens of others to distract myself.

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
– T.S. Eliot.

Sitting with my own problems, not solving them because they’re complex and take time, is hard. Having chronic pain and fatigue is isolating. Losing connections with others, by way of service, is another level of isolating.

It’s no surprise that my worst days are those days when I feel like I’m not doing anything. Days when I can barely sit up in bed, days when I should be working during JuggerBaby’s naps but if I do, I pass clean out halfway through the afternoon. In those moments, I get a stab of insecurity, forgetting the lessons we learned in chronic pain classes: these are moments, and they pass.

I do an awful lot on a day to day basis even if I’m not launching a massive year-long, or month-long, challenge with a billion readers following along. It’s ok that I didn’t manage to start a business or 10x my salary this year. 


living in pain. Sometimes teeth-gritting, excruciating, hold your breath til it passes but grey out, pain.
writing for this blog three times a week.
working a traditional full time office job, at least 40 hours a week.
co-raising a rambunctious toddler and co-running a household.
nursing Seamus and managing his medications and special diet.
managing my own medications and diet.

I also struggle to remember, while I’m kicking myself for not being capable of cooking dinner every night as I do when my brain is functions and I have four halfway decent limbs, that PiC remembers I’m not superhuman. He easily stepped into my shoes to head up planning and preparing dinner without a word from me. He admits that he misses my cooking but that’s the extent of it. So I shouldn’t feel guilty.

It feels to me like I really need to be spending less time on things of pleasure or leisure (as I write this post at 12:30 am), and spend that time on income replacing activity instead. Maybe that’s where the guilt comes from.

8 Responses to “Being realistic and knowing thyself”

  1. I completely relate to the worst days being the ones when I’m not doing something — and once I’m in that funk, not doing anything feels like the status quo, and it can be hard to break it. Income is great, but only to the extent that you can still maintain quality of life and enough time for pleasure/leisure. Good luck finding the balance. Don’t over-extend yourself!
    Matt @ The Resume Gap recently posted…Sunrise in the Rearview: The Long Ride HomeMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      @Matt: it’s true! Sometimes the way for me to break the funk is to publicly admit I have one. Thank goodness for blogging!

  2. Mrs. BITA says:

    Remember what they say about the dullness of Jack, who was all about the work and not enough about the play? Keep playing. It keeps you young, and it keeps you happy. You are doing and managing and accomplishing a lot. Don’t feel that you need to lean in any further. Lean right back out instead. Lean so far back out that you land on your back and lie there for a while and gaze at the stars.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Should I Get Divorced?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      @Mrs BITA: that sounds perfectly lovely. Add some waves crashing on the rocks in the background and I might actually get real sleep, too. I’m seizing the night (off) and not working to make up for the much abbreviated night yesterday.

  3. Linda says:

    There will always be work to do. Your fertile brain will always zero in on potential projects and business opportunities because that’s the way it works for you. Grab the time to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate when you can, and don’t feel guilty about it. I’m actually starting to internalize this lesson, too.
    Linda recently posted…My boon companionMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      @Linda: It’s true, there will ALWAYS be work. The feeling of guilt tends to intensify when we’re hitting a tough spot financially so I think that’s why it’s worse this year.

  4. I can relate to much of this. I equate my own worth with productivity, for sure. I also struggled with the lack of “productivity” with lupus, and often feel useless. Being sick, even with a cold or flu on top of my regular stuff can feel really overwhelming & depressing.

    I also find that when I practice good self care (exercising lightly, getting LOTS of sleep, & taking some time to read a book, etc), I manage all of the rest of my life better. I know it can be hard to carve out that time, but balance is healthy for you.
    Hawaii Planner recently posted…Frugal FridayMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      @Hawaii Planner: I dream of the day that JuggerBaby is old enough where I can actually get more sleep again. That’s definitely one of the missing factors contributing to my stress right now.

      Reading is also a huge important thing and I try to do that at least most nights.

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