This is not a typical year-end blog post. It could be. I could take time to list all the things I learned in 2017, the progress I made, the stifling sense of regression I felt at times, the areas which were frustrating, the areas in which I was happy and had better moments, the laughs, lessons, and "should've, could've, would'ves."
But it's not, and I'm not.
Partly because such an undertaking would be overwhelming and therefore never be undertaken and accomplished. Partly because there are three and a half days left in 2017 as I write this sentence, and I know that still means there are three and a half days which could bring new things to add to such a post unexpectedly.
Mostly because I want to be more productive and consistent on this blog in 2018, and I intend on undertaking various "blog challenges," some of which give a prompt for each day, week, or month, some of which are niche-oriented challenges, but all of which will include increasing my activity on this blog, while also showing you, as I live my life in 2018, how 2017 has impacted me in ways too extensive for one post.
So today, instead of resolutions (not a huge fan of the word or concept as it's applied in today's world, honestly,), recaps, lessons, or regrets, I want to briefly talk about pushing ourselves with chronic illness. It's something we all need to do from time to time, but how do we know when it's worth it and when it's not? How do we know when we've pushed "the right amount" before we fall into the cycle of "I pushed myself too much and have to recover"?
Unfortunately, I can't answer those questions for you. Many factors depend on our own personal health picture, and I'm not a doctor, so even if I did get into a lot of health-body-science-physiology related talk in this post, it would only be significant for my body. Rather, I'd like to recount a time I recently pushed my limits, and what was worth it, and what may not have been
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Roger has been on Christmas break from work since the Thursday before Christmas (December 21st), and goes back early January. While he's been home, I've actively been trying to push myself to do more things with him, because I want to make memories we can remember fondly, and also just because I enjoy spending time with my best friend in the entire world.
Instead of a play by play of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I'll make a list of the things I was able to push myself to do at some time across that 48 hour time span (with breaks taken often, of course). I'll also add a slideshow to share a few pictures from the below listed accomplishments):
I probably pushed myself more this year for Christmas and Christmas Eve than I've done in several years. I don't regret a single memory made, however, I do wish I were better at actually LEARNING how far to push my limits. It's a constant learning process, though, and even though I've had many years to practice and learn, it somehow always still surprises me.
The crash, however, does not get to take away my JOY and the warmth these memories and these people bring to my life. I look at the list above a marvel. Maybe it's because I'm not doing any kind of killing treatment right now since we're still trying to prepare my body for finally taking the long term IV antibiotics plunge. Maybe it was all because of God and His gift of adrenaline and JOY that made the days possible. I personally think it was the latter using the former to allow me the good times I did have on these days, and I plan on relishing them and soaking in joy every moment I'm able.
Actually, if you stick around for 2018, you'll see JOY has become an ever-present theme in my life, despite being mostly bedridden and never without severe pain. There is always a way to have JOY, and I've found that the more I struggle on this earth, the more I'm forced to lean on Jesus to just get me through the day, and that alone is reason for joy! A joy that was made possible by the birth we celebrate with Christmas each year.
So, did I push my limits? Resoundingly, yes! Did I sometimes try to push TOO much? Again, that's a yes. Will I be more conscious of my body telling my to take a break form now on? I sure hope so! But does the crash after the pushing of limits mean it was all pointless? Absolutely NOT! I'm not going to lie and say I'm enjoying the pain and other limitations and flares I'm experiencing right now, BUT I also refuse to let the pain of the past few days take away the good moments I had those days, and to quote Mandisa, it's "Never Gonna Steal My Joy!"
God bless you all, and may 2018 bring us ALL J-O-Y!