Monday, August 28, 2006

Pacing and Planning

We lost our internet access this weekend. I felt so stranded! I couldn't e-mail, couldn't check the weather forecast or the school lunch menu, and couldn't blog. I'm so relieved to be connected again!

I thought a lot this weekend about the intricate strategies I employ to try to pace myself so I'll be able to do the things that are most important to me. It's a complicated dance that requires constant vigilance.

The big event this weekend was a neighborhood picnic/pool party on Saturday evening. I also had my usual list of things I wanted to get done, but I had to keep revising my plans based on how I was feeling. For starters, I took a shower and shaved my legs Saturday morning. Shaving requires a lot of extra time standing in the warm shower stall, so I was wiped out when I finished (one thing I hate about summer). So, that was about it for Saturday!

I rested most of the day and did feel pretty good for our gathering that evening. I tried not to stand much at the party, even though I felt a little silly talking to a group of standing people while I sat in their midst. I weathered the social interaction pretty well and felt good on Sunday.

Then, all my careful planning and pacing went out the window. My husband, Ken, went out to do some yard work, and I said I'd help him for a few minutes. Our yard is an overgrown jungle at the moment, and I hate not being able to do much about it. I knew I could handle 15-20 minutes of weeding, so I came out with him. Unfortunately, I didn't wear a watch, and the huge amount of work just sucked me in. I kept saying to myself, "I'll just finish this little section." By the time I came in, I was covered in sweat and dirt, my heart was pumping madly, and I knew I'd gone over the line.

I guzzled some of my son's Gatorade Endurance (double the salt) and popped some extra supplements, but I had to spend the rest of the day flat on my back, thinking about all of the other things I'd wanted to do.

I sometimes get frustrated by having to be ever-vigilant, planning every single action and activity and mentally tabulating what I can handle, but it sure beats ignoring my limits and crashing. So, today I'm back to my careful approach, resting after walking my son to the bus stop, putting my feet up so I can handle lunch out with a friend. It might be tedious to live this way, but I am living.

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