Monday, August 2, 2010

A matter of perspective

The fact that you function at all with fibromyalgia is often a miracle.– Devin Starlanyl, M.D.
A discussion came up in a group today about how much those of us in pain can accomplish despite our disability.
And it's true -- so often people focus on what you CAN'T do, and they miss the value of what you DO accomplish.  I cannot whip this house into shape in one day as a healthy person could, I don't have that much stamina for physical exertion, but I have accomplished a number of things so far today. 
People are so focused on the fact that my house is no longer spotless that they don't see the long list of things that were done:
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared, eaten, and cleaned up after (and some of them were even balanced meals!)
  • cobweb removed from kitchen window while waiting for dinner to be ready
  • cat fed and watered
  • cat box scooped
  • walked to the front door to bring in the newspaper, read it, did some of the puzzles, and it's now in the recycling bag
  • walked to the front door a second time to bring in the mail, which I have sorted into "urgent" and "not so much" and dealt with the urgent stuff
  • transferred money into the checking account to cover the check I wrote
  • read and responded to several business-related e-mails
  • solicited a new client
  • sent monthly invoices to my existing editing clients
  • reviewed the latest flyers for my Tupperware business  
  • did some knitting on a baby gift for a friend
  • started packing a gift box for my best friend
  • looked through two catalogues in search of Christmas gifts
  • faxed orders for Christmas gifts
  • wrote three letters to disabled friends who don't have internet access
I'm not lying in bed doing nothing while the servants wait on me hand and foot.  My back hurts, so I haven't been moving the boxes that need to be moved, but it's not like I haven't accomplished anything today.  Just not the stuff that would be visible to anyone who's only looking at the tidiness of the house and is blinded by the fact that those boxes are still in the way.


Kylie said...

Wow, you've done so well to get all that done. You and all of us with CFS / FMS know what an amazing achievement that is.

My approach to those who do want to criticise my house-keeping is to ask how they'd like to help - perhaps washing a floor, re-organising a cupboard or paying for a cleaner?

CFS Facts said...

And do you find that anyone actually offers to do more than to criticize your housekeeping?

The only person I found willing to help was the man who informed me that I could get the place tidy PDQ by "throwing out all those books and yarn". Because he doesn't read or knit, he assumed they were just useless junk.

But when I suggested he could do something useful like moving things at my direction, suddenly he was no longer interested in ways to get my house cleaned up.

Plus, when I've asked for recommendations to a cleaner who actually cleans, my friends have just sighed "if you ever find one, let me know" -- I've had people come in for 4 hours and accomplish less than I can accomplish with CFS. For the most part, hiring a cleaner has just been a waste of money.