So here’s the deal–I’m a 47-year-old divorced woman with RA, no college degree, $20,000 in debt, three aging cats, dwindling retirement savings, a car payment and part-time cashier job whose alimony ends in eight months. No surprise, then, that my mind fills with angst and worry like a stopped-up toilet the moment I wake up each morning. So much so that I can’t focus on one aspect of my life at a time, much less write about it. I haven’t stopped writing, actually. I journal daily, though it’s become more a series of lists than ruminations.
Take last night’s pre-bedtime entry: “27 May 2017. Saturday (insert sunshine emoticon). Off to bed soon…I wrote/posted on my blog again today 🙂 Walked 🙂 P/u’d groceries @ TJ’s 🙂 Returned magazine to library 🙂 M/y/r’d (meditated/yoga’d/rebounded) 🙂 Read 🙂 LBs’d (cleaned litter boxes; I’ve created my own style of shorthand) 🙂 Took out trash 🙂 Paid bill 🙂 Did small laundry 🙂 Watched some Twin Peaks 🙂 Discovered turquoise vegan hair dye 🙂 Did ab work 🙂 Made 3 smoothies 🙂 Prepped work clothes & coffee for tomorrow 🙂 Oil pulled :)”
I started this nightly ritual to remind myself that I do more than I give myself credit for, especially on days when I’m plagued with increased RA fatigue and pain. Nothing wrong with doing this, of course, but lists do not a writer’s life make. This task helps empty my mind before bed, end the day on a positive note, and allows me to give myself a pat on the back for trying again. It’s not enough, but I’m scared of doing more. Not just because I’ll fail, but because I’ll use up my finite energy reserves creating and have nothing for the physically demanding but necessary part-time cashier job.
Such are the fears of a woman on her own living with chronic illness.