A beautiful day to pace myself

Well, I’m happy to report, this day is off to a really good start!

First off, I was able to sleep past 7:00 this morning! I can’t remember the last time that happened, even on a weekend. I took some L-Tryptophan last night, even though I was exhausted. I’ve used it in the past to help me sleep, but it didn’t seem to do much for me. I tried it again last night, and lo and behold, the first time I looked at the clock this a.m., it was 7:20, not 5:20. What a change!

Second, I have a lot to do today, but I have a good handle on what needs to get done. I have a bunch of chores I need to take care of, but I’ve figured out that I can do most, if not all of them, in the space of an hour or two, each. That will leave me more than enough time to:

  • rake the lawn and seed it
  • clean up dead leaves from last fall
  • clear out my garden spaces
  • take the trash to the dump
  • go for a walk in the woods
  • take a nap
  • work on some job stuff that is still outstanding
  • read up on my technology stuff and play with it a bit
  • take another nap
  • write a little bit
  • do more work on my job skills

It might sound like a lot to do, and it is. If I devote an hour to each of these activities, plus a little extra rest time before and after, it will take me through to supper time, and then I can relax, fix the meal, and watch a movie before I head to bed at a decent hour.

The key to doing this well is only doing each activity for an hour or so. I have to pace myself, because all these things really need to be done — they’re overdue, in fact. So, I’ll make hay while the sun shines and do what I can, an hour at a time. Even less, if I can.

I’m learning to really hold myself to shorter bursts of energy for important tasks. I’m finding that I’m better able to get things done, if I don’t leave myself a lot of “breathing room” to do it. I need to focus myself intently on what I’m doing, in order to get it done. I can’t do what I used to — just leave myself wide open spans of time to do this, that and the other thing as the spirit moves me. That used to be the only way I could get anything done. But that was 10-20 years ago. Nowadays, my brain is different than it used to be, and I need to sit down with myself ahead of time, think things through, get clear on my priorities, and then move through them briskly, not getting mired in details and ending up drifting far and wide beyond what I’m supposed to be doing.

I must keep myself from wearing myself out on one activity alone. I must keep myself from becoming confused and frustrated when I drift off-course. I have to hold myself to what I planned to do, and keep my “contracts” with myself about what I will (and will not) do.

I can get all this done. And I can have a good time doing it. If I stick with my schedule and track my progress, it can all work out.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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