I have a problem. I want to do too much.
I like to play a lot of sports, want to do my job very well, like to have dinner with friends, visit my parents once a week and, also very important, spend some time sitting on the sofa, reading a book or a magazine, or watching TV. And these are just the things that come to mind immediately. I’m sure I’m forgetting things.
Needless to say, this doesn’t all fit in the life of one person. Especially not if that person has irritable bowel syndrome. As I work on weekdays all “other fun stuff” needs to happen in the evenings and during the weekend. It means I should look at my calendar and make smart choices and it means I must continue to listen to my body very well to keep a healthy balance.
For instance, I go rollerblading on Monday and play tennis on Thursday. That means that I can have one other activity on either Tuesday or Wednesday, but not both. On Friday, I’m usually tired from the week, so I prefer to spend my Friday evenings pottering about in my house and garden. This doesn’t leave a lot of flexibility, but it’s important that I don’t overdo it. It means I have to say “no” to both social and work events quite a lot. Or that I need to cancel/miss out on tennis or rollerblading. It’s not just about having enough time, but also about having enough energy.
I used to feel very guilty about saying “no” to anyone or anything, but that meant that I was generating additional stress because I was trying to take care of myself. That makes no sense and thankfully I find it easier these days.
Occasionally I’m still too optimistic about what my mind and body will tolerate from me, especially if I feel good, but I continue to try and learn from my mistakes.
Even when I have a quiet night at home I still have a bit of a wish list of things that I want to do.
1. Sit on the sofa
2. Read a magazine
3. Make myself a “proper” dinner
4. Have two teas after dinner (yes, I lead an exciting life ;-))
5. Do ab exercises
The first four things on that list are relatively easy to accomplish. The last one however requires a lot of self-discipline. I keep postponing it until the very last moment. The very last moment is the moment I should really go to bed. But at that moment I then start doing ab exercises.
If I’m completely honest it’s not just the exercises that this happens with. For some reason bedtime is often the perfect time to find the motivation to start doing something that I have been postponing for hours or even days.
I do like sleeping. And I have absolutely no problem falling asleep or staying asleep. I do sometimes have some trouble to get out of bed in the morning. That is probably related to the activities that happen at bedtime.
Using my self-discipline to go to bed on time is still something I need to practice and improve. I’m not very hopeful, but I keep trying. Perhaps…one day…