In my ongoing musings on thankfulness, lately I’ve been feeling extremely grateful for small but noticeable areas of progress in my long slow healing journey. I’m back doing some regular tasks that most people would perform without a thought; and many would (or have) consider it shocking that some of this stuff went by the wayside.
But when the unwinding muscles and bursts of energy were keeping me from sleep 7-9 nights out of every 10 –on top of chronic fatigue and muscle issues– my ability to move pretty much disappeared. Even simple household tasks were constantly procrastinated.
The main example that’s been having me grateful every morning is dishes. With only two of us who don’t do a lot of cooking, the dishwasher doesn’t need to be run daily but there are items of daily use that need washing plus things not safe for dishwasher. It isn’t that much from one meal so I generally accumulate through the day so I can just run hot water once and do it all.
At the worst of the fatigue, I would be so weary and shaky in the evening that it wouldn’t get done. Then in the morning I would get up not feeling much better than I did before sleeping and wander to a kitchen with the dirty dishes waiting– many of which had to be washed before I could fix breakfast. Man is there something disheartening about facing dish washing first thing!
Somewhere in the last three years the sleep shifted a bit so now there are more nights when I get a decent amount of sleep and nights of only 2 or 3 hours are far less frequent. When the shift occurred and I started trying to do stuff, I realized I lost incredible amounts of stamina during those do-nothing years. So I’ve been slowly trying to work up more staying power.
Laundry gets done more often before the piles need to be divided into more piles. More areas get picked up more regularly. Errands get run in a timely fashion (and in the interim I now have to run all my 93-year-old mother’s errands as well).
Lately as I’ve wandered near the pristine and empty sink each day I’ve been realizing that I’ve been spry enough to do the evening dishes daily for so long I actually can’t tell you when the last time was I had to wash dishes before breakfast!
The house needs much more work — hours and hours of clearing and sorting. I need to build more physical energy as I’m still startled by how little activity can leave me feeling drained. But right now I’m just grateful for the small steps of doing more that have become normal.
My concentration for so long has been only on accomplishing the healing, it hadn’t occurred to me that there’d be such a long transition to accomplish from being too ill to do anything back to being a person who gets stuff done. But it’s in process and that feels so good!