I’m so happy to see the return of Sheryl’s monthly linkups on A Chronic Voice and glad to join in with this month’s prompts.

Recuperating

2022 hasn’t got off to a great start for me health wise. I had a massive migraine and was bedridden for 3 days right across New Year which wasn’t the best way to usher it in! As the migraine was a severe one, it takes a while to get over it properly as I usually experience dizziness for several days afterwards and have to take things really slowly…So I thought that the first week of January would mean recuperating from the festive break but it’s actually turned out to be a migraine recovery week. I’m just hoping the rest of the month turns out better!

Reversing

In a world where onwards and upwards seems to be the only way to go, reversing can be seen as a dirty word with negative connotations, indicative of a lack of progress. But living with a chronic illness can sometimes mean that we have to reverse a little back down the road we’d already travelled, perhaps to go back over something we already knew or had already mastered. This is how it is with me and swimming. A few years back, I had managed to get to a decent level with my swimming but, over the past couple of years, swimming has been neglected due to various life events. I’m intending to get back into swimming this year. It will mean starting again, at the level where I was a few years ago, but there’s no shame in starting over.

Dawning

Towards the end of last year, I was suffering with overwhelm on a daily basis. Living with chronic illness and trying to maintain some level of wellness as well as exercise, shop, life admin, prepare healthy meals, doing work in the house etc etc increased my stress levels off the scale. It dawned on me that I was trying to do too many things on any one day and not really succeeding at any of them. This year, I’m going to try and simplify things by focussing of fewer things in a day and making better use of a schedule to plan out my time. Hopefully this will help me to stop floundering in an overwhelmed state and help me to better direct the little energy I do have.

Mapping

As I wrote about in an earlier blog post, I haven’t yet managed to sit down and map out my goals for this year, but this is something I will work on over the next week or so. Goal setting with a chronic illness can be difficult as we just never know how many spoons we might have. A shortage of spoons means we need to activate our survival mode when all we can focus on are the bare essentials of living.

I also realised at the end of last year that I need to make a better job of reviewing my goals as I go through the year. Whilst it’s important to have an overall direction in life, we don’t always need to have a precise destination. There’s nothing to say that we can’t stop mid way and enjoy the scenery or change direction if we don’t like where we are headed.

Redefining

As above, I realised that I have been trying to do too many things in any one day and so what I would like to do this year is to redefine how I spend my time and direct my energy. I’ve invested in a journal for this year which has a lot more detail about yearly goals and how to break these down into smaller weekly tasks, which will ultimately move me towards these larger goals. I’m also going to be making use of time scheduling to make sure that I’m building in self care to my daily routine.

4 thoughts on “A Chronic Voice – January Prompts

  1. Happy New Year! I learned last year that re-evaluating where I am every 90 days helps me stay on track for completing tasks. I also can see what isn’t working, so I can try a different approach.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Kathy. That’s a great idea and definitely something I need to do this year. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  2. It sounds like you have everything worked out for this year, but it’s also good to review it at certain times just to make sure you are on the right track. You are so right, planning is important but it doesn’t have to be linear.

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  3. Hi Sarah, I think this is my first time on your blog—glad I found it through the link up!
    Great point about reversing being necessary, and definitely not always a negative thing. “Life admin” is such a helpful phrase too! I’m going to use that to remind myself I’m in fact accomplishing admin work.

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