Giving In


We live in a time when stimulation is available at the ready. We can scroll through our iPhones to tweet, post photos, listen to music, read emails, and when that’s exhausted, we can pull out our kindle to read a book. Boredom is avoided like the plague, almost as much as talking to one another.

It seems to me that everyone is constantly on the go, but I wonder if they really know where they are going?

Don’t get me wrong, I like to be busy, and yes, I too succumb to the ways of handy dandy gadgets. They are especially helpful on days when my ability to be active is limited even more than usual. But unlike my iPhone, I don’t get a dedicated text message to tell me when my batteries are getting low. That is for me to discern. However, like most things related to living with health challenges, I learned how to do this the hard way.

The disease that I experience my life with is progressive; it slowly atrophies (weakens) my muscles but not my mind. For a long time, my body and mind traveled along two different lanes on the same highway. My mind loved to zoom in the express lane, whereas my body more and more preferred the slow lane. The problem was, they shared the same vehicle. Me!

This tug and pull was the cause of many breakdowns, “metaphorically“. My mind wanted more than my little body could give, and so, reluctantly, l learned when to give in. Although, when you think about it, all racecars must stop for pit stops to refuel and adjust if they want to stay in the race.

Giving in is not the same as giving up. I think most people confuse this; I know I did.

Our body sends us messages, albeit not by text, but our mind’s focus is elsewhere and as a result, we push the body envelope, often to the point of harming ourselves.

Sweet Pea, my partner, for example, has a hidden disability but this has not always been the case. Once a busy professor with a strong interest in science, animals, and music, she is by nature an achiever with a capital A. However, these days’ learning how and when to give in for her own good is her greatest challenge.

Over the years I have developed a formula I call the 4P’s and it helps keep me on track. I keep in front and centre in my thoughts; it lets me know when I need a pit stop. Let’ face it, if we miss the pit stop then a breakdown is a sure thing.

Here’s my 4P’s:
1. Pay attention: notice the messages my body is sending to me
2. Pause: stop, breathe deeply and tune into the body messages
3. Pace: slow down my mind and realign with what my body needs
4. Proceed: Move forward slowly and adjust my expectations

That’s my “giving in – secret sauce” hope it proves to be helpful.

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