STOP FEELING GUILTY about being you.
MS Warriors are like a fragile plant, struggling to rise from the earth to be recognized in the world. We require nurturing to survive. Unfortunately, that nurturing is of our own creation. Talk about pressure! If you’re like me, sometimes it’s a chore to stand upright in the morning; and there is no amount of external caregiving that can help. We handle our own welfare.
I spent this weekend at a writer's conference where my creative juices were rejuvenated. The array of speakers and shared writing information fueled my passion for a craft dear to my heart. Following a day of intense presentations on Saturday, most of the participants gathered “on the porch” for fellowship, storytelling, and maybe a little West Virginia moonshine. From my lodge room bed, I could hear their joy outside the window. I wanted so badly to join them, but my body was done for the day.
My spoon supply spent, I felt sad and guilty for not joining in the celebration.
Reading Penelope Conway’s words this morning reassured me that my absence wasn’t an act of defeat, but survival.
When you are at your lowest and feel so bad that you’re ready to throw your hands up in surrender; when you don’t have the strength to punch, jab or even make a fist; when you become overwhelmed by how hard your body has to work to do even the simplest of things; take the much needed time to rest. You don’t have to stay in the heat of the battle every minute of every day. There is a difference in resting and quitting. https://positivewithms.com/author/penelope/
Sure, ten years ago I would have wrangled the strength to put on my shoes and slipped outside to join my tribe. That’s just not me anymore. I could waste time bemoaning the loss of my spontaneous spirit. OR, I can embrace the positive vibes of the conference.
The West Virginia Writers formed in 1977. Every year the organization conducts a conference in the hills of this beautiful state in Ripley. Cedar Lake is the perfect setting for tranquil thoughts and inspirational creativity.
For several years, Pennsylvania resident Larry Shardt has attended the conference as a fellow writer and all-around fun guy. This year, Larry “Rock-n-Roll” Shardt blessed us with three writing sessions and his newly published memoir, My Runaway Summer. (My copy is staring me right in the face as I type. I plan to dive later this week.) Larry is more than an inspirational speaker. He exemplifies the very definition of positivity.
I spent Saturday evening ruminating over my earlier conversations with Mr. Rock-n-Roll and listening to the muted conversations outside my window. I sincerely believe Larry, as well as my other writerly associates, would insist I listen to my exhausted body; yet the guilt remains.
On planet MS we face many challenges. It is our job to prioritize how we spend our spoons. (https://www.patientsrising.org/what-is-spoonie/?gclid=CjwKCAjw46CVBhB1EiwAgy6M4tiSMuednx9TmCxHw2pAWEJYvaHbzCQN57WIDpGqa9m1aAwTu-OEqRoCug8QAvD_BwE) There is nothing wrong with taking a rest.
Be inspired. Treat yourself to a rest today. There is no guilt in self-care.
Lisa, Lady With a Cane