Saturday February 20, 2016

I have an illness/disability that affects me mentally and emotionally, as well as physically, and the failing currency is energy; it's something I have to think carefully how best to spend; something I have to plan, pace and prioritise.

I don't want to live in a boom and bust economy.

In effect, I was given a new body in 2010 and it took a few years for this newness to make itself fully known.

I can still remember how the old one felt and I often find myself thinking/feeling/acting as if I am the same person; my mind hasn't caught up. And I often wonder if it can as the sands are ever-shifting.

The manifestations of this illness continually change and surprise me. I think I've learnt a rule or a technique or I have an approach that works and then it becomes obsolete.

It's as if a software developer, who keeps changing things for the sake of it, and a technophobe, who has been given a new computer with a new operating system and new versions of software that seem bafflingly clunkier, uglier and more irritating to use, have met inside me and are at war.

What I do know is that my capacity is not what it used to be, both literally and figuratively; I have moved to a smaller house and my mind doesn't seem to contain as much as it used to.

I don't want to cram either with 'stuff'. I have to operate a one in one out policy, not only with mugs and books and suchlike but, it has struck me, I have to do that with ideas too. My mind is full of other people's ideas, and suggested projects that I am now too fatigued to follow up, and the half-finished, adds to the backlog that adds to the abysmal (in both senses) fatigue.

Recently, my thoughts turned to Lent and how best to prepare for it. I didn't want to just give up chocolate so I contacted a bishop, a vicar and a curate to ask them for their suggestions. Only the curate replied and the thought that appealed to me most this year was that of simplicity.

I found myself looking up 'living simply' on the internet, and there were some useful thoughts; simplicity versus clutter and how clutter drains energy. Then I started looking up books about simplicity to get some more ideas...

But hang on a minute – that isn't quite the point! A book about simplicity to help me declutter my minute home and compromised mental capacity? Yet another book I'm unlikely to get round to reading? Don't I already have enough of those to fill a charity shop?

Subsequently, I spoke to a nun; she suggested at least half an hour a day of being kind to myself.

Perhaps it really is that simple.

The Librarian
A Moodscope member.

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