Don't Take It For Granted

Every day you have little things that you do without even thinking; like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, cleaning, making a meal or doing washing/laundry.  Really by not even thinking about these things, you take doing them for granted.

There are those of us though that struggle daily to do all those little things that a healthy person doesn't even think about. All these little things have to be calculated & prioritised because not all of them can be achieved in one day & have to be staggered over a few days.

I had no clue just how much I took for granted & how much I did without thinking, until I couldn't do these things any more. Not being able to do the bigger activities, like shopping, working or driving long distance really frustrated & upset me.  However, I was surprisingly more upset by the fact that I struggled with the little everyday tasks. These tasks represented my independence & not being able to do them myself or struggle to do them gave me the feeling of going back to being a child & not being able to do things for myself.

To hear people complain about doing housework, food shopping or washing/laundry use to (still kinda does) really frustrate me & I have to hold back from telling them how blessed they are that they can actually do those things & that not everyone can do those mundane chores or that doing them makes their condition worsen for a few days! While most complain & take for granted these tasks, I find myself longing to be able to do them!

You see, I weirdly enjoy certain "mundane household chores" like cleaning & doing washing/laundry. My all time favourite task was stripping my bedding, washing it all, having fun putting the duvet back into its cover & then making my bed back up later that day. Oh & then at night, just crawling into my bed with freshly washed bedding was/is one of the nicest, most comforting feeling in the world, especially if I've washed it all myself. It just seems more satisfying!

I think out of all the things I could no longer do myself when I became severely ill, the task above was the one I missed the most! However, over the past few months, as I've seen improvements, I have begun trying to do more of these little tasks to see how I cope with doing them. Some leave me experiencing PEM the next day or two, while others don't have too much affect. But one thing I am trying my hardest to do, especially with the tasks I'm now finding don't have too much impact on my condition, like making a cup of tea or getting a piece of toast, that I don't begin to take doing these tasks for granted like I did when I was healthy.

One of these "small things" that I had a go at doing & succeeded in completing is pictured below!

Lovely Cosy Bed! 

This picture is much more to me than just my bed. This picture is the final result of calculating what energy I had for the day to wash & dry all my bedding & then make my bed again with the freshly washed sheets. I made sure I rested in between the cycles of the washer & dryer to help me complete the task I'd set myself. Looking at my bed once it was all done made me so happy I actually cried! I had not been able to do that task by myself from start to finish in about a year! I was having to push myself towards the end as I made my bed but the feeling of getting in that bed shortly after taking that picture was without a doubt one of the best feelings & I don't think I'd felt that proud of myself in quite a while. I still felt the same the next day, even though I was hit with PEM but I just saw that as more time to spend cosy in my nice freshly washed bed.

Being ill has really taught me to celebrate the small victories & as my recovery progresses, I don't want to lose that attitude because these small things that I'm slowly beginning to cope with again are actually big things right now!

So if you are a healthy person reading this, please put a little more thought into your daily routine. Maybe imagine what life would be like if you couldn't make yourself a meal whenever you wanted or hop in the shower every morning, completing a full day's work, to come home feeling tired of course but safe in the knowledge that it's nothing a good nights sleep couldn't fix.

I beg you, never take any little daily mundane task for granted. You never know when you may not be able to do them anymore!

L x