*Note from A Chronic Voice: Rose Roberts is a lovely lady who can be found on Instagram, @roseroberts54. I am publishing this for her here as she doesn’t have a blog yet, but wanted to join in the April linkup party fun! I’m very grateful that she went the extra mile to email me about this. It’s always such an eye-opener and pleasure to read about how all of you are doing, whether you have a blog or not!
As a side note, you can always email me your prompt entries, and use my blog as a platform in future. If you do have a blog and wish to participlate, CLICK HERE to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!
Marvelling…at the rewards of stepping out of my comfort zone!
For years, I wrote in my journal for my eyes only. I used to believe everyone had a story tell – well, everyone but me. But I see things differently now and have begun to share my writing. That’s how I met Sheryl at A Chronic Voice, and it’s through her good work that I’m meeting all of you. I’m generally housebound and my multiple illnesses govern when and how much I write, so I’m moving at a slow but steady pace. I’m okay with that.
I’ve submitted to TheMighty.com and to a print magazine (which published my piece this Spring!). More recently I created an Instagram account where I share my love of books, nature, poems and writing. I’m adding a second IG account dedicated to topics about living with chronic illness and pain. Given the severity of my condition, is it too ambitious? Maybe. So I’ll modify as needed. But in this moment, I marvel at how one small step out of my comfort zone has helped me find a whole new world!
Splurging…on skin care sounds like such a small thing.
Yet for me, it marks a turning point. During the last few years, as I learned to manage new symptoms, I didn’t have the energy to even think about face cream let alone use it. In fact, many of my self-care routines disappeared. So when I found myself getting excited about a face cream sold in a local skin care boutique, I knew I was moving back toward a more balanced state. If you’re sensitive to scents and specific ingredients, you know that shopping for skin care can be a minefield. After some online research I chose three creams that fit my criteria. Then, with my husband’s help, I went to the store for the sniff-test. They gave me samples to try at home. Now, I can order online. The cream is more expensive than what I used to buy but reasonable in the scheme of things. Plus, it just feels good to do something nice for myself.
Continuing….to organize and review my journals.
I’d planned to quickly de-clutter the area where I store old journals. Instead, I started reviewing the contents of some of the journals. It’s become an ongoing and fruitful journey. As I reacquaint myself with my journals, I’m amazed at what I discover: what I’ve faced, patterns of behaviour, my movement away from suffering and toward joy, and the practices and tools that helped me along the way. It was also encouraging to see just how much writing I’ve actually done. I’m looking forward to seeing what other discoveries await me!
Balancing…. activity and rest.
I know that rest is a necessity, not a luxury when you’re chronically ill. Yet my desire to ‘get things done’ often wins over the need to rest. And reading or watching TV doesn’t count as rest. So I’ve established a routine: After lunch, I lie down and close my eyes for 15 minutes, whether I fall asleep or not. I usually need more rest than that but I carve out that initial block of time with the hope it becomes a habit. I balance the day’s activities with short breaks for stretching or walking around the house. At 4:00, I listen to a guided visualization. Although it’s not meant for sleeping, I actually end up having a nap! And when my plan fails? Rather than beat myself up, I simply try again the next day.
Investing….in my effort to break my isolation.
I suppose this brings me full circle to the first prompt, marvelling. The world has been a difficult place for me to navigate since I became chronically ill. And while a litany of illnesses often make it difficult to write, I feel sure this solitary act will be my doorway back to the world and connecting with others. I’m a neophyte when it comes to social media. But I’m ready and willing to invest my time, energy, and enthusiasm to make this happen. So far, it’s been a nourishing and rewarding investment.
Don’t forget to connect with Rose Roberts on Instagram, @roseroberts54!
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