February…what should I say about 2020 so far? There’s been a mix of good and bad, as there always is, but let’s say that it’s been mostly awesome just for the new experiences in itself. Winter has been a fascinating season for me in every which way. The Lupus and Sjögren’s has been flaring all week, and then there’s the daily milder aches and pains. Yet surprisingly these aren’t what I remember when ‘looking back’ on the past month.
Shades and slices of memories in black and white and vintage colour come to mind. I think of laughter from strangers over hot fondue, the invigorating sting of winter air, steam from hot bowls of noodle soup for dinners, mist from glühwein, the fresh produce at the marketplace, and things like that. Somehow in my memories, the pain during those moments have been erased, and only the treasures remain. They are beautiful moments that my brain has chosen to tuck neatly into its folds; safe, sweet and sound.
I also met up with another spoonie, who has both Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Lupus as well (I don’t even know one personally in Singapore)! We ended up chatting nonstop for four hours straight, which might have been the trigger for the pain flares, but it was totally worth it. We’ve already made plans for dinner along with our partners, so that should be fun.
I’ve been in Berlin for a few weeks now, but have been a bit of a slob as I haven’t really ventured out as much as I can. Work has been surprisingly busy, so that’s my excuse. I thought that I’d been spending a lot of free time revamping my blog and services, but am really happy that I’ve had to put that on hold due to work as well. This is a big relief as that means more money for travelling and living expenses.
We’re looking at a few countries nearby to perhaps visit for short trips, but don’t really have any concrete plans and that’s fine by me. It’s the kind of ‘play it by ear’ that I can actually participate in for once, as everything is fairly manageable time, distance and support wise. If I had flown here on a with a more compact time limit, that wouldn’t be possible, so I’m grateful that I’m able to pace even the leisurely activities.
(Read Related Post: Your Thorough Chronic Illness Travel Guide (with 25 Additional Resources))
I set up the Chronic Illness Social Pod (CISP) Facebook group in January as well. If you’ve yet to join us, you’re more than welcome to do so here – we’d definitely love to have you with us! Just remember to fill in the questions so we know that you’re one of us. This is because I’d like to keep the group focussed on the chronic illness, mental health and wellness niches, in order to raise awareness with as much impact as is possible.
I’m still tweaking the timings, rules and such, to make it easier to participate in and manage for us both. So if you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to share them with me. If you’ve found some of the rules confusing, trust me that they’re mostly just words to keep things fair for us all. Just start by sharing one post in one thread, and I bet you’ll get the hang of it in a day or two 🙂 So come join us so we can grow together.
Back to the subject of Berlin, I’m really loving the weather here! It’s invigorating on the outside, and cosy on the inside. Have I told you that I LOVE IT? :p Maybe winter is still a novel experience for me, being a tropical summer girl. But the humidity in Singapore was never pleasant for me either, even as a child. I absolutely hate the feeling of sticky skin. Humidity also causes me to ache. Whilst Berlin isn’t as dry as I thought it would be, the weather here has actually been kinder to my joints as compared to Singapore, save for the rainy days.
Going outside after being cooped up in pain at home for days always makes me feel as if I’m awakening, and coming alive once more. I take a deep breath of fresh, cold air, and feel a rush of happiness. This isn’t something I can do in Singapore, as the heat and humidity saps rather than boosts my energy.
(Read Related Post: A Roundup of Biggest Pain Flare Triggers (from 40 People with Chronic Illness))
I ditched my bullet journal in January; think I’ve gone through at least five or so by now. I started it at first mainly for the fun of pasting pretty stickers, tapes and colours in it. I’m not artistic like that, and can’t do incredible calligraphy or hand drawn charts, so I relied a lot on stamps, tools and the likes. I guess after a while it got a little boring, especially when I had to carry over lots of tasks month after month. You know, the things you ‘need’ to get done but never get around to 😉
I recently switched to an online to do list called TeuxDeux and have found it actually quite pleasant to use. Whilst the range of functions could be expanded, it suffices for now. Another option I tried was Columns which is free, but it was too simplistic so I didn’t like it as much.
In closing, I’d like to greet February with open arms and an open mind. Europe has been an interesting experience so far, especially on conversations I’ve had with Europeans with different mindsets and ways of thinking. I’ll also be aiming hard to get that blog revamped by the end of the month, regardless of work or not! Keep an eye out as this will be a major update. I might also need your help with testimonials and/or reviews, if you’d like to be part of the process 🙂 Have a good one!
*These writing prompts are part of a monthly community activity I host. Thank you for reading, and I hope to read your responses for February’s prompts too. CLICK HERE to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!
*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.
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