‘Slow down and ye shall prosper’

I’m sure some wise sage is saying something to that effect somewhere on a mossy boulder in some isolated kingdom. And that somehow they have convinced the universe that I need to be repeatedly clubbed over the head with an eggtimer in order to get the message.

Innocent universe about to wield egg timer…

Let’s be honest. I’m a naturally fast person. Or at least I was. Once apon a time I used to be that annoying person who would go to bed and be instantly asleep. I would also be that annoying person who would be asleep and then instantly be awake, smiling, getting dressed and getting on with the day while the Gazelle was still wiping the drool out of his beard.

In fact, once the Gazelle began to recover, the difference in our daily metabolisms became one of the harder aspects of living with someone with CFS. For four years I’ve had to work against my natural rythms. Where I like to decide to do something and then immediately go and do it, the Gazelle has to (and let’s be honest, has always probably had to) plan ahead. If we want to go bushwalking it is not a spur of the moment decision. Not only does have to have energy in reserve he also has to take the time to consider the consequences, determine what commitments he has for the coming week and then act accordingly. He also has to be so much more in tune with the minute rythms of the day and his body. Whereas I think that if you say you will leave at 10 then you DAMN WELL LEAVE AT TEN! the Gazelle just has to go with the demands of his body, which in the bad old days would just blink sleepily (on a good day, bad days would grunt ominously), and insist on another 20 minutes sleep.

Not only that, but I naturally can go from being completely disorganised to be ready to walk out the door in about 15 minutes. The Gazelle takes at least twice that long.

Of course, this is not all CFS related, much of it is just the naturally different rythms of our bodies. Which is fine. (can you see me crossing my arms!). Except that when people have different rythms you can usually compromise. In the case of CFS it means that the speedy gonzales partner always gives in. Which means every day you’re fighting against your natural way of being.

All of this came to a head one memorable car trip when we had dropped off some other friends at various events. It must be noted that the two in question belong to the ‘naturally slooooow’ camp. I had spent the morning getting more and more worked up and enraged and once it was just the Gazelle and I in the car I took the opportunity to vent my spleen. He didn’t get it. His response to my angsting about everyone else being slow? “Maybe you’re just different…”.

Ahem. We may or may not have had to call the fire brigade, the army and the navy to rescue us from an extremely localised flood.

boohoo!

Anyway, I think he got the picture. And I’m beginning to learn the lesson provided by the universe. I’m finally learning to slow down, deal with the spare time I have between 10am when we SAID WE WERE LEAVING and 10.30am when we actually leave. When I go back home and visit old friends, I’m no longer racing from onethingtothenexttothenexttotheothertoohI’lljustsqueezeinaquickcuppateawiththatpersonIoncemetonabus… Instead I calmly race to squease in only those people most important to my own sanity and wellbeing.

I’m writing about this now becuase it is also¬† something I’m learning in my PhD. Again. And again. And again. I have learnt that…

  1. not everything has to be done RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW! You’ve got at least three years, you can afford to commit some time to detailed reading on difficult to understand topics and;
  2. you don’t need to explaineverythingin the first paragraph of a chapter. In fact, as any book on writing will tell you, sticking to one key concept per chapter is indeed the smart thing to do! Who’d thunk all those PhD self help books would be so right!!??

CFS is slow. PhDs are slow. Learning is also apaprently slow…

So if you’ll excuse me I shall slowly make my way back over to crafting, oh so slowly and carefully, another perfect PhD paragraph.

Yours Slothily, xoxo

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