Small Pebbles in a Sling Still Slay Giants

The rain is falling. We’re under a flash flood warning as I’m writing this post. It’s been a wet New Year. When the rain lets up, a few brave souls dash outside to light their fireworks, scurrying back under cover when the next line of showers approaches.

I had planned to take the Christmas tree down yesterday, but I don’t have the heart. Hermione takes shelter under it, hiding from the “boomers” outside. Holly prefers to ride out the racket indoors, too. She is chilling on a comforter on the living room floor.

The back porch is a wet, humid mess. Only Dobby cares to go outside, but just until the soaking rains return. Then she comes back inside with her daddy and protests loudly in the kitchen before finally settling down for a nap on the table.

I forego the traditional New Year’s resolutions. The vast majority of them require energy I don’t have in the first place.

As far as the usual promises of losing weight, exercising, dieting, etc., I personally believe they fail because of the sheer scope of what they require. They are overwhelming Goliaths of a goal that seem certain to defeat us before we ever get the first rock loaded in our slingshot. Taking them on feels like little David staggering around in Saul’s armor.

If you live with a chronic medical condition like CFS or fibro, chances are your sleep is extremely unrefreshing. Your sleep cycle may even be out of balance altogether. If your sleep is out of balance, so are your hormones that tell your stomach when you are hungry and when you are not. Trying to exercise or diet under those conditions is going to be extremely difficult. Throwing an unrealistic resolution into the picture sets yourself up for failure. My advice? Don’t do it. Forget the broad unreasonable regimen and stick to something more reasonable. Small pebbles in a sling still slay giants.

Small pebbles in a sling.jpg

What are good resolutions for a person with chronic fatigue? Do things that are good for you when you are able to do them. Take your meds every day. Do things at your own pace. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Our wall calendar has good advice when it comes to “self-improvement” projects. We are more likely to follow through with commitments we make to others than with those we make to ourselves. Keeping that in mind, perhaps we should approach our personal resolutions as goals that affect other people as well.

Waiting to evaluate progress is another good idea. Approximately 66 days, or just over two months, must pass before an action or behavior becomes habitual. Self-assessement at regular intervals throughout the year, much like a school report card, would make more sense than giving up on our resolutions based on our progress two weeks out. We don’t fail a child in school if they haven’t mastered their goals for the year by October. Small pebbles in a sling still slay giants. If we didn’t make it stick in January, there are eleven more months to go.

Closing out 2016, I could not be happier with my progress over the last couple of days. Leaving the house is difficult as the energy expenditure is always followed by a “crash” in which my body struggles to regain what was spent. A delicate balance exists between not pushing oneself too far and not becoming an unconditioned hermit. In keeping with the latter, my daughter and I went to a party with friends last night. Not a loud, obnoxious, drink-all-night affair. But a low-key gathering of friends with their families, most of whom (like myself and my daughter) were headed to church the next morning. It was sorely needed and well worth the cost.

Happily I also made it to the very first church service of the year. The aforementioned “crash” held off until early Sunday afternoon. Sometimes that is the case, but sometimes not. Often the crash is much more immediate. In this New Year, If I cannot get up early on Sunday mornings to attend church in person, I am resolved to watch the service online. At least if I fall asleep and snore in the living room, no one will complain.

I have successfully lowered caffeine and sugar intake. Not a “diet” per se. But tying consumption of caffeine and sugar to increased sleep disturbance is a great motivator to pass those things up. Not a big, overwhelming regimen. Just a small goal that has a real, personal motivation behind it. Small pebbles in the sling.

I am making a tiny dent in treating CFS symptoms without the help of a medical doctor. Obamacare did not bring the help and relief it promised to all Americans. Unfortunately our family is an example of its utter failure. But that is a topic for another time. My resolution is to continue to find treatments and make changes in my own lifestyle so that at the very least I might be able to sleep a few hours each night on a regular basis.

Whatever your resolutions, challenges, goals, or hopes are for 2017, whatever you face, remember…

Small pebbles in a sling still slay giants.

© 2015-2017 Our Lives in Stories

Original photo courtesy of Jake Anderson, Unsplash

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