Consistent effort does not yield consistent results, consistently. A lot of the time it does, but sometimes it yields a bumper crop, and sometimes the harvest suffers from drought. Consistent effort is probably the best way to go though. Consistent, sustainable effort.
I try to be extremely consistent in my self care, because I suffer from depression. I am fairly vigilant about doling out my effort to match my capacity, because it is extremely embarrassing to sit down and cry.
As a side note, when I was a kid one of my genetic donors, Tex, told me that he, his sisters, and his own kids never got pneumonia in the winter. They got pneumonia in the summer, on glorious days, the day after they had a great day (maybe the most wonderful day of their lives) and were too tired to eat their dinner before bed. He was trying to sell me on the positive benefits of alcohol at the time, because I have no taste for it. (There are some positive benefits. I believe you. I may be developing a taste for it now, which is a whole other story, or I may still think it tastes bad. Move along, nothing to see here.)
On those days his kids came home too whipped to eat their dinner, if he forced some alcohol in them, either its germ killing qualities or its caloric boost would protect his kids from the next round of pneumonia. Personally, if you ask me, it was the calories. Milk would probably work just as well, and they’d probably get excited about it if it was chocolate milk and manage to choke that down no matter how tired they were. I’m sure they didn’t have a lot of chocolate milk back then. He didn’t get to try this on me, of course. He was never in the house I came home to.
I did have pneumonia when I was a kid. I don’t remember what time of year it was. Late summer, I’d guess, because I do remember going to find some sunshine one afternoon when I was finally feeling better. They told me it was double pneumonia (which just means in both lungs, which is twice as bad by the metric of how many lungs, but I never had to go to the hospital like my cousin did. Maybe she had bronchitis?). I have no idea if I had so much fun one day that I was too tired to eat my dinner. I have a tendency to overeat, but it wasn’t pronounced at that time, and if a child has fallen asleep of an evening and looks so tired like she could sleep through the night, well, I totally understand letting her sleep.
I have always been a little bit wary of overdoing it and getting pneumonia again. Irrationally worried, I feel safe to say. (I have a lot of irrational worries. I try to acknowledge them honestly and make the best of it. I don’t usually advertise them like this, but I’m not sure secrecy or even just obscuurity has done me any favors. But I digress.) And I am always wary of lapsing in some item of my self-care, because inertia is such usually such a terrible sucking force in my life. And this week I have lapsed in my self-care of getting enough sleep. Now this is another area where consistent efforts does not yield consistent results. I’ve had various (small) problems with insomnia at various times in my life. I have a lot of tools in my tool box to ameliorate these problems. But while what I’ve got works well most of the time, some nights I do not sleep well. Like last night. No big deal. But three days ago I didn’t sleep at all, and this is not a good trend. Sleep deprived is not optimal function.
I think I may actually be a touch typist by the end of next week, I’ve been writing so much. I am a woman on a mission, and that mission is to tell the world what I think. I’ve been sitting on it for a long time, telling small parts of it to some of my friends, some of the time. But I haven’t even been really admitting most of it even to myself, and now that I am I have got a huge backlog to share before I am not stuffed to the gills with ideas and observations and just plain sharing that has to get out.
This backlog is causing me to be excited! This excitement may be pushing me out of my rut of depression, across the happy medium of normal, and over into the limits of high functioning/manic. And my prudent habits of vigilant self-care are perhaps even more valuable on this end of the spectrum, because we do need to sleep, it is important to remember (and bother) to eat, and every day being the best day of my life is no excuse to skimp on these requirements!
There is a reason I have considered disabling comments on this blog. It is not because I do not enjoy debate--I do. It is because a blog posting feels, to me when I’m reading them, like a letter to me. I, personally, am a terrible correspondent, and feel very little need to respond. I personally, actually do love to read the comments on someone else’s posting. But I don’t like how the discussion unfolds. How it is nourished and neglected and flows. How threads start but have no room to grow because they are started in the barren soil of a blog post and not in a discussion forum. What I really want, is a blog that is also a discussion forum. Each of my blog entries is a post in the topic “Clarica’s Blog” (or whatever I call it, I still haven’t decided). Each of my blog entries are also consecutively released and frozen in time on a blog page. Back in the discussion forum there are other topics, of course. Maybe sometimes I’ll start a post in another topic on my discussion board instead of in the blog topic, and it won’t show up in the blog page.
I want more from a blog, is all I’m saying, and also less, because I do not want to feel compelled to respond to people who need help. I am not a compassionless jerk, but I have a limited amount of time, and right now I want to write. I am good at helping, and I truly enjoy it, but if I check and see what I can help with before I write, I will never get to write. Sometimes I get so excited by the idea of solving a problem that I’ll create my own, just so there’s something to do! I also love to read, and if I check the responses on my stuff before I write (and they are as hugely popular as I constantly imagine--I know, I know, I’m sorry. I have a rich fantasy life, what can I say?), I may not get a chance to write. Or I may be distracted from what I was planning to write. Or I may write something else. I don’t know. But though the writing comes first, sleep is actually more important, and is the problem I actually have to deal with this week, and not my (imagined) adoring public. I just layed down to try for a nap, and got nowhere, but I’ve got a strategy to try next time, that I forgot to try this week, so I’m not too worried.
I have digressed from the thought I was having about comments. I get a lot of people telling me not to worry about stuff as it is. I considered disabling comments solely to make sure no new people start telling me not to worry (or to be more careful, whichever way floats their boat). But after having gone through this in my head I figure I since my first plan is write, and my second plan read, I may be able to deal with not responding to the compassion of strangers. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it (my hypothetical compassionate stranger, oh how I love thee!). It’s just that I am very conservative of my effort.
This post, besides being what it is, is also a gift to one of my best friends, because 'today' is her birthday. Friend, I am glad you were born!