My weekends are my rest and recuperate time.
I am not one of those people that tries to cram every last activity into two days only to end up exhausted and spent (but happy) on Sunday night. Instead, I work on my writing, putter around the house doing housework, watch some movies with my husband and daughter, and take naps.
Yeah, really exciting.
Occasionally, we will take a weekend trip, but I can't do too many of those. Traveling has become increasingly harder on my body ever since the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis last year. In short, I have to be very careful to conserve energy. I use too much of it, I pay for it.
This last Saturday, something unusual happened. I did not sleep in. I was up at 8:30 a.m. and stranger still, I actually had energy to stay up instead of eating breakfast and then falling back asleep for another hour. So I went upstairs to my office, booted up the computer, and got to work on that history book I'm writing. I also did some housework, swept the driveway, and made a grocery list. Then my daughter and I headed out to finish getting her school supplies and also to get groceries.
I am a classic introvert, but I am also a pro procrastinator, which means I should have known better than to put myself in a situation where I would be surrounded by parents with children, all of them doing the same thing I was doing - waiting until the last minute to get school supplies. Suffice to say, by the end of the shopping session, I was ready to scream, and my body was aching.
After unloading groceries and decompressing for awhile, it was time for date night, and even though I was exhausted, I wanted to go. Both hubby and I started new jobs this year and our schedules have been somewhat erratic. A happy marriage is a marriage where you take the time - and make the time - to connect with each other. I was quite happy to go, and quite insistent.
A movie was out of the question since hubby wouldn't have stayed awake long enough to watch it, so we settled on bowling. We got to the bowling alley, paid for our games and shoes, then went to our lane only to discover...
...that we were surrounded by parents and young, screaming children.
Well. When you already pay for something, no use wasting that money, right? So we made the best of it. We bowled two games before my tolerance for noise and rambunctious children hit its threshold. And, dare I say it, my body hit that threshold at the same time.
When you have a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis, deviating off of a schedule can wreak havoc on your body. For me, the entire day had been a deviation.
And on Sunday morning, oh boy, did I pay for it.
I didn't crawl out of bed until noon. Still, I was bound and determined to work on that book (when you have a deadline with an actual, real publisher, it has a way of overriding your excuses), and I headed back to my office. I kept at it all afternoon, and also managed to try a new recipe - sloppy joe stuffed peppers - before ten p.m. rolled around and it was bedtime.
Funny thing, though, is that I was on a role with writing the book and didn't want to stop, even though my body was saying, "Go to bed, you daft woman!"
This morning, I woke up discombobulated (I love that word). Everything moved in slow motion - especially my body. My mind wasn't sharp (an unfortunate side effect of the medication I take) and I felt like I was wrapped in cobwebs.
It's early afternoon now and that discombobulation has progressed to an urgent need to crawl into bed and take a nap. Alas, I must keep working at the day job.
This, then, is the price of love.
I love to write, so I did.
I love my husband, so I went bowling.
Caveat - Before anyone thinks that my husband is a big ol' meanie who drags me out of the house despite how I feel, I can assure you that is not the case. He is my warrior, and my biggest supporter. He understands what I'm going through and tries to reduce my discomfort and pain as much as he can. He will be the last person to insist on me doing something if it's going to make my health worse. But in this case, I was insistent.
The thing is, when my RA flares up, I can forget my symptoms by diving into my writing or by reading a really good book. That's my escape.
And when I'm with my husband, who is my best friend, I am surrounded in a cocoon of unconditional love.
So really, a tired body on a Monday morning (and afternoon!) isn't such a big price to pay for love.