Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rule Of Three

Valerie at Professional Patient wrote a post on the Rule of Three. She wrote some points that I felt were worth mentioning here.

The greatest challenge in my life with chronic illness is energy management - how to live my fatigue-ridden life without overdoing it. It is an absolute bear, because I can feel wonderful one day, and do more than usual (having been gifted with extra energy), only to pay and pay and pay in the days that follow. It's like there's an invisible line between doing enough and doing too much, and I never seem to know that I've crossed it until it's too late. And to keep things really interesting, the line moves each day. For example, some days, I can do three loads of laundry and feel fine, while other days, just carrying a single load of laundry to the basement leaves me exhausted and in pain for days or even weeks at a time.

In many ways, managing your energy while living with a chronic illness seems like managing your sobriety while you're drinking with friends. You think you're doing fine, only to get one hell of a hangover the next day.

The Rule of Three

Recently, I received some sage advice from a person who has Sjogren's Syndrome, and it has already helped me navigate through a week at the beach without overdoing it! (Normally, I crawl home from vacations and hop right into bed because I'm so tired.) I call it the "Rule of Three": there are three parts to any day (morning, afternoon, and evening), and you can only do two of them. It's so simple, yet deceptively powerful. Your third part of your day is for resting, plain and simple.

I am going to follow this advice as well since I will soon be going on vacation.

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