Search

Create Space

Creating, living, learning.

Tag

Energy

Calling ‘TIME’… the benefits of saying ‘NO!’

20180929_171527
Calling ‘TIME’…the benefits of saying ‘NO!’

 

The moment came… I knew I finally had to call ‘TIME,’ I finally had to say… ‘NO.

I’m pretty sure my life is not too dissimilar to many of yours. I have family and friends, I have a career, a home and dogs. I have an illness. I have meals to cook and bills to pay but for a while I’ve been really struggling. The daily grind had become harder. Pain and fatigue had been eating away at the passion within me. My motivation had dwindled. For someone who is a ‘glass half full’ person, I found this difficult to cope with!

So after a lot of deliberating, I had to face my employer and I had to do something very difficult. I had to admit that I could not… just simply could not, return to work. I know it must have looked strange after two months of Summer holidays with plenty of time to recharge but my health finally shouted loud, and long enough and against my will I was forced to listen…My body told me I could not give what I had not got. I needed to call ‘TIME.’

Now almost five weeks on and I’m beginning to feel a little better. Better still I’m finally beginning to learn from the whole experience.

I thought you might be interested in some of the insights I’ve gained…

I’ve had to learn to listen to my body. You can only ill treat it and ignore it’s cries for so long.

I’ve had to learn to respect my body by giving it the time out and rest that it needs.

I’ve had to learn to speak up for myself, admitting that I could not commit to what was expected of me, was very difficult.

I’ve had to learn to let go of the pretence. For almost 20 years I’ve pretended to be something I’m not. I’ve pretended to be well but in fact I’ve got an illness that impacts and restricts every part of my daily life. It took courage to overcome my fear of being seen as a failure.

I’ve had to fight for my rights to illness benefit even after presenting certificates from my GP but I contained my emotions and focused on the issue; my financial stability.

I’ve had to withstand the pressure of enquiries about when I expected to be fit enough to return to work. I chose not to see this as bullying but instead as an administrative timetabling issues.

I’ve had to find the strength to say no initially but harder still I’ve had to find the strength to accept myself for saying no and for slowing down. Finding peace for myself within that decision was probably the most difficult hurdle I had to overcome. Thank you Dr.Andrea at Thriving Under Pressure for your timely post and comment. The Paradox of Strength

I’ve had to silence the self-doubt that comes with an invisible illness because for example, you might have seen me out for a twenty minute walk and heck, I look well. I’ve had to remind myself that you won’t see my post exercise malaise or feel the pain the next two hours or entire evening will bring.

I’ve had to do battle between exhaustion and isolation and try to make peace with these two evils.  Read about that battle here.

I’ve had to learn to let go, trusting that the things I don’t reach on are not necessarily vital things and that the people I don’t reach on will understand and not cut our connections.

I’ve had to learn that life goes on without me, my role can easily be covered by another healthier body and I’ve had to work hard to accept the lack of enquiries as to my wellbeing from my employer and not engage in predictive thinking where your inner voice wants you to believe it’s because you are easily replaced.

I’ve had to ask myself “who am I” without my job, without my students and colleagues and I’ve acknowledged that I need people in my life but I’ve also acknowledged that you can be alone in a crowd. Thank you Dutch for your insightful comments and shared quotes.  Dutch @ onthepathleasttraveled

I’ve had to learn that I don’t need to travel this road alone. I’ve done that for 20 years too long. Now I need support with this illness and I’ve already learned a lot about CFS/fibro in the last week or two and I’m hoping to come to understand it and myself a little bit more. Thanks Jennifer @ Tea with Jennifer for a lightbulb moment…Knowing your bodies capacity

Saying ‘No’ meant I stepped into the unknown. It was a sign that I was finally unable to contain my vulnerability, and that was scary territory for me. I used to be able to manage my CFS/fibro and hide my vulnerability. By calling ‘TIME” and finally saying STOP – FULL STOP, I have learned a lot and now I am stronger than I was. I have regained some motivation and the passion is returning. Also, the cat is out of the bag… I no longer have a hidden illness. I am Marie with CFS/fibro and if my life has to change as a result then I say, bring it on!

Thanks for taking time to visit and please feel free to share your thoughts. I will reply to your comments as quickly as I can.

Have you had similar struggles? Have you hidden behind a mask? Have you like me, been afraid of being a failure?

How do you bring passion back into your life?

Much love,

Marie xx

Exhaustion or isolation…which is the lesser evil?

20180913_155835

When you have an invisible illness you hide it from others maybe for the fear of being judged or that people won’t understand.

Thankfully I’m getting better at being open about my CFS/Fibro. I’ve often been told how well I look or that I must have a great exercise routine but the truth is I’m just lucky to have a slim frame and have a good understanding of the importance of a balanced diet. In reality I often have to choose between getting a 20 minute walk or cooking the dinner because if I do one I certainly have to forfeit the other.

I’ve felt unwell since Easter but kept pushing myself to the limit to remain in the classroom with my students up to the summer holidays hoping I could recoup my energy then. I also rose to the challenge of an exciting new experience because I wanted some adventure, some fun and some new learning in my life, by attending ICASSI BONN 2017

While Bonn was wonderful it’s now apparent that I drained down an already low battery and as a result I’ve exacerbated a heart complaint. Now I’ve hit the wall.  I’ve had no choice but to stop.  I’m unable to function at home let alone work.

But the hardest part is I’m really missing the social interaction.  I live in the countryside and I feel the isolation.  I miss my colleagues and the daily conversations we had.  I miss my students. I miss being a part of their lives because they helped me take the focus off my own struggle with chronic pain. Their eagerness to contribute to our classes encouraged me to overcome some of my fatigue.  They let me into their lives and being focused on their goals got me through many days where I thought I would surely crumble under the stress that bullying was having on both our teenage children.

I soaked up my students’ warmth and inclusion.  We were partners in a learning space.  On a daily basis I let my students see my difficulty with spellings…how crazy is that I hear you say, a literacy tutor who struggles with spellings? Initially my students thought I should be an expert in spellings but my struggle showed them that it’s ok to make spelling errors and that spellings are something you can continue to improve throughout your lifetime. Soon they relaxed and worried less about spellings.

I have learned that I am not responsible for my students’ learning but I am responsible for my own teaching.  However the fibro fog, pain and exhaustion prevents me giving the level of service I want to give.  It makes the endless bureaucracy involved in the preparation of class materials and assessment requirements insurmountable.

Now I have to listen to my body and practice self-care.  I have to accept the exhaustion and isolation and that takes strength.  I have to recharge my own battery first and my one fear is can I ever sufficiently recharge a battery that is chronically drained?

Much love,

Marie xx

A New Book…a beautiful one!

Hi from Dublin Airport! I’m about to write a new page in my life and learning journey as I fly today from Dublin, Ireland to Bonn, Germany for a week at the 51st Annual Rudolf Dreikurs International Summer Institute ICASSI 2018.  I’d like to thank all of you who have read my post Success…a person or thing that succeeds.

for reading and for your thoughtful comments! A special thanks to Larry ‘Dutch’ Woller at Dutchil/onthepathleasttraveled for his encouragement and very apt quote…

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”

C. JoyBell C.

Also he reminds us in his post, linked below, of the importance of adventure with this quote…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover, acquire new friends and gain knowledge of yourself and the world.” Mark Twain

Check out onthepathleasttraveled if you enjoy insightful posts filled with wonderful, knowledgeable quotes such as in this post… About ‘Dutch’

I’m looking forward to adding more of my adventure as the days unfold!

What’s your most memorable adventure? What thing or things do you now regret not doing?

Much love,

Marie xx

Success…a person or thing that succeeds.

20180717_102351
Flourish…because you can

Today I’m counting down the remaining days to my upcoming trip and it reminds me of when I was counting down the final few weeks of my first pregnancy, eagerly awaiting our daughter’s arrival. The feeling was a mixture of concern for the unknown and an all encompassing exhilaration! That feeling was denied to me on my second pregnancy as our son decided to arrive prematurely, 12 weeks early!

That feeling of concern for the unknown and an all encompassing exhilaration is back…as I prepare for my trip to ICASSI in Bonn!!

I realise I have been given an opportunity through this experience to put into practice some of Adler’s theories. Bettner and Lew’s Crucial “C’s” built on Adler’s theories, believing that in order for us to develop and flourish we need to overcome our mistaken goals of misbehavour; our mistaken opinion of our capability and our mistaken value placed on the opinion of others. By engaging with a new adventure I can discover more about this simple approach to achieving Life’s goals.

To be successful;
1. I need to believe I belong…I CONNECT.
2. I need to believe I can…I’M CAPABLE.
3. I need to believe I make a difference…I COUNT.
4. I need to believe I can handle it… I’VE COURAGE.

But the challenge for me lies in handling this new experience with empathy for my fibro/fatigue and recurrent heart arrhythmia. How do I participate rather than find excuses to avoid? How do I develop and flourish rather than stay static? How do I best balance self-care with personal and professional development? How do I build on my social interest rather than self-isolate? How do I get the balance right?

I hope I will discover how as I proceed through this new experience. Thanks for reading and it’s lovely having your company on this learning journey.  How have you overcome challenges?  How have you developed and flourished?

Much love,

Marie xx

Blogging, Belonging & Becoming…

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since I wrote and tentatively shared my first post about a conversation with a rather unique taxi driver.  If you have a chance please read it here… Attitude & Altitude

That post set me up as a ‘Blogger’ and after taking part in my first Adlerian Psychology Summer School Workshop, I wrote about having “Confidence” and if you’d like to learn a little more, you’ll find it here…Confidence

20170709_152802
CRUCIAL C’s…..”Sometimes the answers to our problems are there all along…we just have to try and look at them from a different angle!” Marie Clancy.

Well, now fast forward almost two years and I’m still here scribbling my thoughts, sharing my feelings and finding answers.

I’ve also taken part in two more Adlerian Summer School Workshops with the ANI (Adlerian Network of Ireland), read about their work here… ANI Clonmel, Ireland and I can without doubt say that together with all the roles any woman juggles on a daily basis, the combination of those and connecting with others through Adlerian Psychology, WordPress Blogging and my work as an Adult Education Tutor have changed my perspective to one of positivity and gratitude and have helped me flourish.

So, I can hardly believe it when, what was merely a dream of mine when I first heard of it last summer, is now about to transpire!…

I have the opportunity to travel to Bonn, in Germany to take part in my first ever ICASSI programme next week.  I am beyond delighted and still slightly in disbelief to have been successful in my application for an Erasmus, (a culture & character building programme) through my employer Tipperary Education & Training Board! Information on TETB here… TETB

ICASSI  is the International Conference of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes and is the umbrella body of all Adlerian Networks around the world.  To say I am excited would be a gross understatement!! 😃🎁!

Actually if I am honest, I am both excited and nervous about this week long trip of personal & professional training programmes.  I am travelling solo, not knowing of anyone else travelling from Ireland.  When I get there I don’t expect to know anybody either, bar one of the Psychologists (who all give of their time voluntarily to deliver the workshops), namely Karen John, learn about Karen here… Karen John

Karen was my first mentor at my first workshop and she helped me gain new insights which have changed how I belong and become in this world!

My health has been troublesome since Easter but I am hoping the now daily ventricular ectopics and arrhythmia behave themselves until I return home, when I have a Consultant’s review arranged.  I’m also very aware of the need for self-care to pro-actively manage my fibro/fatigue by having regular mindful moments (similar to my Just One minute Monday posts) and using my 3 P’s of Pacing, Prioritising and Planning.  Or maybe I should change that to 4 P’s and truthfully add Procrastinating!

And so, as I go about my one day today and in a week’s time head away to Bonn I know I have all I need to flourish and thrive in Adler’s Crucial C’s and if you’d like, you can read about them here…Crucial C’s

So time and energy permitting I hope to post some updates along the way!  If you have time please feel free to share your thoughts, I’d love your company! If you know of anybody attending please pass this on to them as I hope to get to know some really nice people.

Much love,

Marie  xx

Cultivate your Dreams!

You owe it to yourself to cultivate your dreams. You don’t have to start out big…just begin.

20180725_103906

Small children grow into great adults and similarly if small projects are tended with the same love and kindness, they too grow beyond measure!

Did you cultivate your dreams lately? Have you seen them blossom?  Can you share any tips that worked for you?

Much love,

Marie xx

Just One Minute Monday (5).

Today I’m taking one minute to think about my food.

Food
Breakfast, continuing my love of fruit which was part of every morning on my recent holiday in Spain.

 

I’ve deliberately paused to look at my food and consider what I am putting into my body.  I’m trying to be conscious of how fast or slow I eat.  This is a simple way to practice a little self-care.  I want to be fully present with my food, really tasting it and noticing all its different flavours and consistencies.

 

Food 2
A beautiful meal prepared for us by Ada, my much loved Polish in-law and my cousin Roger who is like a brother to me!

I’m grateful for the variety of choices I have and for the opportunity to share food with extended family.

Do you ever stop to think about your food choices?  How often do you really savor your food and notice the individual flavours?  Do you practice self-care?  Did you relax and have a good conversation over your breakfast or dinner today or did you eat it in a hurry while multi-tasking?  I love your company here on Createspaceweb and I always look forward to your interesting comments!

Much love,

Marie xx

 

 

 

Encouragement when Blogging…”Writing on the air”!

Do you struggle sometimes looking for inspiration for your blog?  I know I certainly do, particularly when I’m tired.

You may have heard fibromyalgia being called the ‘holiday illness,’ a very cruel characteristic of fibro/chronic fatigue that, when you ease down from any continuous activity, you then realise you have over-done it. In my case it’s when I’m let go/laid off from my paid contracted Adult Education/Adult Literacy employment.  My body crumbles into an exhausted and sometimes lonely mess; if I let it…

When I’m totally drained, having used every tool available to me to manage my fibro/fatigue, such as positivity, pacing and prioritising, I find writing or indeed achieving anything, including socialising is next to impossible but I choose to believe that there is always light in the darkness if you look for it!

20180625_063852
Don’t focus your attention on the darkness, look instead for the light!

 

So I take encouragement from the words of Pat Schneider in her excellent book ‘Writing Alone and with others.’

She reminds me that…

P.13 “…we will create powerful writing out of the stuff of memory…”

And she tells me…

P.15 ‘…every time you came home from a hard day at school or work and said to someone in your family, “You know what happened to me today?”  and told the story – the writer in you was practising using suspense, character, dialogue, metaphor, simile, plot, denouement. All your life, you have been writing on the air, and that has built craft and confidence and voice.  It is all there, ready and waiting for you.’

So, I say don’t struggle with tiredness, loneliness or with writing…just reach out in person or via social media, keep sharing your day, keep on “writing on the air.”

So, what do you think? Please join in the discussion below and share what encourages you! Thanks for visiting, your company is another source of encouragement for me!

Much love,

Marie xx

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑