I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME/Whatever the Heck We’re Supposed to Call it Now. A few months ago I felt I’d made enough improvement to try volunteer work again, so I applied to volunteer with Just Fairtrade, an indie Fairtrade shop in Leicester (if you’re ever in Leicester, you totally have to visit!). I was veeeery nervous, for a lot of different reasons, but it’s been going really well.
A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to push myself further and see if I could do more than one shift a week. Working for four hours a week, pathetic though it sounds to all you guys out there working a nine to five, is actually a serious achievement for me. It would have been impossible this time last year. So pushing that up to eight hours is a big deal, and I tried to brace myself for the fact that I might not be able to do it yet.
The experiment is so far inconclusive lol. I am physically getting it done, but it’s very much taking it’s toll in other areas of my life. One thing that’s definitely suffered is my spiritual practice. Husband has been absolutely fantastic, taking up the slack with housework, cooking and grocery shopping, but he can’t pray or journey for me!
It’s really been bothering me. I love my ‘job’ and it’s important to me. I also hope to be able to have a real job at some point, though obviously it’ll take a long time to get to that point and I have to accept that it may never happen (*makes a face because he’s not willing to accept this at all*). But at the same time, my spirituality is my life.
I’m trying to just see how it goes – logically, I know my body will either adapt or crash, and either way I’ll stabilize and get back to ‘normal’. But I do feel guilty, and I’ve done the mental ‘death spiral’ once or twice about the whole thing (you know what I mean; you start by feeling a bit worried that you’re not able to keep up with your devotional practice at the moment, and ten minutes later you decide that the only logical conclusion is that you’re the worst person in the Universe ever, the Gods hate you and you should just die). When I’m calm, I know that this is temporary, I will find a balance and my spiritual family not only understand, but want me to improve and do well. When I’m tired and stressy…Hello, death spiral.
I’d be really interested to read how some of you guys manage the whole work/life/devotion balance. I imagine it’s really tough if you have kids. Any tips you could share? I look forward to reading your comments 🙂