Family Magazine

The Price of Hibernation

By Gingercouturier @GingerCouturier

Still being a newbie Fibromite, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the winter season that just passed. I read all of the horror stories about the cold weather and how it might drive me to the brink of insanity, so long before the temperatures dropped, I was fearing the worst.

Mother Nature was kind to everyone this year though and broke me into this new way of life gently. The air wasn’t the normal cold and bitterness of winters past and we only got a chuckle of snow, which was surprising after the blizzards that were thrown at us for the previous two years. All in all, the season wasn’t as terrible as I anticipated, and the aches and pains were nothing in comparison with what I went through the past summer.

My biggest drawback was fatigue.

Major flipping fatigue.

My body ached and burned and tingled and gnawed but it was the exhaustion that really got the worst of me. Not being able to do much about it but drag myself around, I surrendered to the Fibro and pretty much hibernated for 3 months.

Now that I’ve been regained a good amount of energy I need to clean up the neglected areas of my life. I’ve maintained the most important things like basic cleaning, cooking, self-care and survival necessities, but now that the fog lifted, all I can see are the things I have left by the wayside.

The House

With each week that’s passed over the season, our home has grown more and more disorganized. Isaac has been on a “project” kick for the past few months which has led him to rip apart my utility room, scattering tools everywhere in his path. He’s also rummaged through every drawer in the house while looking for “parts”  leaving the (once organized) drawers now barely closable. In his wake, he has left random bits and pieces of broken things, papers and junk. Natalie has reverted to her “hide-everything-in-my-closet-under-my-bed-and-in-every-drawer-so-my-room-just-looks-clean” mentality. I am just as guilty in the clutter as I have flat out neglected in keeping on top of them about picking up after themselves, let alone done any organizing or de-cluttering of my own.

In other words, a tornado of junk has ripped through my house and it is all that I can see now that I’ve awakened from my three months of hibernation.

If I were my old self, I’d just take a weekend to purge organize and be merry, easy peasey. I have always found it therapeutic to throw everything away and I always did just that. I am not the old me though, so I’ve got to figure out a plan to get things back to normal and not wear myself out in the process.

I suppose I will have to take this in baby steps, one thing at a time. I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Maybe with a trash bag. Or a dumpster.

Unfinished Projects

Towards the end of last summer I took on a lot of projects that I just couldn’t handle. I over did it by a mile and threw myself into a wicked flare and had to surrender. I kept telling myself I’d get to finishing everything when the fall rolled around but life was chaotic here then, and the projects were put on the back burner. By the time winter came, my projects were the last thing I was able to think about.

Now that I’m feeling substantially better, I’d really love to refocus on the forgotten projects and complete them before summer humidity sets in and I find myself back in miserable pain.

You might remember that last year I had the wood floors and stairway refinished, but I didn’t have them paint the risers on the steps. The chipped and yellowed paint is a terrible eyesore, and it really takes away from how beautiful the wood looks, so getting them painted is a must.

I also ripped apart the front of my fireplace, with the intention to put up tile, but now it is just another unfinished and very ugly eyesore.

Also, when the upstairs carpet was moved and installed in the basement, I left some areas unfinished. It will really look nice down there once it is complete, so I need to work on that as well.

Aside from the carpet in the basement, I need to clean out the utility room because today it would be more accurately described as a junk room.

The last project I have to get done is setting up my narrow closet so it can be put to use. Currently, my 2 dressers are jam-packed with clothes and another large amount of clothes are still hanging in the basement. My closet might be the biggest challenge because of the odd dimensions, but I know something can be done with a little planning.

My Neglected Appearance

I haven’t spent any time on what I look like and it is obvious. I haven’t had much of a need to look pretty since I’ve spent a majority of the past few months on the couch and I accurately reflect that this is just what I’ve done. The world shouldn’t know I’ve hibernated though and my appearance isn’t doing my self-esteem any favors when I do need to go somewhere.

I haven’t colored or cut my hair in almost six months so my roots are horrendous and the style has grown out. My eyebrows are a wreck and my skin has turned into a mess. I even made a joke with my girlfriend, “Does this pimple make me look younger?”

Funny, I am.

I have probably put on a good 10 pounds, which everyone says is good for me, but fitting well in my baggy pants really doesn’t feel good. Not being able to exercise and eating a ton of carbs for a whole season doesn’t make anyone feel good; I imagine this is the reason for my skin being a wreck, too.

Besides my physical appearance, I also feel like a mess style-wise and this has always been important to me. Not getting dressed to go out into the world for a few months has really thrown me off. Now when I do need to get dressed or want to go somewhere, I have a very hard time deciding on something to wear, my radar for what pieces work well together has been in snooze mode… Just like me!

I feel like a wreck, not a hottie now, but all of this is easily solvable and will be fun to fix.

My Finances

I have kept up with this area but only to minimum standards and it’s starting to become very stressful. I’ve paid my bills fine, but that usually means waiting and then scrambling right before they are due. I have piles of papers on my desk that I avoid until it’s time to rummage through them when the 15th rolls around. It’s all very stressful and completely unnecessary.

I really do need to take a few hours to get my paperwork in order, balance my bank accounts, make a calendar, set up some automatic payments and hammer down a budget.

I also need to pull a résumé together ASAP because I found a few legit jobs I am qualified for which will allow me to work remotely from home. I’m living off of savings and child support and I’d like to keep a nest egg, so this is something I really can’t drag my feet on for much longer.

As you can see, I’ve got a bit ahead of me to do.

I believe that if I pace myself and stay determined, I can get this house and myself back in order and feel on top life again. If I am really focused and lucky, I will be able to get these things done before summer rolls around and I recognize writing this and addressing my prioroties is the first step. Getting rid of all of my mental clutter has definitely lifted a huge load off of my mind! Seeing what I need to do, as opposed to just thinking about it all, puts a positive perspective on my tasks ahead, also.

I’m going to start working on what I can today, maybe an hour or two spread out over each day will get me where I need to be quicker than the summer. Then I might be able to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine before the pain from the future heat and humidity sets in!

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