A friend called me up the other day and asked if I wanted to hang out. He meant right away. I didn’t hear my phone ring and by the time I got the message it was too late, but it really made me wonder: when did I lose all of the spontaneity in my life?
I remember a time not too long ago when I would find myself without plans on a Saturday, so I’d pick up the phone and call a few
friends to see who was around. I remember a time when I’d decide at a moment’s notice to go away overnight. It got to the point that I’d pack a bag and be out the door within 30 minutes. Then I started keeping a toiletry bag always packed with spares of everything, so I could leave even faster. A last-minute date? A random outing with friends? A local getaway? Yes, please!
Now everything has to be thought through. Do I have enough energy? Do I need to save some spoons for tomorrow? (If you don’t know what these spoons are, definitely click the link.) What will I eat that satisfies the diet? Can I tolerate the heat? How much walking will there be? Will it cause more pain?
These are all completely reasonable, understandable questions. They make perfect sense. And they’ve killed my sense of spontaneity.
I’m not suggesting that I have to be spontaneous every day, but it would be nice to occasionally do something that wasn’t completely planned out in advance. I want to not know what I’m doing tomorrow (and not knowing if I’ll be watching tv versus reading emails doesn’t count!) I can’t travel and that’s fine (well, it’s not fine, but I have no choice right now) but that doesn’t mean I can’t do something at the last minute closer to home.
I’m not ready to instigate something spontaneous. I know that. But I think there’s a glimmer of hope. When I got my friend’s message my first reaction was that of course I couldn’t do something without notice! But then I thought about it, and realized that, actually, I could, and I’d probably have a wonderful time. When I looked at the clock, I realized I’d missed my chance (he only had a short time free,) but just remembering what it was like to make a spur-of-the-moment plan was fantastic. Now I have to make sure I actually do that. Soon.
Hi, it’s as if you have mirrored my thoughts in words today. I mourn for the social life I once had and always found last minute plans often turned out to be the most enjoyable. Sometimes just the ‘planning’ now can be exhaustive in itself. But like you I am trying to view it from a different aspect. Go to the event, know to have the most wonderful time you can and know & ACCEPT the following days will need to be scheduled for rest. I’m sincerely appreciative the this post came today as such a timely reminder which is there ARE people elsewhere who really understand what it’s like to live with Chronic Pain.
Health & Happiness
I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through the same thing. It can be so frustrating. I just hope that we can all find ways to still enjoy the social time that we do get to have.
I just have to work harder to schedule things is all. It’s still doable. My husband and I just started up “date night” again. We go out to dinner or a movie or whatever once a week. We stopped it for much of the last year due to my pain. Chronic pain changes so many things. I can’t play my fiddle anymore, which I miss dearly, because it hurts too much. But I have new hobbies now. I love blogging and connecting with others who know what I’m going through. I color, which is so simple but so much fun and it makes my pain recede for awhile. I’ve found a few games I like to play with my husband and friends. Social time is still possible, it’s just different that it used to be.
Making the most of the good days and being present, engaged and grateful for even the smallest of things brings incredible joy. It’s a new way of living but your frame of mind makes such a difference 🙂
Health & happiness!
You are so right! That’s a great attitude.
I totally agree. Nothing is spontaneous anymore. I have to plan out everything and figure out how to accomodate my fibromyalgia and chronic pain every step of the way. I usually make my plans at least a week in advance. I don’t travel much anymore either. Car rides make me hurt more. I used to love going away for a long weekend with my husband. Now it’s just not worth it with how much stuff I’d have take with me just to keep me moving around, let alone feeling well enough to enjoy myself. And that is never guaranteed anymore.
You’re so right. It would be a lot easier to make decisions if I had a better idea of how I would feel when I get there, but so often I doubt whether I’d even feel well enough to enjoy myself. And you’re right too about all the stuff – the meds and supplies and food…. it’s overwhelming just to get everything to the car!
SO glad to have found this site, it’s just what I needed today. I try and accept invites from friends to go do stuff when I can, but I’ve never been one to like spontaneity even when I was “well,” so my friends usually know to give me notice. But with new friends, I trryyyy to say yes to things….I could try harder. I usually accept the invite telling myself that if I need to leave early for any chronic reason, that’s okay and I’ll just come home. So sometimes friends get a very brief window of my time. But I try to be transparent about why.
I’ve found that transparency helps too, and friends can be very understanding. It’s still frustrating, of course. But it’s great that you can sometimes go out spontaneously!