Let’s face it, dealing with chronic illness takes a lot of time and effort. There are the myriad medical appointments, tests, and treatments. There’s handling the day-to-day symptoms. The flares just add to it all. And that’s on top of having fewer “good” hours in a day than most people. It’s exhausting and overwhelming at times.
That’s why, after many years, I have finally decided to choose convenient options without guilt whenever I need to. Yes, it’s better for the environment to use reusable containers instead of sandwich baggies, but I’m using the baggies when I need to. I will still use the reusable containers most of the time, but when I can’t fit all of the containers into my cooler to bring with me to the doctor appointment, or when I’m going to be out all day and I need more space in my bag, or when I need to make my bag as light as possible, or when I can’t keep up with the dishes then yes, I’m going to use the plastic baggies and then throw them away, and I won’t feel guilty about it.
Similarly, I should use rags when I’m cleaning. But that’s more to wash, more to deal with. So I will use paper towels at times and I won’t feel guilty about that. When I’m in a bad flare, I will use paper plates and plastic forks without guilt. I will run the air conditioner if that helps me to feel better. I will take extra long showers when that helps me. And I will do all of it without guilt.
I believe that every person on this planet has a responsibility to do what we can to preserve and improve our environment. But I am also aware that we have to accept our limits. And maybe one shouldn’t come at the cost of the other. I have been adhering to this new mindset for several weeks now and it has been freeing, not to mention helpful. Instead of doing what’s “right” or what I “should” do, I choose what makes the most sense at that moment. Sometimes I use the reusable containers, sometimes the sandwich bags and you know what? Either one is ok.
Now I’m wondering what types of things other folks choose for convenience, and I’d love to hear from you. Please share yours below! It would be good to add to my list and to give other readers more ideas, too. So what shortcuts do you take?
I often have a ready meals because I know I won’t be able to cook things from scratch most of the time. I know they are worse for me, and more expensive, but if I want to be sure I will be able to have something for dinner then ready meals are hugely helpful.
I also sometimes get my food delivered. Personally I love grocery shopping and it’s the highlight of my week, but sometimes I need to accept delivery.
Probably the biggest thing I struggle with guilt about is ordering things from Amazon. I know they are a big evil corporation, but sometimes I can’t leave the house, and even if I could what I need isn’t always widely available in my area, and often a lot more expensive.
I totally get that, Tamara. I’m all about living my values, and I do that the best I can, but sometimes that just can’t be done in a world that isn’t designed for disabled folks. Amazon and other stores that deliver makes a huge difference for anyone who has trouble getting out, or who is limited by what is available locally. Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do. As for food, when I’m able to cook I make extra to put in the freezer. That way my “frozen meals” are healthier and cheaper. That said, I also eat some that I didn’t make because, well, that’s life. In an ideal world would you and I do things differently? Sure. But that’s not our realities. It sounds like you’re doing what works best for you, and it’s great you’ve figured out how to make that work!
Whenever I do manage to cook I always try and cook exra for the freezer, and ultimately that’s what I want to do more of, but obviously it isn’t always an option. Thanks for helping me feel okay about choices I have to make for my own health needs.
Hey, we all do the best we can, right? Personally, I love my slow cooker because it makes it easier to double recipes. I hear good things about the Instapot for that, too, but I don’t have one. We face a lot of pressure from society to do things the “right” way, but no one knows what choices are best for us except, well, us. Imagine that, right? If you need to eat ready-made dinners so that you have the energy to do something fun or the time to research medical stuff or to simply not feel any worse than you already do, then go for it! And screw anyone who suggests that’s not ok!
It’s not so much anyone else telling me it’s not okay, but that I’m not okay with putting so much unnecesary garbage into my body when it’s already struggling. I want to eat healthier to be healthier (I know it probably won’t change much, but less salt and preservatives can’t hurt), but it’s a catch-22 as I need to be healthier to eat healthier.
Yeah, very chicken and the egg. I definitely make healthier choices and am able to do healthier things when I feel better also. Too bad it’s not a conscious choice.