Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Donna Speaks: Listen - Your Body's Talkin' to Ya

I needed one long ass nap today.  Like over three hours.  That's after sleeping about 10 hours the night before.  The day before I had  sat and painted some 20, four foot, two by fours, to ready them for our carpenter, Jesse to build a platform at the end of our pool for the motor, filter, etc., today.  I pushed the envelope... a little.  I didn't listen.  And, my profession was based on listening... to others.

My bod was giving me signals.  Whispering: "You're pushing yourself, girlfriend."  "But," I whispered back, " Jes' coming tomorrow... I gotta get the boards ready."  And then I just ignored the other whispers. 

Jesse ended up not able to come and I had a day to recoup.  So I fooled around inside.  It was like 90 degrees outside anyway.  And by news time, the recliner called me and I responded.

I didn't listen on Sunday, but I did today.  I was lucky it only took a long nap to restore my balance.  That and making myself a good meal of chicken and lotsa veggies.

For those of us with autoimmune stuff going on, listening to our bodies is so important.  Now that's harder for us women folk than the men, and, women have autoimmune problems significantly more than men.

What's our problem?  Well, so often women are recognized only - or mostly, at least - as vectors to men.  We are someone's mother, wife, sister, aunt, secretary, grandmother, etc. before we are who we are.  We are programmed to be the one who takes care of the other and are second to that "other". Even our most popular choices for professions reflect this learned need to take care of others, e.g., teachers, the nurses, childcare providers, counselors.  Our culture is changing slowly, but it's still "a man's world" and men still more often make more than women for the same job.  They have to support a family, ya know.

Suggest that we put ourselves first, we balk at, more often than embrace, this idea of self-care.  We can get away with this for a period of time, then our body will scream, yell, and holler at us. And, hopefully, we listen before it's too late.

This listening skill takes work, practice, purposeful, conscious thought.  I gotta brush up on listening to me.

Dear Althea, have a good day. 

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