Tag Archives: lifestyle choices

Share Your World – Week 9

03 Mar 16
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I can’t believe we’re 9 weeks into the year and another month is here already! It’s not too late to join in if you want to participate in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge. It’s simple, each week she provides a list of questions for us to answer.

Share Your World – Week 9

Have you done something you truly want to do today?

I need to preface this by saying I write my posts on Tuesday, and this post doesn’t go live until Thursday, so my answer to this particular question is based on Tuesday…

Yes, I have. I’ve written (or writing my blog posts) and I’ve made the decision to step back from my commitments for the month of March. I’ve sent emails excusing myself from many of my volunteer commitments.

What can you help the world with?

I’m only one person but I feel I can help the world by being open and honest about my life and my choices. I’m an advocate for those living with invisible illnesses and for living a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. I try to lead by example and have the difficult discussions that many people avoid.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

I’d be a banana… A versatile and nutrient packed fruit that most people enjoy.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

Retrieved from Facebook.

Retrieved from Facebook.

A quote of my own... My daily mantra

A quote of my own… My daily mantra

Found on Facebook

Found on Facebook

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful to our neighbour for giving me the desk that fit perfectly in my sewing corner and to my in-laws for providing us with seedlings and helping out with our garden.

In the next week I’m looking forward to our Breakfast and Behind the Scenes Tour at the zoo. I bought tickets for this as part of E’s anniversary present last year.

Just One of Many: Difficult decisions with Invisible Illness

09 Sep 14
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This year’s theme for Invisible Illness Awareness Week is “Just One”.

Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2014

My whole life I have suffered from invisible illnesses. From a very early age I suffered from asthma and allergies. Because I grew up with them I know how to manage them reasonably well (although I’m still identifying and learning to manage new allergies all the time). The newer conditions (Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Pelvic Congestion Syndrome) I’m still learning how to manage and live with.

I feel like since I have been living with these conditions my whole life has been turned upside down. Many things have been put on hold or given up. I haven’t worked in over a year, I struggle with social events and I only just manage to stay positive with the limited level of activity I’m capable of.

Lately, I’ve been struggling more than usual with staying positive. I honestly don’t mind that my ability to do many of the things I love has been limited. I don’t really mind too much that I haven’t been able to work for so long and that I haven’t been able to go on the holidays I dream of.

There is JUST ONE thing that I really struggle with and I think it is something many women in my position are likely to be struggling with as well.

Many of my family and friends are either pregnant or have young children in their families. Although I am extremely happy and excited for them, it also makes me sad. Before the new conditions hit, I had believed that by now I would be a mother, or at least we would be trying for children.

Now my life is filled with so much uncertainty. Although I’m told that my conditions do not affect my fertility, many of the drugs I’m on at the moment can OR can affect the development of a baby. I’m not sure my body can cope with pregnancy or with looking after a young child. My bone density is low which means I have a higher risk of stress fractures and very weak bones. My pain is going to increase during pregnancy due to the pelvic congestion and all my other conditions have a 33.33% chance of getting worse as well based on what information I’ve been able to find.

Despite all of these issues, having a family of my own is the number one most important thing to me. Ever since I was a child (possibly even as young as 4 when my sister was born) I have wanted to be a mum.

If I had to choose JUST ONE activity I would like to achieve in my life it would be to have a child of my own.

I have a difficult decision to make and I feel we need to make it soon. To try for a biological child of our own or to adopt. There are treatment options available for some of my issues which I have been told we can’t consider until we’ve finished trying for children.

Whichever choice we make, I know that any child we bring into our family will be loved and cared for. I may not have the energy or strength to be a ‘normal’ active parent, but I will be the best mother I can be. We have a wide network of family and friends who I know would do whatever they could to help us as well.

What is your JUST ONE story?

Are there others out there who are struggling with decisions related to starting a family with multiple chronic illnesses?

Simplifying Life

19 Jun 14
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Pushing to the limits, constantly in motion, always thinking of the next task… That was what my life was like before chronic illness. Now I need to simplify!

Chronic illness has set extreme limitations for me, as I’m sure it does for many of you out there, and I’ve found that these limitations have led to additional stress and guilt about not being able to do all the things I used to do beforehand.

Since managing to increase my energy levels enough to participate in life in some small way, I have begun looking for ways to live within my limits and manage my symptoms. I’ve shared some of my experiments and techniques with you already but today I want to talk about the overarching principle which is currently guiding my decision process.

Keep it Simple!

There are several steps that need to be worked through when you’re simplifying your life. I’m still in the very early stages but would like to share some of what I’ve learnt already, what I’m currently doing and what I’m hoping to do in the future.

  1. Identify clear priorities. By clarifying for yourself what your priorities are it is easier to eliminate tasks, items, and activities that do not work towards your priorities. As part of this process it’s useful to make yourself a set of guidelines to assist with the next step.
  2. Eliminate the unnecessary. This applies to stressful situations, people, events, items you don’t actually need or use around the house, and activities that aren’t helping you get to your priorities.
  3. Set a flexible routine. Having things that happen regularly means that there are less choices that need to be made, simplifying day to day life. However, it’s important to be able to change plans when necessary so make sure your routine is flexible.
  4. Be true to yourself. The priorities and guidelines you’ve identified should guide all future actions. For example, I’ve made a decision that unless it’s absolutely necessary I’m not purchasing new items any more. So every time I decide I want to get something I stop and ask myself ‘Do I actually need this?’ If the answer is No, I don’t buy it.
  5. Reassess and Repeat. This is not a once of activity. Set a regular time to reassess your priorities and repeat the elimination step regularly to make sure you don’t start complicating things again.

What I’ve done so far

I’ve shared with you the process I’ve gone through to identify what I’m passionate about and have set myself priorities based on the outcomes of that.

My priorities (in no particular order) are:

  • Family and Friends
  • Health
  • Mindfulness
  • Simplify
  • Continual Learning
  • Work

Each day I identify something I can do to work towards goals that fit my priorities. I make sure I do at least one thing towards each of these goals.

For example, today I’ve helped a friend out with a work issue (Family and Friends), done my yoga and exercise physiologist prescribed exercises (Health), did my morning meditation practice and have been mindful of my thoughts while completing my activities (Mindfulness), I have remained focus on single tasks at a time/no multitasking (Simplify), completed my weekly work for uni (Continual Learning), and set up access for two of my contributing bloggers forLiveKen (Work).

I have begun decluttering. I am slowly working my way through the house identifying items we never use or haven’t used in the last 6-12 months. These items are being offered to family and friends, donated to charity, or (only if broken and not fixable) thrown out.

I’ve scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly reflect and review times. Tomorrow is my first annual review. I will be spending the day identifying my commitments, priorities and targets for the next 12 months.

I’m reading several books and other blogs (my favourite at the moment is Zen Habits) to help guide me and inspire me as I move forward on this journey.

Even though I haven’t got very far yet, it already feels like a weight has been lifted off me. As I reduce the clutter in the house it becomes easier to maintain a tidy area (I still can’t do a lot of household chores and have cleaners come in fortnightly to do the more difficult items such as cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming and mopping).

I look forward to sharing this journey with you as I find more and more ways to live a simplified, mindful, fulfilling life with all my chronic illnesses.

Have you taken any steps to simplify your life?

What have you found works for you?

15 Ways to be More Sustainable

16 Nov 13
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A few great points here! I especially agree with separating your organic waste. Here in my home state in Australia, ALL food waste can now go into the green organics bin with your garden clippings. This all then goes to a local compost and mulching company to be reused.