The Way I Manage My Symptoms Offers Insight Into Personal Growth
There’s nothing quite like the realization that you aren’t following your own advice or philosophies about personal growth as well as you could be. At least, that’s the case for me right now. Yet again, I’m feeling grateful for this platform and the ability to write on a regular basis. This habit and commitment is a layer of accountability that reminds me what’s important to me.
My friends, family, readers, and podcast listeners know that I’m intrigued by the methods and ideology of personal growth, and I’m motivated to pursue the best version of myself as possible. However, I must admit that it’s easy to get caught up in the human hamster wheel. It’s too easy to expend a lot of energy trying to maintain life instead of intentionally working to improve life.
I enjoy staying busy and having several things going on at once. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if my energy and time are being spent in productive and prudent ways. I haven’t come to any conclusions yet; I’m still in the self-observation phase of this line of questioning.
(I welcome your input, feedback, or suggestions as I navigate this part of my journey. Feel free to comment below after reading this.)
I was catching up over the phone with one of my oldest friends recently, and it was this conversation that allowed me to recognize the “maintenance mode” I seem to have been in for a short time. My friend and I talked about the difficulties of juggling five things as opposed to three things. The idiom “jack of all trades, master of none” quickly became the central theme of our conversation.
Naturally, I began wondering if I have inadvertently stretched myself too thin.
And today, I chuckled at the irony of how I manage my daily activities with Friedreich’s ataxia. Given the balance and coordination issues, and how carrying things can make movement harder, I’ve made it a habit to do one thing at a time. I’ve given myself permission to make multiple trips to and from the car to unload groceries or luggage. I’ve forced myself to stop, step out of the way, and draft a text or put my wallet away instead of trying to walk and do, well, anything at the same time.
In some areas, I recognize the importance of focusing on one thing at a time. In other areas, that recognition hasn’t solidified, apparently.
The conversation with my friend was important for me. It’s conversations like this that push me into a valuable practice of observation and reflection. Whether I’m on the right track, juggling the right things, or even focusing on the right things isn’t always the right question. Instead, taking a moment to reflect and ask myself if I’m proud of where I am, and where I’m going, was the important question at that moment.
The built-in accountability with this column or podcasting has strengthened some of my personal disciplines. Over the phone, my friend offered some accountability, too, without even realizing it. After sharing some thoughts and feelings I’ve wrestled with lately, my friend began asking, “Why?” His question was like what one might expect from a child. He repeated the questions “Why do you feel that way?” and “Why do you think that?” This pushed me to go beyond the surface with my answers and wrestle with the thoughts percolating inside.
I don’t know what the best outcomes are just yet, but I’m grateful that different forms of accountability are helping me avoid excuses and pushing me to figure things out as I go.
Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.