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Monday, November 17, 2014

times they are a 'changin

     Although I am a big fan of fall (it is my favorite season by far!) the one aspect I am not thrilled with is the need to turn back the clocks. Darkness falls upon us each day by 4:30PM and what that does to me both physically and mentally is not very pleasant.  
     I suspect many others have the same reaction.   My days are shortened not just in terms of the light but also my ability and desire to be active is lessened by as much as 4 hours!  The end result is I have to really fight with myself and this overwhelming desire to just change into my PJ's when I get home from work and vege out with the knowledge that I should do some type of physical activity to stay healthy.  
         Being torn between those two choices is the hallmark of how difficult I find this time of year to be for me.  So I try to get motivated to workout in the AM but alas the same issue rises up as it is not light out until nearly 7 AM here in Vermont and I like to head to swim no later than 6:30!  That coupled with the fact that once the cold weather hits I need to wear a lot more clothes just to get where I am going and the same dilemma presents itself.  
     Change is not bad in and of itself.  In fact, if we can learn to adapt to it, it just might make us more flexible and better able to adjust to changing circumstances that surround us on a daily basis.  RA demands that from us already so that means that those of us with chronic conditions should have a a leg up so to speak on the rest of the world, right?  I like that way of thinking!  
     The challenge really is mental when is comes right down to it.  I think we need to have a plan in place so that when the time shift happens we are prepared to deal with it.  I tend to just wait till it happens and then I go through at least a few weeks of non activity while I wallow in my loss of light!
     So next year I am going to try to eliminate this obstacle by wrapping my head around the time change a few weeks in advance and get a plan in place to overcome the inertia it seems to produce in me.  Maybe just remembering that the actual time is still the same just the light is different will help.  Or maybe if I move my workout time back while it is still light out so that my energy level is not depleted will be the key.  Between now and then I will come up with a plan to offset this annoying occurence so that I can remain healthy throughout the year!


Monday, November 10, 2014

seasons of change

     Right now we are "in between" seasons as summer has wrapped up, fall is unwinding and soon we will be in the throes of winter.  One of my favorite holidays of the year, Thanksgiving, is approaching and with it comes the chance to reflect on all that we have to be truly grateful for in our lives.
     This time of year also prompts me to re-examine my RA status; medications, treatments, plans for the new year, changes I want and need to make, etc.  I really like to do this before the new year begins as it gives me time to digest and decide what is best for me in the coming year.  I don't want to find myself at year end wishing I had made some changes I did not get around to and then entering a new year with no plans and feeling at loose ends.
     I am often teased about being too highly organized but I have to say that when it comes to managing my RA being organized is something that has made my life so much easier and I am truly grateful for having that trait!  Whether it is planning for trips, RX's renewals, doctors appts., exercising, etc. the ability to plan and has been a key to living well with RA!
     Which brings me back to being thankful and how that simple attitude permeates my life and informs every day I spend on earth.  Without gratitude I would be much less of a complete person and certainly a lot less capable of managing RA!