Recently I had lunch with a large group of women here in the city. I have been so busy rejoicing in my "abundance" of energy over the past year and a half that I still forget how slow and lacking in energy I actually am compared to other women in my age group. Someone asked me what plans I have for the autumn, once we are more organized here and holidays are over for the summer. I mentioned a couple of low energy volunteer ideas I have and everyone kind of looked at me with rather shocked expressions on their face....like I had the plague or something. Then someone timidly asked me what else I would be doing. Sigh...When I responded that there wasn't anything else actually, she gave an embarrassed little chuckle and the conversation moved on to other topics. For the rest of the afternoon I wasn't really included in the conversations. Perhaps it was just as well because I had nothing else to say that could keep pace with these incredibly busy women, who are no busier than most other women, it is just that I hadn't realized how far behind I have fallen at this point. No one was bragging about how busy they are, no one was particularly proud of all they do, there were no pissing contests going on to see who could top who in the Department of Busy. They are simply normal middle aged women who are able to maintain a level of activity that I haven't been able to achieve. I couldn't have kept up their levels of activity even as a child.
I suppose all the chronic and life long health issues I have do play into my energy level rather intensely. When I list all those conditions I feel very strange about having so many things wrong. As a rule I am by myself quite a bit and never think about how busy or not busy I am each day. It is most disconcerting though to be with a group of average women and realize they can run rings around me in every way. It all began with childhood asthma that kept me out of the social loop relatively often and so for me, life is actually better as an adult even with the added health issues as the asthma has nearly disappeared.
My fear is that people who don't have energy level problems don't understand how they can effect a person's life. I hate it when people ask me why I do so little every day, why I am not out of the house running hither and yon doing all manner of important work, because I can't explain without giving my "organ recital" of all that is wrong with my health. It sounds like I am either making it up, or using health as more of an excuse than a reason for inactivity, or feeling sorry for myself, or really into talking about myself as the centre of the universe, or just plain lazy. Sigh....
So while they are working daily at full time jobs, volunteering their evenings and weekends to all manner of wonderful clubs and committees and service organizations, baby sitting the grandchildren, etc. etc. etc., I am sitting here amazed that this morning I am strong enough for the first time in my life to take the winter studded tires out of the trunk of the car and haul them up the back steps into the suite and then down more steps into the basement...2 tires at a time. These are the "huge accomplishments" that fill my days.
I am going to have to be very careful not to let myself become discouraged nor depressed by my lack of interesting contributions to group conversation.