Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 12th August

Sometimes I am reminded of the saying that goes something like ‘God only sends you what you can cope with’ (which, of course, has the witty corollary that goes something like, ‘I only wish His understanding of what I can cope with was the same as mine’).

Usually this saying is used to refer to emotional and other very demanding events and circumstances. I think that last year was a year that really demonstrated this, or just gave a picture of how much can be thrown at a group of people.

I wonder, though, if you can use a similar saying about mundane, everyday things. This would be something like, ‘We only get ourselves into as much as we can cope with’. This would be about real life – work / study requirements and other demands we place on ourselves. Of course, it can be eloquently argued that most of the things we face having to complete (usually on a deadline) are given to us by bosses, lecturers and teachers, we do not choose them for ourselves.

Over-and-above what we have to do for others, though, we always manage to get ourselves involved in other activities, even if it is only a form of exercise, or a sport, or a hobby, or socialising. It is at that level that we can make the choices to load ourselves, or to keep our lives on a manageable level.

Everything is, of course, also seasonal. It is unlikely that anyone spends every week of every year operating at the same level of demand and delivery.

At the moment, I feel as though I am in overdrive. Not only am I working on my regular stuff, but I have other projects coming in (which is always a good thing) and I am working on two performance projects – basically completely by choice. Everything is demanding on time, of course, and the nett result seems to be different levels of exhaustion.

But how rewarding!

Feeling so drained and tired makes me think of chemo. Yesterday, for the one piece we are devising, I was talking about the experience and remembering the side-effects. Mostly, you think about the nausea. That is definitely not the only effect, though. In fact, it is probably the one that is most easily controlled. It is the complete draining effect of the chemo, the complete exhaustion that feels like the most debilitating side-effect – and the one that lasts the longest, I understand.

I am still waiting for the day when I will not either feel so tired so easily, or so it seems. I am still waiting to see the day when I can physically run as far as I want to, without just being unable to because I am too drained.

I know it will come, slowly. I know this all takes time and that I have to let my body do what it has to do and recover completely. (Me being so patient and all that 😉 )

At times, this particular season seems to be lasting for a long time. It does not stop me, though – exhaustion or not, there is too much to do and too much excitement and fulfilment out there to just sit around and wait for things to happen. Sometimes you just have to go and seek the moment and do what needs to be done to make it happen.

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