Most of my good news submissions have been (hopefully) amusing reminiscences or things that make me happy, I don’t know that they necessarily fall into the news category, so if they don’t fit hold on to your socks, here we go again with a reflection upon being happy when some think you should be miserable. As some may know from reading past submissions on the subject I have a cross to bear called Fibromyalgia. Its an interesting condition of disease, depending upon how you look at it, in that there is a huge list of symptoms and associated conditions that accompany it. The main thing you need to know for this is that you’re always tired, you’re always in pain, and you spend a lot of time in the bathroom catching up on reading. Well, truthfully I read Newsvine in there too, the miracle of electronics and a PDA with wireless capability.

Whoops, first digression came early didn’t it? You can’t let me ramble, I’ll go on forever!

My whole life up until a few years ago was very active, running, riding bikes (pedal not motor), working endless hours, you name it and I stayed busy at it. I can’t stand to be bored, I don’t like movies at the theater because I always feel like I’m just sitting and doing nothing. I’m one of those people with 15-20 tabs open in windows and even have a second monitor so I can watch movies and work on things at the same time. Yes, I’m hell on computers and generally kill three keyboards a year by wearing all the letters off of the keys. Oddly the letters that wear out the most spell out tease, I’m not sure what that says about me.

Nothing will slow you down like chronic pain and fatigue, its taught me something that I never thought I would learn, and that is to pace myself. I may still do several things at once on the computer, but I’ve learned to adjust my pace to my energy levels throughout the day. One of the first things I had to learn to live without was dawn on the back porch, if I’m up at dawn these days it’s because I can’t sleep, that called for a major adjustment for me, because it something that I’ve enjoyed since I was little. It had to drive my Dad nuts because my brothers and I were up at the buttcrack of dawn on Saturday mornings waiting for Batman to start, and then the day’s cartoons.

Now I go to bed when I’m sleepy and get up when my body says laying around in bed isn’t going to get me anywhere. Some days that’s an hour of sleep, others its eight, you never know what number the roulette wheel will stop at. Now I stand outside with a cup of herbal tea (completely caffeine free) and listen to the sounds of the night and breathe in the cool air. Its not the same as morning, but I’m not the same now either, you live, you learn, you adjust. Or should that be improvise, overcome and adapt? No matter, it’s all the same in the end.

Morning definitely isn’t my time of day anymore, getting out of bed is fun because I generally wake up with a touch of vertigo and I sit there and let my head get used to the switch to vertical and then is the creaking and popping as I stretch and stand up. Then a few seconds standing there until the rest of me gets used to being vertical. The world is blurry and putting on my glasses doesn’t help because my eyes need an adjustment too. Wander through to the kitchen, starting the computer on my way by, and put together a pot of coffee and have a cup of tea while that’s brewing. Then its out to the living room and getting comfy leaning back into the shiatsu massager. Oh that’s heaven! There’s the occasional pop as things shift back into place, sitting there with that things loosening up my back with a cup of Tetley’s is nothing short of miraculous!

Take your fun and your pleasures where you find them! Nothing will make yourself miserable faster than reflecting on what you don’t have, enjoy what you do have and make the most of it. The shiatsu does its thing for a 20 minute cycle and its back to the kitchen, moving fairly well now, grab a cup of coffee and fire up Newsvine and my own websites and see what is going on in the world that day. Then the unspeakable joy of hot water. I like a soak in the tub with a book while listening to podcasts while I soak and then a fast shower to wash up and I’m human and ready to face the day. Who knows what that’ll mean. Circumstances have me retired and not employable so what I do depends on how I feel. Walk the dog or on bad days we go for a drive. Stop by the coffee shop and shoot the breeze with the old timers or meet up with a friend for a BS session. There’s a big difference between being limited, and being idle. When you’re idle your mind and body fall apart, limited is still active and activity keeps me happy.

Most days I take a 20 minute nap right before I make dinner, I’m the house husband now, and although I still can’t load that damned dishwasher, and sorting laundry still seems silly to me, cooking is fun. My recipe for Tim’s Almost Famous Unpatented Mead Chicken might give you some idea of how fun a kitchen can be, well, that and its also my brewery.

Going out to dinner with me used to be a pain in the butt, to be brutally honest and self-aware. I can’t stand sitting around after I eat and used to fidget the whole time the family was finishing up going nuts because I wasn’t doing anything. I’ve learned to fight that and spend that time with a cup of coffee relaxing and letting things settle and building up energy reserves for whatever comes next. By the way, for those in the restaurant business, the fastest way to make sure I never come back is to charge me for my after dinner coffee. Especially if your coffee sucks.

Running is clearly out of the question these days, for one thing it hurts now and I would look ridiculous running with a cane. I need the blasted thing because of the arthritis in my spine and I have a knee that surgery didn’t help on one side, and an ankle twice the size of the other on the other side. Without the cane I’m stooped and shuffle like I’m 90. Fate dealt me a cane, I had flames put on the sucker, so no matter what I still look fast. Sometimes you just need to remember that getting from point A to point B in minimal time can be pretty pointless. It may take me 12 minutes instead of 6, but is a shop in the mall going to sink into the earth in those 6 minutes? No, so take your time and look at all of the weirdoes that hang out in malls these days. People watching is hours of entertainment, because quite frankly people are NUTS!

Don’t worry about what you’ve lost, enjoy what you’ve found, and if you haven’t found anything yet then keep looking. Have I lost? Yes, I’ve had to move on from some things I enjoy, but I still have what matters in the long run, I have my family and plenty of time to write, what more do I need?

© 2008, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

I was born in the Midwest and grew up in Iowa, Missouri and Texas. I guess you could say I had an eventful childhood, at least it was a helluva lotta fun! I enlisted in the Air Force in 1984 and retired in 2007. I saw a whole bunch of the world and racked up a lot of experiences in the process. Now I'm retired and enjoying life to the fullest!