If there is one thing that I thought having CFS/ME had taught me, it is how to prioritise.
And in some ways it has.
Having been out of the workforce for a long time, I only recently learnt the modern approach to prioritising. You know, the old “urgent & important”, “non-urgent but important” etc paradigm.
I know, I’m probably the last person on the planet to hear about this, but now I know.
The thing is, when your energy is low, often it is only the “Important and Urgent” things that get done.
And that’s not how it’s supposed to work. The ones that theoretically fall off your “to do” list are both not important and not urgent. You manage to plant those seedlings before they die and to clean the windows before it becomes embarrassing that you haven’t!
But it is amazing how far and how long you can stretch you definition of “unimportant”. Really!
However, there is another factor that comes into play when you haven’t been in the workforce for a long time. I look around my home and I can see that I have developed a pattern of always trying to choose the most functional option (I wasn’t an occupational therapist for nothing). It feels as if I can’t allow myself to have the beautiful bookcase, if the cheaper (and uglier) one will do the job.
Silent conversation in my head
Will this fit in the space? Tick.
Is it affordable? Tick
God, it’s ugly!
Oh well, never mind. At least it’s here right now (as opposed to some beautiful but cheap version which may or may not exist somewhere.) It’s good enough.
And often it may be. It’s true that not every item you own has to be a design classic. Lots of stuff just has to do a job.
The trouble is that I think I may have trained myself a little too well. It’s become a challenge to allow myself to choose something I like, rather than settle for the most economical option. And you can’t surround yourself with stuff you’ve “settled” for, without it having an effect on you.
The other side of that is that sometimes, with a bit of work and elbow grease, you can make something very inexpensive into a treasure. But extra work and elbow grease aren’t plentiful around this house, so that’s not usually a realistic option (think about those poor seedlings I’m trying to get planted before I head to Melbourne).
All of this of course is pertinent right now because I’m planning to do up my studio. Even though this needs to be a functional space, I do want it to be somewhere I love to go. I spend a lot of time in this room, and I want it to draw me in. So I’m saying here, out loud, for you all to hear: I’m going to try to choose comfort and beauty. Oh, and function!