Saturday, October 5, 2013

Find Your Inner Bee

Are you a worker bee?

I feel better when I am able to turn off my brain and go in to "worker bee" mode. For example, I enjoy cleaning the kitchen after dinner. We don't have a large kitchen and it's just the two of us, so there isn't much to do. This works well with my limited energy. I am grateful that I am still able to clean it and get great satisfaction from doing so. My husband also really appreciates waking up to a nice clean kitchen.

The need to feel useful

"There is so little I can still do around here so don't you dare take this away from me!"

I actually gave my husband heck when he tried to clean up after dinner! It took him a while to understand that doing everything for me was not necessarily helping. We all need to feel like we are contributing in some way. Losing our ability to do that through illness can feel like we are losing our worth and value (more on that in a moment).

Pacing vs puttering

All I have heard for the last couple of years is that I need to learn how to pace myself. While it sounds simple enough to do, I have struggled with this concept to the point of indignation! After all, how the heck am I supposed to learn how to pace myself when my baseline keeps changing! Then, I thought about people whose homes are always neat and tidy.

These people didn't wait for a certain day of the week or month to clean. They didn't wait until their house was such a disaster that they had to clean it. They puttered around, picking up things as they went along, wiping things that needed wiping, etc. That was when I realized I could incorporate puttering into my day! Even on my worst days, I can wipe the counter, put something away, dust a couple of tables - I can putter! Yes, I still need to plan bigger activities such as vacuuming or washing the kitchen floor. These will require the use of a timer, and by doing so they can be broken down into smaller puttering pieces.

Then I thought about using this concept for exercising. I can stop and do a few reps on our home gym as I'm heading to the laundry room. I can grab my exercise ball and do a few leg curls before I have my nap. I can do some stretching exercises while I'm waiting for dinner to cook.

Learning to shut off your brain

The great thing about puttering is that it doesn't really require too much thought. Being able to get out of my head means I'm not thinking about my health, our finances, or that our van needs a new set of tires. As anyone dealing with chronic fatigue knows, trying to think through complex problems can be just as exhausting as doing heavy physical work. 

Q: How could you put your inner worker bee to work through "puttering"?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26

Yes, we all need to feel useful. The problem comes when we put all our worth and value on what we do instead of who we are! Jesus loved you so much that He was willing to die for you! God made you in His own image. You are wonderfully made. Don't ever forget that!