What You Should Know About My Illness If You Wish You Had My 'Leisure Time'

Today I was watching “Dr Phil.” It was an old episode about a study showing how stay-at-home moms have more leisure time than they think. Granted, some of the definitions given for “leisure” were quite unusual (getting a root canal if alone?), but the basic theme of the show was redefining how we spend our time and if being busy is really the status symbol we think it is.

I believe it’s not, and be careful what you wish for. The fact of the matter is, I am tired of people saying that they wish they had more time. Even more, I am sick of them saying they wish they had the free time I have. Because seriously people, you really do not want the free time I have. Let me tell you why…

1. I do not live a life of leisure. My schedule is filled with doctor’s appointments with life sprinkled in between. Today I was supposed to take my dog to the vet. But I wasn’t feeling good. So I had to cancel it. Now I get to try to fit it in between an eye appointment, where I just might get a lumpy thing removed, and my nerve conductivity test, yup — shooting electricity through my arms to measure how much of it gets to my brain (sort of). Such is my life.


2. Even when I have leisure time, I can’t “leisure.” It’s true. The days I spend at home doing nothing, I can’t usually relax. I’m either in too much pain, hence the reason for being home in the first place, or I’m trying to to get some sort of house cleaning done. And since my house is a complete wreck, I usually make very little progress.

3. If I do get to leisure, it usually gets wrecked anyway. Since my disease is unpredictable at best and comes on quickly at times, I can be out having fun one minute and unable to breathe looking for a chair the next. I bring my cane and water everywhere but it’s not always enough. Last week, I suddenly became dizzy and nearly fell over trying to sit back down at my volunteer position. I cuddle kittens. Kittens! Not exactly physically demanding.

4. When none of the above happen, I’m usually too exhausted to enjoy leisure. Either that or I really can’t decide what on earth to do. I do love to read but can’t count the times I have fallen asleep with a book. I watch a horrifying amount of movies. Twice. Because I literally cannot remember the ending. So you tell me, does sleeping count as a leisure activity?

Like I said, be careful what you wish for. I was diagnosed when my second child was born. I was never in the position to over-schedule myself and then wish for more time to relax. I only had enough in me to allow them to pick an activity and drag myself to it and then wish I needed less time. Less time for me. Less time for doctors. Less time for hospitals. Less time needing to rest. And more time running around with my kids.

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