Pacing Myself: Making the Most of My Time When I'm in Remission

Whether my psoriatic arthritis is in remission or I am just experiencing a few “good” days, I always find myself scrambling to make the most of that time. I often feel like Cinderella - thankful for being given this wonderful opportunity to escape my pain, but also frantic when the clock begins to strike midnight.

Tick tock: The clock is running out

Cinderella knew that she only had a few hours to attend the ball. She had to make the most of those hours and soak up every glorious moment. Although Cinderella knew what time her good fortune would run out, she was still shocked and not ready for the clock to strike midnight. Anytime I go into remission or have a few “good” days, I shift into overdrive. Sometimes I attack my “to do” list that is always growing and never ending. Other times I allow myself to go out and enjoy an activity that my condition had prevented me from doing. The longer my remission period or the more “good” days I experience, the more I find myself getting lost in a world that I wish I could remain in. Cinderella wasn’t thinking about her miserable home life while dancing with the prince, just as I don’t dwell on how miserable I felt before my reprieve. Cinderella felt like every other woman at the ball, beautiful and worthy of attending. I too find myself feeling normal and part of the “real” world.

Lost slipper

No matter how long of reprieve I receive, I am never prepared for it to end. Like Cinderella, I also get caught up in the moment and lose track of time. Although I never know what time my clock will strike, I do have warning signs that signal my time is coming to an end. When those alarms start going off, I begin to scramble just as Cinderella did when the clock began to strike. In a hurry to get everything finished, I start making errors. Unlike Cinderella who only lost one shoe, I tend to lose a lot of glass slippers.

Happily ever after

After the clock struck midnight, Cinderella returned home and went on with making the most of her wretched home life. She had no clue that the prince would come looking for her. But he did and they lived happily ever after. My happily ever after came after I learned to relax, and I stopped rushing to get more done. Yes, that means there is one less thing to check off, but not messing it up prevents me from adding more to my “to do” list than necessary. Learning to pace ourselves isn’t limited to our bad days; we must practice it on our “good” days too.

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