Sunday, June 10, 2012

Relaxing Sunday - to Get Healthy Again

Relaxing Sundays aren't just important for your mental health, they're important for your physical health - whether you think you need them or not.

On Friday evening, I returned from a writing conference that took place in Toronto, Canada. Two weekends ago, I spent two full days at quilting workshops here in Montreal (no travelling), and two weeks before that I was at another writing conference, this time in New York City.

You would think that the events were well spaced and that I would be ok with this activity but it turned out that it wasn't ok for me. I arrived in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, not feeling sick but not feeling well.

Eventually, the fatigue became so overwhelming to the point that I had to leave one session to go to my room to sleep for 20 minutes so I could continue. And then a migraine set in Friday morning. If that wasn't bad enough, that was the day I was supposed to present on a panel. I wasn't an attendee at this point, I was a panelist. Not Good.

Thankfully, I had medication with me and a caring colleague who brought me some food so I could put something in my stomach before I could take the medication. After a few more hours of sleep, I was up and about again before lunch.

While I can't prove it, I do believe it was my body saying, "hey girl - you're doing too much and the fibromyalgia pal you've been stuck with doesn't like it."

So, this weekend had to be a relaxing weekend. I had no choice. Saturday, yesterday, was spent napping and - yup - working on a quilt (while watching the Netherlands give up a game in the EuroCup). This quilt is very special. It's a wallhanging for my best friend of almost 35 years.

Doreen loves birch trees. I have a lovely birch tree watercolour that my father-in-law painted for me many years ago and Doreen loves it. Every time she sees it, she reminds me that when I die, she is to get it. Never mind that we're the same age! ;-) My father-in-law was a lovely man and he knew how much Doreen loved this painting, so he painted her one a few years before he died.

When I was at the quilting exhibition last month, I took a class with Wendy Butler Burns and she had some of her patterns available for sale. One was of birch trees and it was her last one. So I bought it. Last week, when I wasn't working on something at my computer, I was cutting out bits of fabric and putting it together.

I would work for a while, completing a task and then I rewarded myself by creating for a while. I just had to be careful that the creating part didn't take longer than the working part!

Isn't it lovely? It's nowhere near finished though. I still have to embellish it and quilt it, but I do like how the colours came together and I hope she enjoys looking at it as much as I am enjoying putting it together.

For the quilters here, I used mostly batiks in this along with a few hand dyes that someone had given me and a couple of tone-on-tone fabrics. I may be doing some couching along the trees and separating the lake from the grass in the front and mountains in the back - and the rest of the embellishment will happen as I go.

I am blessed. As awful as I felt when the fatigue overwhelmed me, I know that I have a life that allows me to rest when I have to and I know that I have things that I love to do that help me do just that.

Remember - take time for yourself. Your body needs it. You need it.

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