Yes, I can!

Sometimes I think about all that I’ve taken on—three part-time jobs, a handful of volunteer gigs, and of course my own business—and I wonder if I’ll be able to take it. During bad migraine spells I have trouble balancing even a couple of duties. (Case in point: I had only one official meeting this morning and a handful of bookstore-related work to accomplish today. I did all that needed to be done, but I am half-lying in bed as I type this.)

Years ago, a neurologist (the one I fired) told me that working a full-time job would not be a possibility for me. I believed him in part because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the first place, but the other part of me bought his story because I was scared. What if I tried to have a so-called normal life and had to simply quit due to migraine?

Now I know that, in my case at least, this neurologist wasn’t on target.

Turns out I do a lot better when I have a lot to tackle. Not having anything structured all day means I sleep in too late, skip meals, and end up feeling listless and lazy. (This eventually results in my being hard on myself for not doing more.) But when I have a lot to do, I am excited and focused and eager for the next experience. I do need to remember that overpacking my schedule is just as dangerous as underpacking, but I’ll achieve this balance soon enough. Most days I get it right and sleep soundly at the end of the day.

My High School Self was always, always busy. High School Janet did a TON of stuff. I always had a heavy courseload as well as after-school activities—clubs and theatre took up much of my extracurricular time, and hanging out with friends was always a priority for me. I managed to do it all. True that I had a lot of migraine episodes, but I got through them and still had a happy, extremely successful high school “career.”

Notes to self:
I can bow out of something when I’m getting overwhelmed. Friends will understand when I need to take a step back and cancel plans once in awhile.
I can have a mild migraine and continue working most of the time. I’ve been able to edit, write, babysit, drive, and attend business classes while coping with a non-severe migraine. I lived to tell the tale and wasn’t worse for the wear the next day.
I can say no. The word will keep on turning.

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