On my autumn walk today I listened to a woman on a podcast talking about her mountain climbing-days in Nepal (the lives some people live!). She said something interesting:
Every time I looked up towards the top of the mountain, I lost energy. But whenever I looked down at my feet, I felt energized and could continue climbing.
This resonated with me, here is why.
My top of the mountain is (surprise, surprise) full recovery from Long Covid. But every time I think about this, I feel I lose energy. I feel sad because I don’t feel 100% recovered yet, I feel frustrated about it taking such a long time and I feel my tiredness very clearly. So what is my looking at my feet, I wonder? My answer is: living at my own pace. Literally not walking faster than I can and taking one day, sometimes one hour, at the time.
It’s ridiculous how hard this turns out to be: living at my own pace. There is namely quite a lot of stuff I feel I have to do, for example work and make money. There is even more that I feel I should do, for example contribute more to the household and socialize with other people. But my reality upon waking up these past seven months is a bit like the funny quote:
and I’m off like
a herd of turtles.
Turtle-speed is my pace these days. I wrote about taking turtle steps a while ago as well, pre-covid. At that time I found myself in an incredibly hectic period in my life and I noticed how bad I was at taking care of myself. I concluded that it’s equally important to say ‘yes’ to myself than to say ‘no’ and that taking turtle steps pretty much is the only way to move forward and accomplish something without losing myself completely on the way.
Saying ‘yes’ to my longhaul-life of today involves heaps of acceptance, as I’ve written about before. It also involves allowing myself to follow my intuition about what feels right for me. Whatever feels right for me these days might not always make sense to other people, but for me it feels incredibly important to trust my intuition and let it guide me in my decisions. For example, for several reasons it has not felt right for me to visit a doctor (except from my trip to the ER back in April). Until last week when I suddenly felt I would like to get some bloodwork done to investigate my tiredness. Not surprisingly (at least not for other long-haulers) my blood looked fine. Taking medication hasn’t felt right either for all these months, until now when I’m testing an inhaler to see if it can have any effect on the remaining pain in my chest bone (so far it looks promising!).
Saying ‘no’ today is focused a lot around food and being social. I’m still quite mindful about what I eat and drink (no big meals, little to no refined sugar and absolutely no alcohol) and I prefer time with myself over time with other people. Me being anti-social right now scares me a bit but I can see it for what it is: old fears about ending up all alone in the world, which has nothing to do with the reality of my life today.
It makes me happy to see that I’m moving forward every day. In however small (turtle) steps, but they are still steps forward. I must admit that reaching the top of the mountain still is appealing sometimes but I’d much rather keep my focus on looking down at my feet and noticing the steps I’m taking every day. This gives me energy. I fully trust that I will reach the mountain top eventually!
It’s full-blown autumn here in Sweden and it amazes me that a whole spring-, summer- AND soon autumn season has passed since I got ill. I’m almost recovered now, I can feel it quite clearly. My gratitude about this is indescribable! So, I will continue turtle-stepping my way through my days and weeks to come and as usual writing about it in my Corona Chronicles as I go along. Thank you for following my journey! I hope it contributes with something positive in your life.
With love ♥
Photo: Pierre van Crombrugghe – unsplash.com
This writing is part of what I call my Corona Chronicles. On this page you can find an overview of my stories since March 2020.
It’s funny how most of what you wrote feels like it could have been my exact same words, except that I don’t feel like I’m almost recovered..
I am unable to put my story and experience in words and therefore I want to thank you for being a voice for many of us. It always feels healing to read your stories and it is in a way therapeutic to me. Thanks for your honest and optimistic writing. I’ll keep looking at my feet xx
Thank you Riane, that is so lovely to hear! Keep on going, I wish you strength and resilience ♥