Growing up with only a sister, we had spa-retreats galore in my house. We endlessly fussed over our nails, our hair, and our makeup - and never thought twice about the time spent or the smells generated. Granted, I can't smell, but hairspray, nail polish remover, and the like were just necessary primping tools, and I never gave it a second thought.
Of course, my husband is one of five - 1 girl and 4 boys - so you can imagine that spa-retreats weren't as plentiful in the Gorman household. In fact, while we were visiting my in-laws years ago, I came downstairs after painting my nails, and his brothers acted as if the smell of death had just wafted into the room. I know the smell is strong, but I guarantee a houseful of girls wouldn't have reacted like that. I bet an impromptu mani/pedi extravaganza might have even been set in motion!
It just goes to show that if you're not used to something, it can seem completely out of place and downright weird. It can even feel wrong, or, in the case above, smell bad. But, in fact, it's just different.
And that's the way living with lupus has evolved for me. At first, it was really weird to have to actually carve out time in my day for a nap, when I'd never (ever) had to do so in the past. It felt strange to monitor my exertion levels, limit my sun exposure, and track the hours I worked, when I used to be able to just let those things "happen" as necessary. And the first few (hundred) times I had to say, "No", it definitely felt like an out-of-body experience.
But then I started getting used to living with lupus. And I started seeing the benefit of making those lifestyle choices. And then those choices didn't seem out of place at all. In fact, they felt necessary, purposeful, even normal. Life just started "happening", accommodations and all. I was no longer making choices - just living. And living well, in fact.
It's a great feeling to be this far along in my lupus evolution. But as you know from reading this blog, the challenges continue to surface, and I still get stumped now and again. But the basics, I feel like I have down pat. A good thing, too, because with Bernie and Deirdre already requesting to "do their nails", I think there may be obstacles ahead!