Aug 032013


by Carol Levy, Columnist

I was sitting at a table with some people I knew, slightly.

I did not know how much of my situation they knew, but the issue came up about my not being able to work.  I told them about the pain that comes from any consistent use of my eyes for more than 10 to 20 minutes before the pain becomes too severe for me to continue.

They immediately came up with suggestions, most of them centered on using a timer.

“Set it for 15 minutes so you will have to stop,” they suggested.

That’s a good idea.  In fact, I came up it with a long time ago.  The only problem is, it’s a lot easier in concept then reality.

I am reading a mystery, my favorite kind of story.  The book is getting exciting, the clues mounting, the name of the person “who dunnit” to be disclosed in… wait, bringgg!

Off goes the timer.  I can’t stop now.  I have to find out who did it.

I know better, but I think, as I often do, five more minutes won’t make a difference. 

But of course, it does.

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I’ve thought of using a timer myself for some activities, like working at the computer. That has seemed obvious to me but I hadn’t considered it for other tasks around the house or running errands. I think it might be something to definately try. I do find that I may have the energy to let’s say, go grocery shopping but then find that the last half I’m literally hanging off the shopping cart and just begging to make it to the car.

The idea of pacing can be difficult for us because we want to push through when we’re doing good and it can be difficult to recognize the line we cross that takes us into the descent of pain. How about you…what strategies do you find helpful for pacing and getting tasks done while still achieving the feeling that you’re accomplishing something.


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