Sunday 26 October 2014

Gardening with ME: weather and energy

You could say I've been missing presumed tired in the garden this month. I'm aware that End of Month View is coming up and I feel I have little to report.

As mentioned in a previous post, I was travelling for much of September and this has meant I've had to spend much of October resting. Whilst I've started to recover mental energies, physically I still am exhausted. For example, after having a shower I need a hour of rest just to get back from complete exhaustion to general exhaustion.

In the last few days I have felt like I could do a little bit in the garden. I did manage to pick some of the beans I spoke about in the French Beans post, picking for 10 minutes, resting for 20 minutes, picking for another 10 minutes and so forth, over the space of 1.5 hours. They aren't all picked, and I know I need, and want to pick them, but I've been holding off. I've finally worked out why. It's the weather.

I wouldn't consider myself a fair weather gardener. In the past (pre ME) I've definitely been out there in freezing weather and downpours. Gardening in colder weather uses more energy, and this is the case for people who are well, let alone people who have ME/a chronic illness. Battling the elements and the temperature slows you down, and you have to put more physical, and mental, energy, into getting any task done in these conditions. When you have a chronic illness you only have so much energy, and using some of your energy to deal with the weather means a lot less remains for gardening.

The cold wind and grey skies have been putting me off. Part of me has hoped that the next day might at least be sunny, even if cool. Sunshine always makes it easier to garden! But the next day arrives and it's the same as the day before.

So tomorrow, as long as I feel I have a bit of energy, I'm going to bite the trowel and get myself out in the garden, regardless of the sky being blue or grey. I might only be out there for two 10-minute sessions with 20 minute breaks inbetween, but at least I will have got out there and gardened. Because I've remembered that even if it is cold and grey, and this sucks up quite a bit of the little energy I have, I will enjoy having been in the garden. And I'll feel good about it after when I'm back in bed having a recovery nap.

UPDATE Monday 27th October: Despite another grey cloudy day, I encouraged myself to get out there and in a short time I got the beans picked. It was worth it. Happiness. Now for a rest :)

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I welcome your comments and thoughts. And if you blog about gardening with ME/a chronic illness, link to this post in your blog, and leave a comment below with a link to your post, so we can all find each other.

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