Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Keeps You Sane?

Hello to everyone! Sorry I've been off-line for a while. I appreciate folks checking up on my to make sure I'm still alive.

For the last few weeks, I was hit with above-normal fatigue levels. I recently picked up a copy of “The MS Workbook – Living Fully with Multiple Sclerosis” and Chapter Two is titled “Getting Things Done: Managing Your Time and Energy.” Of course it deals with FATIGUE. There is a wonderful diagram illustrating ‘The Vicious Cycle’ that shows how fatigue, changes in thinking (can’t do multiple tasks, cognitive problems, e.g.), and stress (demanding people, demanding situations, doing too much, e.g.) all interfere with getting things done.

When I’m hit with fatigue, then everything gets harder. Work gets harder and more frustrating. The normally irritating people become more irritating. Then the frustration and irritation just leads to more fatigue. Then I get frustrated about the fatigue and the frustration leads to (you guessed it) more fatigue. And the circle goes round and round until I’m circling the drain!

When you add the MS fatigue’s vicious cycle to my current re-assessment of my life’s value, then major career dissatisfaction is born. I’ve been working with some other books to help me redefine a career path, and I’ve decided that it is time to get out of the corporate world and start using my limited energy on satisfying work. Something that makes a difference to real people, and not already filthy rich vice-presidents and corporate suck-ups.

Thus the enrollment in Drexel U’s Masters in Library and Information Science program. I have no idea if this is going to lead to a new career, but it sure is a distraction from my boring, mindless, stagnating crappy job and aggravating, insecure, gotta-prove-I’m-the-best-to-impress-the-boss people I work with.

I love this college course so far. The program is all on line so I can work when I feel like it. It is NOT an at-your-own-pace like a correspondence course so I have a lot of work and deadlines to meet. But gosh it is so much fun to learn new things and my classmates are interesting. They hail from Alaska to California through the west, mid-west, all the way to New York City. There are about 25 students and we range in age from early 20's to mid 40's. Some of computer saavy, some are not.

This course has been keeping me sane in my insane world. What keeps YOU sane?


  1. Joan, you are assuming I am sane.... some would beg to differ. lol
    Even before MS I was contrary to ordinary.

  2. Joan,I love the fact you are going to school. I thought of that about a year ago then my ms started getting bad with the memory and I figured it can't be done. As far as being sane, it changes daily. Lately not so sane.

  3. Joan, I can only second and third Bubbie and Sharon's comments! And I, too, am so happy for you that you have found a return to school/learning such a delight.

    I was going to say what keeps me sane are long fingernails and a tight grip, but that's not entirely true. Oddly, what keeps me sane IS my work, which is dealing with the "insane" (hate that word, but it works here)...every day at my job, I am reminded of what true "insanity" looks like and I sober up to the notion my life ain't half bad!

    Really understand your blog sabbatical, but selfishly hope you will continue to write...

    Linda D. in Seattle

  4. FATIGUE ... yes. Nasty little devil, born of the lower planes of MS. It is the single most debilitation symptom I have to deal with. But persistence ... perseverance no less, keep me going. Earned me a noble title of 'Young Curmudgeonly Coot'.

  5. Dear Young Curmudgeonly Coot: Thanks for the laugh!

    Linda, Sharon, Bubbie- I think you are telling me that sanity is overrated!

  6. Joanie - Two things keep me sane. One is my husband who I am so grateful to have. The other, is my job. It keeps me thinking hard all day. I am doing a high level stress position (because I'm doing a college degree job without the degree) but at the end of each day, I'm literally brain fried. Then my poor husband has to put up with my brain melt down on the weekends when I make coffee and forget to add the water!

  7. It is my professional opinion that both Joan & Giggles are definitly NOT SANE!! So why try to find sanity when it is a losing battle?
    Professionally Yours,
    Psycho Susan

  8. PS...I guess I should say that they are my sisters! I've had a lifetime to analyze them!