So said…. well pretty much everyone at some point in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, completed posthumously by Brandon Sanderson with 2013’s A Memory of Light. Bear with me, there is indeed a point to referencing what is held by many (if not myself) to be the greatest modern fantasy epic.
I had a complex love-hate relationship with the series over the ten years on-and-off of my reading it. I still maintain that the first four or five books are wonderful, and then there’s a sharp drop off in quality for me. I gave up (I thought for good) after the eleventh volume Knife of Dreams.
A few years later however I was drawn back in by picking up The Gathering Storm in a three for two offer as it was the least worst option for the free book. I can’t quite say why, but Sanderson’s own foreword and the words from the publisher Orbit re-kindled my interest. For whatever reason, I couldn’t quite turn away in the face of such overwhelming love and respect for the work and the author. I felt I owed it an attempt at least. I flew through it and the next volume Towers of Midnight. Troubled though the relationship may have been, I once again felt it needed the closure of the final book.
(There might have been a *squee* the first time I saw this. Image from Orbitbooks.net)
I read A Memory of Light in two days flat. Was it perfect? No, but then nothing is and Sanderson had a mountain of expectation to contend with. Was it the closure I wanted? Absolutely. I had uttered several times the fact that if the series didn’t end with a version of the iconic paragraph with which every volume began then I would count it a crime. I needn’t have worried, because Sanderson and Jordan before him were never going to be foolish enough to not do so. As was written, “There are no endings to the Wheel of Time.”
Time is something I’ve been thinking about, because I'm pretty poor at maintaining a calm relationship with it. Despite knowing the limitations of my body and its perpetually low spoon count, I still have an expectation to be able to accomplish everything in the initial (often unreasonable) time frame I give myself.
I’ve posted about the exercise routine I’ve taken up before, and I try to do that three to four times a week. Usually this works out reasonably well, but there are days when I'm so tired that it would be foolish to attempt it because the only likely result would be an injury and/or a flare up. However, when this happens I can’t help but feel I'm a day behind in terms of fitting enough sessions in. In essence, I feel that I'm constantly running out of time. Then of course there’s the wrong time of the month when the whole idea goes pear-shaped for the week.
This feeling carries through to simpler things too. I’ve always been someone who was up with the lark (half past 8 was a cracking lie in, in my book) but more often than not I sleep in much longer at weekends now unless I set an alarm. I can’t quite escape the feeling I’ve wasted half the day, even if I do feel better for the extra sleep which I obviously needed.
I think, in essence, I just don’t do very well with being tired.
The way I’ve tried to combat this is by a given point in a day (particularly a work day) I can just about tell how tired I'm going to be come the evening. Rather than getting to the evening and then being annoyed at my failure to manage to do what I wanted to get done, be it exercise, house work or whatever else, I hit this given point in the day and I mentally decide to give myself the evening off. It sounds too simple, but I can guarantee it works. You haven’t therefore failed to do anything, because the time off has been given like a gift. You’re not spending the evening on the sofa because you’re being lazy; you’re doing so because you have that gifted evening off.
(An evening off: gift wrap optional. Image from esse.com)
This proceeds into how much of something I'm able to do. A little of a task completed still makes me feel better than not doing anything at all, so I do sneak the odd bit into my “evenings off” just for the sake of my own sanity. I still can’t sit and look at a pile of ironing without going slightly barking in my need to get it finished. I'm learning, albeit very slowly.
At the end of the day though, what’s the worst that could happen? If I have a night off from exercise then I just need to accept that the aching may be worse the following day, and I’ll tackle it when I feel able. If the ironing doesn’t get completely finished, does anyone die? Do world-ending paradoxes begin to spring up?
What actually happens is that the cat ends up sleeping on it, which is irritating but not quite so disastrous. I did have some small modicum of revenge last weekend though as she was packed off to the vet to get her claws trimmed…. That’ll learn you, moggy.
I’m house proud and I like a house to be clean but I can either berate myself silly for my lack of spoons, thus leading to probably more fatigue and negative feeling, or I can just accept that we live with a very fluffy cat so a certain amount of cat hair is unavoidable. Even when I’ve just cleaned, she rolls all over before you can say “Stop it, I’ve just vacced that carpet!” Which she resolutely ignores.
So, if the wheel (or Wheel, depending on how you like to think) keeps turning regardless of how engaged you are with it, why not step off every so often? A little “me” time and relaxation certainly never made anything worse.
To fellow Wheel of Time readers, I will add just one more thing. Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.*
Do you find it difficult to take evenings/days off? How do you approach it?
Wishing you all many spoons. xxx
Wishing you all many spoons. xxx