Multitasking Redefined: How I Balance My Activity Levels

Multitasking Redefined: How I Balance My Activity Levels
Before fibromyalgia, I was a champion multitasker. At one time, I held a full-time administrative position, attended college in the evenings, and was the sole transportation for my soccer-playing son, as my husband traveled during the week for his job. I also attended a rehearsal one evening a week and sang in the church choir on Sunday mornings. Keep in mind that this was decades ago, before the advent of the internet, when college students like me were commonly found doing research in public libraries. I often ate my meals — which I cooked from scratch, as few ready-made alternatives existed — with a book in hand. While potatoes boiled, I completed a statistics assignment, rewashed a grass-stained soccer uniform, and rushed to pick up my son from practice on time. Whew! I get tired just thinking about it. And then fibromyalgia symptoms struck. It didn't happen overnight. I lived in denial for years. However, in time, they created a new normal for me. I still multitask, but I define it differently than before. More than one major activity within 24 hours now qualifies as multitasking for me. And how do I define a major activity? It’s anything that requires getting dressed and looking presentable to the world. Attending a necessary or social activity qualifies — things like a meal with a friend, a movie, or a medical appointment. The latter task qualifies in two ways. There’s the “looking presentable” part, which may be questionable when I’m feeling particularly bad. (I have shown up at my physiatrist’s office with my nighti
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