Living with chronic illnesses for 30 years has taught me how critical work can be to health and well being. That's why I am committed to giving people who live with chronic illness the tools they need to be employed.
Why do I write these posts? It's time consuming and there's the pressure to post consistently to keep readers engaged. Every so often, someone asks me why I do it -- and every so often I ask myself.
After all when you have limited energy, you have to be strategic and use it wisely. Isn't that what I suggest here?
Maybe I'm wondering more this week because I'm taking a week vacation with my husband and I'm sick with a miserable chest cold. It's not an MS flare, eye disease, allergies, no broken bones. Just the kind of sick even healthy people get -- coughing my brains out. But as is typical for MSer's, a virus wipes me out. My kayak lies quiet on the dock as my husband paddles away.
But don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining because it's been lovely to be here together and mostly unplug from the routine and work of life. Then today, I remembered I had a blog to get out. Typically, I write it in advance so it goes out scheduled - - but I ran out of time last week.
So I tore myself away from reading The Bridge: the Life and Rise and Barack Obama (terrific - have you read it?) Which led me to the question I posed at the opening of this post. Why do I do this? And that's when I figured I'd share what I realized in this process.
I write because I have heaps to say on the topic of work while living with chronic illness from decades of doing so. And I write because it's a source of personal empowerment when my body disappoints.
I have a hunch that living in a debilitated state so much of the time can leave you needing to juice your sense of impact -- your personal power -- maybe more than you would have had you been healthy. And I know I'm not alone. Here's a paraphrase from an email I got this week: "No matter how badly my body disappoints me, working gives me a sense that I still have something to add. I never realized how important it is until I got sick." He's a father, grandfather and happily married. But satisfying work is what makes the difference when his body slides down.
I don't glorify work - - it can be toxic or just a slog. But when it's even just satisfying, that can be enormous. And there are many ways to create satisfaction and a sense of competence even with a body that's a source of dissatisfaction.
Do you know what gives you that juice? Can you tap into it?
If you believe someone would enjoy and benefit from this post, please share it. Just click on the + Share button and you will see lots of options for sharing it with friends including email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Thanks!
Building on her experience living with chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis, Rosalind Joffe founded the executive career coaching practice, cicoach.com. Dedicated to helping others with chronic illness develop the skills they need to succeed in their careers, Rosalind firmly believes that living with chronic illness does not preclude living a full and successful life.