A friend was telling me the other day about her bucket list – 57 things to do in her 57th year. It got me thinking what mine would be, and I realised something that surprised me – I don’t have one. I can’t easily think of half a dozen things I seriously want to do, let alone 57. So have I led an amazingly adventurous life? Not particularly. The things I’ve wanted to do – riding on a beach, walking with hawks, going to Glastonbury etc, were mainly achievable and mainly done. So maybe I’m just really dull? Maybe. But it’s also possible that I simply take pleasure in life as it happens to me.
Which you’ll know, if it describes you, is tired all the time.
It started in my 20s and the doctor said “what do you expect when you have children?”. Continued in my 30s when the doctor said “what do you expect when you’re living in a caravan and building your own home?”. In my 40s, moving towards “what do you expect at your age?”.
What I expected, all the way through, was to be able to function like everyone else I knew. I needed 9-10 hours sleep just to not fall apart. When I listened to the “too much sleep makes you tired” argument and settled for 8, it made me ill. When I tried exercise, because “that gives you energy”, it made me ill.
I’ve worked part-time most of my adult life, and still rarely went out in the evenings as overdoing it can leave me wrecked for the next couple of weeks. I rarely commit myself to a busy day or evening in advance, as I need to see how I am on the day and don’t want to let people down.
I have a good brain (she says modestly) but have never had a career; I can’t sustain the necessary drive. There are so many things I would love to have done, but just surviving and looking after my family have been my priorities.
In my 40s I discovered I had a B12 deficiency, and moving on from there found that frequent (twice weekly) B12 injections make a big difference. I still have considerably less energy than most people I know, but I’m no longer bone tired all day, every day, every minute. I have my life back (sort of). But it has left me frustrated with all the missed opportunities, all the things I could and would have done if I hadn’t been TATT.