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Lupus work-life balance in special life events and celebrations

Posted Oct 16 2011 12:20am

Life's special events and celebrations

Life’s special events and celebrations present special challenges to lupus patients.  These special family times and events, such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays can tax the limited resources of the most balanced person, let alone a person facing extra challenges from a chronic auto-immune disease, like lupus.  Intentionally acknowledging physical and emotional limits, and planning effectively to deal with limits, can help minimize the exhaustion and possible flares after special or  extraordinary life events.

Planning time to rest, lighten work schedules before trips and events, and allowing recovery time afterward can greatly improve the health outcome for lupus patients.  Before and after non-routine events, I intentionally schedule a partial work day to allow for preparation.

This week, we celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary.  My planning for date night out with my husband included planning some time off from work to permit extra special primping and beautifying for the fun dinner out.  So, I communicated with my boss and scheduled my Friday telecommute for a shorter 4-hour half-day.

Much-needed manicure and pedicure

This allowed me time to go out in the early afternoon and get a much-needed manicure and pedicure, which was a pleasant gift from my husband to help make the whole day more special.  I actually had time left to coordinate my outfit and special makeup and hair touches without feeling rushed.

In this way, my preparation activities became and important part of our whole day’s celebration, and proved to be quite rejuvenating and enjoyable.  Amazing foot and hand massages were enjoyed during my manicure and pedicure, and helped me feel very refreshed and relaxed.  There was plenty of time in the afternoon left for leisurely special hair fixing and makeup touches.  By evening, early day lupus physical and mental challenges had melted away over the hours, and our fun date night began filled with energy and my best physical and mental well-being.

We had such a wonderful evening together.  Our before dinner stroll through a nearby plaza included stepping into the jeweler’s shop for a (lovely) bracelet purchase.  We sauntered on, momentarily slowing our steps to drink in the balmy night air, the smell of roasting popcorn, and the scene of relaxed folks gathered on the park lawn enjoying an old movie musical under the stars.

Unhurried candlelight dinner together

We enjoyed an unhurried dinner at Seasons 52, positioned just within ear shot of a nearby skillful jazz musician at the piano bar, and her occasional quiet serenades.  A fitting backdrop for a pair of musicians to share a romantic anniversary meal.

In our dinner chatter, we contemplated 31 years of God’s blessings, thankful for beautiful fruit of joy and love maturing throughout our shared lives.

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