What would you do with 20% more?

What would it take to make you happier?

People asked this question usually think of money. It is a cliche that most people do not feel wealthy enough – they think that if they had just 20% more money, they would feel secure and be happy.

And most people WOULD be happy – for a while. If they are very careful. If they don’t let their expectations and expenditures swell up to fill the larger abilities.

I may have been granted 20% more energy.

And 20% LESS brain fog.

No, I didn’t suddenly decide to exercise, get myself into shape, and then find that daily life is easier. I wish! If it were a matter of willpower and the desire to be fitter, I would have done it many years ago – and as often as necessary. In fact, sometimes I wonder why I keep trying – with the almost imperceptible improvement someone with CFS faces: the amount of energy expended in not becoming completely sedentary is completely disproportionate to the payback.

Over two years of yoga – and there are still weeks where I can’t do the class, but spend the entire time stretching and doing corpse pose (and if you don’t have a teacher who’s okay with that, you have the wrong teacher. Thank you, Morgan Mahoney!)

I lost a lot of weight – basically didn’t eat for a year – and it didn’t make that much of a difference! Not energy-wise, anyway.

And I keep trying to learn to walk again because I’m stubborn, and even tiny improvements give me hope. (My goal: go hiking again in the mountains around Seattle. Immediate goal? Walk around the block. Yup – got a ways to go.)

But this little B1 for CFS experiment – essentially flooding your body with B1 in megadoses so that even if the active metabolic pathways for the body’s uptake of B1 in cells doesn’t work (which requires 1-2 mg. of B1 daily for normal people), there is still enough passive B1 in the bloodstream so the cells can get it*.

So, finally, I get to the topic of this post: What do I DO with 20% more energy?

It is very easy to accidentally fritter it away – after all, I occasionally got ‘good days’ in the past. Since they didn’t last, all the wonderful plans that the energy allowed me to make never got executed – because the next day had higher demands, or the next day was a crash (the usual course for this disease).

The first thing that happened was that I had enough energy to clean my desk AND DUST IT! I work better in a clean environment, and it had been months: if there is a pile of papers there and on the floor, it is indicative of not having enough energy to put a single piece of paper in its place.

Then I started noticing it was a little bit easier to do the 1001 little things necessary to run a household: vacuum occasionally, run a load of laundry, feed myself, fill the ice-cube trays, make a trip to the basement to get something – and actually bring it back with me, post some mp3 files – created with Garageband – on our Girl Guide Facebook page…

Now I’m trying to face this question systematically: it’s been a week or so now. It appears to be continuing (though I’m still titrating the exact dose and dose schedule*). I have a backlog of 24 years of STUFF and stuff to do. What do I do – and what do I do first?

It’s a tremendous gift. I’ve hoped and prayed for it for decades. I am profoundly grateful – at the same time I’m terrified it will turn out to be nothing.

I want to use my 20% more for writing.

I’m trying to figure out how to do that – and I’m starting with the WeSeWriMo. This is one of the extra blog posts for the challenge month.

What would YOU do with 20% more energy?

*This is what I’m understanding from total internet searches. I am not a doctor of medicine and have NO medical training beyond Girl Guide First Aid.


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