When you think of investment your mind goes straight to things of monetary value, like shares, stocks and property. You only invest what is deemed most valuable and for most people it probably is money. But for me it’s a little different, as the most valuable assets in my mind are the two things I have least of — energy and time.
Western society teaches us to value money, and I always have. My parents taught me how to save my hard-earned dollars and to think ahead for a future I might aspire to have. In the back of my mind has always been the dream to invest in a house to call my own. But I’ve let that take back seat to a more significant type of investing.
My dad always told me that time is the most valuable commodity we have, as it comes but once and no matter how much money you have, it can’t be bought.
Lupus forced me to revaluate my life trajectory, as now life wasn’t just a seemingly endless path. Not only was there an end, but there also was a potential cause, and it left me with no choice but to face my mortality.
With lupus alongside, time is most definitely not my friend. My life is a race against time and every day as the end becomes just that little bit closer, I’m trying to ensure I’ve spent my most precious resources wisely.
It was around August last year when I realized what it meant to be chronically and perpetually tired. I remember days where coming home from an eight-hour shift at work left me physically exhausted. While my mind merely needed some time to regroup before being ready to go again, only a couple hours later, I found myself in an unfamiliar predicament; though mentally I was up and raring to go, my body just wouldn’t follow suit. It didn’t have the energy.
I spent months sleeping until late morning only to get up and kick myself for losing another day to my fatigue. But finally I reached a point where I decided, though it would come at a cost, it was time to invest my time and energy more carefully.
If lupus was going to make me feel weak, I’d do everything in my power to feel strong! It started with one personal training session a week, and initially it was hell. I had to set at least two alarms to make sure I was up and on the other side of town by 9 a.m., and the short cardio warm-up was grueling.
Five months of sweat, early mornings and determination later, I’m stronger and fitter than ever and on top of my game. To be where I am came at a cost, I paid in the loss of sleep and energy, in afternoon naps that were anything but optional, and, of course, in my limited and hard-earned money.
But this investment in my body also has paid handsomely in dividends. For pushing myself I earned more spoons and the ability to get up that extra half-hour earlier. I earned the chance to take on more physical activity, to grow passion for sport again and to love every second.
I know too well that at any given moment, all that I have gained in these months of hard work could be taken in one fell swoop. But I learned the true worth of energy; and while it’s mine, I’m running with it for as long as and as far as I can.
It all started with a small amount of commodities and sheer determination to make a better future for myself. I’m invested in the one house that I’m stuck with for the rest of my life – my body. And while some of the interior might be starting to deteriorate, I won’t wait for the whole thing to collapse and fall apart.
Maybe my investment won’t pay off in the long run, and maybe all my hard work won’t make a difference to my future. But I’m pouring time and energy into the present on the off chance that if I’m lucky maybe, just maybe, it might.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.