“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower” Albert Camus
I like this time of the year, the fresh crisp mornings, changing light and those beautiful rich Autumnal colours ….
When I was younger Autumn signaled the start of evening courses and I would look forward to checking out what was on offer. I was enthusiastic in those days and tried out a myriad of classes from car maintenance ( though I didn’t even have a car!) to spanish to computer programming. Later as a mature student I went to Art college to study Fine Art, which sadly was cut short by my ongoing problems with chronic pain.
This Autumn I am back doing a course – in Pain management run by Chronic pain Ireland , which is on Saturday mornings for nine weeks. I am apprehensive about it, but am also ready give it my best shot . Getting to and from the venue will be an achievement in itself.
After our first session I was truly exhausted but happy to have done it. There was a great sense of solidarity between us all , knowing we all have so much in common. I am looking forward to hearing how others cope and also sharing my own story.
I came away with ideas and plans to put in place. Setting goals is one important aspect of pain management. It takes time to organize yourself and your thoughts around doing this.
The acronym SMART is used as a criteria for setting goals and stands for:
S = specific activity (something active and enjoyable)
M = measureable (how far you or how long or how often you have done the activity)
A = achievable (can do it everyday at chosen time)
R = realistic (possible to do in time and place where you are)
T = time bound (set time for length of activity to reduce unhelpful overdoing or underdoing the activity)
One of my goals for this week is to work on this blog, and hopefully have a new post by the end of the week. I enjoy doing it, and once I make sure to plan how long I will be on the computer and not over-do it I think it is a realistic goal. Of course I often find myself getting absorbed and forget about the time!
Goals can be short term, medium term and long term. For example a medium term goal I have is to go to the local pool once a week and a long term goals is to go away for a holiday, and I mean a real holiday, one that entails getting on a plane! I will achieve this goal, no matter how long it takes me!
Coincidentally our Pain management program started on the same day as the international day against pain. The campaign was called “100 cities against pain” The project was initiated by the ISAL foundation in 2009, and aims at establishing a strong assistance network for pain sufferers. As part of the campaign people with chronic pain worldwide were asked to post selfies supporting the cause. Check out #zeropain15
It looks like I will get this finished before next weeks class. Well done Berni.