181/365 – Watching from the sidelines

Having myasthenia can mean being forced to watch others from the sidelines while they take on a challenge, enjoy something active or help you perform a task. It can be difficult to accept this, but, as I was reminded last night, there are also positives to be found.

When I was younger, watching from the sidelines was my idea of hell. I hated not being in the thick of the action whether that was a basketball game, a school play or a debate on one of many oddball theories at uni. I thought if I wasn’t involved, I was missing out. Or, even worse, that I was failing something. 

Getting past my early twenties, when the world stopped revolving around me you’ll be surprised to hear, I started to accept that watching from the sidelines wasn’t always necessarily a bad thing.  I’m glad I started to accept this before myasthenia came knocking as being easily fatigued can mean you spend a lot more time watching others be active/perform/look after you. I’m sure this gets more and more apparent when you have those little balls of energy in your life called children who always want to play. As I want children, being able to enjoy not being part of the action is essential for my wellbeing moving forward.

As mentioned in the heat wave post yesterday, going to a salsa class on the hottest day of the year was never going to be easy. Going to the gym at lunch was not my smartest move either as it meant I had no spoons left. I made it through the first section of the class, but started to feel dizzy and my legs felt shaky so I decided to sit out of the second half.

Initially I was a bit peeved as I look forward to my weekly class and I didn’t get to dance with Elaine. However, it meant being able to watch her enjoy the music and give smiles and gestures of encouragement when she looked unsure. It meant taking a supportive spectator role and at the end I was bursting with pride. I also experienced joy from watching the other dancers in the class enjoying themselves, not to mention I was able to pick up some new moves from the experienced salsa stars. 

Taking a backseat doesn’t always mean you are missing out – you get to see things that others might miss and you get to witness the joy of others fully. I’ll try to keep this positive POV in mind next time (and there will definitely be a next time) that I’m not well enough to take part in something.   

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