Thursday, February 12, 2015

FanX 2015 – Where I Cosplayed as a Healthy Mundane

I'm not sure what you perceive about me from what I write here, but in my daily life I focus on pushing myself beyond my limits. I haven't met a limit I respect yet, and I am always looking for ways to do an end run around them. However, I do recognize limits. I have to. You can't design effective coping strategies if you don't recognize your limits. The important distinction is that recognizing isn't the same as accepting.
For instance, I know that in order to write for a living, I will need to write thousands of words a day—thousands of focused words on a defined project, not random ramblings online. To get there I set goals, such as my current words per day goal, then analyze what needs to change to meet that goal and go beyond it. When I sit down to write, I rarely stop at the minimum goal. The problem is that I don't sit down to write as regularly as I should. That there is my limit—in this case related to ADHD—so any goal that doesn't address that limit won't be accomplished.
Addressing mental limits and making plans to work around them is easy when you get the hang of it, though mastering the coping strategy always takes time. What isn't easy for some reason, at least for me, is recognizing physical limits. Here I am at forty-eight still operating like I'm an eighteen year old with endless stamina and health. What a rude surprise every day is that informs me otherwise.
I do recognize some physical limits. I have a low immunity system, so I tend to get sick a lot. In the past I would work fiercely on the first day I started to recuperate, then relapse. Rinse. Repeat. Nowadays I try to take it easy on my first well day so that I actually heal before hitting the ground running. Today I let myself be pressured into working hard on my first well day after a week or more of illness, and hear I am coughing & miserable again. If I had been wise and stood my ground, I could have done those errands tomorrow with a bit more health. Just like today, however, I don't listen to wisdom when it comes to cons.
Each time I attend a con—most recently FanX—an offshoot of Salt Lake City Comic Con—I spend a week or more recovering. Some people affectionately refer to it as Con Crud, but why do I push myself so hard that I always come down with it? Because I believe I'm supposed to push myself even though I end up ticking and sick before the con even ends. Is it pride? Delusion? Stubbornness? Perhaps all three.
Sometimes I forget that I'm disabled with a chronic motor tic disorder, and sometimes I'm just in denial. This time, though, I've learned my lesson. I will plan on attending only one day of the upcoming Comic Con, then see how my body handles it. I will also arrange my schedule to get a full night's sleep with all projects finished or set aside. By limiting my attendance and planning ahead to reduce my stress leading up to the con, maybe then I'll have a better experience and actually feel eighteen again.
In the meantime, please enjoy these wonderfully talented cosplayers: