This past weekend I had the opportunity to volunteer for Knights of Veritas programming during Tacoma Maritime Fest. For me, it was a free trip out of town guaranteed to inspire me. For Knights, they were able to have and set of eyes watching their area while doing programming.
The day was so much fun… but I had frequent reminders of why, as a rule, I don’t vend at public events. I don’t function well in noisy environments. I perceive every sound to be louder than what others experience and some frequencies are actually painful. Also, I have difficulty blocking out background noise, so trying to focus on one person enough to maintain a conversation is hard- and exhausting. The more my energy I expend the worse my fibromyalgia symptoms become… and the longer it takes to recover. Then, when you factor in a severe reaction to cigarette smoke (which aggravates the fibro), I don’t suppose it’s any wonder that my body is still- days later- recovering.
All that being the case, it was a beautiful day…. and, as always, my coping strategies helped me maintain my sense of humor. No matter what, no matter when, no matter how bad the pain levels may get or overstimulated I am…. I can always find something positive on which to focus my thoughts when I don’t think I can cope another second. This time, the inspiration for my positive thought came from a nearby boat: the EXIT.
Every moment I had the impulse to run away from the sounds, cigarette smoke and even pain I would just look out over the water at “my” EXIT, often pausing long enough to take a picture,… imagining that soon it was going to carry me away to a quiet restful place until I recovered. Just that thought, that hope, that focus on the symbolism of escape was enough to keep my good humor going all day long. I am so grateful to the owner of that boat for being there and providing an easy visual reminder.
In retrospect, even as I continue to recover from being at Tacoma Maritime Fest, I still consider the day a wonderful one. I met great people, saw wonderful things and had a fantastic time. I even found inspiration for some new and upcoming jewelry designs (including one which will come to Etsy next week)!