Driven by impossibly busy New Yorkers/Londoners, this involves combining two or three activities to fit more into your life.
Or in our case, to ensure that we can still keep up with our friends/hobbies/interests despite fatigue and other pesky physical symptoms getting in our way.
The secret of socialising lite is to make your free time work for you. For people with MS, this translates as making those rare pockets of energy work harder for us. Even before I knew this was an actual trend (ooh, get me, chuck me a copy of Elle), I’d already started to do this – like combining catching up with a good friend and a shopping trip to town or asking my mum to help me in the garden, having a natter and putting the world to rights over a glass of wine afterwards. Killing two birds with one stone, but in a good way.
I miss doing what I used to do spontaneously, so this is a great compromise. Plus there’s an added bonus of still feeling that I’m part of life, of society. Spending so much time at home has made me more aware that I need to get out, even just for a short while.
A more extreme form of socialising-lite is time-capping friends, which at first glance might seem rude, but with all of us juggling busier lives it’s much more acceptable. Long gone are the days I’d go out for whole evenings, so rather than become a hermit (tempting), I say to my friends that I’d really love to see them, so how about we try that new wine bar/cafe/restaurant/exhibition and catch up for an hour? I get to see a good friend and try a new experience.
Time-capping doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy spending time with my friends, it just means that I don’t want to wait for both of us to be free for a couple of hours/when I’ve got energy/when I’m not pinned to the sofa with fatigue.
My next plan is to combine exercise and friends. So if anyone would like to pop over and join me in staring at my kettlebell (aka the doorstop), willing it to move by telekinesis, you’re more than welcome. You bring the biscuits, I’ll put the kettle on…