Thursday, June 4, 2015

Things aren't that bad

Good Morning… I’ve been up and awake for almost two hours already, but I’ve yet to accomplish anything productive. I’ve been sitting here drinking coffee and trying to get my body to function enough to get busy, but am not making much progress. My Rheumatoid Arthritis has been flaring on-and-off for over a month now and this morning is an especially rough one. My legs ache, my wrist hurts, my entire body is sore and I feel very tired. Admittedly, for the past hour, I’ve been dwelling on how icky I feel and how much I’d rather just go back to bed.  Of course, even though it is my ‘reality”, dwelling or lamenting on my physical discomfort does ABSOLULTELY NOTHING to inspire me to ‘get on with the day” and do what I need to do today, so I’ve been doing what I do most mornings….trying to get myself (with God’s help, prayer, thinking and pondering, etc)…into a place in my mind where I can be energized, motivated, and empowered to “get on with it” and face the day.  This is a daily ritual and part of the reason I get up so early in the morning.

So……as I was just scrolling through Pinterest looking for gardening ideas, the above quote just popped out at me and suddenly, I have my ‘food for thought” today and I’m on my way to making it a good day, regardless of the aches and pains I’m experiencing. The words, “There are people who would love to have your bad days” are incredibly powerful.  They have helped me turn things around and recognize how incredibly blessed I am. 

My toes and feet are hurting and tingling this morning due to inflammation and neuropathy…..but there are people in this world….and in my own life….who have lost a limb due to illness/war/accident.  I bet they would LOVE to feel their toes tingling today.  Yes, I feel pain today…..but how blessed I am to have all my toes and feet….and to be able to walk after years of depending on a cane/walker/electric wheelchair! Thank you, God, that I can walk!

My heels are sore because I have a blister on the back of each of them and they are not healing.  These blisters have been annoying me and bothering me for over a week now and I can’t seem to be able to keep any band-aids on them. Yes, I am conscious of this discomfort at all times, even when I’m not wearing any shoes…..but how blessed I am today that I have well over 60 pair of shoes that I have purchased at garage sales/thrift stores or have been given to me (THANK YOU, group member Stephanie Hundt for the recent additions to my collection!).  For many years I was only able to wear orthopedic slip on shoes; now I have heels in every color! There are many in this world that don’t even have one pair of shoes, or clothes to wear.

I am feeling very fatigued this week due to the RA and I am tired because I haven’t been sleeping well. YES….I am weary…but how blessed I am to have crawled out of a soft, warm bed and have a comfortable lazy boy and a hot cup of coffee as I ‘wake-up” and gather the energy to go take a hot shower.  There are many in this life that struggle with homelessness, or are sleeping in an uncomfortable hospital bed or have been up all night keeping vigil with a loved one/baby who is ill or near death. Others who are fighting for our freedom are catching a few winks in a military bunk/tent. Still others are cold, hungry, or frightened each night when they go to sleep. Thank you, God, for providing for my physical needs with a roof over my head, running water, and heat when it’s cold.

I am expected at work in a few hours and have many things on my plate once I get there. Things have been quite stressful at the office and honestly, I would rather stay home today to work in my garden, enjoy the beautiful sunshine forecasted for today, or float around in my pool…..but how very blessed I am to have a job that I love that provides for my needs, and gives me an opportunity each day to make a difference in someone’s life, and leaves me tired and drained, but feeling quite satisfied at the end of the day!  I was unemployed for 18 months, but this morning I GET to go to work; I GET to wear a cute outfit; I GET to use my gifts/talents to help others and get things done; and I GET to have the weekends off.  Others are struggling with unemployment, are working meaningless jobs with poor working conditions, or dislike their co-workers. Thank you, God, for my job and for those who depend on me, both at work and in my personal life.

There is no question that there are many things about my reality that I would like to be different today and like you, I have my share of burdens/worries/hurts. I could make a list and spend my limited energy this morning feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on those things I don’t like about my life, those who have ‘wronged me” or those things that I think are unfair in this life,  but honestly, how is that going to help me today?  How would it benefit me….empower me…..strengthen me……or fill my day with peace and joy……to dwell on the hurts….the disappointment….the ‘would have/could have/should have’s’…..the weather….the things over which I have NO CONTROL?  I get to choose today to focus on the negative…..or seek the positive and search for the blessings. I can’t control the things that may happen around me today…..but I can choose how I will respond.  

If I choose to focus on my physical pain, or dwell on past hurts, or cling to unforgiveness, resentment, guilt, fear, anger….you name it….. I will give myself every excuse I need to go off my journey or make choices that will cause me to falter. I’ll feel justified in being negative or crabby. I’ll make an excuse to eat when I’m not hungry. I’ll blame others for my bad mood or take things out on someone else.  How is that going to change my life?  Instead….today….. I choose to seek goodness. I choose to realize that what might be a ‘bad day” really isn’t that bad at all when compared to someone else.  I choose to be grateful, and kind, and loving, and while I recognize that I am weak and unable to do this on my own, I am conscious that I have a God that will strengthen me and give me whatever I need to get through the day. I could allow myself to be overcome by how far I need to go…or how hard it is to keep fighting the fight….or…..I could choose to realize how far I’ve come; how strong I am; how blessed I truly am. I chose the latter.

TODAY…. I encourage you to do the same.  Your reality might be very bleak today. Your burden might be extremely heavy. Your life might be full of pain/sadness/difficulty and your road might be long and lonely, but if you really looked around, I’m certain you will find something to be grateful for.  Don’t give in to despair. Don’t lose hope. Don’t let pain, guilt, fear, sadness overcome you.  YOU CAN….change your life….one step at a time.  Things CAN get better… thought at a time.  This too shall pass and better days will be ahead….one hour at a time.  Don’t give up!

On that note….I better drag my sore, aching body to the shower. I’m on a journey………and so are you! Make it a good day!