On days like today, I’m reintroduced to my frenemy, Fear. She’s such a bitch.
I’ve been blessed that I’m not much of a worrier. My mother and both of my brothers tend to worry about things, but for the most part for me, when something is done, it’s done for me. When I can’t control an outcome, I tend to move on.
That doesn’t seem to be the case today. Continue reading
Are you content with what your life at this very moment, or are you always striving for more? No, I don’t mean ditching your boyfriend for Johnny Depp (well, maybe…) or your 800 square foot apartment for a roomier version (okay so I could understand if you did). My question to you is lofty, and I can’t really say that I even know what the right answer is. On the one hand, I think it’s healthy and constructive to strive for more, to search for your best self and your best life and then go out and get it. On the other hand, always striving for more may be a goal that cannot be achieved. You may spend your whole life searching for that little bit more, never recognizing the beauty that is your life at this moment.
Let’s just say that contentment is something that I really need to work on, even if I do have my reasons for my current thought process. The main reason that I have a difficult time accepting and being content with my present progress lies within my illness. Although nothing can replace the breakthroughs that medical treatments have brought me, a lot of my recovery is left up to me and my work ethic. Generally, the harder I work, the better I get. The harder I push myself, the less sensitive my legs become and the better I feel.
So let’s juts say that its been engrained in me since age 9 to push past my boundaries. If I wanted something, no matter what it was, I told myself that it was always up to me to get it. I know that a lot of my success in life thus far can be attributed to my determination (and a lot can be attributed to good luck), but also that a lot of my frustration can be attributed to my need for more as well. When I accomplish something, the joy of that achievement is short-lived, especially when it comes to my health and the progress that I make in my return to physical greatness (only kidding… or am I?). It takes me all of five seconds to start working towards the next best thing, and I rarely cherish the progress that I’ve made because every accomplishment pales in comparison to the next goal. If I accomplish standing, I’m already thinking about walking. If I accomplish walking, I’m already contemplating running. If I accomplish running, I’m already mentally entering a marathon… You see where this is going, right?
It’s a really tiring battle trying to find that balance between looking for more and being happy with what you have, a battle that I have yet to find out which side wins or which side is right. In all honesty, this is a question that, although I’ve asked myself every time I get disappointed with my progress, I’ve yet to find the answer.
I realize now that I’m missing everything, that I’m not appreciating the success that I’ve worked so hard at building because I want more than what I have right now. I’m going to start searching for that balance between pushing myself and enjoying the present moment, and I challenge you to do the same if you’re anything like me. That doesn’t mean that we stop striving to become our best selves, only that we recognize this moment as it is in relation to everything else. We recognize our strengths, as well as our weaknesses. We recognize who we were yesterday, who we are today, and who we want to be tomorrow. We recognize where we’ve been and, most importantly, how far we’ve come. We will no longer allow our desire for more to overshadow our lives at this very moment. The life that we have today is full of beauty, and to not recognize and cherish that is an injustice to ourselves.
So here’s my challenge to you (something I’ll be joining in on, too!). Take note of your small victories. It doesn’t have to be a daily activity or a weekly activity; there is no quota to fill. Just make a little note of any accomplishment, no matter how big or small, that you recognize in your life. I’m hoping that in acknowledging such successes, we will learn to be content and appreciative of what we have right now. It may take a year or a lifetime to get to a place where we see every baby step as valuable and recognizable, but it’s a journey that we must take in order to be truly happy and content.
So I’ll go first… Here is my small victory for today: I went to my doctor’s appointment today all on my own, no parents, no boyfriend – what a grown up I am! Going by myself to my doctor’s appointment means that I can get around independently. I can get my chair into the car, drive my car (yay for no tremors!), put my chair back together again at the hospital, and handle whatever the doctor may throw my way on my own. It’s tempting for me to put a disclaimer that this is a really small victory in the grand scheme of things, but I’m not going to let myself think that way anymore, remember? I am grateful for where I am in this moment and this day. I recognize my progress, no matter how big or small it may seem.
So now it’s your turn! GO!
Happy thoughts and best wishes,
Food for thought: You wouldn’t start to climb the next stair before you reached the stair before that, right? So why would you do that in your life? To get where you’re going, you must go through where you are now. You may eventually reach your goal, or you may not; tomorrow is not a guarantee. All that you are guaranteed is this moment. Acknowledge today for what it is, and try not to get down on yourself when you fall down. Every step you take, whether it be forwards or backwards, is valuable all in its own.
This will always leave me momentarily speechless, but there actually are a lot of people who believe that the healthcare system in the United States lives up to its optimal potential. Let’s just say that those people and I aren’t on the same page. Crap, we’re not even reading the same book. We may be in a completely different language, for goodness sake. Continue reading
There are so many invisible victims in the shadow of suffering. It has taken me many years, too many years in fact, to realize just how difficult it must be for those of you that make up mysupport system, those of you who must watch me fall time and time again. I don’t have much experience being on that side of the fence, but I am capable of recognizing that it would be devastating and scary as hell. Our story is no different from yours or your neighbor’s or your great uncle’s in Arkansas. At some point in your life you or someone you love will fall down, and you’ll have to be the one to help them back up. Unfortunately, bad fortune is universal,and it certainly doesn’t play favorites.
So far, everything on this blog has been cheerful. I have good days and bad days, and on most of the bad days I don’t have the energy to write a blog. Only a few people see me on those days, and I’m sure that although they are glad that they could be there for me, they wish they had never seen it. I’m a shell of myself. I don’t laugh, I don’t smile, I don’t joke, I don’t play, I barely even move. I turn on the TV and lose myself because being present is too painful. Every time anything touches my feet, it feels more like someone is slamming in it a door. Every time I take a step, it takes all of my strength to stay upright and not break under the pain.
I could spit out all of the sentimental quotes and movie lines in the world, but it would be in vain. In spite of my tendency to mill through ThinkExist for an hour in search of a quote that explains what I can’t, because if I find a quote that fits, it means somebody else gets it.