A lot changes a lot in seven months.
(I'm referring to the last post)
First off, we don't have Pepper anymore. I didn't have the energy to handle her well or give her what she needed, and Duane didn't have the time. It was really hard, but her trainer took her, and i think she loves it. She has sisters to play with all day. I haven't posted that publicly at Facebook. It was too hard to talk about. (And we pretty much have decided any dog would be more than i could handle. Cats suit me/us much better.)
I've been doing a series at Facebook i'm calling "Life is Good." I had intended it to be for 100 days, i'm thinking i'll go for a year. I wanted to explain why i was doing it, but i didn't want my explanation to distract from what i want to be the focus. I also think i am writing a post longer than i want there, and i didn't want to impose this on anyone.
That is the preamble. Here is the story:
A while back i was really struggling to try and be optimistic. I BELIEVE in positive thinking and that words have power in how we feel, but sometimes maintaining a cheerful attitude is a challenge.
I was bemoaning my situation to someone i know, Rick, and he said, "When i am really struggling, i just remember life is good."
And my self-involved response was, "MY life is good?"
Rick's response, "No, no! LIFE is good." And he told me about reading an article on how we are made from stardust from far away. I didn't follow his explanation very closely, i'm afraid. I think he was talking about something like this from National Geographic. He said that he just thinks this a true miracle and makes him think, "Life is good."
When he began talking, the first thing i thought of was how amazing our green trees look against the blue, blue sky.
Somehow, the beautiful green (and sometimes in the autumn the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows) against the blue sky is calming to me, peaceful, amazing. When i first think "Life is good," in a broader sense, outside of me, the first thing i think of is green trees against a deep blue sky.
Now, i don't want anyone to think i don't appreciate things in my life. I do. The list of what i appreciate is very long. The list of limitations and things i can't do is very long, too. Sometimes it is hard to live with. Also, it is too easy to focus on the negatives in life. My feed at Facebook is full of sad, disturbing, appalling things. Children abused, our earth devastated, dangerous corporations influencing our corrupt government, people treating other people in abhorrent ways. I feel it important that i not put my head in the sand and ignore all this, but without balance reading all this is like wading through sewage while drinking water that is 1/4 salt.
On top of all of this, each and every day i feel inept and powerless with the limitations i fight.
There HAS to be balance or life begins to look ugly, barren, and evil. So i quite took to Rick's suggestion to look at LIFE as good. Not my life, not what is happening in the world, but LIFE - the stars and the trees and the seasons and the things i'm thankful for and kittens playing and so much more. I see it as "let's look at things in perspective." Yes there is bad, evil, frustrating, harmful, noxious, disheartening, repugnant, horrid, discouraging, wicked things happening each and every day. But the bigger perspective is that while fighting all those things and dealing with the norms of everyday living, it is important to remember the good in life.
Now, i've not done this perfectly. In my mind, to do it perfectly would be to do it in an unbiased manner, not letting myself intrude much. But i have not. Every post is my opinion or interests after all. Sometimes i've gone farther and stated things for which i'm grateful. And recently, in looking for an old photo, i scrolled through all the pics i've used since i began this project. They all made me smile; i am so glad i did this.
Someone who did this really well, far better than i, was Sara Frankl (Gitz). I followed her blog, Choose Joy, while she was alive. I guess her sister has kept it going, but i haven't followed since Gitz died (five years ago now). That girl was amazing. She lived each and every day in pain, housebound, with far more limitations than i, and she lived and glowed her "Choose Joy" motto with grace and style. She also had far more faith than i. Her faith seemed to sustain her in ways i don't understand. To me, she was a hero no doubt.
I am not a hero. I'm an everyday person trying to handle what life throws at me. I'm graced by a wonderful, loving, caring, thoughtful husband. And supportive family and friends. And i'm trying to look at life from a positive (or at least balanced) perspective. And i'm sharing with with friends who care on Facebook.
Thank you for reading, for caring, for being a friend. Life IS Good !
I do not carry a diagnosis at this point that is helpful. Technically, it is ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome), but it is likely more than that or something different. This is also idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause. I believe it is also iatrogenic, meaning i believe the medical treatment given me in the past (which i agreed to and therefore shoulder blame) is most of the cause.
I can only be upright for a few hours a day. If you meet me in town or at a knit group or at church you wouldn't know that i'm using ALL my energy to be out and about. I can do some things. But keeping up with the bare basics of housework is the extent of what i can do most of the time. If you happen to come to my house, you will almost certainly see me in the recliner, waving you in through the sliding glass door.
At times i feel sorry for myself, and at times i'm depressed. It is a struggle each and every day. But i have NOT given up hope. Depression is not the biggest factor here. I continue to try new treatments and hope for answers. I WANT to do things. Part of the frustration is that if i go do the things i want to do, i have no energy left and it takes days to recover. I still want to live, but i have to balance my need to live and do things with my ability to actually do them and not dig myself into a hole. (And, i love you, but please don't immediately give advice. We have spent so much money on everyone's pet treatments. I don't have the heart to list what i've tried so far.)
If you want a better idea of what i'm fighting, you can read this: The Spoon Theory (but you don't look sick) I do not have lupus. I was tested for that, again, recently. But the limitations i fight are similar.
It isn't perfect. She implies that "normal people" have unlimited energy. She actually states, ". . . when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply . . . " (of energy). I think this idea is a downfall because the reality is everyone gets tired and reaches the end of the day thinking they just can't do more. But beyond that, i think she has a good (long) statement here.