Six months ago today, my life came to an abrupt halt. Hard to even describe the horror of being given a life altering diagnosis. It is like some after school, television show and you are the sad, sick, slumped shoulder, poorly dressed star who is going downhill fast. The make up crew has been instructed to “do” your face pale, dull, lifeless, with dark circles around your eyes. When people discover it is you, they look at you with pity and are afraid of what might rub off on them. It brings you to your knees and that day, you are given, free of charge, this huge, old-fashioned, no wheels, extremely heavy, dull, scared, ugly, stinky pink lined, beat up suitcase bulging with emotional, depressing, angry, upsetting, awful, horrid issues. The baggage is so heavy, you can hardly move around freely. Your joints ache with the thought of just getting out of bed. Simple tasks are all but impossible. You pray and wish for a day when you can vacuum or make the bed or prepare a lovely dinner for your husband.
Fast forward six months. Many things have changed. I have benefitted greatly from educating myself and I/we have made enormous lifestyle upgrades. I have chosen to be healthy and move in a direction of wellness. Now, hold your horses one minute. No, I am not positive every minute of every day. I have made the choice to be grateful for every minute of every day. Sure, I am still adjusting and still get way too tired just getting the laundry out of the dryer, but I can do it all by myself. It takes a couple of days to recover from driving myself around to do errands, but I can it all by myself. I can and do clean out the chicken coop once a week. I brush the dog every other day. I can make dinner. I am living my life again. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have little or huge meltdowns. That doesn’t mean that I don’t stumble and have to spend a day or two “resting”. geesh. It means I feel like I am living a more happily on purpose, filled life.
The thing about going through hell (hell is all the horrid , ugly, painful, barbaric treatments, nerves, humiliation, embarrassment and getting kicked over and over when I was at my lowest) and walking over coals, (coals are the crappy people who spit in my face and laughed at me, and left me out to dry and “couldn’t do sick” and thought I wouldn’t be here six months later, never could visit me and gave up on me), is that you get to reward yourself by surviving 6 whole months! I have earned the prizes. I deserve to celebrate the six month victory. Yes, I just typed that, I DESERVE to celebrate. It is my party and I have earned every single, special, happy, charming, interesting, indulgent gift.
buying new shoes with three-inch heels to wear to a wedding, completing a hike, vacuuming the house and the car in the same day, drinking wonderful healing juice daily, taking the dog swimming, weeding my plants and vegetables, buying cowgirl boots, drying lavender that I grew to give to friends, “wasting” time reading murder mysteries, painting my toenails luscious colors with sparkles, finding things to laugh at daily, making donations to charities and causes that bring me good feelings, sending notes and cards and gifts to people who need a little nudge in the “happy” department, getting sunshine everyday, dipping your toes in a snow melt fed river, sewing, baking, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, making the bed, cleaning house, making gifts for two grandgirlies, telling people I love them and am grateful they are in my life
planning ahead. planning a hike, planning a gift to give, planning trips, planning to visit family, planning on what color flowers to plant for fall, planning what to wear for a trip, planning ahead is a gift unto itself. When you have everything taken away in the blink of an eye, when you are sick, planning is the last, very last thing on your “to do” list.
I still have baggage. However, I now have a modern, lightweight version. My suitcase has wheels that swivel. It has extra huge expandable zip pockets for oodles of good things. I love the color and oh good gravy, it is filling up fast. The quality is second to none. It has a special compartment for lots and lots of new sassy shoes and boots. This particular suitcase has the promise of trips that are ahead for us. I love the anticipation of taking a trip. My stomach gets all giddy in a good way. It has a special zipper compartment for sparkly bracelets and vitamins and saucy colored nail polish. Oops, no room for canned peas, nasty people, ugly shoes, boring books, unhealthy foods, doctors that are not enlightened, mean people who are not living a grateful life. I have chosen to fill my suitcase up with all sorts of grateful HAPPY!
My strength did not come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself up when I was knocked down.