Thursday, March 13, 2014

Choosing Joy

Something just occurred to me on the drive to work today. It is so very much easier to choose to live a life of joy when you are feeling better.

In my case that means my non-working lung isn't always interrupting my daily activity like it did just a few short months ago. It's pretty darn amazing how much different life is when you can breath. Oxygen is so important!

Recently I've done some simple things I didn't think I'd ever get to do again. Work in the rose garden. Go grocery shopping (by myself - with no scooter). Get up in the morning and shower and get dressed and eat breakfast and pack a lunch and go to work - all in a row with no breaks to stop and catch my breath. Load boxes in the car (gotta work on those 100 things).

And walk. In the store. At school. In the park. Just last weekend when kiddo was over the three of us went down to the park by the river here in Marsing. We made one loop around the paved path and I wanted to do more. So under the bridge we went, past the first boat dock and all the way to the second boat dock. For most folks it would seem all that walking might be just a short little jaunt. But for me with one operating lung, rheumatoid arthritis, and a knee needing replaced it was a big little jaunt. I was walking a pretty brisk-for-me pace so there were lots of catch-my-breath breaks. But I have to say I pushed myself, was proud of myself, and it felt good to do something I thought I'd never get to do again. (Now I just need to make it a habit.)

Even took the camera down, hoping to catch some pictures of ducks. The best picture came as I was backing out of the driveway before we even left the house. I think we're gonna have babies around again.

How can I not be joyous?

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2011

Being that today is March 3, and three years ago exactly was March 3, I figured I might as well look back to that day. Some of you were around back then and some of you weren't, but in either case let's take a walk down memory lane to 2011. To the first post ever of this blog. My, how times have changed.

Day 1 of 365
So the last 18 months have been rough.

First there was a back injury that make it difficult to do most daily activities. Then came the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Total knee replacement surgery was next. Then, a root canal gone bad requiring gum surgery. Took a year's leave of absence from work to help expedite my healing. Broken finger. Torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and subsequent surgery. Followed by torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder and subsequent surgery. I've spent 17 of the last 18 months (including this month) in physical therapy and have taken more pain medicine than a person should. Back issues still plague me, my knee doesn't bend completely, I still can't raise both arms above my head, and the chemotherapy medication I'm taking for the rheumatoid arthritis isn't improving my condition.

And I'm 45 years old.

Despite the fact that I have more bad days than good and my body is failing me, I am thankful.

I'm thankful for my family. For my husband who is now the breadwinner for the family. For my daughter who let me come live with her for my last surgical recovery. For the cat that climbs up on me when I'm not feeling so great. For the roof over my head. For the view of the river I have from my living room window. For being able to, on some days, do something that will benefit others. Collecting coupons to send to military families. Blankets for babies in the hospital. Cookies for my physical therapists.

But over these last 18 months I haven't felt so thankful. Out of work, in pain, struggling to get through each day.

But today that is going to change.

For the next year, I have a goal. A picture goal. A take-a-picture-every-day-to-see-that-you-have-lived kind of goal.

Every day, I will take a picture of something I did, created, saw that was interesting (or even boring), somewhere I went, or anything else I decide to capture at the time.

I don't know where this will lead me, but hope it will lead me back into the land of the living instead of the land of the existing.

Fast forward to present day. Here's something I found this week on Pinterest (my new obsession). How appropriate. Happy blog anniversary!