Monday, January 13, 2014

The Breath in My Lungs

source unknown

I was browsing Pinterest today and saw this quotation, and it really made me think.  Even if I've spent the greater part of a year in bed, spent more than a few years in serious pain, was I still living?

At first I petulantly kicked my blankets and said NO, followed by words that got the point across more eloquently but certainly not as elegantly.

But OK, I thought.  I have nothing else I can do right now but lie here and wait for my meds to kick in....let's try the "glass is half full" mentality on for size.

Today I...

Today I read to Zack.
I made a kale/berry smoothie.
I put a few dishes in the dishwasher.
I answered some email.
I was able to stay upright for three hours solid.

That really doesn't look like a lot, but the point is, I DID do something, and on the really, really bad days, I manage less than that.  But I still try to do something.  The most important thing lately has been reading to the kidlet.  The very fact that an 11-year old boy still looks forward to spending time with his mother is priceless and must be cherished.

I still am human, though, and The Sads can take over with a full nelson and an illegal punch to the gut.  

I was upset over the holidays because I couldn't play with the family much.  It's the first Christmas I didn't decorate the tree.  I couldn't wrap any presents.  And I didn't get to beat the socks off the boys playing Trivial Pursuit with my husband as my partner (he knows everything about sports.  I just answer "Babe Ruth!" to all sports questions.)

But I DID knit five scarves and three blankets to give away, read a bit (especially with Zack), did a little writing, and ended up thankful for my family, friends, and health.  

Yep, I said health. Because things could be SO much worse.  I have excellent care, a comfortable place to convalesce in, and, as one of my friends constantly reminds me, "You're never alone."

If my life ended tomorrow, I could look back and know it was an amazing life.  My glass isn't half full, it's overflowing.  All the countries I've lived in.  All the people I've met.  All the risks I've taken.  All the flowers I've planted, all the books I've read, all the songs I've belted out (albeit so out of tune I occasionally offended myself).  I've laughed and I've cried but that means I'm alive and in the moment, and even the Very Very Bad Moments mean something and ultimately make me who I am.  

I grow every day, and having to deal with chronic illness has, in a twisted, Jabberwocky kind of way, made me treasure the small as well as the epic.  Allowing myself the freedom to let go, to say no to the unimportant things, to just BE, is giving me a much better, much longer view of my life.

Who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes?  I'm going as far as I have breath in my lungs.


  1. You have no idea how much I can relate to this, particularly today. Thank you for the inspiration and reminder that those of us who battle chronic illness are productive and quite worthy too! :-) It's all about perspective.

  2. This needs to go viral.. anyone with chronic pain should read this. I could have used it more than once. Very impressive.

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  4. Beautiful post. Moved me to tears. We could all use a good dose of this mentality.

  5. I have always said that having fibro has caused me to slow down and smell the roses. Without being forced to slow down, I wouldn't have read as many books, started a blog or joined Facebook where I have made friends, or learned that I do have a creative bone in my body. If I had to the chance to go back and not have fibro I am not sure if I would because of what it has brought into my life and what I have learned.

  6. Lori, That is a fabulous quote.You made me laugh with your comment "I just answer Babe Ruth! to all sports questions." Me too. I am glad that you felt well enough today to post. Your attitude has improved greatly. I hope that the improvement continues.It is wonderful that you have learned to treasure the small and the epic. It's great that Zach still wants to spend time with Mom.

  7. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Amen..........beautifully written.

  8. This is such a beautiful and quite eloquently (and elegantly) written post that it made me misty eyed! Not just because it makes a person feel, but I relate to what you're going through and how blessed you are.

    Even though things are rough at times, the good definitely outweighs the bad.

    The glass half full is always the best way to look at things :)

  9. It's a wonderful post Lori. I love knowing that you read to Zack so much and count it as the most important thing. You sound good and strong, even you're not physically strong right now. You are an inspiration! xoxo

  10. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this post. Life is always better when we can appreciate the blessings we have. Through your illness you are encouraging many people.

  11. I don't know what it is like to have a chronic illness, just a little pain now and then but I think your outlook on life is very brave and your post has brought tears to my eyes.

    Don't forget how much joy you have brought to others, especially me with your Bead Soup Blog Party.

    May you have more good days than bad Lori.


  12. So eloquently put, Miss Lori! I particularly like the line "treasure the small as well as the epic". That is profound. Something we all need to remember as we go about our lives. We each carry a burden, and we fly with one wing, but when we lift each other up, when we hold onto those who manifest themselves to help, that is when we soar. Here's to more soaring for you, Miss Lori! Enjoy the day. Erin

  13. Well said. I tend to be a "glass half empty" person so it's a good reminder to be thankful for the blessings, no matter how small. Because it all counts and the little things do add up. Those of us without chronic pain can't imagine what those with it go through. All the best.

  14. I'm having a really bad fibro day which is causing me great pain. I didn't get enough sleep because my autistic 6 yo slammed the bedroom door and woke the baby who didn't fall back asleep for 4 hours. Even my hair hurts! Literally! My scalp hurts in one spot. On days like these I look to my blessings list I keep in my iPhone. Sometimes I look at it and sometimes I just remember what's on it. Everything from my BFF to my faith to the health I have left (I have other health issues too but I still get thru every day upright) and the crafting I'm able to do and a handful of small things like my excellent eyesight at 40! Thanks for reminding me I need to read my list today especially.

  15. There ya go! Love ya Lori!

  16. What a beautiful way to look at things. Perhaps we all should write a "today I..." list. Take care

  17. Our situations are quite different but I've had lots of days in recent years when I wanted to crawl into bed and tell the world to get lost. Your eloquent post reminded me how it important it is to be mindful of the small things, as they are often the most important.

  18. debra freeland9:09 PM

    Dear Lori
    Really sounds like you are doing so much better. So thankful for you. I was having a twilight zone moment when a good friend just died after a routine colonoscopy. Still cannot comprehend this but I have had a loofah seed in a glass jar for 3 months and today I saw a leaf shoving itself up towards the sun. All is now right with the world. All the best and prayers to you. I am desperately praying for rain(we are in drought stricken Calli)

  19. You do so much for so many you just don't realize honey. Just take care of you and love your family. The rest will fall into place where is supposed to fall. You inspire me and I'm sure the everyone else every day! Thank You!

  20. You do so much for so many every day and don't even realize it. You just love your family and do what you can. You inspire me every day to become not just the best artist I can but the best person I can and the best care giver for my husband that I can. Love you girl!

  21. I was looking for your Grow Your Blog post and saw this one instead. My answer is YES, if you're breathing, you're living IF you make the choice to LIVE. Corrie ten Boom spent the last five years of her life, bedridden due to a stroke, and could only blink her eyes. I've read where she "said", paraphrasing, "I can still pray."
    Yesterday's Sabbath Keeping post was on choices and I do know how difficult it is. Dave, the other half of me, died in 11/11 and early days, I wasn't sure I could continue to make the choice to live. The only reason I did, I listened when God whispered, "But Sandra, if you kill yourself, you'll miss all the blessings I have for you."
    When I get downhearted, I count my blessings and, you know what? I cannot begin to name them ALL one by one!
    God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart...even when it's making a smoothie or kicking the blankets. I'd say reading to that young'in ranks right up there with world peace 'cause you just never know...

  22. Thanks for sharing your story here! I hope you are feeling better these days. You are such a brave and positive woman. I haven't seen your book yet, but I did see one of your gorgeous necklaces in the latest "Belle Armoir Jewelry" that I picked up yesterday at JoAnn's. You are an inspiration to us all in so many ways. Take care and hope you feel better soon.


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