Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hanging On

The year started off well. I felt positive, ready to tackle my health challenges, ready to finish my novel, ready to start eating right and losing weight. I put several reminders into my phone: to pray, to stay focused on my eating/exercise, to offer encouragement. They've helped tremendously.

But life with a chronic illness is a constant stop and start rollercoaster. During the good days, I exercise, have little pain or fatigue, am in a terrific mood, and feel accomplished. During the bad days, I lay in bed, fight depression, keep myself occupied so I don't focus on pain/discomfort, and literally try to make it through the hours until I can go to sleep.

It's all so disappointing and frustrating.

But when you add marriage and job problems on top of all that, well, it just makes everything worse.

Marriage is hard. But adding chronic illness to the mix makes it harder. Your spouse is forced to make adjustments in his own life and can often feel helpless (as does my husband) because they cannot fix you. Plans are often canceled, romantic interludes postponed, and the spouse becomes not only a partner in life, but a partner in battling illness. So far, my husband has been doing splendid in supporting me. But that doesn't mean he is free from his own battles. And when you put all that together, well....Let's just say you're suddenly faced with what looks like an insurmountable challenge. Before you know it, the tiny space between you becomes a large distance. Minor nuisances become major fights. Communication flies out the window. And when the dust settles, you begin to wonder if it was all worth it.

We're having our own struggles right now. It adds to the stress of living with this stupid disease (rheumatoid arthritis) and I'll be honest: I feel completely worn out and unable to tackle much of anything right now. I have to fall back on my mantra: One day at a time.

I'm trying to stay positive, trying not to despair. But it's hard.

So right now I'm going to list what I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for a community (online) of those battling chronic illness. It helps me to understand that I'm not alone.

I'm thankful for this cozy house I live in.

I'm thankful for my friends and family who are understanding and supportive.

I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter.

I'm thankful for the gift of writing.

I'm thankful for my fur babies - three cats and one dog.

I'm thankful for chocolate.

But most of all, I'm thankful for my Lord who carries me, loves me, and will never leave me.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Darkness and Light

Post-inauguration thoughts...

I'm tired of worrying about my country. I'm tired of seeing my fellow Americans take bites out of each other. I'm tired of seeing such vitriol and hatred on social media. It wears on a person, all the negativity, all the ugliness. I'm going to back away from it all for awhile for my own sanity.

I tried writing tonight, tried to get my mind to focus on other, more positive things.

It didn't work.

So I'm sitting in bed, watching a classic noir movie, Fallen Angel, with one of my very favorite classic movie actors, Dana Andrews.

And I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

But I fear it won't. I fear that this anger and divisiveness from every side of the political spectrum will continue. I fear all those who said that spreading kindness is the only way forward will forget those words the minute they disagree with a person. I've already witnessed it. And it grieves my heart.

Humanity can be so very ugly. So very dark.

But humanity can also shine so brightly that the light drives out the darkness.

I want to be the light. But there are times I don't have the strength to shine. The darkness is too heavy and I would rather hide.

Like tonight.

There will be days ahead where we will all need to fight the darkness and be the light, no matter who we voted for, no matter what we believe.

We are all human beings, made up of darkness and light.

May my light shine brighter tomorrow and may the darkness recede into the shadows.