Each of us knows the darkness of feeling lousy. I’ve just been through a spell for a few weeks of resting, pain and various gut problems. I’m sick of television, reading and being a “layabout.” A little boredom goes a long way but there are times when we have no choice. When a trip from the bed to the bathroom is the major journey of the day, well, what’s to be said?
Coming out of a bad spell is a trip through a tunnel and equals that feeling one gets when a dark and gloomy days suddenly reveals the sun. It just feels good. Instead of lying around and thinking of the list of chores that needs doing, both personal and household, you know that feeling of finally being able to accomplish something. To be useful, creative and to fulfill a need, whether that need be personal or household, it’s simply rewarding.
The most ordinary of daily accomplishments can take on a new meaning if it has been denied to you for a period of time. All humans have a way of taking life for granted, even the most menial of tasks can actually be healing. I wonder if the hidden meaning in the ordinary ways of life is just that, a built-in vitamin for the spirit. It would compare to the poison of despair versus the medicinal effect of feeling hopeful.
Let me list just a few of the ordinary things in my life that I have found rewarding as spring approaches this year, in spite of facing metastatic cancer, two rheumatoid diseases which cause me daily, hourly pain and the always there annoyance of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes I reach a point in my life when most of my conversations are about my health. My mind is often fixed on one terror or another and I can becomeconsumed by it all as I lose sight of that in life which actually brings life instead of taking it away or threatening to. Now to my list, with hopes that you can come up with a list of your own by doing and not just thinking, however ordinary that task may be.
SUE’S LIST of life-giving, common, ordinary ways:
Being greeted by a growing white and orange tabby kitten as his purrs fill the air as he “speaks” his unspoken “Good Morning” to me.
Experiencing laughter when that same kitten sticks his nose directly onto my glasses while I’m wearing them. Such a funny view of cat eyes and tiny nostrils.
Grabbing a sweater and some sandals and sitting on my front porch just to feel the spring breezes blowing in from the Columbia River, cool and invigorating.
Taking a quick inventory of how much damage the ice and snows of winter have done to beloved plants that fill the front and back porches of our ordinary yet lovely and slightly rundown old Victorian home, itself the colors of spring, a riot of soft green and deep rose.
The joy of spotting new growth on an old apricot colored geranium. It sits in an ocean blue pot that has been in front of a large picture window for many years, a joy both inside and out. It’s like seeing an old friend awaken from a long nap. It’s alive, in spite of the brown leaves and stems that extend out above the new growth. There is so much hope in the tiny buds of spring, once dormant and now alive with eager new growth.
The joy of holding clippers and filling a box with old, spent growth and the simple pleasures of just putting on waterproof gardening gloves.
The healing feeling that comes from a freshly scented load of clothes, much needed for too long as their warmth fills your hands on a cold damp foggy spring morning.
The sense of satisfaction from giving oneself a pedicure and manicure so I no longer look like I’ve been digging in the dirt with my toes.
The joy of soaking my feet in a healing foot soak of organic rare salts, Epsom, CBD oil, lavender and various organic oils. Soft clean feet are a silent wonder of nature, especially if the feet are arthritic.
The simple pleasure of putting on clean pajamas, freshly scented from the dryer.
The satisfaction and joy of cooking my own meal after weeks of soups, hot cherry Jell-O and/or hot ginger tea with honey. A simple poached egg can taste like nirvana when you haven’t eaten solid food in several weeks as it’s accompanied by a warm flour tortilla dripping with butter fresh from the microwave.
The thank you that springs from my throat at finding a kindly, well informed new physician. Sometimes one has to “kiss a lot of frogs” before finding a prince. There have been too many “frogs” in my life this year.
Discovering a new drug that will relieve an old pain.
The simple joy of a warm heating pad on a sore back.
The soft texture of a new fern green blanket, warm and begging to be cuddled. It’s even better when I bought it on sale.
The reassuring bark of a tiny Yorkie as his daily hopes of catching the mailman, just one time, fill the air with his raucous tones. He’s forever hopeful and oh so fierce in his own mind.
The simple look of relief on my dear man’s face just because he knows I am feeling better. Knowing one is loved is the greatest healing of all and too often I take it for granted, and him.
A warm, hot cup of tea or a latte brought to me in the morning before my daily meds allow me to descend the stairs to the kitchen. Once again, I whisper a “Thank you, Lord” for my dear man.
That feeling of warmth when reading something I love that is uplifting instead of always negative, like the daily news. I’ve discovered, turning off the news is a therapy of its own.
I find it particularly uplifting when I get a text from a stranger who has read one of my hundreds of blogs and tells me how it has uplifted them. Just knowing my experiences and words are out there, perhaps helping others is such a sweet reward for my life’s experiences, both good and bad.
A phone call from a good friend or the call from one of my children telling me they and their family are home after a long trip via air and auto. No matter the age of my child, I am always their Mom and always reassured knowing when they are safely at home.
The giggle that arises when watching a tiny kitten with green eyes hide in an empty Amazon box before leaping out to attack my feet. He’s such a “cheap date” it reminds me of a child playing with the wrappings at Christmas, finding more joy there than in the actual gift. Oh, the simplicity and healing we can learn from animals and children.
A simple reward that can be obtained by cleaning off a sticky counter top or putting away a warm load of dishes fresh from the dishwasher.
The innocent chore of taking pleasure in a few lovely possessions long cherished, long admired and too long covered with dust. So many objects in our home are accompanied by a story about the giving or the giver and the incidence of the giving.
The most mundane task of cleaning a bathroom and uncovering the sparkle, just like a commercial on television.
I hope each of you, my friends and readers, will find the healing and joy waiting for you and I in the most common areas of life. It’s truly incredible the world that awaits us there in the little, the ordinary ways of our lives.
P.S. Excuse me now as I start a new bag of give-away clothing while I start to clean out a very cluttered closet. Wonder how far I’ll get before pooping out? Well, we’ll see, but it’s at least a beginning.