Painful lessons… funny not funny

Ah… I have missed this ❀ Explanation to follow πŸ˜‰

Time has flown, yet again. One would think it would have dragged by, since I have spent most of it in bed, pretty much unable to do most things. Even the simple things hurt. I have a newfound appreciation for my usual ability to get on and off the toilet, for example. Yes, I said that. Too much information? When last did you appreciate being able to do that without experiencing pain? πŸ˜›

I injured my lower back, and for five days I was pretty much in bed. Moving hurt. Once I was standing, walking around a bit actually helped – but man, oh man! To get to that standing position? UGH!
I could not sit up. So here I have this beautiful laptop that I was so graciously blessed with and absolutely love, and I couldn’t use it. I had to lie here, and just stare at it.

Day six, things began to get a little easier, and less painful. I started becoming more ‘able’. What a relief that was! And with it came the realisation that the part of me that is sometimes stubborn needed to get out the car – forget about taking a backseat! Despite all my prior injuries and illnesses, this time I fully appreciated the concept of ‘sometimes you actually just need to continue to take it easy, and go slowly, to get back to full health’.
I’m still not there yet, but I’m definitely on the road – and Stubborn is still running next to the car because there is no way I am letting it get back in yet πŸ˜›

And in all this excruciating pain and very limited ability, have I complained at all? You betcha! Ha ha!

I’ve also had my moments of misery – feeling sorry for myself and even shedding a tear or two.

But let me assure you, an attitude of gratitude really goes a long way!
And perhaps sometimes things like this need to happen, not just to remind us of the need to slow down and our physical limitations, but also to jump start our hearts – to bring us back to the place of remembering the small mercies we have – the things we can usually do that we don’t fully appreciate, and how valuable inner peace and joy truly is.

The pandemic, and the extremely volatile situation in my country at the moment; our current crime wave and the latest statistics; all in ‘life as we know it’ that is happening around me every day – I was getting distracted, and I didn’t even know it. I was spending more time every day worrying – wondering ‘what is going to happen next’, ‘will we survive this’, ‘what am I going to do’.

I guess I needed this to shift my focus back to the things that matter – the joy INSIDE of me, despite what is happening outside.
I needed to be reminded of the goodness too.
Like being able to get on and off the toilet with ease πŸ˜›

Here’s hoping I won’t need another lesson in this anytime soon πŸ˜‰

Have a great week, everyone!

umbrella day

There are times where I like to just sit and read about ‘what day it is today’.
I don’t mean which day of the week it is – although admittedly I sometimes lose track for a moment πŸ˜›
Somehow, someone out there, has made an extensive list of celebrations for each and every day of the year.

Did you know that today is ‘clean out your computer day’, and ‘cream cheese brownie day’ AND Umbrella Day? I’m avoiding the cream cheese brownie post because that will entice me to try and make some and right now they’re probably not what I need πŸ˜›

Umbrella Day got me thinking though… what is the umbrella’s history?

The following snippets of information were derived from thoughtco :

”The basic umbrella was invented more than 4,000 years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China. These ancient umbrellas or parasols were first designed to provide shade from the sun. TheΒ Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas for use as rain protection. They waxed and lacquered their paper parasols in order to use them for rain.”

”The word “umbrella” comes from the Latin root word “umbra,” meaning shade or shadow.”

”The first all umbrella shop was called “James Smith and Sons.” The shop opened in 1830 and is still located at 53 New Oxford Street in London, England.”

As some of you know from previous posts, I love the rain. Even singing in it πŸ˜‰
And do you know, I don’t even own an umbrella! The last time I actually used one was as a child. I have to admit though…. one of my favourite things about old movies is to see the ladies strolling in the park with their parasols. I guess I really am a classic πŸ˜‰

And I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t looked for some sort of lesson to do with umbrella’s πŸ˜›

So I’ll end with this quote :

“Worrying is stupid. it’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain.”
~Wiz Khalifa~

heartfelt contact

I received an email yesterday. Someone was genuinely concerned about me, and my absence from WordPress. This person wanted to know if I was okay – and to be honest, I am still not sure how I am, really. But this post is not to dwell on that. (There has been a lot going on the last ten days! Safety wise, the children and I are fine, though!)

I felt really bad when I received the email. Ridiculous, right?!?! Let me explain…

I tend to forget that there are people out there who may be concerned about me – people who actually miss my input… be it overwhelmingly me, or simply just a blog post. And I felt quite terrible/bad due to guilt of having someone worry because of me.

More explanations are necessary πŸ˜›

My real friends know every truth there is to know about me. My family don’t, because they’ve never bothered to ask – brothers, parents, cousins etc. have no idea of the things that I have been through. They’re too busy judging what they think they saw, and denying their roles. But my real friends know, because they’ve asked, and loved me unconditionally. A lot of those friendships have been built on 10 – 25 years of knowing me… that’s GOT to be unconditional love, right? πŸ˜›

Those real friends are my people. And they know me as ‘the strong one who always has a smile and a word of encouragement; the survivor who is always somehow okay’. And you can ask any of them, even in moments where I am not sure whether or not I actually AM okay (like now), or in moments when I SAY I am falling apart, none of them are deeply concerned about me… they just know that I will get through whatever it is I am going through. And although they reassure and encourage me with forwarded picture messages, and tell me that I have meaning in their lives, if they don’t talk to me for a few days, they don’t worry about me.

And because of this blessing (although sometimes it feels like a curse.. explanation to follow) in my personality, I am also the one that everyone comes to for help so that they don’t fall apart. And for some strange reason, there IS always a part of me to give. Even when I am sapped and think there isn’t. (Although admittedly, I take a personal sabbatical sometimes… but I struggle to resist the temptation of helping!)

The ‘curse’ part of this is as follows : there is very seldom just a concerned message asking if I really am okay. No, my friends are not shallow, and they definitely care for and love me. I don’t think I can explain it in a way that makes sense. I HAVE reached out previously, in moments of distress, and they HAVE been there. And the love and support has never been lacking in those moments.

But it’s very seldom that they will reach out to me just to ask if I am okay.

We have the types of friendships where we can not speak or see each other for six months, and when we get together you would think we had seen each other just yesterday.

And every now and then, the fact that no one checks up on me, sort of hurts. I was discussing this with a therapist friend, who comes to me for therapy sometimes – because even a therapist needs therapy πŸ˜›
Her recommendation to me was to tell them how I feel – and when I did, I got the answers I told you above – I am the strong one, I am the survivor… they know I am okay.

AND THEY KNOW that if I am truly feeling like I am at breaking point, I’ll let them know.

I’m okay with that.

Yesterday’s email made me cry.Β 

(I’ve been ill, and it always makes me feel a little more emotional than usual… but it also touched me deeply.)

The kindness shown in popping off an email and telling me that ‘you’ were concerned about me was completely overwhelming. While I felt terribly guilty that I had caused worry and concern, at the same time I felt cared about and missed. And I remembered what a comforting and soul-feeding emotion that was!

I’m still sick, so this is not the best of blog posts. But here’s what I’d like to say :

Think of your strongest, most encouraging, survivor-style friend… and send them a heartfelt ‘how are you’, please. They’ll probably say they are fine πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
But please check in with the ones who always take the time to check in on you πŸ˜‰
That type of kindness simply has no measure.

And thank you to my blogging friend for making my day. πŸ˜‰

And thank you to everyone who reads and comments on my WordPress – your input makes me feel loved and valued too. This community rocks! ❀