1 Week of Thankfulness

barefoot beach blur break
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It’s been a whole week of finding two things each day to write down that I am thankful for. Have you been participating? I am surprised that even when people are upset about something I automatically am turning it around. This week we saw Notre Dame burn down and a relative posted a picture of my nephew (not more than 4 years old in the picture) in front of the building, not more than four. So many people gave a crying emoji reaction – but I guess I thought how much I would have loved to bring the children to have seen it – and thought how lovely that my nephew had the experience and picture to prove he had seen the gorgeous building before it burnt down. I can never say that. Now normally I would have sat there feeling sorry for us that I never got a chance to take my children to France and see the beautiful building (how many people get to do that?), but instead just felt happy for all the pictures that my friends were posting of their experiences.

I know I would not have been in that place a week ago. A week ago I would have thought about how we cannot ever afford to go to France and focusing on all my friends who got to go there and we didn’t. I also would have focused on how the world is getting worse and how it may not even be worth going forward with crazy things like Notre Dame and such catching on fire. Even as I write this I think this type of thinking is absolutely extreme and yet I cannot stress enough that when you are depressed – the littlest of things like a building that you have never seen burning in another country can feel overwhelming. That’s the problem with depression. I am seeing though that when people have commented on the radio and articles I have read that if you think of two positive things a day (and write them down) that it has better results than anti-depressants because it can truly change the way your mind things. I have to say I am amazed myself. I have tried many things but nothing that gave me results such as cleaning out closets I haven’t done in 15 years and my husband has even been inspired by me by throwing out things he has never done and we have almost a completely different bedroom. I am able to think clearer and organise better. It seems like such a simple thing to do each day and yet has made such a difference so here we go – here are two things I’m thankful for.

  1. My knee. My left knee has been given me trouble for almost 2 years now since I was dragged by my car (many blogs ago I described this event). I did not get proper physio for it, I had surgery to get all the gravel out of it but still it causes me pain and I have been in considerable pain for about 36 hours. SO what am I thankful for? Today I got free treatment from my brother-in-law = part genius and part chiropractor. Physio hasn’t been able to help me but my brother-in-law is quite advanced in how skilled he is with chiropracting. After seeing him (on his day off) today I have some relief and have Kinesiology tape on my knee – which I am told does magic. I have had some relief in this.
  2. My son wrote me a note today – there are no words… only this: note
    How blessed am I? I mean really? A 9 year old still trying to do what he can to make me smile. (P.S. The answer is “Good Job, Now Reward” and the Reward was a lolly/candy on top of kisses and hugs). Now I’m hoping that if I don’t get an assignment in tomorrow (yes I went back to school), then maybe I can submit this picture as proof that I was busy? – one can hope.
    Hope you are having a blessed Wednesday…
Advertisements

Two things I am thankful for…

hospital

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will remind you of. This time a year ago I was desperate to come home from spending weeks at the hospital without my family. This was a picture of my room as I left…

I started thinking about how thankful I was at home with my children. Then a memory of an article I read recently popped in my head.

You can rewire your brain from depression in 30 days if you think of two things you are thankful for each day.

I used to talk about this all the time with people – about how the brain is plastic and how you can choose to change the way you think. I had gone back into victim mode – and I am not a victim. Lately all I have been thinking about is how I am doomed to fail at everything which is ridiculous I know. All I could think about was all the bad things and I had for years been saying to anyone who would listen…

It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react.

Yet, I had changed into going into a negative spiral. Too many bad things happened at once in such a small amount of time and I started drowning – and forgetting who I was. That’s the problem with mental health – your perception is skewed and you forget who you are.

SO as I thoroughly believe from Norman Doidge’s The Brain that changes itself that you can rewire your brain to do anything. So I’ve decided I’m sitting here every day and saying two things that I am thankful for, and hope that I will have worked my way out of this negative mentality.

1. My Children. Sometimes as a parent we get exhausted and frustrated with them. I have been treating my children like they are big frustrations to me and that angers me because I remember they were my number one motivation a couple of times when I was in the hospital to get myself out so I can be their mother. I forget this, and this memory today that popped up on my phone that this time a year ago I was breaking out of hospital and the only thing I wanted to do was sit and cuddle them. So I told them this, this morning. I said how much I just love to cuddle them and be with them and how all I thought about while I was in the hospital for weeks was just being home with them.

2. Before I told them this, do you know what they did? They are on school holidays and home and up before I am this morning so my son asked if he could put on the kettle for me for my coffee and my daughter put on a recorded episode of jeopardy (the first thing I like to do in the morning to wake my brain up – instead of watching it in the evening). Not only am I thankful for my children, but that they were thoughtful about what I like to do. How lucky am I?

Hope you have two things you are thankful for today – just two. I guess in 30 days we’ll see if I have successfully rewired my brain to create more joy and a positive outlook.

Celebrate the small successes!

woman legs relaxation beauty
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

This week I am celebrating wearing shorts! Why? Well, it’s been almost 18 months since the accident of my car losing my brakes which caused it to drag me down a hill. I had terrible gravel rash. It healed incredibly quickly (within 4 weeks) except for one trouble spot that took over a year to heal. It took so long because my knee still had gravel in it. It was pretty gross to look at and even my 4-year-old niece would ask me when swimming in the family pool “What’s wrong with your knee Aunty Jenny?”
Her sweet little mind was very concerned about the “rock inside Aunty Jenny’s knee” and talked about the subject with quite a few people.

Continue reading “Celebrate the small successes!”

A very personal post

Me waking up in the hospital in March after being told the odds were against me (with filter)

⚠️ warning: personal post ahead:

Today (as long as nothing changes) should be my last procedure of the year. The last 18 months has consisted of 7CTs, 3 (going on 4) procedures, 9 (going on 10) Cannulas, 3 local anaesthetics, 2 (going on 3) general anaesthetics, 2 ambulance rides, 3 catheters, countless tears, many prayers, and one seriously considered plan to escape the hospital. Even though today is considered “super safe” I still have a lot of emotion going into it. I know some have it better and some have it worse… but this year has been rough for me (and my family). In 4 days I turn 37 with doctors at the beginning of the year doubting I would live to see it. Now I’m forecast to live many more years (God willing). So as much as I hate having to do another procedure, I am thankful that despite how upsetting this year has been I still get to be a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Hope 37 treats me better… can’t wait to be over the last side effects for the year in a couple of days and no more needles for at least a few months 👍👍

Health update: Energy and Excitement…

 

smiling woman wearing black jacket and pants jumping in brown open field
Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

 

I know it’s not the day I use to do a health update but I’m kind of excited.
I had no clue how much I struggled before. I just thought that I had to focus on what I could do than what I can’t. BUT Who knew losing a 30% of your 3-times-larger than normal spleen could make you feel so good?

I kept getting told by my doctors that if I did “survive” this all, that I would feel better than I have in years – possibly ever. Well, of course there is recovery of procedures to do and such…  and I had been struggling with energy through recovery.

However – I am now feeling less weight internally –  and able to sleep on my left side again (it had been months). I find that my mind feels lighter in the sense that I actually feel like I can accomplish more. To me there is so much proof in that if your body isn’t working right, there is more difficulty with feeling focused and motivated in your thoughts. It definitely causes the feeling of being overwhelmed. This is part of the reason why I started this blog, to use it as a source of encouragement and positivity for those that may have extra challenges.

I have a cold right now, the first I have had in a long time. I’m kind of excited by having my first cold with a nearly normal white blood cell count! It sounds weird I know, but when your neutrophils drop below 1 on the blood test and you are told to “stay inside” on those occasions, well… it can affect you mentally as well as physically. So knowing that I’m almost back to normal blood cell counts like other people has made me feel more optimistic about fighting this cold. I’m a weird one but I said to my husband “I can’t wait to see what this level of white blood cells can do!! They are going to kick some butt.” (Ahh… one of my mottos is that if you don’t deal with health issues with a sense of humor you become mentally unhealthy).

My circulation is so much better at the moment. I definitely feel less sluggish and am motivated to do more exercise. It doesn’t hurt to jump around or dance with this extra-large organ inside of me anymore. To be honest – I may need another procedure in a couple of years that would possibly cause further spleen death. Since my Spleen has gone from 3 times a normal size spleen to twice the size – I think I can afford another 30% off… but that can wait though.

It does prove one thing – that nearly 37 years of struggling there is still hope that technology, doctors, investigations, procedures and FAITH can actually get you to a point where you feel better than you have – ever. Even while having a cold! Keep going…

 

Thankful

clean
My son happily cleaning windows.

Lately I have been frustrated with life working against us. This has to do with my husband’s Job and my personal life goals and on top of that our whole household has come down with a cold which means my kids have stayed home all week in destructive attitudes which included non-stop fighting.
Today was different. The kids needed to get out of the house but we didn’t want to infect others… my husband was able to put them to work.
Suddenly the destructive attitudes turned constructive and they were so excited to be useful. I was able to watch them from inside the house and I started thinking about how thankful I was for this moment.
Despite my son having some challenges, he is always excited to do things for others. Despite my daughter stirring her brother constantly, her sense of humor and willingness to respond promptly to instructions is a wonderful thing.
My husband is a hard worker – and unfortunately one of those good traits he has worked against him this week when he was told that he didn’t get the position he wanted because he was “too calm” (I know, ridiculous right?). His calmness helped our whole family deal with an incident last year when our car lost its brakes. I wouldn’t trade his “calmness” – for a better position within a company. I’m not sure what company would want a stressed out/yelling type of manager anyway…. I’m proud of my husband.
Today when I went shopping all the things I needed, most of my items were on sale… I didn’t plan that as I needed to do a last minute shop. I remember just feeling thankful that even though money is tight, that so many of our favorites were on sale.
There was a situation in which we have been given a chance to serve in a few months. I usually feel stressed by this, but I feel not only calm about it but excited to help. I’m not only thankful that I have the opportunity but also thankful that I don’t feel stressed and miserable about it like I have in the past.
Anyway, Today was a day where I was able to focus on the good things in life.
I hope you have a thankful and grateful day.

backlit clouds dawn dusk
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Jen

 

 

Inspiration Monday: Making life work!

pexels-photo-136349.jpeg

I have in the past used Inspiration Monday to shine light on someone who well known. Somehow they are a “success” in a way that we would define success – famous, rich etc despite their challenges.

However, not all of us are meant to be famous or own 16 cars and a helicopter, or take selfies with strangers. Some of us are just trying to get through our day.

During this time I read an amazing article by Joshua Becker on the Becoming Minimalist Blog called Here’s to All of You Trying to Make the Most of a Bad Situation.

However this article made me think about those around me that I know are making the best of a hard situation. I am reminded of Graham, who is the locally famous Blind Busker in Brisbane who I would pass every day to and from work. After he went blind he could have easily stayed home but instead navigates the people-filled city to bring joy to everyone with his music.

There are plenty of people that I am in contact with every day that provide inspiration who are very private people that I cannot name them. I know some who have survived abuse from the people who were supposed to protect them and they have found a way to use it to show compassion for others. I know others that are dealing with painful divorces and are having to raise children on their own with the knowledge that the other parent involved wants nothing to do with their own children anymore. I know people who have lost a child, people dealing with end-stage cancer.

Their attitudes are positive – making the best of a difficult situation. Getting up every day and giving the most they can to those around them.
I also know of women who are dealing with health conditions – not unsimilar to mine, who have husbands or partners that resent their illness. I have to say one thing I am most at awe with is that despite the many times I have ended up in hospital and in a difficult/dangerous situation – my husband has never treated me with resentment – has not once complained. He has made the best of many bad situations within our marriage and I know that is worth more than all the gold.

Please read the article, mentioned (I think everyone should), and know that if you are doing your best in a difficult situation – you are an inspiration.
Sometimes you get given a difficult hand, and the only choice you have is to play those cards the best way you know how.

It’s not always about moving mountains, but doing your best to keep climbing.