What do you do when you have a sick day? Maybe you have a bad cold, or the flu, or are recovering from surgery and you have to lie low for a while. So what do you do?
I like to make a little nest on the couch. I’ll have my favorite blanket (AKA Big Pinky), a warm drink, a book or my laptop, pillows, and the understanding of those around me that TODAY IS A SICK DAY. My usual responsibilities are just going to have to wait. I’m sick and I can’t “do for” people when I’m sick.
I think that’s a good thing to do when you are sick. Problem is, if you have a mild to moderate chronic illness and want to have any kind of life, you can’t do that. Well, you can’t do that every day.
I remember watching someone on TV a few years ago – I can’t remember who it was – talking about cancer. She said you can’t think of yourself as sick, or you curl up in a ball and think only about your cancer. She said instead it’s best to think of yourself as having this “thing” you have to deal with while you are living your life. Or something along those lines.
That makes good sense to me.
I have a few chronic conditions that at times kick my butt. At other times they are a nuisance, and other times I forget all about them. But I can NOT curl up and say, that’s it, I’m sick. Everybody do for yourself.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. On a bad day, I’m on that couch, baby, and I don’t have any guilt about it. But I do need to push myself, and I do need to watch my thought process – I am not sick, I am dealing with a condition. A thing.
Which leads me to the next point. Positive self-talk. You know the whole “I am a good person. People like me” kind of thing? Well this is like that, only different.
Now I’m not the type who believes that I can cure a chronic illness (or create world peace) by my thoughts. But I can influence my mind and body. I can lift my spirits, so to speak. As Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
So I have a few things I like to say to myself every day, all throughout the day. Here they are:
I am healthy
I am strong
I am cute (That one cracks me up, it always makes me smile)
The truth is, I AM healthy. All of my organs work. Some have a few challenges, but they work gosh darn it. I can walk, run, climb, drive, poop, etc etc. I don’t want to take those things for granted. Dang, I’m healthy!
And I am strong. I really am. I can do a plank for almost 30 seconds. Back in January I couldn’t do one at all. I can lift my heavy cast iron pan. And I have survived 100% of the things I have had to face in my life. (And so have you.)
I admit that perhaps some of the stress life throws at me has likely had a negative effect on my mind and body. But we don’t get to pick a lot of what life throws at us. We do, however, get to pick how we rebuild.
I’m looking forward to being even more healthy and stronger (and cuter) as the years go by. I want to do all I can to impact my family, my community, and this world in a positive way WHILE I respect my physical (and emotional) challenges. I want a good life.
So, I’m going to take good care of myself, hopefully with a God-safe genuineness and my God-given goofy ways.
Because I am healthy,
I am strong,
and I am cute.
(I just made me smile)