Have you ever had a time in your life when you've been derailed? You know, you're going along and everything is going great in your life, then boom something happens and knocks you off your track? Well I have.
Quite recently I had something happened that was so unexpected that it knocked me off my feet. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say it totally derailed life as I knew it. It's been about a week. I've gone through my fair share of Kleenex and coconut ice cream and got a zit over this whole thing, so I think it's time to go about things differently. I think I'm going to look at it like I'm an ant. No, I didn't misspell that, I do actually mean ant.
Have you ever watched an ant work? I have and they are amazing. They freak me out a bit, but in their natural environment they are pretty cool. I say this because they have a job to do and they are determined to see it through. No matter what happens, they just keep marching. Even if they get knocked off their path or their path gets blocked, they find a way through. They go over, under, around, they even go through it if they must. Sometimes they even band together to overcome the obstacle. So, in this instance, I choose to be an ant.
It's not going to be easy. I don't expect it to be, especially when you suffer a loss like this. A piece of me is missing, but I can't be sad forever. It may take a little while, but soon I will be able to breathe again without it hurting. Pieces will fall back into place, and the wounds will heal. I have to say that I am so thankful for the people reaching out and providing support. They are all like little ants coming out of the woodwork and helping me find my path again. Friendships are being made and bonds are being strengthened.
You may think it is a little odd that I referred to ants, but if you think about it at times we are like them. There are times in our life when we carry things with us. We carry pain, worry, a burden, a secret. We may even carry a dream or hope.
I haven't mentioned it before, but I am a woman of faith. I am a big fan of quotes, but this time I am going to leave you with a passage, a verse to provide you strength and help you heal if you are going through something like I am now.
Romans 15:13 says: " I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Earlier this week I mentioned that I live in the country. This is a relatively new thing for me, and I am finding that it is quite different than suburbia. I grew up in a quiet little neighborhood. All the neighbor kids would come over and we would run from yard to yard and play in the culdesac until dark. I always pictured myself in a quaint and classy little town home where I would lace up whatever colored tennis shoes that matched my outfit for the day and walk my sassy self to the store or take a stroll down the lane with my little ones to the park to play. Then I married a country boy. He is redneck to the core and I love him for it. We did the apartment and the neighborhood thing for a while, but eventually we ended up in a little house on acreage in what feels like the middle of nowhere. Now we are a little country family, and I am a country girl.
Let me tell you now having “gone country,” it is not always as glamorous as those Country and Southern Living Magazines make it out to be. Believe me, I wish it was. I try to make it that way, but it is more like an adventure. Especially for me, it is like an adventure into the unknown. One morning I woke up and there were 2 horses and a donkey in my front yard. I don’t own horses or a donkey. They were from the next property over. Getting them back was fun. I’ve learned to stop for turkeys. Turkey crossing is a real thing. I’ve been chased off the road by a pot belly pig. I met their owner as she was running down the road after it with a handful of apples calling “here piggy, piggy!” She really is a nice lady. Spiders are not the biggest thing that comes into the house uninvited, dead or alive. I’ve met many mice and something called a mountain beaver. We are not friends. My most recent adventure is gardening. You may not think that this is much of an adventure, but let me tell you how I was introduced to compost.
Oh compost. You have taught me so much. I used to think that compost was this soft, dark, rich matter that smelled like earth. I didn’t really realize where it came from, that was until my husband took me to pick some up…at a farm. He told me that he had contacted a farmer that had organic compost for sale. I loved this idea until we pulled into a dairy farm. Cows… lots and lots of cows. Yeah, that organic compost was made of cow poop, cow poop that had been sitting there for a while. That nice old farmer had posted that it was so good that it didn’t even smell. His nose must have needed a vacation because my house smelled like cow poop for two weeks after we brought it home. My son thought the pile of compost was amazing and was elbows deep into it before I could reach him. My dog also thought it was pretty spectacular. She’s a long haired German Shepard who pranced around in it as if it was snow. She flung it everywhere, and then they both decided they wanted to come into the house. I’m a germ phobic neat freak who about had a heart attack. “Poop! Poop everywhere,” that’s all that ran through my head. “Boots off,” my son said. Thanks buddy, but that’s not going to help Momma. My plants love the compost though. They are growing tall in their raised garden beds.
A few weeks have passed and now I don’t mind it if my son plays king of the mountain. Bath time usually follows, but he’s enjoying himself and points out what is growing each day. Spending time outside is one my favorite things now too. I love to find what’s peeking out of the ground each day. Even now as I look out my window, the sun is shining and I can see the little plant babies reaching for the sky. Sigh…happiness.
Thank you for letting me share with you a little piece of me. I hope this little piece of country living has brought you a smile and lifted your spirits. Have a wonderful rest of your day my friends!
Have you ever heard the phrase “attitude is everything, so pick a good one”? I have this saying hanging in my kitchen and I call upon it every day. This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. Every day seems to come with a new challenge that I must overcome. I could very easily be over taken by the blues, but I choose not to be. Here’s an example of what I mean by a challenge:
I ate steak and I ended up in the Emergency room. Sound crazy? Yes, but it’s true. Last week my sweet husband suggested we eat steak for dinner one night. I could feel that my body was craving iron so I thought “sure. Red meat is a great source of iron. I’ll just cut it up into tiny pieces and chew it beyond recognition and I should be fine.” I was wrong. My esophagus rebelled and started to swell. Over the next 36 hours it became so inflamed that I was having chest pains and difficulty breathing. I couldn’t finish a sentence without being out of breathe and I knew I was in trouble. The worst part was that by this point it was the middle of the day and I was home alone with my two year old son. I live in the country so I don’t have close neighbors, and my closest friend or family member was 30 minutes away. Not to mention that the last time we had to call 911 for an emergency at our house, the Fire Truck and Ambulance got lost while on their way. No joke. I was scared, but I did not want to scare my son. So I made a few calls and we played quietly on the floor while waiting for help to arrive.
This could have been a terrifying situation and very easily turned into a negative one. Instead I choose to find the positive. What is it? You may ask. Well, I now know that steak is probably not a good option for me. When I feel like I need iron, I will blend up leafy greens and peas. More importantly though, I know what to do the next time I feel my esophagus start to swell and a tightness in my chest. Next time I will take a strong anti-inflammatory and an antacid, both in liquid form of course, and my symptoms should subside. No more ER visits for Danielle, let’s hope.
This is just one example of life’s challenges that I faced recently. You may be having a challenge of your own that you are facing. It is very easy to become overwhelmed by life’s challenges. I get overwhelmed by my situation sometimes, but then I remember I have a choice. I may not have chosen this situation for myself, but I can choose my attitude about it. I could be sad and depressed and let it take over my life, but what good would that do? Then I would just be sad and depressed. I’ve been there before and that only makes it harder. Instead I choose to overcome.
In whatever challenge you are facing right now, I hope you choose to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Find the good in every bad my friend, because the good is what keeps you going.
This last week was a tough week, but I learned a lot in this battle between me and my esophagus. I learned that I need to listen. It started last Friday with that amazing walk. What a high point that was for me mentally, but my body thought differently. It asked for two days to recover after the walk, but I didn’t let it. We had a full weekend planned and I wouldn’t let the exhausted feeling I had get me down. Well, the full weekend was followed by busy a Monday, and a very long Tuesday. Again I thought “I can do this.” Then Wednesday came. My son and I were invited to go to the local Children’s Museum with friends and even though I woke up with pain in both my body and my chest I thought: “we’re going. My son would love this, and I’m not going to let how I feel ruin this for him. He deserves to go and we both love seeing our friends.” Do you see the trend? I’m a bit stubborn like that. I’m competitive and I hate to lose. So in my mind I had this battle going against my body. It would not win, or so I thought.
I really should have listed to what my body was trying to say because I got a very big wake-up call at the Children’s Museum. My son doesn’t walk, he runs. He ran through that Museum, which meant of course that mommy ran through the Museum too. After about an hour, I hit a wall. My body said “no thank you, you are done.” Thank goodness that they had a 3 and under room with a half door that only opened from the outside. I steered my son to that room and sat with tears in my eyes. I was having painful spasms in my chest and was shaking like a leaf. I didn’t know what to do, so I drank an Ensure and prayed that the nutrients would absorb quickly and that I would find my strength. My son didn’t understand why mommy was upset and kept asking me to come and play with him. I couldn’t play. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do anything but sit there, defeated and heartbroken. The worst part of the whole thing is that moment could have been avoided if I would have listened to my body when it was telling me to slow down. It was trying to tell me for five days, but I didn’t listen.
Listening wasn’t the only lesson I learned this week. I also learned that I need accept myself for who I am at this moment. It is okay to have goals and to work towards the person I want to be, but I have to remind myself to love the person I am now otherwise I’m never going to get there. I may have limitations, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not a good person. I’m still a good mom, a good wife, a good friend. I can still be all the things that I strive to be. I just might have to go about them a little bit differently than I did before.
One of my favorite quotes is: “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” I think this applies when we look at ourselves too. You may be fighting a battle right now. I hope you are kind to yourself. Give yourself a break, and don’t forget to listen. You may come across a set back or two in life, but you will get to where you want to go.
Hi there! Welcome to Grace In A Glass. My name is Danielle and I am so happy that you are visiting this site today. We all have something in life that we are working to overcome. I began blogging about my struggle with overcoming Esophageal Dysmotility and Crohn's Disease with the hope of reaching others with words of encouragement and hope. Thank you for letting me share my stories with you, and hope you have the most wonderful day!