“Happy are those who take day by day, complain very little and are thankful for the little things.”
The closest person I have ever had as a sister is visiting from California this week and we spent the day with her yesterday just relaxing, laughing, and being well us. She was one of the first people my dad called after my bike accident in the early nineties and she was one of the first people to meet my daughter in 2012. We have seen one another at our worst, our best, our saddest and happiest. She is and always will be one of my biggest support systems and I will always be hers. It always feels odd calling her a friend because she really is like a sister to me and when she left my house yesterday, my daughter was literally in tears because she did not want “Aunt Linny” to go. It broke my heart to see Kayci so sad but also made me realize how alike my three-year old and I am. Nature vs Nurture: who knows but we share so many qualities it is no wonder everyone calls her: mini Jessica. She is funny, empathetic, filled with love, and appreciates the little things. The above picture was taken by Aunt Linny (never know when she is gonna click that damn phone) as Kayci and I were painting a picture: one of the many presents she was given by her Linny. We just spent ten days in Disney World, then went to Hershey Park where Kayci could have lived as a ‘wave pool’ was the coolest thing she has ever seen and yes my daughter is mildly spoiled: first grandchild on both sides, people love to buy her things that she absolutely loves like doctor things, musical things, and anything to do with art or reading. I do feel for our next child as I see now how much the first child gets regarding time and the monetary things. However “spoiled” this little person is, she truly enjoys the little things the most and truly cares for others. I say this all the time but I learn something new from my toddler each and every day and I do believe the world would be a better place if we never lost our inner child: if you have found him or her and start appreciating the little things, try to stop focusing on the bad, and end the habit of taking everything so seriously. Just please don’t bring back the tantrums, not a good look although I have seen many adults have them: myself included.
As most children these days love or cannot get enough of is the movie: Frozen. Hell of a job Disney, soon the castle that has stood at Walt Disney World for Centuries will be the castle from Frozen and I have to say my inner child is not happy about that change. Back to my point: Kayci is one of the millions who adores the movie Frozen. Her favorite character is Anna and it is very difficult to find an Anna doll. Elsa is everywhere as is the Snowman, Olaf. Try and find Anna: no easy task. One of the gifts her “Linny” brought her was the doll Anna and I thought she would be obsessed as she has been asking for this doll for over a year. She loves the gift, obviously but turns out she likes painting with water more. It was fascinating to watch her paint with water each page that came with the painting book. Her face was filled with joy and wonder and truly showed how much she appreciates the little things and although many may say she is spoiled, I disagree. She enjoyed dancing, riding her “bike” to the playground, and just sitting with Linny and I painting with water more than she enjoyed any gift or anything that cost a lot of money. Why do we all those this magic inside us? I know why, we all start to ‘grow up’ and stress, worry, bills, relationships, and for most of my readers an invisible illness which is clearly heartbreaking. We even lose our ability to breathe: that is not to say we are dead but in a way we start killing ourselves way before our time sweating the small stuff and stressing over every little thing causing us to breathe the opposite way we were born to use breath. Babies and young children breathe with their bellies; whereas most adults breath with their chests. Right now explore the rhythm of your breath and see if your stomach is going out and in or your chest: do not feel bad I am writing about this and even I am breathing with my chest: which brings in eighty percent less Oxygen than does breathing with our bellies. We need Oxygen obviously and if we slowed down just a tad and practiced a little belly breathing we may (will) see a difference in our stress levels and subsequently our pain levels.
I could write five hundred posts, probably more about how to be happy: chronic pain or no chronic pain but I wanted to start small. Today is Sunday, September 6th. Each of us should take an hour and do something we loved to do as a child: color, read, watch something silly and laugh without feeling guilty because there are dishes in the sink, take a walk, or just relax for a little bit and breathe. Go pick some flowers, something my three-year old loves to do: give yourself some flowers for chronic pain. I recently read a quote that I think of way too often but it says and excuse my language: “How to be happy? Focus on your own shit.” Enjoy today by accepting yourself, where you are in your journey, and letting the little things go while also appreciating all the little things we so often take for granted.