Got Chronic Illness? Focus On What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t

Focus On What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t.

I sit alone at the edge of the path leading down to the beach.

Watching. Waiting.

I scan the shoreline, searching for my boys. Ah! There they are.

My husband and fur-baby are larking about near the water’s edge. I smile and laugh as I notice Horus squat to pee in the water. Typical. A wave rolls in, interrupting his flow, and he scampers off towards the sand.

It’s a beautiful spring morning in a beautiful part of the world.

Light dances across the water. People and dogs play near the water’s edge, making for the perfect artistic picture or click of the camera. The sound of laughter and dogs’ happy barking carries on the breeze.

So why do I feel like something is missing?

Thoughts drift aimlessly through my head. One lingers, the picture forming in my head, jolting me back to reality.

I would love to be down there with my boys.

But here I sit, on the outside looking in.

Huh. Where did that come? We do this all the time and I usually think nothing of sitting here waiting for my boys, soaking up the sunshine and watching the world go past. On the outside looking in.

There it is again. That phrase, “on the outside looking in.” It seems to be the day’s buzzword and is bugging me.  

It’s a long way down to the water’s edge. I briefly entertain the thought of abandoning the scooter, switching to the sticks and hobbling on down there. Respect the physical limitations, Bree.

Frustration starts to seep into my body. The woe-is-me thoughts start rolling in unchecked:

“It’s not fair…why me…stuff it I’ll just go down there anyway who cares…”

Pity party for one, your table is now ready! Pity party for one!

“Everyone has the right to occasionally have a pity party. The trick is knowing when it’s time to leave.”

– Unknown

Indulging in a little bit of self-important wallowing is often the best way to deal with sh!t and move on.

It’s ok to cry and feel sorry for oneself and the surrounding circumstances, get angry, whatever. But at some point we need to be able to shake it off and not let it consume us entirely. We need to move forward in a constructive way. Note: Clinical depression is an entirely different discussion and that’s not what I am referring to here at all.

It’s true that some of us experience more adversity and painful events in our lives than others. But I ultimately feel it’s better to seek happiness than dwell on the negative. Negative thinking takes up a lot of valuable brain space and is something I try to consciously avoid as much as possible.

Maybe I can’t do all the things the way I used to do them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find new things to enjoy or make old things work for me in a different way.

Life is full of inventions and learning to adjust the lens to accommodate a new world. It is possible to adapt and find ways around limitations in order to remain active, productive and feel socially connected.

In the beach example, we have deliberately engineered this cherished part of our routine to enable me to participate in the best way I am able.  We start the walk together, then at a certain point my Hubby branches off with Horus for his doggy beach time, before we meet up again where the dog beach ends. The boys could stay with me the entire time and skip beach time, but then my fur-baby wouldn’t get the beach experience that he loves so much.

Boom! There it is. There’s my ‘why.’

Horus’s happiness and my being a part of it in whatever capacity I am able makes me happy.

It affirms there is actually nothing else I would rather be doing in this moment than what I am already doing: Sitting here in my scooter at the beach, watching, waiting, and taking it all in.

Horus tears up the beach track to meet me, the sand and salt flying off his long white fur, beaming his heartbreaker smile.

The pity party is officially over. I wonder if I will get a gift bag on my way out?!

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

Don’t give away your freedom to “I can’t.” There are far more choices with “I can.”

Like this post? Then share it!

All photos and content the property of Starbrite Warrior and Bree Hogan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *