Why is it, during the week I have all kinds of ideas for this blog; but when I sit down to write it, my mind is a blank. After such a long silence, I thought I would have all kinds of things to say. One thing I do remember thinking was how much my questions have changed. I think I did a post about questions a while ago – asking what is the gift and blessing in this situation rather than wailing “Why does this happen to me?”. Then again, why not me? Do I think I should be exempt from challenging situations? Recently I was listening to alternative talk radio and this quote came up – “The Universe is doing it for you, not to you”.
I have to then ask myself what messages have I been sending through thoughts, words and actions? Yes, the old childhood programs are running, the difference is I am more aware of them. I was thinking last night before I went to sleep that I have survived, overcome, came through – whatever term one wants to use – the things and situations in my life over the past almost 70 years.Ye Gods and Little Fishes! 70 in January – how did that happen? Must have happened when I wasn’t looking. I don’t feel any particular age, I just am. When I think about being 70 soon, I feel as though my time is shorter than I thought.
Lately I have been smacked in the face with the results of long-term effects of RA and meds. It never occurred to me that I would have trouble with edema in my lower legs, then lead to wounds that need to be wrapped to heal them. My skin has always been tender because it is pale – I sunburn very easily. Now it is fragile and that concerns me, I run aground on things but I don’t remember when or how, I only notice I have broken the skin. Everything takes longer to heal because of biologic and immunosuppressant – some days I feel I am between a rock and hard place.
I would have whinged and complained about it before; now I am wondering what I can learn from it and what can I do or think differently. It is much easier to write it than it is to do. I suspect the whinge is the first response and I have to consciously change gears to see it differently. I also was smacked in the face with realizing that when people see me, they see the deformity of my hands. I am looking at a different angle and know they aren’t as they used to be. But I don’t really noticed it. I think I saw my hands in a mirror and realized I don’t have to say anything for someone to know I have RA – the hands tell it all.
I am grateful about how much my hands can do – I can do a lot of the things I want and need to do – at times strength and flexibility aren’t there, but I have been able to find other ways around it. My body has made it possible to do things, go places, explore and travel. I had also been thinking about the question of “What need does RA meet?”. I had a thought the other day about that – I have often felt there was nothing special about me, but RA is a way to be special and different. People have often said they don’t know I do all that I do with RA. I will admit I haven’t been doing a whole lot lately except recover. A friend recently said she remembers when I was always going and going. I realize my life has been a lot more sedentary the past couple or 3 years. Time to put on my walking shoes and walk more.
Now I need to think in terms of how am I special without RA? Everyone is special in his or her own way, but society says there are only certain ways to be that way. But is being famous or well-known the most important way to do it? Suppose each of us recognized what is special about us and worked within our circles of friends, colleagues and acquaintances? There would be all these circles that would overlap and who knows what could be accomplished. We all want to be special and recognized, finding that specialness is not always easy – one of those “think outside the box” type situations.
Then there is the question “What keeps me from feeling special?”. “What makes me think I am not special?”. Is it childhood programs or feedback from peers, etc.? Or is it Madison Avenue telling us over the years if we don’t fit the mold, we aren’t acceptable? Now at this age I am considered old and discounted as not worth advertising to – only those 18 – 34 are important. I don’t feel old, I don’t feel unworthy or any of that, I am at my best now than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. I am smarter and realize what is really important as well as finally understanding so many things that were so confusing.
I feel as if I am on the threshold of a new life, I need to be clear on what I want it to be and begin to create it. Simple, right?