Every Day is Like Sunday

Stop and Smell the Roses

 

One of the hardest things about living with a chronic illness is learning that life has to be paced. No more jumping out of bed and embracing the day with the energy of a basketball team. I know that sounds like an extreme analogy but that is how I used to live. I had that kind of energy.  I have always loved life and I woke up every day with the anticiption that a new day would bring new and exciting opportunities.

To do what you might ask?

Well, just to live and contribute to society, be that business, community, home life, church life…whatever! I know I am not alone in experiencing a life changing health event. There are many, many people suffering from long term chronic illnesses, be that physical or mental disabilities. One minute active, the next wondering what to do with a failing body.

Today is Sunday and I have always loved Sundays. It is a day when I have always been quiet and reflective. Well, reflective anyway. When you are married to a Anglican Clergyman, Sundays are usually far from quiet as it’s always been the busiest day of our week!! Thankfully he is retired now, as my carer, so we can definitely reclaim Sundays as a quiet day. So while I have been reflective today, I began thinking about how my life has changed and how really everyday is now like a Sunday for me. I have to pace everything I do.

I can make lists as long as my arm but there is no way I can physically achieve them. I can dream of far away adventures or just popping out on a whim to visit friends or family but the reality is I can’t do that either. Is that so bad?

No, not really. Sunday is my favourite day and now I have lots of them. Some days still feel like a Monday or a Thursday if I have medical appointments to get to but other than that I can pace myself. That’s why I’m medically retired, to care for myself and manage my disease and find a new quality of life.

The biggest battle with embracing everyday like it’s Sunday, is with me.

I know that physically I have a broken left femur that won’t heal, the right femur has a rod in it to prevent a full break and is incredibly painful,  all as a result of a rare bone disease that is killing off my bones.

I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis which affects all my joints and the cherry on top, my permanent colostomy. You would think I would be intelligent enough to give myself permission to treat every day like Sunday, or at the very least like Saturday!!

Mostly I do but there are still moments and days when I want to run, I want to plan and I want to contribute to life on a larger scale like I used to. Underneath the physical disabilities I am still me, I am still that same person that jumped out of bed every morning with way too much energy. I can’t change my health situation but I can always change my mindset and I am choosing to embrace my new life. I have learned to live very differently over the past 4 years. It seems strange to say this but it has actually been an incredibly busy 4 years with so many surgeries, so many hospital visits and new diagnoses that I actually do need a good month of Sundays for my body to recover.

So, I’m going to  give myself permission to “Stop and Smell the Roses” and  who knows with enough Sundays all strung together, I might actually be able to enjoy the odd Tuesday and Wednesday….Fridays may still be a bit much !!

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

 

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10 thoughts on “Every Day is Like Sunday

  1. You are an amazing woman, Sam, and don’t you ever forget it! Your blog may be something you do in your “spare time” now that you’re medically retired, but even that one effort is having a real impact. I look forward to getting each and every entry in my email box. Even though we have never met and are halfway around the world from each other, you feel like a friend, whom I enjoy hearing from and praying for. I too used to live at a crazy busy pace, until I got (re-)married two years ago. I not only married a man who lives at a much slower pace due in part to his own chronic condition, but then my father died, my mother became very ill, and I was diagnosed with RA. As a parent of a now 11-yr-old, my life couldn’t come to a complete stop, but it has felt like it at times, especially after I had shoulder surgery last year. Now, with my mother doing better and my RA under control, I’m trying to pull my energy level back up to that I can work more, accomplish more around the house, and actually spend time w friends. It’s not easy, after two years of “Sunday” living! Whether it is adjusting to a slower pace, or ratcheting back up to a higher one, I think major changes to our lifestyle are always stressful. And yet, you continue to do so with a determined smile on your face! Oh, how evident is the joy of the Lord in your life. As I see God give you strength to endure all you’re facing, so it motivates me to draw closer to Him in order to be strengthened myself. You shine, lady! So while you may not be as active physically, know that everything you are doing and your great outlook on life is making a difference in the world. Here’s to your Sundays!

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    1. Linda, thank you so much for your amazing encouragement & friendship. I love your comments & like you feel you are a special friend even though we have never met & are on different sides of the world. Thank you for sharing your story with me too. Although none of us would ever choose to have a chronic disease, there have been so many blessings that have come as a result & one of those is time to write & connect with others who are finding ways to live fulfilled & rewarding lives. You have inspired me through your blog & your gift of sharing your faith through your writing is so beautiful. Thank you for making this particular Sunday an extra bit special 💗

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  2. Sam, I often complain these days about Sundays. It is usually my busiest day, and I hate it. We have gotten into attending a Sunday School lesson, church (where I seem to do things) followed by a weekly meeting at 1 PM followed by lunch. I love church, Sunday school is invigorating, and the meeting is ok, but all on one day is way too much for me.

    Sheryl loves it all and would do it all every day if she had the chance. I find it so exhausting.I wish I could half the day and do it ever other week. I have grown to appreciate what a minister’s family must feel think, but I bet it is 3x worse.

    At any rate, I decided to swallow the upset and do my part one day a week. Sheryl certainly does her part for my many doctor’s appointments, etc.

    So this week I will do my best to enjoy this Sunday, keeping in mind your wonderful words of wisdom.

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  3. Sam, this is a brilliant piece of writing. I understand all too well what you are talking about. While I have different challenges, the basic premise is the same. Learning to pace yourself is not easy when you have spent so long being a free spirit and a fraction of that time being chronically ill. For me Sundays are frustrating because I can not make it to church. Once I get up, showered, dressed, fed, etc., and still have a 20 minute drive there, I end up too tired to even make it to the car. Saturdays are my good day. I wish every day could be a Saturday!

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    1. Thank you Lydia for your encouragement. Not being able to attend church is one of my greatest sorrows so I feel your pain. I have learned though to make my Sunday’s special. Listening to an online sermon, singing hymns & keeping it a relaxed day with no chores has been really helpful in allowing me to adjust to the loss of not physically being able to attend. It’s actually comforting to know I’m not alone in this loss. Thanks for taking the time to comment xx

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  4. Looking at every day like it is Sunday is a great metaphor for seeing the silver lining in the quiet, at-home lifestyle that many of us with chronic illness are limited to. We have time to pursue hobbies, enjoy the small moments, and the peace and quiet of this lifestyle. I also miss the opportunities to engage with the world, to have a career, to be spontaneous. But focusing on what I gain rather than what I lose helps me stay optimistic! Thanks for sharing your experiences and putting this reality of life with chronic illness in a positive light.

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    1. Hi Katarina,
      Thanks so much for dropping by & commenting. You have summed up beautifully the essence of what I was trying to capture. I can tell you just “get it”.
      Take care
      Sam xx

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  5. I am so glad I found your blog through the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, Sam! I have definitely experienced having to majorly reevaluate my entire pace of life in the last year, which is crazy because I am only 25 years old. In the last year, I have been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Bipolar II Disorder, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and PTSD, on top of General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Chiari Malformation. I am a mom of a very active three year old and just graduated with a Masters in Divinity.

    But honestly, what seemed like a curse has been a blessing. My faith is stronger than ever. My marriage is stronger than ever. I have found s split shift career I love. I have found time to focus on my writing, my first vocational love. I have grown closer to my daughter. As you wrote, I have truly stopped to smell the roses and treat every day like Sunday. And I am better, so much better, for it.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. You are amazing & despite your health challenges your comment has brought a huge smile to my face. You are a beautiful inspiration & have really encouraged me. Thank you
      Sam xx

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