Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living at Peace

I have been at peace the last few days.

Maybe it is because Sarah is home, and all my ducklings are under one roof.
Maybe because I will spend a few days with extended family.
Maybe because the stair glide was installed and it is one less thing I have to think about.
Maybe because I solved the irritated skin issue on my own.
Maybe because I have been writing about two hours every day.
Maybe because I finished the rough copy of a children's book I have been working on. The idea has been in my head almost ten years, and to finally have it written is an accomplishment.

I have been thinking about the word accomplishment.  It is really such a relative term.  My memories on Facebook (and otherwise) often tell me that I used to feel accomplished by doing six loads of laundry, my report card comments, making a home cooked meal, and cleaning the house - all in one day!  Don't get me wrong, that is definitely an accomplishment!  However my perspective and abilities have changed.  Now I feel accomplished if I can get my sock on by myself in the morning, or pick up my dirty laundry and throw it into the laundry basket (or even get it close!).  I am not sulking or complaining about this. Really, I am not.  I think this is partly why I feel at peace.  These things used to fall into the category of "things I have trouble doing".  Now they fall into the category of "small accomplishments".  I feel good when I can do these small things by myself.  Its funny how just a little tweak of my thought process can change my whole outlook.

So here is a list of some of my little accomplishments over the past few days:
Loving on my kids and Adam.
Taking a shower.
Getting dressed.
Trying to help Adam with an important phone call.
Using the stair glide.
Filling out an application for assistance by hand.
Writing every day.
Doing something kind for our server at Cheesecake Factory yesterday.
Telling my nephew I love him.
Laughing with my kids and Adam.
Apologizing to Sarah for losing my patience.
Slicing cheddar cheese for my lunch.
Throwing away the dead food in my fridge.
Letting go of some sadness over a lost relationship.
Writing a few thank you notes by hand.
Figuring out how to do a few things with one hand that usually need two.

On another note (but maybe the same), I have received such kind texts and messages from people! Some of these people I haven't spoken to in very long time, but the kind words and expressions of concern have been so thoughtful.  Some have been suggestions of continued medical testing, how to get on drug trials, or just the sharing of beautiful memories and love.  I really appreciate them all! Relationships take time, and they are an accomplishment in themselves.  I guess we really don't look at them this way.  I think I used to take some of my relationships for granted, putting other things like laundry and cleaning before connecting and loving.  Relationships - family, children, friendships, lovers, spouses, community.

Maybe there is a reason I have ALS.  I mean it sucks and I would really prefer NOT to have it, but maybe it is part of my grand plan.  (do I believe in a grand plan?) Maybe in this time of anger and divisiveness, me having ALS is a way to bring people together and talk about love, kindness, and compassion.

**I just reread the last few sentences - boy am I full of myself!  Eh, keeping it there anyway.**

Last night I had a dream that I think was about my funeral.  I know, kind of morbid.  I say "I think", because the dream was silent, and there wasn't anything there that was identifying it as my funeral.  I just kind of knew.  I could see everything - a big room, lots of chairs, filled with all these people I know, some were laughing, some had tears in their eyes, some were holding hands and happily hugging the person next to them.  It really wasn't sad, but just comforting and peaceful.  I didn't wake up scared or upset or crying.  It was actually kind of nice.  It felt like a subdued party rather than a funeral.  I like bringing people together, so maybe that was an indication of my final accomplishment.

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