Friday, February 26, 2010

On the brighter side

Although my moment of frustration isn't entirely over, (is it still considered a moment if it's lasted three days?) I'm doing much better today. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I've really been making an effort to focus on the brighter side of things. It's not an easy task, I'll admit, but I have been able to come up with a short list of the positive things I've experienced and the (hopefully) admirable qualities I posses, thanks to CF.

Responsibility: From a very early age I've been responsible for my own health. Everything from treatments to taking pills to being sure I know and respect my own limits. Sure, my mom had to do a lot of pushing and prodding when I was younger, but ultimately the resposibility was on my shoulders. She couldn't do my treatments for me. As I've gotten older, the thought of sticking around for a while is enough incentive for me to be responsible. I feel like I've been able to apply that attitude of responsibility to other aspects of my life as well: my job, parenting, finances, etc. I certainly try, anyway.

Appreciation: I feel like I appreciate things on a more acute level because of CF. Because I know what it's like to be sick, I appreciate the days I feel good. Because there have been times that I've struggled to walk up a single flight of stairs, I'm appreciative of the fact that I can jog around the block most days. Because I wasn't sure I'd ever experience pregnancy, I appreciated every aspect of it: the leg cramps, the weight gain, the aversion to toothpaste...it was all a result of that baby inside of me, and that was something I could definitely appreciate. Because my days may be numbered, I try to appreciate each one I'm given. Because I know there's a possibility of this life being short, I apprecate the knowledge and belief I have of an after-life.

Friends: I've recently connected with other people whose lives are affected by CF, and I'm so grateful for the bonds that have formed there. Through these friends, I've been given a support system (outside of family). I love sharing stories and advice. And when I start feeling down, I love having an outlet, a place to go where I know someone can relate.

Maturity: I've often been told that I have an 'old soul'. My 20-something friends are super fun and spontaneous, but the ones that I find I can relate with most are my 30-something friends; the ones who have taken a few more trips around the sun and have a better grasp on reality. That being said: I still laugh at farts, I enjoy saying inappropriate things and watching people squirm uncomfortably, and I'm not beyond sitting on the floor and coloring with crayons and a coloring book. I'm not for one second going to be pretentious and say that I'm the perfect specimen of maturity--I'm NOWHERE close. However, I do believe that being faced with the serious issues and challenging situations that are part of having (or dealing with) CF has made it easier for me to distinguish between the meaningful and the insignificant things in other aspects of my life.

Even during difficult times, I know that life is good.

And I have been so blessed.

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