Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Week of Lemons

It wasn't the best week...

The MRI report declared that my back, hip and thigh pain officially stem from a herniated disc. Not what I wanted to hear.  My physical therapist made my orders clear: no bending, twisting or crouching over. Great. That left little on the can do list, and certainly not cleaning the house that was in desperate need of it and not pulling the weeks in the flower beds that had grown taller than small trees. Then my daughter came home for 5 days to seek rest, TLC and air conditioning as she fought what looked like some sort of flu virus. Who gets flu in June? And a sudden death of someone extra special in our church and very well known in the community meant our service group went into overdrive to help with meals, support and services. So important, but exhausting. Though I tried to follow the rules, my back started to hurt more. I woke up yesterday with a migraine that didn't want to go away. I was eating mindlessly; one of my sure signs of stress overload. And, as I was finally heading home last night in ridiculous 5:30 traffic on a 3 lane interstate, my front tire suddenly spewed steam as it blew out...

I was able to safely pull the car over close to the guard rail.  I stopped.

I needed to stop. I needed to put a different spin on everything that has been happening.  I needed to start pushing myself in a positive direction. And that's just what I started to do...

When I feel myself spiraling down the slippery slide of emotional exhaustion, I have found one thing that really helps me. I reach for a pen and notebook and write a list of everything I am thankful for.  This enables me to put a positive spin on what's been happening and helps me put perspective on my life. I want to share a portion of mine:

I am thankful for...
      -having medical care available to me
      -a wonderful physical therapist
      -health insurance
      -I will not need surgery
      -not needing total bed rest!
      -most of my body is healthy
      -good friends to share everything with
      -my wonderful husband mowing, mulching and watering plants
      -I can hire the teen next door to pull weeds, and he is happy to help
      -I can still see the flowers!
      -I have working air conditioning
      -my daughter calls me!
      -she got over the flu in less than a week
     -I am part of a wonderful church community
     -I was driving in the far right lane
     -No one was injured
     -The car wasn't damaged
     -I have AAA
     -I had enough gas to run the air conditioning on the 92 degree day while waiting for the tow truck
     -I had a new tires with a replacement warantee on them

....And that's exactly what I needed.  To put my focus on the good things in these situations.  Today, I am headache free and relaxed.  I even ate my yogurt and blueberries mindfully this morning.  Life is good.  As that old saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!


  1. I am thankful for you! (and I know I'm not the only one). Take care of yourself. Mary

  2. This is exactly what I needed! Trying to focus on the positives as my husband is getting laid off and we may possibly lose our spots with the most wonderful daycare lady anyone could ever ask for. I will make a list, although right now it seems very short... :P

  3. Thanks, Barb! What a thoughtful, and thought provoking, message. I used to think...when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Not anymore. Next time I'm going through a rough stretch, I'm going to utilize your example and write down my list of thankful items. Barb, here's proof again, utilizing your own personal example and making it a teaching moment, why you are such an outstanding teacher and even a better person!!!

    P.S. Your herniated disc will get better with proper PT and exercise, and of course, TLC. I know, I had one and also a bulging disc 5 years ago. Thanks again for your message and stay positive!


  4. Thank you. I think this will be very useful!

  5. Thanks for all the email and positive comments on the lemon post! It certainly warms my heart to know so many of you are out there reaching out to make a connection. The power of group support, even online, combined with positive attitude is amazing. And this week is going much better, thank you!


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