In Cape Ann, MA yesterday, we wandered around the Rocky Neck Artists ' Colony. The second place we wandered in to was Brenda Malloy's shop, Imagine. She sells colorful paintings that she does, as well as clothing that she buys on annual shopping trips to Asia. On her business card, and on the wall in her bathroom which serves as her dressing room is a motto that she lives by, and that I aspire to live by: 'Live The Life You Love, Love the Life You Live'. Living in an artists' colony half of the year, travelling the other half is a life many people wold see as a dream life (though I am sure it has its ups and downs, and difficult parts as well).
Do you live the life you love? Are you doing what you dreamed of doing as a kid? Are you doing what makes you happy? Most of us would answer 'No' to those questions. We live a life where we work to pay the bills, we take care of our responsibilities, with little time left for what we love. Or, as the case often is for people with chronic pain/illness, much of our time/energy/money goes to managing our illness.
What can you do to move closer to the life you want? What changes can you make in your routines to have time/energy to do what you love to do? Look at how you spend your time/energy/money, and ask yourself, "Is this supporting the life I want, or is it detracting from it?" You have to keep a little bit of realism in your answers, to make sure you are not making decisions that could harm you, such as deciding to stop taking a medication because you wish you could get along without it. Wishes won't become reality just because we wish them. Work with your doctor to decrease medications, or streamline them, if that would move you closer to your ideal life. Stop wasting time and energy on things you are 'supposed' to do, and use that time and energy on what makes you healthier and happier.
The other side of this motto, is loving the life you live. People with chronic pain/illness don't have ideal lives. We didn't ask for these maladies, but we are stuck with them. Rather than focussing on what is wrong, focus on what is right in your life. Find the aspects of your life that you do love, and emphasize them. No ones' life is perfect.
Keep the motto 'Live The Life You Love, Love the Life You Live' in the back of your mind for awhile, and see what changes come about. Your life will be easier and you will be happier.