Slipping Standards

Let me be honest here: I often feel frustrated by all the things I can no longer do. I feel like a useless lump on a regular basis and I catch myself getting on my own nerves more often than I care to admit.  Having said that, there is humour in every situation and I am amused by the new standards I have been forced to adopt.

My new yardstick for achievement isn't what it used to be, that's for sure!

These days, I feel I have something to be really proud of if:

  • I can get out of bed in the morning. That's always a good way to start my day.
  • I am able to have a shower. If I wash and blow dry my hair as well, that's positively fantastic
  • I feel like putting some make-up on. If I look in the mirror and I see a fat lump BUT it is a presentable fat lump, that's a great way to start the day too.
  • I can wear my contact lenses. They too help make me feel better.
  • I spend time deciding which jewellery to wear. I am not known as The Bling Girl for nothing....

So, If I am not in my nightie all day, I don't stink, my hair doesn't stick up all over the place, my eyes don't look like two pee holes in the snow, and my ring matches my necklace, I feel I have achieved something!! It may not be much to you but it's a lot to me :0)

I have a higher level of achievement and this one is a cause for celebration:

  • I have managed to walk into town or anywhere else for that matter. I love walking and I miss not being able to take a walk just when I feel like it. I live across the road from a beautiful park and yet there are days when I cannot even walk the few yards that separate me from all those beautiful trees and flowers.
  • I have prepared lunch and dinner. Wey hey! I can feed myself (and my hubby) and do not need to rely on the ubiquitous pizza....
  • I can go food shopping in the local supermarket. The combination of driving up the road, gathering the shopping, dealing with the crowds, the ambient noise and the strip light environment, unloading the car, and putting the food away, all represent a great victory for me.

So, if I am not looking into an empty fridge nagged by a gurgling hungry stomach, my digestive system doesn't start expelling wind with an Italian accent because of the pizza syndrome, and I manage to walk around a busy public place without murdering anyone, I feel I have won a gold medal at the Olympics.

And it doesn't stop there - I have a really high level of achievement that I consider to be the dog's private parts:

  • I have conversations with my family, friends and neighbours without talking about me and the way I am feeling all the time. I then feel 'unsick' and that's a very short step from feeling well. When I am able to listen, really listen, listen like a coach, I know something has come back.
  • I write in my blog. It reminds me of all the writing I used to do and enjoy doing, and I feel like a part of me is alive again.
  • I sit still and do not feel the urge to move or do anything, just appreciating the magic of breathing. I sense something new has been born.
  • I work up a sweat exerting myself physically, whether it's vacuuming the house or cleaning the car. I love the physicality of it, that basic sensation of being in a body that works. It helps me remember that my body is my friend, fat lump or no fat lump.
  • I feel fulfilled just asking a big tough question, without yearning for the answer. I then know there is a chance I may be becoming a little wiser....

So, if I listen to others rather than talk, talk, talk, if I use language in a form that can reach others and perhaps help them too, if I appreciate stillness as much as exertion and exertion as much as stillness, and if I feel truly as comfortable not knowing as I do learning and knowing, then I feel ...... like I have acquired something precious.

Perhaps my standards have not slipped after all. I may not be a champion and it is unlikely I'll win any medals for now but could it be that my yardstick is becoming a Gold Standard?....

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