I use to have a quote I lived by:
"I can do anything if I am not nauseous."
This was developed after 4 very sick pregnancies or aka: "The boat ride that never ends" or so it seemed at the time.
Long after the pregnancies were over, that was still my motto. I learned much from those long boat rides. Or as my mother wrote in her journal, "There is no progression ease to ease."
All these years later my nausea memories have thankfully faded, and now I live by a different motto, from some other life lessons that have come my way.
When I was Relief Society president a few years back I became very well acquainted with adversity in life. Not just my own...mine very much paled to what I saw others go through. Just one example of many...there was this one woman in our ward, a little older than myself, who had numerous, unrelenting health challenges. Not just a few maladies, but many things were going wrong with her body.
The pain, the uncertainty...the many days she could not get out of bed. Then she would bounce back for a few days or a week or so, and she would be out and about getting things done. On one of these occasions as I saw her pushing her cart through the grocery store, she was just smiling to herself. I couldn't help but go up to her and ask, "Please tell me. You are an inspiration. How do you do this?" She explained that she wants to enjoy each and everyday. "Any a day I'm not in pain, is a GOOD day. And even when I am in pain, I want to enjoy that day."
She made an impression on me. I was going through some pain at the time that would just not leave me alone.My jaw had become dysfunctional and I was living on very soft foods. For 7 years. One of those years I could only tolerate liquids. My Pollyanna husband (who is much like my Mom, btw) would say nearly every single day, "Don't we have THE BEST life?" I wanted to respond, "Well maybe you do. You can eat. I can't." A time or two I did say that, but usually I would get quiet and think to myself, 'Well at least he's happy."
I quit going to weddings, family potlucks, restaurants...all the gathering places for people and food.
Then I came to the point where I'd had enough. Whether my jaw hurt, or I could eat or not eat, this was my life and it was going along without me. I was missing out on the joy of it.
But I didn't get to this place without some help.
A very pivotal point to my understanding, was when my niece (Hailey's mother) lived for nearly 3 years with leukemia. Just being alive (and not having cancer) took on a whole different meaning to me, because of her. She kept a blog and shared with many of us an inside view of living with cancer. One particular post changed my life. I'm not being dramatic here, really, it did. I still think of it often.
Here it is:
I remember about this same time period, having a discussion with an acquaintance about life and adversity. I shared a little of what I was going through at the time, and she said to me, "Life happens!" It seemed a bit flippant. But it's stayed with me in a good way. Sort of along the same lines of a quote I heard recently, "Life is painful, Princess!"
Whether we live in a castle or not, "life happens." Some of it's painful. The trick is enjoying the journey, enjoying the adventure of it all. And realizing that we better be thankful for what we have because one phone call can change it all.
It's taken me decades to get to this. Not just my body aging, but my appreciation for every single day.
But I still think it would be HARD if I were nauseous. Just had to add that.