Chronic pain is generally defined as being in pain longer than 6 months; some doctors say as little as 3 months. I’m well into month number four with my bad back, so I’m just going to call it like I see it. I currently have chronic pain.
For the Hate Loss Challenge in January if you remember, we decided to keep a gratitude jar for the month. Though I did very well in writing down what I was grateful for every day that month, I admit my enthusiasm began to dwindle around mid-February. After my birthday I pretty much stopped adding to my jar altogether. I still thought it was a great idea, but I began neglecting it for the same reason why I deleted my Twitter account: I am a visual person. To me, pictures capture what tweets cannot. That’s when I realized I needed something visually appealing to keep my grateful attitude going.
I honestly feel better when I can physically account the good things that are happening in my life. It makes my back pain seem less ‘in my face’ if that makes any sense. Now, with my Twitter account a thing of the past and my gratitude jar sitting in Idle Mode, I’ve decided to capture gratitude with my camera and acknowledge it once or twice a week, here on my blog.
You’re in luck, because today is Day One. I’ll be tagging these photos Progress with Pictures until I can come up with a catchier phrase. lol
Yesterday was Easter so I realize I’m a day late but I really wanted to begin my exercise with this particular photo. This was the table setting I’d created; laying out dishes for the first holiday I’ve ever hosted at my house knowing from that day forward I’d no longer feel an obligation to involve myself in a situation that would cause distress because of a disruptive family member.
Because I made certain boundaries clear and because I’d made up my mind that I was entitled to make my holidays what I envisioned them to be, my guests enjoyed a lovely lunch with great food, conversation, and we all ate together at the same table – something our family has rarely accomplished because of the usual chaos, angst and disruption. I’m actually looking forward to hosting Christmas – something I have never, ever said in my entire life.
I am forty-three years old. It’s taken my entire life to realize that I have a right to say what happens in it. I guess we all fill our buckets at different speeds. As they begin to overflow, that’s when we must decide to get a bigger bucket or stop holding the damned thing altogether. I got tired of holding my heavy, burdensome bucket and because I let go I feel lighter than ever.
I hope those of you who celebrated Easter had a great time with your family and that you enjoyed your weekend. I also hope you enjoy this new series of gratitude photos.