I am always inspired to write by the strangest events and thought processes. It is apparent that the last few weeks have been difficult for many of us; the passing of two very special women in our blogosphere, Rachel and Susan, the looming anniversaries of diagnosis and deaths, and too much “motherless children” talk. (Okay, no such thing as too much motherless children talk, that’s part of the reason we are here, to support one another. It can just be a bit draining and exhausting at times.) So draining at times, I found myself curled up in bed with a nasty flu this Tuesday, puking and all. Fun, fun!
After losing the contents of my stomach at work on Tuesday morning, I headed home for some much needed down time. My head hit the pillow at 9am, I woke up for a bite of yogurt sometime in the afternoon and then back to sleep until 9am the following morning. A solid 24-hours of sleep does a body good!
Wednesday morning I felt like a new person. I looked around my house and was disgusted with myself. The dishes were piled high in the sink, the floor needed mopping, and I had laundry piled to the ceiling. This may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea; I had obviously been in a funk and let my house, and myself, go. Knowing I didn’t have to be to work until noon, I set off on a mission to fix the funk.
With my iPhone firmly planted in my Bose player, I began sorting my laundry and cleaning the dishes, all the while rocking out and dancing with the dogs to Stone Temple Pilots. As I loaded one load of laundry out of the washer and into the dryer, then another load into the washer, my already-motivated attitude continued to improve.
Anyone who knows me knows I despise folding laundry. I will wash clothes all day long, as long as someone else will fold it. Why is it so hard to fold laundry? Anyhoo, let’s get to the inspiration part of this post. If I was going to feel un-funked and clean, I was going to have to fold my laundry. I took the first load of cleaned clothes to my bedroom and began the tedious task of folding, but for some reason, on this particular day, the task didn’t seem so tedious. I turned the music up louder and danced while I folded. There was no one around to see me, so what did it matter?
When the first basket was complete, I was beyond pleased. I had a ginormous pile of clean underwear, AND Every. Single. Sock. Had its match! Does that ever happen? Have you ever done laundry and not had a stray sock? I haven’t…which it probably why I purchase white ankle socks every time I go to Costco. I digress…In that moment, I was overcome with a sense of joy and accomplishment. In that moment, I felt human, normal and happy. Over what? Socks? Clean underwear? Then it dawned on me; I take myself far too seriously. Society takes itself too seriously.
I was so excited about this revelation, I took a dry erase marker and began writing the simple things that bring me joy on my mirror in the bedroom. My list included
clean underwear and socks;
sleeping in til at least 9am on the weekends;
almond blossoms (pronounce AL-mond, people, not Ah-mond);
making up my own words;
taking my dogs for walks at the river and watching them play;
singing, dancing and being loud when no one is home.
All simple items, right? So why is it so difficult to acknowledge the joy these simple things bring me on a day to day basis? Because I have been hard-wired by my past experiences to be serious, attentive and logical. (Who determines what is and is not logical, anyway?) Any caregiver or patient will probably agree that when faced with disease, life becomes much more serious. The severity of one’s situation does not necessarily need to deter the simple pleasure of life from being, well…simple pleasures.
What simple things make you happy? When was the last time you laughed out loud, giggled at yourself, or let loose?