Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Things I Thought I Couldn't Do

Lately, I have surprised myself so much.  There were always so many things I thought I couldn't do and that I needed somebody to help me with.

For example, three years ago my husband had a stroke.  My first thought, of course, was that he has to come out of this.  He has to be fine.  I need his help.  I can't figure everything out alone.  Well, he did not fully recover.  He was left with aphasia and cognitive problems which I mentioned in previous blogs.  So I had to figure it out alone.  And all along the way there have been so many things I have been forced to figure out alone.

The first thing I learned through all this is that it was important that I took one thing at a time.  One hit of a difficulty at a time.  I stopped telling myself that there was so much for me to do and to figure out.  Instead, I focused on one thing at a time…which was extremely hard for me the multi-tasker….me, the get-it-all-done-now person… and me, hearing the phone ringing constantly from insurance companies, medical offices, and so on and so forth.  It seemed it just would pile on and wouldn't stop.  And then all the forms I had to complete for his disability…and, for his job that he could no longer go to…and medical papers.  It all seemed like too much.  I needed help.  Where was I going to get it.  I raised my arms up to the heavens and asked God for help… and, immediately, I saw the help.  There it was…at the end of my arms….my own two hands.  I told myself I could do it with my own help…my own hands..and I did.

I also recall my first day as a candy striper as a hospital volunteer.  I was taken into the central supply room that was maybe 8 feet by 4 feet.  There were baskets and piles of white hand towels that needed folding. The supervisor for that department said that this pile had never been cleared, it just got more clean towels added onto it everyday and for me to just finish whatever I could.  So I took one towel at a time.  I worked for 8 hours that day…yes, my very first day as a candy striper.  And I folded over 4000 towels.  I folded the entire pile.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment.  I didn't care who noticed and who didn't.  It was my own self-sense of accomplishment that pumped me up and motivated me.  I was only 14-years-old when I did that and I am now 65 years old.  I will never forget that sense of accomplishment.   I checked back into that department as often as I could to see that the towels were kept up with and most every time there were none to fold.  They told me it had become easier for them to keep up as prior to my helping they would just look at the pile and shrug their shoulders.  But now I had helped them to keep up.  It was such a reward to give myself.

When I reflect back on my life, there were so many other things that made me feel that way and have continued to keep me motivated in life.  (I will write about those here in future blogs.)

Most recently, it was setting up my Fitbit.  I've always asked my kids for computer help or electronic device help…but they are so busy with their work and lives, I really don't care to take up their time with my stuff.  So I googled Fitbit.  I followed the instructions…and I did it!  It was SO easy!  When I was done, tears welled up in my eyes.  I just couldn't believe I've had this sitting here for over a year waiting to setup and it was this easy.  So when I'm done with this post, you know what I'll be doing…Yep.  I'm walking!  And I can't wait.  I'm sure it will be the best walk I've had for a long time…cause now I'll be able to actually count my steps…how many I took.  I'll be stepping closer to my exercise goals; closer to my life time goals of getting and being healthier…so that I can continue to have time to learn so much more about myself and the things I thought I couldn't do but actually  I CAN!