Staying Positive

As I was dragging myself into the office this morning with my old lady walker a colleague commented that she couldn't believe how positive I was staying about the whole situation. I had mentioned that I had started physical therapy yesterday morning and was really sore today but it was a good kind of sore. I told her I couldn't really believe it myself.

The little memento box and journal are from a new charity shop I discovered on Etsy recently called Haiti by Hand and all proceeds go to goes directly to the relief and rebuilding efforts of Haiti By Hand in Despinos, Haiti.
The Remember Moments Trinket Box was made by Jennie Thompson. The Becoming Who We Are Journal was made by Ludid Ryu.

The past two weeks I've been working my regular full time schedule. Last week I was having someone come out and wheel me in but this week I'm making the long trek from the parking lot to my office all by myself, just like a big girl. It's a slow process and I have to keep at least a partial smile on my face because everyone wants to help me and smiles at me encouragingly. I just can't be the crabby faced lady using her walker as I would feel even more pathetic. My students are all curious about what happened and why I was gone so long so I have to smile and talk to them as I make the 15 minute trip to the bathroom all the way done the hall a few times a day too.I decided to make a list as I was walking to my car last night, about a 20 minute process, of the good things that came out of my fall. So here goes:

  1. I found out that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. When I tell people I drove myself alone to the ER with my multiple fractures they give me this look like they can't believe it. Who knew I would be able to drag myself through the snow and fight the pain to get help? Certainly not me, as I tend to think of myself as physically weak and with no pain tolerance.
  2. I have showed those around me that I'm not as helpless as I sometimes appear. I tend to give up on things that I don't know how to do quickly and just let other people do them for me. My family has been pretty shocked by how I've been able to adapt and do things for myself. Mike pu t a bag of Cheetos on the top shelf fairly early on in the process thinking I would never find them. I manage d to get myself to a stand and knock it off with a spatula to get them when he was gone at work. From then on Mike would say to think of it like a bag of Cheetos when I said I couldn't do something. He knew from that point on that if I really wanted something that I would find a way to do it.
  3. I have developed a greater appreciation for how lucky I really am. I have a quite but still interesting life and I forget how many people can say the same in the world. Mike and I are very content in our little house with our hobbies and our families and friends who live nearby. We both have secure and supportive jobs that allow us to pay our bills and still have enough to treat ourselves to vacations and other things we want but don't need. Mike was very supportive and although there were times when we drove each other crazy I think this brought us even closer. He comforted me when I was crying and helpless and pushed me on when I was unsure of myself.
  4. Which brings me to my greater appreciation for having a job that I can stand and colleagues that have gone out of their way to help me through this process. I have had to lean on certain friends at work a lot to fetch me files or carry my lunch for me, not to mention the days that I had to be driven and pushed in from my car in the wheelchair. They have made it much easier than it could have been for me which I'm very grateful for.
  5. I have developed a much deeper understanding for people with disabilities. I don't know how this will translate into my life in the future but I hope I will find a way to express it and put this knowledge to good use.
  6. I have been forced to slow down and not rush through life so much. I tend to walk to and from my car talking on my cell phone or checking messages like most people in this modern world. The weeks on the couch and now the long, slow walks to and from my car have given me time to actually stop and think and sometimes even enjoy the moment. I can't say that I enjoyed all the down time but there were some good times at home reading, helping to plan Chris and Tif's wedding and our trip to New Mexico this summer. And when I'm walking outside now I try to enjoy the brisk Spring air and be glad that it's not 4 weeks ago with the bitter cold.
  7. I've actually lost a few pounds and developed some calf muscles and upper body strength that I haven't had in years. I've been unable to go out and get the fast food that I too often indulged in for lunch. Many people gain weight when cooped in the house but Mike really didn't bring much into the house for me to get to minus those Cheetos I managed to find. I plan on going on walks and bringing my camera along to make the time go by quicker as I am able.
So that's my list. I'm actually surprised that I was able to come up with 7 things, some of them pretty important revelations about myself. I remember when I was lying in the ER and I called my Mom crying. I told her I didn't know how I was going to make it through this, especially at my current weight. At that moment I couldn't imagine anything good coming out of it. It's funny how life works out.

UPDATE to yesterday's post about my lens purchase. I went ahead and bought myself the refurbished Canon EF-S 17mm - 85mm f/4.0-5.6 USM IS Image Stabilized Autofocus Zoom Lens which is the lighter one made for Canon Rebels that should be a good all around lens as an upgrade to my kit lens. The only problem I could find about it that concerned me was that it doesn't perform well in low light settings without a flash. So I also bought the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II which is a small prime lens, meaning no zoom, which is ideal in that exact setting. I can carry them both in the new bag I also got which does not look like a camera bag at all, important for when I 'm traveling and I don't want to be carrying my Canon bag that screams "STEAL ME, EXPENSIVE CAMERA INSIDE!" I choose the jill.e camera messenger bag with polka-dots. Although it's not handmade jill.e is a small woman owned company that I can feel good about supporting.


Ann said...

That's a great list you came up with. I love the cheetos story...lol
Wonderful that you could take a bad situation and find so much positive in it and about yourself.

I checked the link for your new camera bag, I really love it.

Lynne said...

What a great list! I like to think that we are all stronger inside than we think we are and that God will never give us more than we can truly handle.
I applaud you for recognizing the good things that have come from a bad situation and thank Mike for "hiding" the Cheetos! We all need something to give us a kick start and those Cheetos led you down a good path!

selahestelle said...

oh wonderful! Kudos to you. This is a lovely read and a good list of reminders for us all. So happy you're feeling better and have kept/refurbished your spirit!

Sinclair said...

Wonderful list. I am glad that you are progressing well in your recovery and that you found a strength you didn't know you had. Kudos to you! Thanks for the positive thoughts on your visit to my blog.

Lin said...

Wow, what a list, Paige! Add to that list that you also blogged through it all! :)

We never know how strong we are until we are tested. Look at what you have been through and how you came through it all. Hooray for you!

Karen said...

That is a terrific list to go by. I had two bum feet at the same time. It was hard not to get down in the dumps but I had good friends around me to keep my spirits up. It is true, it is hard to frown when you want to keep everyone's spirits up. You will make it!

Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

Ah.. I have actually been looking for a quote that I was reminded of when I was reading your post.. but I can't remember it or remember who said it..ha. SO, obviously I don't have a lot to go on..
If I think of it, I'll come back..
ANYWAY.. great list, Paige.. it is nice to hear how you are really turning this unfortunate happening into a positive learning situation..you are such a great soul.

DK Miller said...

First - I hope that you recover fast! you are strong and your positive attitude is inspiring.

Second - have fun with the new lens. :-)

Dori said...

This is an awesome list! It's like by reading your list, it makes me look within myself. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great weekend!

Carol said...

You're staying amazingly positive through all this, Paige! You are very very blessed~

Anonymous said...

It is so important to be able to come up with those lists. It makes you realize that our lives are not really as dismal as we would otherwise believe given situations we are in. What a great list!

Lisa Marie Olson said...

What a lovely find, I hope that you feel better soon, thanks for sharing.
Lisa :)

Split Rock Ranch said...

What a great list you came up with. Everything happens for a reason and you have proven that even "bad" situations can be turned into something positive; a learning experience in so many ways, and something to build on in the future. I hope you continue to heal and that you're walking normally by summer time so that you can enjoy your vacation!

Thank you for hosting my Entrecard ad today. I've been very bad about not visiting blogs lately - I have two foster kittens and one was deathly ill so they took up a lot of my time.


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