Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Just for fun

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today is the perfect day to do something just for fun. Actually, every day is perfect, but why not start today?

Just because you have a chronic illness or just because my knees buckle doesn’t mean we are unworthy of fun.

What kind of fun?

It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all.

It could be as simple as playing with a puppy.

Digging out your kazoo and honking away.

Walking around the block and actually smiling to every person you meet along the way.

Dancing to a song on the radio.

Talking to a houseplant.

Rearranging a room “just because.”

To have fun, you don’t have to laugh uproariously or feel as if you’ve become a one-woman (or -man) comedy routine.

Just doing something that makes you smile gently, happily, healthfully – that can be fun and lift your mood the whole day.

I’d write more, but I have to run.

I’m going to do something – just for fun!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

We teach others to care

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicEvery time I hear or read about the “burden” that the ill, frail, and disabled place upon society, I want to scream. The reference is usually made in terms of the financial cost, but it can also be couched as a “problem” for families with loved ones who require their attention, or the elderly who need more support to live their lives with dignity.

“Burden?”

Hardly.

Without the ill, weak, or physically or emotionally handicapped people in our world, how would anyone learn what it means to love? And, if there were no means by which people would learn to love, wouldn’t the world quickly dissolve into a place without love? Without goodness? Without compassion?

Now, I don’t mean “love” as the giddy, heart-pounding kind of affection celebrated on February 14. No, I mean more the “agape” kind of love, the care expressed and lived out for others as explained and demonstrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is that kind of love that allows strangers to care tirelessly for others, to bathe them and treat them, to help them die with respect and dignity. It is that kind of love that inspires medical professionals to devote years and years of their lives, learning how to better care for their patients and rendering that care.

People who are infirm, especially those who cannot speak or act for themselves, teach us how to rise above our own egos and desires and reach for a greater goal: Living, however stutteringly, as Christ wishes us to live.  By respecting their lives and by recognizing that it is God who gives breath and life in the first place, we become honorable, something more than merely human. We become better people, through and through. And that cannot be quantified by any study, economic or otherwise.

For we who have serious health conditions, it’s important to recognize how much we can teach others.  And it’s important to encourage those still able-bodied to understand beyond the “inconvenience” posed by our limitations and see that there is a greater calling, open to all.

The call to care and, one day, be cared for, in turn.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

When you think you’ve had enough

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s a curious thing that happens to many writers when they reach the middle of a particular project: They want to turn back, start a new project, or otherwise abandon their current work-in-progress because it seems to be completely fogged over, unscrutable, or unmanageable.  In short, they feel they’ve had enough of work as it is and long to switch to something else.

Of course, if every writer gave into the temptation to quit mid-stream, we would have no longer works of either fiction or non-fiction. And the world would be the sadder for it in more ways than one.

Dieters often hit this “enough!” point, and many people trying to throw off the yolk of addition do, too. So do people living with bouts of illness, flares that flame, or any other physical (or emotional) challenge.  At some point, usually close to the midway point, you might think you’ve had enough. Enough of the medication, treatments, pain, or inconvenience. Enough of the relying on others for your care, enough of putting the rest of your life on hold.

So much of our journey with illness and pain is the struggle to give up our expectations and give in to God’s will. And so much of it, too, is understanding that each flare, each new challenge has an arc. Beginning, middle, and end.  And when I’ve faced my own, “Enough!” moment, I pray for clarity, for understanding where I’m at in terms of the particular episode and how I might deal with it so that I do not falter as I move through the moment and past it toward more relief and peace.

Doctors can be helpful in explaining the trajectory of a flare or other physical challenge. Our loved ones can be splendid “fans” cheering us on and giving us the support we need.

And we can help ourselves, too, by lifting up those darkest moments, asking for light, and trusting that, no matter how bad it gets, God will see us through.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

You can be contagious!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicJust as surely as we allow our bad days to make for bad moods and thus make for more isolation than relationships, so, too, on our good days, our lifted spirits can be the spark that makes for the ultimate in happy contagion – a contagion of goodwill and humor to all.

Far from being flippant, I mean to be very serious. We have more of an effect on others than we will ever imagine, and  when we consciously turn our thoughts to better things, good things, and finding the positive even among a mile-high heap of negative, we can infect others with our mood. We can spread the wealth of well-meaning and well-being.

We can be modern-day bearers of good tidings, with a smile and a kind word, a gentle gesture.

There have been scientific studies of the positive effects of laughter and humor on mood, as well as on the ability to better cope with adversity, pain, and other life challenges. But we don’t really need scientific studies to tell us what we know to be true:  For all the obstacles we face, and for all the “bad” days that may be to come, if we set share our good attributes and attitudes and readily express praise and thanks for the gifts we have, we can start a veritable epidemic of like-hearted goodness that can only lift many spirits and make the world, indeed, a better place.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Previous Posts

New Podcast Chat with Sean Herriott
Sean Herriott is the former host of Relevant Radio (Catholic Radio)'s morning program, "Morning Air." Over the past several years, I was a regular guest on Sean's program, talking about health and faith an all sorts of topics. He now has his own podcast, "Faith As a Second Language," and I am a gues

posted 4:51:19pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Too Many Moving Parts? Here's Help!
  This doc wants bloodwork and so does that doc, but the appointments aren't on the same day, so you end up with 2 sticks instead of one. Then, the first doc needs more blood and another test, and a third doc insists you need another test, but at a different facility from the first one, so you end

posted 1:08:20am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: Look for Light
"One more doctor visit" bringing you down? Last week, I had two doc visits in one day, both of which were delayed and difficult. But, at the second one, a "God thing" happened

posted 1:27:45am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: When Everyone Has Their Own Ideas
Don't you just know, one person's rheumatoid arthritis is another's "Oh, it's just aches and pains?" Or, one person's propensity to infection is another's "Don't worry, I only have

posted 6:12:12pm Sep. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: How Can You Feel Like You Belong?
Loneliness is one of the hardest things to conquer for many people living with chronic pain. But sometimes, it is not so much the feeling of being alone as it is the feeling of not belonging - belonging to a group, family, church, or workplace team. When we struggle with ongoing and often severe

posted 6:12:06pm Sep. 13, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.