Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem or Seize the Day is a maxim that people with chronic illness usually follow. Every day brings surprises, some good, some bad. This is a day that something good happened, and I grabbed it with both hands.

On Wednesday I had a great plan. Creating an order to my day helps me feel like I have control over my life. It can be very mundane things, like making my bed, hoovering, or preparing a nice dinner. Also as part of the day, I usually try to do some “work”. My opportunities for real work is very limited, as my mobility is poor, due to my multiple sclerosis, and because of my unending headache (level 5/10 at a minimum) concentrating on anything for more than 20-30 minutes makes my head explode. I had even planned to do some transcription work.

The day started, and I went through my stable routine, breakfast, meditation, journal and then to the shop to get something to make dinner. As I walked back into the house I felt something very strange. There was warmth on the side of my face. Strange. Even welcome. Comforting. The sun had peaked from behind the clouds, and it had bestowed on me the grace of its gentle touch. A surge of excitement started to well up inside me. Spring had arrived.

Rain

Ireland, and especially Connemara, is a place with a very consistent weather pattern. Rain and grey clouds are the usual condition. Accompanying this is wind, of various intensities. An abundance of this dampness surrounds us, with rivers and lake, small waterfalls, the rocks exposed as any soil was washed away. The only earth that remains has been held in place by the myriad roots of the boggy plants that eke of an existence in the swampy soil that surrounds us. At times we see dust left behind after rain from the south. This dust has the red hue of the Sahara, as they arid air in this vast desert allows the sand to rise high in the atmosphere, eventually landing here, and this western isle.

But on this day the sun that created the Sahara, a place that desires the rain that is our constant companion, graced us this its warming touch. I abandoned all my previous plans, found a chair to put in the sun, grabbed some lemonade, and a bite to eat for lunch, and wallowed in the heat. This was purely for medicinal reasons, I needed the vitamin D that the sun helps create in my body. This was my tenuous excuse. The reality was I needed to feel the energy of this yellow orb. It’s life-giving force, giving fuel to the trees, and plants. The birds Spring Chorus was exultant, with the gentle buzzing of bees searching for those flowers that had awoken from their Winter slumber.

Seizing the day

I stayed there for the afternoon, not stirring, enjoying every moment. These opportunities arrive on our doorstep, infrequently, and we have a choice. The work, and jobs, will be there the next day, but this, this glorious sun, maybe only here for a few hours. I grabbed it with both hands, and luxuriated in its presence, dreaming that my toes were in the sands of southern Spain. What a day!! It will remain in my memory, giving back its warmth on the next day of rain, grey clouds and wind.

This is a lesson that I have learned from my chronic illness. Take the opportunity when it arrives. Grab it with both hands and don’t let go. This memory could stay with you forever. Let me know if you do this, and what do you remember.

 

Please share. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “Living with Chronic Illness – Carpe Diem”

  1. I to believe in grasping opportunity when it arises. Which is why we now live in southern Spain, most of time enjoying the joy of the sun’s rays.
    It has made such a difference to my life it is unbelievable. We knew that it helped me being in the sun from our holidays, but being in it all the time well the difference is vast. This past couple of weeks I have done things I thought I would never do again and haven’t done for over 20 yrs. I’ve also had 3 mishaps, first I slipped in pool, feet went high in air and head banged hard, no apparent bad side effects. 2 days later was on platform ladder and legs went through, struggled to get them back out and got lots of bruises and scratches. Then 2 days later fell on floor, I tripped over platform ladders feet!! In UK one fall onto well carpeted floor would knock me for 6 for long time.
    You continue to grasp those opportunities.

    1. Your story is inspiring Jan. Taking the big leap to live in a different culture, and with a different language. It is really encouraging to hear that by taking a simple thing, like living in a better climate, your health improves. Having the courage to do this, and now seeing the benefits of this bravery, is something everyone should see.
      The sun lifts my spirit, and I believe it can also help my illness. Thank you for sharing this story Jan, and try not to have any more mishaps. 🙂

  2. I’m bound to have more, but that’s just the way I am. Never mind I enjoy life and very much to the full now. Was told on Tuesday night when at dinner with friends that I’m such an inspiration to both of them. If I can be that to people, I’ll put up with MS shite

  3. I’m bound to have more, but that’s just the way I am. Never mind I enjoy life and very much to the full now. Was told on Tuesday night when at dinner with friends that I’m such an inspiration to both of them. If I can be that to people, I’ll put up with MS shite

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