Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making lemonade

Good or interesting, is that the question?

Truth be told, I commend Brian for his last post – tackling the good or interesting conundrum.

But I think there is another question to ponder.

That is, good vs. bad. How do we take the bad things that happen to us, and make them good? How do we make lemonade out of lemons?

I’m not sure I know the answer to those questions. It depends on many factors: the circumstances, the course of events, the actions and reactions of yourself and others, how bad is the bad, and so on.

For me, the diagnosis of a rare, chronic, life-threatening disease without a cure was indeed a very bad thing to happen to me at the age of 38. It continues to be a not-so-good thing to this day.

How can I look at this very bad thing, and find the good in it? It’s not easy, in fact, it’s very, very hard.

But I can try. Here are three good life lessons from my journey so far:

1. Perspective. It’s taken me some time, but I think my perspective on life has changed quite a bit since my diagnosis. Like the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” I try to let go of the little things in life that used to bother me in the past. Part of my motivation for writing this blog is to embrace the little everyday things that are good, and to release the little annoying things that are not.

2. Compassion. I believe I’m becoming a more compassionate person because of my own very bad thing. Perhaps that man walking very slowly in front of me has a heart condition, or perhaps that poorly-dressed family cannot afford new clothes because the father has been out of work for quite some time. We may not know the burdens faced by others. Their journey is very different from our own.

2. Perseverance. Some days I just would like to crawl under the covers and stay there forever. But I can’t. I have a husband, two kids, and family and friends who need and love me. I have to take my medications, visit my doctors, endure medical tests, exercise, rest, and take care of myself despite my limitations. I have to keep on keeping on.

I need to take the lemons and make lemonade.

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