Hi there! It has been over a month since I last updated and for that I apologise. It has been a very busy few weeks. I have moved back to Plymouth and have re-started my studies. It has been so wonderful to be with all my university friends again but also back in Devon. We have been blessed with some fantastic weather and I have felt so happy recently. Well, mostly. Overall I couldn’t be happier. The last week on the other hand has been challenging for me. I have felt blue, but I’m not entirely sure why. I believe I have seen the end of that now and I am back to my normal chirpy self. However, I have learnt that two people close to the family have been diagnosed with cancer, which has really hit home as the ‘Big C’ has once again been put to the forefront of my mind.
Reflecting on what normal looks like
I spend a lot of time thinking about the lives of those affected by disease, disability, illness etc. and how their ‘normal’ is different from our ‘normal’. When I had to have chemotherapy every two weeks, especially at the beginning of my diagnosis, my life had a new ‘normal’ for me. I got into a routine that I would be in hospital for that day, then feel rough a few days after it and then finally spend the next week with my friends before repeating the cycle again. That was normal for me. I got used to it. I adapted. However, I would think about all of my friends who didn’t have to plan their lives around treatment. They could carry on day to day activities without a care in the world. They weren’t thinking about illness because they didn’t need to. I never did, until it happened to me.
However, I think the key to all of this is the word ‘adapt’. When suffering strikes somehow we find the strength to go from one day to the next. We take each minute of the day as it comes. We have enough grace that is sufficient for the day. I find myself now trying to be deliberately thankful. This is something we can all do. Whether you have superhuman strength, blue tights and a red cape or you are battling a serious illness, struggling with family problems, feeling very alone or unhappy or any other circumstance you find yourself in. Whether being in a wheelchair is normal for you, eating a special diet due to intolerances is normal for you, fighting cancer is normal for you, having depression or anxiety is normal for you, or whatever it is you are battling with right now, listen to me when I say YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
No one should define what ‘normal’ is because we all are wonderfully and uniquely made!
Listen to me again when I say – BE THANKFUL! Whoever you are. I am sure things may seem bad from time to time but there is always someone you can call upon at any time of day or night. GOD! Pray for those that are hurting. Pray for yourself if you are hurting. Pray. Pray. Pray. However, don’t forget to thank, thank, thank! If you start making a list of things you are thankful for, I can guarantee you will smile and realise ‘phew – I am blessed!’
Some things I am thanking God for today: the gift of life, having a sense of humour, hearing laughter, food and water, the ability to walk, a chance to further my education, wonderful friends and family, compassion for others, a roof over my head, my cat, cuddly toys, music, medicine, medical knowledge, chocolate, resting, sunrise and sunset… the list goes on.
Think, thank and adapt!