Tag Archives: gratitude

Everyday is Different

Everyday is Different

Every day is different.  In fact, every hour and minute is different since contracting this diseases.  One minute I might be walking normal, and the next you’d think I was drunk.  Another minute I might be talking just fine and the next minute words don’t escape my lips.

It is difficult coming to grips with the changes.  While you want to make plans, you don’t really know what is in store.  For that matter, do any of us know what is in store one day to the next?

Of course, we don’t, but we operate on the assumption that tomorrow we will feel like we do today.  When you are told you have an incurable disease, the assumption changes that tomorrow you will feel crappy just like you do today.  So, you go from making normal plans, and now you tend to see things as planning for the worse.

Attitude

Having said that, you’re probably thinking I need to have a positive attitude.  I’m trying, but I also have to have a realistic attitude.  I’m thinking positive that by working with my doctors I will find a happy balance between medications, rest and activity.  The realistic part is I won’t get better, but I will only get better at how I manage and cope.

So, yes, if I spend 30 minutes working in the yard today and feel crappy for three days afterward, I can probably plan on that being the result of 30 minutes of yard work.  On the other hand,  if I do 15 minutes, followed by an hour nap, and feel fine the next day, I can probably say I can handle 15 minutes if I take a nap after doing the work.

Realistic

I can have a hope I might be able to do more than 30 minutes once I’m on the right dose of pyridostigmine and prednisone.  However, to be realistic, my endurance may not ever change.  What might change is how I feel between activities.

Gratitude

Gratitude is playing a big part in my positive attitude. I woke at 4 am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I went into my office, sat in my new chair (which I’ll tell you more in a bit), ate some food and piddled on my computer.  I’m grateful I did that.

The other day the delivered and set up a zero-gravity chair for me.  The doctor wrote a prescription for the chair, and I shopped around and all I could find online is stuff that cost $3500 to $9000!  These are chair specifically built for people with problems like MG, MS, ALS, etc.  I walked into Raymour and Flannigan and asked described what I needed a chair to do.  The salesman took me right to a chair that was perfect.  It was a tad over $1000.

After the set it up, I tried to use a laptop desk we have.  The wheels made it so it would not fit next to the chair.  My wife took the table legs, went to a local metal shop, they cut them off and ground the metal and didn’t charge her.  I now have it configured so I can see and use it in such a way that it rests my neck and back muscles and is less stressful on my hands and arms.

As I sat in this rig this morning, I was overcome with a sense of relaxation I have not felt since getting MG.  I was also overcome with gratitude for a Heavenly Father who has helped me work around limitations imposed by MG.  My gratitude for my wife being wise enough to take the table to the metal shop and get it modified is also near the top of the list too.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

It is Thanksgiving 2015 and I have a lot to be thankful for.  While my gratitude extends beyond this list, first and foremost, I’m thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me, my wife who is my best friend and eternal companion, my children and grandchildren who bring me joy beyond measure and all the bounty God has blessed me with.

Elizabethe and I have great plans for the day.  Today we are going to do absolutely nothing.  Yup, you heard me.  We are just going to lay around and be lazy.  No fancy meal.  No going anywhere.  We’re just going to enjoy each other’s company all day.

I did pick up my phone and noticed I had nearly 100 new e-mails.

Seriously?

Am I getting that many e-mails of gratitude on this day of Thanksgiving?

I looked and sure enough, they were all Black Friday invitations.  I saw them as invitations to “opt out” of their e-mail campaign.  I despise the entire “Black Friday” sales thing.  I dislike getting all of these emails too.

We bing-watched one of Elizabethe’s favorite TV shows that had recorded on the DVR.  After a couple of episodes we both commented on how unrealistic the entire show is.  I think the highlight of the TV watching was BYU TV’s Joan of Arc.  What a wonderful documentary.  I highly recommend it.

After a while, I got bored and picked up my phone and looked at Facebook.  Big mistake.

What is it about people that makes them turn to stupidity when they get on social media?

For example, one person was posting about how Christopher Columbus started Thanksgiving… huh?  Another posted an absurd list of companies that with a little research (i.e. typing the claim into Google)  would show them the list is making erroneous claims.  And those two examples don’t even begin to touch on some of the political claims.

At one point in the day I started to laugh.  Elizabethe asked what was so funny.  I looked at the clock and said, “It’s after 5pm and it is getting dark and we’ve done absolutely nothing today.  We haven’t got a single thing accomplished.”

In her sweet and loving way, she assured me that she’s enjoyed just spending the day together talking and … doing nothing.

So, I put my phone away and realized I was bored with doing nothing and suggested to Elizabethe we call it a day.

Showing Appreciation

Showing Appreciation

I will admit.  I have a hard time with complements — giving them, that is.  I do, however, like showing appreciation in ways that I can.

Yesterday I wrote how someone said, “I appreciate you”, and how it made my day.  I’m still feeling uplifted by those three words.  I wrote back to the person who said it and let them know of my gratitude for what they said.

I think we often get caught up in trying to get our own way, we forget that we are all people.  Manipulation is such a cruel way of trying to get what we want while forgetting about the emotional and psychological impact on the people we are manipulating.  It’s probably why I’m not a very good salesman — I don’t like to manipulate people.

On the other had, I like the scripture that says, “Forget yourself in the service of others.”  This is hard to do sometimes because we get worried about our own needs, which reminds me of the scripture that talks about how God watches over the little sparrows and provides for their needs.

A while back, I saw a video  where people were being asked what the Golden Rule was.  It amazed me how many didn’t know.  It’s quite simple, and instead of quoting Matthew 7:12, I’ll put it in my own words…

Treat others in a manner if the tables were turned, you would want them to treat you.

Show a little appreciation, serve others, and treat others in a way that would make you feel good if things were reversed.  Nah, it’s nothing I came up with.  I’m just reminding myself of what Jesus taught us to do.

Verde of the Chili Kind

Verde of the Chili Kind

Verde of the Chili Kind is what I made for dinner today.  Sisters Flores and Harline were our dinner guests tonight.  I cooked up a pork butt and some green tomatillo sauce and mixed it all together for a sweet and tangy chili verde.  This also provided a vehicle for sampling some of my hot sauces I’ve recently made.

Speaking of hot sauce, my latest was an apricot-carrot-habanero sauce.  Hotter than my last hot sauce, but sweeter too.

Tomorrow we go to Boldt Castle.  I hope I have the energy for this.  I’ve been so drained lately.

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We had a great lesson by Matt Baker in Priesthood Meeting today.  Of course, his lessons are always great.  Today’s was on Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk An Attitude of Gratitude.    It was a good reminder to be grateful… not “grateful for ____”, but GRATEFUL.

This came right after a great Sunday School lesson by Dave Huber about Job.  What do gratitude and Job have to do with each other?  Well, read both – the Book of Job and Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk and I think it will become clear.

Be GRATEFUL.

That’s what I’m going to work on this week.  Being grateful.  Period.

Thanksgiving 2011

I thank God everyday for the blessings he has given me.  Even when I’m undeserving of his blessings, he still blesses me.  For that, I am forever grateful.

Of those blessings, my family and friends are at the top of that list.  God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren as well as an extended family.

I guess it has become a defacto tradition to contact family on this holiday.  I recall back in the 60s gathering around the phone to take turns talking to aunts and uncles and grandparents as they would call.  Today, text messages and cell phone calls filled the day.

We had quite the frost this morning.  I had to break out the camera for some photos.

I spent most of the day cooking and preparing for our small feast.  Enrico and Louise were coming over.  Sveltlana and her daughter were going to join us too.  And, although I was only cooking for 6, we probably had enough to feed 26.

For dinner I prepared the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean salad, two gravies (smooth and giblet), cranberry sauces, crudities, pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  When it was all on the table I questioned my own sanity.  But, I’m glad we went to all the trouble.

We truly have a lot to be thankful for.  Even with all the turmoil in the world, we are relatively safe from the unrest and troubles that exist elsewhere.  God has made this a promise land for those who seek and serve him, and as long as there are those who continue to do so we have a blessing of prosperity and safety.

As the song says, “God bless America.”