So I'm back from a self-imposed exile/vacation from the internet! I went home to visit my family over Memorial Day weekend and decided to take time off my job and from the world wide web. What can I say, sometimes a gal needs to step away from the computer and give her wrists a break! I kept busy during my break with plenty of other things like sunning on the beach, eating tons of oysters and shrimp, grilling out (Oh, Burger, how I love thee...) and spending time with my quirky but always fun family, but I did give myself a chance to rest.
After heading out to get some fresh picked strawberries, I was completely wiped out. I never thought the day would come when I was, literally, too tired to go to the beach, but on Sunday that is exactly how I found myself, so instead of lathering on the SPF 30 and heading to the shore, I lumbered upstairs and crashed for two hours. Ah well.
But now I'm back and have some catching up to do. For starters, totally need to repost this brilliant 60 Second Guide to RA that RA Guy put together. If you haven't already checked it out, you should.
And speaking of Ra Guy and his posts, I totally owe my meme of my 5 favorite things about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I meant to post earlier, but...what can I say, it got away from me. I had hoped to post some brilliant, deeply thought out list, but I'm afraid that this will have to do for now:
The Single Gal with RA's Five Favorite things about Living with RA
(Though I would probably chuck it all for a healthy immune system!):
1. Appreciating the little things. When you are young and healthy, there are just soooo many things you take for granted. There are more obvious ones like being able to move and walk and practice crazy yoga, but after getting RA, I now appreciate - and NOTICE - so many more little abilities because I lost them for a time and have sinced earned them back: washing dishes without pain, opening doors, dressing myself, and of course, the vain things like awesome, kick ass heels and a metabolism that isn't only slightly faster than Death's.
2. The value of rest: I have always pushed myself hard. I started burning the candle at both ends back in high school and kept right at it until RA put a big old stop to that just shy of two years ago. When you live in an exciting place, it's really hard to set boundaries and sit one out every now and then, but I now know and understand the value of letting myself off the hook when I need to so that I can refuel and take care of myself.
3. RA makes a great litmus test: When you get sick, many things become very confusing, but others- like who you want around you, become pretty darn clear. When everything costs more, you start paying attention to how you spend your time and energy, and more importantly, with whom you spend it. Let's just say Elaine was onto something when she posed the infamous 'sponge-worthy' question. 'Nuff said.
4. My fighting spirit: I'm not sure that I ever thought of myself as a fighter -after all, I'm mostly a pacifist - but having to confront this type of challenge at this stage in my life made me realize what I really wanted to fight for. Some things, I'm willing to let go of, but others, like traveling the world on my terms, are things I'm not willing to give up without a serious throw down, as proved by my trip to South America last summer....and my upcoming trip to Egypt and Jordan this Fall (more about that later)!
5. Community: Alright, I'm going to be a major cheeseball here, but it's true. If you have to live with a crappy disease, the one thing that will make it bearable and profound is finding other really smart, brave, resilient, inspiring people all around the world who are also fighting, laughing, and feeling shitty about their crappy disease. Finding all of you was the reason I began this blog (almost a year ago!), and everytime some one leaves a comment or emails me telling me about their story, it feels pretty amazing. Who knew that I'd find myself on a road with so many others uniting together to start changing things...but here I am, and here are all of you! It feels pretty darn empowering and really exciting.
So there you have it.