Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend a social media summit sponsored by Celgene. They so graciously invested in me, to help build up my medical knowledge around psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and even had one of the co-founders of blogHer give a presentation on increasing social media presence.
As many of you know, the year prior to going out on disability I was living in Manhattan. Or more so playing in Manhattan haha! After my lease was up I had decided to move back to Pittsburgh because of a variety of reasons. At the time I really questioned if I was doing the right thing, but the universe definitely was guiding me in the right direction. Very shortly after, my leg blew up, I was in surgery and out on disability aka relying on my family for everything.
One of my roommates in NYC, he was a great friend from high school, had an ACL surgery last year. If you’ve had the procedure done you know that it can be a challenging recovery. Add in the stress of crutching around NYC for everything into the mix!!! *whew* I give him so much respect for making it through that. And I have so much respect for the thousands of individuals who do it everyday in the big apple. While I was there, I loved loved loveeedddd the fact I didn’t need a car – that I could get everywhere and anywhere quickly and easily. That becomes an extreme disadvantage the moment you can’t walk.
Where I stayed in SoHo was about 2 blocks away from where my favorite store is located. I was so excited to go and buy a few new things for my winter wardrobe. (I mean out of all of Manhattan what are the chances I’d be THAT close? How could I not go??) The social media summit was held one block over, the opposite direction, of the hotel at the New York Genome Center. It was very easy getting there in the morning and I had a great day. On my way down the elevator that morning I actually started talking with a man who ended up being one of the participants of the summit! (You can find him at Psoriasis Campaign for a Cure!)
The day was absolutely wonderful, definitely spurring off a few different blog posts from information covered during the sessions (stay tuned!). After we were done I knew I wanted to go and hit up the store before meeting up with a friend for dinner. I was loosing steam, but I knew if I powered through it I could make it.
Crutching down the city blocks was most definitely a different experience than walking. Usually I would get irritated stuck behind a slow moving person in the crowd, but during this walk I actually welcomed it! Luckily it was a Tuesday night and NOT the weekend, so it was busy, but not ‘Saturday afternoon’ crowded.
By the time I made it to the store I was pooped. As I looked around, my energy levels dropped so low that trying clothes on became a chore. Usually I wanted everything and anything in the store, but I only grabbed about 5 things to try on. As I stood in the dressing room, trying on an adorable top, I couldn’t help but think ‘this blows‘. I was used to getting up on a Saturday morning, walking miles and miles during the day shopping, exploring the city, trying new foods and then going out at night with friends. How could walking, or crutching rather, the few blocks over to Broadway tire me out so much that I didn’t even want to try on all the cute clothes at this store?
What was going on in my life? What had my life become?
Can any of you relate to this? After our immune system becomes overactive, our active lifestyles tend to decrease. Sure, after walking all those miles my knees would be sore, my feet would hurt, or I’d need a nap, but come on – when could I NOT try on clothes? (I’m always up for shopping haha)
After I checked out and began to crutch back to home base, I took a different way, walking down a street that I used to love to check out the little restaurants and cafes. I think SoHo is one of the cutest places in the city. On the weekends, the SoHo section of Broadway is crazy busy with tourists and locals shopping. But that evening, walking down Spring and Thompson, the weather was perfect, it wasn’t too crowded and everyone seemed to be in a great mood. I took a deep breath and soaked it all in. In THAT moment everything was perfect, maybe not so much a few moments before, but in that moment I was in the SoHo I loved. I was enjoying my time being there. I was loving life.
Life is about being in the moment. Sure, comparing this trip to my routine walks through SoHo a few years back was like comparing apples and oranges, but in that moment there was nothing else I needed. There are so many times within chronic illness we become lost in our thoughts and our thoughts begin to poison our bodies. By focusing on what I DID do and not what I DID NOT do, it helped me to be happy and excited about my trip.
And of course, no big surprise, but I didn’t want to go home haha (do I ever?) I swear I could just travel the world for the rest of my life and be happy.
This wellness Wednesday, I want you to focus on the here and now.
NOT where you were last year this time.
NOT what you used to do before you were ‘sick’.
But, focus on what you’re doing now.
Focus on the small miracles that occur in your life everyday. (because they do happen! everyday!
Today I’d like to ask that you repeat a mantra that Gabby gives in her book to help practice the principle of choosing peace and affirming your commitment to miracles: I choose to see peace instead of this.
Eager to see how this affirmation plays out in your life. Leave comments on how it goes 🙂
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!