Take Time for Yourself and be Grateful

It’s been a while since I’ve discussed mindfulness and trying to stay present in a world that runs so fast.

Last week was relatively busy, including two hospital trips for appointments.

As I’ve mentioned before, going to the hospital can be a stressful experience for me. Thankfully, I was in good hands, and I was only at the hospital for a few hours.

Before I left, I had time to meditate, have coffee, and listen to music. When it was time to go, I was ready to face the day and try to stay present. Staying present is something I have struggled with for a while, but I’ve found it to be a helpful tool to help me roll the punches.

To get to my appointments, I had to take Para Transpo. As usual, they were late and picked up and dropped off passengers at opposite ends of the city. Both of those things add to my stress and anxiety. I just want to go to my appointment and go home as soon as possible.

How do I manage this, or at least attempt to manage it?

One thing I do is to focus on my breathing, which is a weird thing to say since I’m ventilator-dependent. At the same time, it’s one less thing for my body to do. As long as my brain allows me to, I can sit still and, well, just breathe.

It’s more complicated than it sounds, though. All I can do is try my best and not beat myself up when I can’t.

My brain is different. I’m neurodivergent, and I wholeheartedly accept that.

Another thing I’ve learned (kind of) is that there’s no point in getting too angry or frustrated at things that are out of my control. I devoted much of my time and energy to improving Para Transpo for years, but except for a few small victories, I never saw much progress.

I hate to say it, but it’s no longer worth my time and energy to fight for it. I need to focus on myself, my health, and doing things that bring me joy. Life’s too short to get worked up over things beyond my control.

Another thing I do is to remind myself that my health or situation can always be worse.

It may seem like a depressing thing to say, but I find myself thinking about people who aren’t able to go home for whatever reason. Believe it or not, it reminds me to appreciate what I have and to be grateful that I can go home.

I wish more people would take the time to show gratitude in their lives. Be grateful for what you have: your family, your friends and loved ones. They could all be gone in a heartbeat.

Living in a hospital for nineteen years made me realize that life is short.

Having friends move away or distance themselves from me made me realize that I need to focus on those still in my life, support them, and spend time with them.

The fact that I see unhoused people all the time makes me grateful that I have a home.

Or perhaps it’s all of the above and more.

I don’t claim to be an expert, and I’m not a guru or a life coach. All I do is share my experiences and what works for me.

I’m mostly happy and content with my life — for the first time in a long time. Sometimes, the hard part is quieting my mind and living in the present.

Things are rolling forward in a positive direction for me. I’m still in the process of decluttering and improving my living space.

In theory, summer is around the corner, which means I’ll be able to get out of the house more, enjoy the sunshine, and see people again. I’m trying to say that it’s essential to see the good in things and be grateful for what you have. There’s no sense in getting angry or upset about things you can’t control.

The more time you spend on things you can’t control, the less time and energy you have to maintain what you can.

Thank you for choosing to read my article today.

Until next week, stay safe and keep on rolling.

Photo: iStock