- POSTED ON: May 19, 2011

Life sometimes has problems.
How I look at those difficulties,
and what I tell myself about them,
and how I choose to deal with them,
makes a great deal of difference
in my mood and in the quality of my life.

For the past four weeks I have been recovering
from two broken bones that connect my arm to my wrist.
Because I am over 60 years old, recovery might be a bit slow.
So patience is necessary.

 My arm hurts, and I am unable to tolerate pain medication.
There are a great many things that are difficult to do with one hand,
and many more things that are impossible.
Therefore my normal activities are greatly restricted.

For example, yesterday morning I decided I wanted to cook dinner.
I chose my easy recipe for Mild Chili Beans
which is posted here at DietHobby under RECIPES, Mealtime.

It takes at least twice as much effort to do everything.
I got hamburger meat from the freezer,
a can of tomatoes, a can of kidney beans,
and seasoning mix from the pantry.

When I got out the raw onion, it then occurred to me that
I would be unable to peel, slice, and chop it.
Then I realized that I also couldn’t open the cans,
or access the pot that I use to cook this recipe.

These inconveniences were relatively minor and merely temporary,
but they interfered with my immediate plans, and I’m not fond of that.
I felt the emotions that are common to us all in such situations.
 So what to do?

I could give in to those negative emotions
…and wallow in them for awhile…,
or I could choose to deliberately focus my mind
on the positives of my life that still exist in my current situation
in a purposeful attempt to give myself a better day.
I have learned from my own experience
that this choice is what determines the quality of my life.

I began calling to mind all of the things I have to feel grateful for,
and all of the things that I can still immediately do.
This did make me feel better,
and soon a solution presented itself to me.
I decided to ask my husband to cut up the onion,
to open the cans, and to get out the pan.
He did those things for me when he got home from work,
and I was able to cook dinner.

This is a small example of a big principle,
and I’ve found that it applies to every situation in my life.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On May 19, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I could choose to deliberately focus my mind on the positives of my life that still exist in my current situation in a purposeful attempt to give myself a better day**** That really is the key to a quality life, even in the face of very trying circumstances. Alternaiting weeks, DH&I teach at the parish. Afterwards we enjoy a very sumptuous dessert from a well stocked bakery section of a nice store and reviewin preparation for the next class. The last time I was there, stopping for the summer, I noticed DH&I had tried ever delightful selection which had been our goal back in September. What is interesting, is at this same moment I was feeling a bit resentful of not being able to eat "what I wanted to". Silly me, I had eaten what I wanted to, it was just spread out over 8 months. Change in perspective, attitude, followed by a sense of gratitude that I was able to do this where as others cannot makes staying on plan, for both life and eating, so much easier. Hope you heal quicky and completely.

On May 19, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, as usual, your behavior choices are right on target. Covgratulations!!! And Thanks for the well wishes.

On May 20, 2011 rroush wrote:
It seems so easy and yet it can be so hard. So often we rush rush rush through everything we do. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes to stop everything and sit and reflect on the choices and options before us and the people around us that support and love us. I LOVE the smile on your face and in your voice. It made me smile too. Soooo catching! :-)

On May 20, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Rebecca, Thank you. Today, you've returned the favor by making me smile as well. I remember how it busy it was for me when I was at your stage of life. So much to do and most of it needed to be done for others. You are a very special person, and I'm glad that you sometimes choose to spend a bit of time on brief reflection and gratitude. I've found that practice to be personally helpful.

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