When the beach becomes more important than the bitch

I have a new lease on life.

Normally, one might end that with an exclamation point to connote excitement, but this one is more bitter than it is sweet. This lease comes with a whole lot of stipulations I never wanted to sign up for and I just don’t know when the landlord will start being a pain…again.  Did I beat that metaphor to death yet?

Either way, I really believe there is something here for you, so stay with me.

Ever since my irritatingly fateful diagnosis, I do a lot of thinking about the change in priorities I almost immediately experienced.  I have zero issues with putting myself first.  Suddenly, even the search for meaningful work is not as important as making time to head over to the beach (I am fortunate to have it so accessible) to get some exercise and relaxation.  Things I once might have found difficult or awkward, like standing up for my rights in the workplace, come easily and with no regret these days.  The pettiness of others I might have once wasted valuable time on is no longer worthy of a second look.  Even going in for an interview lacks much of the importance it once had for me, which allows me to spend less time away from the ladies’ room before and after the interview (nervous bladder, okay!).

Absolutely nothing matters more than my health and stability.  It isn’t apathy and it isn’t narcissism.  It certainly isn’t laziness, as I’ve never been more disciplined in my life.  I’m not even obsessed with the management of this roaring bitch of a disease.  In fact, it’s a state of mind everyone should incorporate into their daily lives.  At times, I find myself wondering what I might accomplish with this new mindset if I didn’t actually have something with the sort of ominous importance of an autoimmune disease to worry about.

But changing your priorities can just involve putting nothing but your health and happiness first.  Just consider how amazing life would be if you stopped sweating over the stuff that doesn’t matter in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am no prime example of how to live life and I might have needed the impetus fear can give to make some changes.  I cry too often and I spend too much time grieving over my perceived losses.  I am not the partner I wanted to be for my boyfriend and I am certainly not the person I thought I would be at 25.  But after the changes I’ve seen myself make, now more than ever I believe that I will turn out to be the hero of my own life.

I hope you have all the time in the world, but…

stop waiting.

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This is for those of you who would like to learn about Rheumatoid Disease.

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