The cancer battle is won. John is given a clean bill of health. If you haven’t read about John’s cancer story you can start here.
Now we can breathe more easily and enjoy more peace. The dove in the picture symbolizes peace and showed up one morning while I was sitting on my porch. I wanted to accept it as a sign that peace was here to stay.
Is life that easy for anyone? Is there a long time between battles? When was the next one going to hit me and what would it be?
I decided I had to put myself in a mindset of determination.
- I would never give up hope for tomorrow.
Tomorrow could bring even a small dose of joy, or many moments of laughter. It could bring a few surprises and new ideas. I would never let my mind convince me differently. I know that there will be days I have to convince my mind that there is hope. I will have to tell myself the positive things that are in my life.
- Write down a few joyful events that have happened to me, in the past or recently, even if it’s as small as seeing the neighborhood cat that I get excited about when she is around. Keep the list handy for days I’m tempted to give up hope for more happiness.
- Make a list of things I enjoy doing that I can refer to if I’m bored. Then when my attitude is at it’s lowest, and it’s tempting to sit and brood, I can see the ideas and be inspired to do something about my state of mind. The ideas could be watching a movie, creating something with my artsy stuff, listening to a comedian, or playing with a pet.
- Fill some dates on my calendar with fun events I would like to happen in the next month. Make realistic expectations that wouldn’t leave me exhausted. Pencil in the ideas where I think they will work for me and try to make them a reality. Even if it’s one phone call or text a day to reach out to someone or to find the needed information to do what I’m planning. Having something to look forward to will give me a better perspective of what I want to do with my life and knowing I have something planned grounds me with a reason to go on.
- If any of the ideas on these lists seem overwhelming to me at the time, take a nap, if possible, remembering how when I’m tired I struggle to do anything.
- Remember that it’s ok to not feel happy and to not be enjoying myself. If I’m somewhere having a miserable time I can stick it out and try to turn it into an enjoyable experience. It’s not going to hurt me to be bored for a while. Boredom could be a state of mind of which I could figure out a way to make any situation more fun.
- Keep a journal. Write about the things I’m thinking and feeling. Go back to it on good days for some insight, or days I’m tempted to worry about a future cancer battle. Maybe there is something triggering these thoughts that I can do something about, like spending time with the wrong people, having a thin skin versus letting things bounce off instead of dwelling on everything someone says. (oversensitivity)
- Take a walk and surround myself with natural beauty. Watch it on tv if the weather is bad. Something about all the miracles and bountiful life and growing that freshens the soul.
- Remember where I came from, what I’ve accomplished, and how I grew so far in my life. Keep a journal of these landmarks in my life to encourage me to keep trying and the rewards that come with it. On a better day start at the beginning of my life and write down as much as I can remember.
- Think of people I love and remember what they did to help and encourage me during the cancer battle. Write it down, call them, or write them a letter. Give them a token or small gift to show my appreciation. Text them a thank you with a small explanation of how they helped me. Getting my focus on someone else works wonders at putting my pain in perspective.
- Learn other ways of living with more joy in your life here.