Valuable Insights Relearned During 12 Difficult Days

Even with only the most basic medical knowledge acquired through the years, I often rely on self-diagnosis. If the condition of my hair or house is disconcerting to me, or I’m bothered that laundry and dishes have reached an unholy height, I’m not genuinely sick. Medical intervention is not necessary. If the illness is truly legitimate, I couldn’t care less about much of anything, except feeling better. My family and I still talk about the awful Christmas flu some 10 years ago that caused us to ignore situations that were unspeakably despicable. When irritability sets in, I’m on the mend. January 2017 provided inspiration for the following self-compiled list. My medical discomfort, closely followed by dental procedures, did not make for a favorable disposition. My apologies to anyone I offended during that time.

Not that I think Girl Scouts of the United States of America have maintained any sort of record keeping with regard to my compliance to their rules, but I do recall, from the 1950s and ‘60s that “Be Prepared” is an honored precept. Good advice, but I fail at it on countless occasions. I continue trying, but as a procrastinator, I, and kindred others, are rarely prepared in timely fashion for most happenings. Now that is difficult to admit, but I’ve read that owning up to one’s shortcomings is the first step on the road to self-improvement. So here I am, publicly sharing my faults in hopes that 2017 can be the year for a better and more prepared me.

Illness or mishaps rarely give advanced notice before they strike. I am always amazed to feel fine one day and horrible the next. I like a bit of time to prepare for the latest malady. Some would suggest if I wasn’t such a procrastinator, I could more gracefully handle the inevitable health and mobility concerns that are part of the human condition. Point taken. I don’t feel I merit being excused from such misery, but would appreciate some warning to get things organized. But then again, when is a convenient time to be sick or temporarily disabled? Perhaps a change of attitude is in order.

Murphy’s law is alive and thriving and not likely to disappear. No matter the elaborate preparations, something can always go awry. Not to be a pessimist, optimism is much kinder to the heart and soul, but being realistic is important. And life is not perfect. If we are more gratefully aware when things go well, and less annoyed when they don’t, I think we’ll find many occasions for gratitude and fewer times of seeking headache relief.

I’m learning to recognize and savor life’s serendipities, those unexpected beautiful experiences. It’s not right to take them for granted or let them go by unacknowledged. They make wonderful differences.

Everything takes longer to do than expected. Which is why procrastinators need a head start on all plans and projects. Enough said.

Haven’t made any resolutions for 2017 yet? Consider preparedness, patience, gratitude, timeliness, prudence, or acceptance when none of the aforementioned works out. Remember, too, that sometimes experiencing inconveniences and bouts of illness can be difficult but an effective way of learning compassion and empathy to share with others.

Sandra Dempsey Post

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