"New Normal" - Finding Value in the Little Accomplishments with Lupus

As I sink back into the routine that is life after my dad's passing, I am reminded how important it is to celebrate the little things I accomplish, especially as my emotions remain unpredictable. 

I consider myself to be in a state of rebuilding, much like I was after my diagnosis with systemic lupus. There are new parameters within which I have to operate. I have to learn how to make life work, not as it used to be, but as it is now. I have to learn to embrace this "new normal", one moment at a time. 

When I was learning to adjust to my life with lupus, I initially struggled to find value in the miminal amount I could accomplish each day.  Where I used to be able to do "x,y, and z", now with lupus, I could barely even make a dent in "x".  I didn't like revising my expectations,  but the moment I did, I allowed myself to celebrate the incremental improvements I made, no matter how small. Focusing on the progress,  rather than anything else, gave me the hope I needed to keep the positive momentum flowing.

For me presently, adjusting to life without PaPa means allowing myself to revisit old memories of my dad, while building new ones, so I can continue moving forward emotionally. Some days that seems easy; others, not so much.

Especially on those days where the tears come more easily than others, I try to appreciate the little things that I'm able to do,  just like I did with lupus - small tasks I simply couldn't do, didn't have time for, or didn't feel up to while caregiving.

Today, for example, I took the time to find and order a birthday gift for a friend, which will...drumroll, please....actually arrive on time. (SHOCKER!) It's been eons since I've  browsed my favorite gifting sites. What a joy to be able to search out the perfect gift for that perfect someone.

And yesterday,  I played softball with my girls, something I haven't made time for in months. It felt wonderful to have the freedom to do that - knowing I wasn't sacrificing time away from my dad. Given the warm sunshine and cool breeze, I'm sure he was smiling down on us the whole time. 

And earlier in the week,  I spied a book on the shelf in the middle of the day, and just started reading. I never do that!! As I finished up after about 20 min, I found myself relishing, not only the spontaneity of the whole thing, but also the lack of urgency I felt to get back to the tasks of the day (of which there were plenty.) I hope my dad will continue to inspire me to enjoy each day to the fullest, and all the moments in between.


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