Keeping on the sunny side
Last night I opened my journal to make a short entry about the day—generally gray and dismal, including a computer-related crisis. Instead, this is what came out:
A thought just came to me. I’m almost afraid to write it down.
For every day and night I live without Alzheimer’s, I want to be grateful – and take advantage of things that bring me joy. I don’t want to live each day under a growing cloud of fear and anxiety about my future or our future [mine and D’s].
I grew up consumed by anxiety, dread and fear. They followed me every day of my life. They were in the air, even when we were having fun. Never too much fun, of course.
I enjoy life, and I generally enjoy being myself and not someone else. Yet often hanging over all of it are clouds of anxiety, dread or fear.
Today it’s easy to point to fear of Alzheimer’s as the chief culprit. But it isn’t. Sometimes it seems I inherited a gene that predisposes me to the dark side of life.
I can’t stop the bad stuff from happening, and I can’t get back what I’ve already lost.
So instead of focusing on what might happen today or tomorrow, I’m choosing to focus on things that bring me joy. No matter how small or ordinary they may seem to others.
If you’re scratching your head wondering why this is such a revolutionary thought, I don’t blame you.
In my family of origin, community and church settings, the struggles of life were often celebrated and even rewarded with attention. Or so it seemed to me. The fun stuff was cake and ice cream we might get to enjoy someday if we were good girls.
I’m choosing instead to feast right now on the sunny side of life. With gusto and without apology, no matter how small or insignificant my choices seem to anyone else.
As for the other stuff, it is what it is. I can’t make it go away. I can, however, shower it with small gifts of joy and delight as often as possible.
Thanks for listening!
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 July 2018
Keep on the Sunny Side found on YouTube
Live performance by The Whites and Jerry Douglas (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou arrangement)