This weekend our family had quite a scare. Last week our oldest son wasn’t feeling well, so we took him to the doctor. Despite classic Appendicitis symptoms he was diagnosed with “Noro or Rotovirus.” Two days later, when the pain was escalating even worse and virus symptoms still hadn’t surfaced, Matt said we needed to take him to the ER – and so he did while I stayed with the little boys. Within hours Cole was undergoing surgery for an appendectomy for his ruptured appendix.
I’ll cut to the chase, he is recovering amazingly well and the doctor called his healing progress a “medical miracle” (we didn’t tell him about Paleo and our family’s focus on gut health, just smiled and nodded when they said we could discharge early). But, boy, were we scared. And frustrated. And angry. But it was something Matt shared on social media that made me think fully about myself, my life, and how I internalize living life to the fullest.
You know, as parents, we’re always blaming ourselves when things go wrong. I don’t believe in that. Instead of thinking about how I could have brought him here a day earlier or how I took him to the wrong doctor, I’m choosing to think about how grateful I am for the modern medicine that saved his life, the quality hospital so close to our house, and how well I did I realizing there was a problem and taking him here. All parents are heroes when their children are in need, and I had the opportunity and succeeded in being a super hero for Cole yesterday. [source]
There was a maturity and optimism in his reflection that I realized I wasn’t adopting myself. Despite podcasting and writing about self love and self respect for years – there’s room for me to improve. It made me realize that I can’t possibly be living life to the fullest, fully loving or respecting myself right NOW because I’m too busy looking back thinking about how I wish things were again. While I didn’t have regrets about the medical decisions with Cole, I did realize there were things I wasn’t simply looking forward on. When I changed his words to reflect my own life, they were no longer true – and I need them to be.
You know, we’re always blaming ourselves when things go wrong. I don’t believe in that. Instead of thinking about how I could have prevented my back injury or how I could have gotten myself diagnosed sooner, I’m choosing to think about how grateful I am for the modern medicine that keeps me healthy and active today, the quality doctors so close to our house, and how well I did in realizing there was a problem and taking myself there. All people are heroes when they are in need, and I had the opportunity and succeeded in being a super hero for myself this year.
It was so enlightening for me to think about myself and my injury in this context and see how very far from that ideal optimism I was from applying it to my own life.
Instead of looking at this photo and thinking “I wish I still had a lifter’s body” I will look at this photo and think, “I’m grateful for the time I had to love the sport of lifting and for what it did for my mind and body during that time.
And now I get to be the active and happy mom who lives life to the fullest with her family. I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I won’t find out if I can’t look ahead. I started this paleo journey with the goal of simply wanting enough energy to play with my children. And now I get to live that life beyond my wildest dreams.
What I can tell you is that after being in a children’s hospital and witnessing all of the misfortune of other families, I have no doubt in my mind of how very much I have to be thankful for and appreciate the here and now. Before it’s too late and I’m looking back from the future wishing I’d have appreciated today, it’s time to be grateful, be present, be thankful, and live every day to the maximum extent possible – enjoying every moment to the fullest. Especially when we have so much to appreciate.