Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.


As I sit in my recliner, relaxing after 5 hours of work at the office (yes….worked an extra hour), I listen to the pounding of the hammer. My husband and son are outside working on the pheasant coop. Walls are going up…..the roosting area is taking shape.

I can close my eyes and visualize the process. Each board carefully measured….then assembled….raised into place for the addition of the siding.

I hear a smaller hammer. That is my son hammering the plastic stakes in the ground to help secure the fencing. The extra protection for the pheasants….to protect them from predators….

I listened to my body when it was saying “time to go”. Yes…that was at the 4 hour mark today. I listened. I negotiated! I quietly pleaded to complete one more small task….to complete the training I was in the midst of.

I just opened the door to hear the sound of the roaring ocean. I know that means the sea is rough! Although we are close….within 1 mile of the ocean (direct as the crow flies), we normally cannot hear it. When the sea is rough, we can open the door or window and listen…..listen to the roar of the waves crashing along the shoreline.

Windows open I can listen to the occasional car or truck that goes by. I can hear a neighbor’s dog barking. I can hear birds chirping….especially in the morning.

This long term battle with my health has taught me to listen. In a much more acute way than I can express…..only those that have endured….have battled for their health can truly understand.

What illness has taught me is the importance of being still….of listening. By being observant….by learning to hear every sound….those from outside and those within, we grow. We also learn how best to channel what we learn to those around us.

And the best part of listening? I can participate with the world….with my husband..my son….even if my body won’t allow me to be there physically. I am there in mind and spirit.

After my rest….I will go sit in the chair my son has carefully placed so that I can watch their progress while listening to the roar of the sea and the occasional car that goes by.

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