Find the Joy

Jessica photo for The JourneyI had the Mondays of all Mondays last week…which led me to a complete and stress filled moment with a few tears.  Let me break down my day for you:

  • about 4 hours of sleep…my youngest kept waking me up and my body was in pain. I had my hand wrapped because I hurt it boxing about a week before and it was now swollen and partnered with major pain. All I could think about was, “I need this off!”.  
  • tough time teaching classes this morning. Pain was pretty much constant during more than half of it and holding a bar for deadlifts (not even a heavy bar!) was not even an option.
  • went to the DR. for xrays today on the hand. Waited for 1 1/2 hours with people all around me in masks and coughing up lungs…some still in their pj’s. It was 12:30pm.
  • 3 different nurses and I had this conversation…, Q” “so how did you injure your hand?”. Me: “boxing”. All three of their responses were the same. “Oh (but the Oh, like…why exactly would you do that?”). They just don’t understand.
  • did our other family job today and the bucket I was carrying broke and I was using it to help push a door open. I landed on the floor. When I stood up there was a crowd around me making sure I was ok. The look on their faces was really priceless. One person even had their hand over their mouth. Amazing time of my day…best time ever…not really.
  • found out through an e-mail that some of the coffee I delivered (after the face plant on the floor) had a bag tear. I’m guessing the bucket that broke tore it. Made me feel like a tool and about 2 inches tall. I got to replay the falling down incident all over again to my hubby who was dealing with the client and the bag of coffee.
  • our house is going on the market this week (yes…it is…I am still in denial…and we don’t have a place to live yet…ahhhhh!) and I have 3 floors to clean…with 3 children and a dog around. 
  • I didn’t mention the hubby above in that sentence because…well…he is away for a week in sunny CA for work. He couldn’t have timed it better. (I think he may have done this on purpose)
  • Kid comes home from school today crying that his stomach hurts. Nope. Ain’t nobody got time for that.  
  • I had 4 places to be tonight. Sick kid. One of me. Just not gonna happen.
  • I had retail therapy instead…just to get away from my life at this moment in time…and we needed some food for the next day…so I went to Walmart. No, I really did. I looked like crap and I didn’t care. My eyes were probably still red from a few tears that I shed.
  • My self checkout lane didn’t like me and kept saying my items weren’t in my bags. MY ITEMS ARE IN MY BAG…I PUT THEM IN THERE MYSELF!  When you talk back to a machine and a lady has to come help you with her secret code to make it be nice to you…you know it is just time to go to bed.

That’s was my REAL self up there…and my very REAL day.  And to top it all off…when I posted this on our Facebook page *cause I share REAL things there…cause life isn’t all a bunch of roses and yummy tasting kale chips (barf!)* someone hits a button indicating they are now hiding all the stuff at The Journey because they didn’t like the post.  That right there makes a girl feel all great.  Thanks…to whomever that was.

squatThe following day I woke up with attitude and I went to the gym with attitude.  My friends were there and I got to vent a bit and actually hit a personal best on the one arm row…so that was pretty awesome…but I can usually hit a PR when I am upset about something.  Stress can fuel a workout and a workout can be a great stress reliever!  I used to run for chocolate…now I know I just need a good workout to help me get out of a funk.

My feelings, attitude and just overall happiness level was at a low though.  Stress was getting the best of me and I wasn’t finding joy in anything.  Life was just hard right then and I wasn’t liking it.  My day was full of pain in my hand and major cleaning, painting, organizing and boxing…and I was exhausted…and had no one to help me.

My perspective changed a bit as I was at our LiveSTRONG group at the Y.  I am a certified trainer for this program and truly do enjoy every ounce of this experience.  What I didn’t enjoy, and actually made me laugh when I read it, was the question that faced our group which we are all supposed to answer at the end of our meeting together.  The question was, “Do you feel your life is balanced?”

The group is lucky that we ran out of time for me to answer that…because I probably would have started crying in front of them.  My life had no balance as of this moment and I knew it.

What I did get to hear though was about a conference that one of the women went to recently that was just for cancer survivors.  Not only was the information that she shared amazing…but she is an amazing individual.  She lives with cancer and has made the choice to try different treatment options…like a vegan raw diet, being outside more, exercising and limiting the amount of chemo and/or radiation because of quality of life issues.

Honestly, I don’t get all that.  I don’t like what it is like to throw up for days because of chemo…or have all your hair fall out.  I’ve watched that happen with my sister…but I haven’t experienced it myself.  Her words though describing her life and why this is important for her are words that I will never forget…and stopped me in my tracks last week:

joy“I am actually thankful that I have this illness.  I don’t enjoy it but I have learned that without this, I would be missing out of so many things.  I now have joy.  I have found joy with my illness.  I have found joy in the little things in life that I would not have seen if it wasn’t for me being sick.”

Find the joy.

Today I watched a mom smile…as she talked on camera with a local news station about what it was like to have stage 3 breast cancer, have her hair start to fall out from chemo and so she decided to just shave it.  She has a 2nd grader and a senior in high school.  She had pure joy on her face today and her story will help inspire others to find their joy too.

Find your joy.


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