Celebrate the Small Stuff

Celebrate the Small Stuff

Meet one of my resident red bellied woodpeckers. I've named him Woody. His mate is Winnie. Actually, I call all the male woodpeckers Woody and females Winnie, whatever species they are. Because I'm original when it comes to names.

New interests with COPD

One of the newfound interests I've developed since being diagnosed with COPD is bird watching. It's something I can do inside while looking out the window onto my grove. Or I can sit in the garden and the yard and watch them. I'm always thrilled when a new type of bird comes to visit, and I'm always thrilled when a favorite bird of mine comes to visit, like Woody and Winnie.

The other day I was in my back yard and found that the couple had made their nest in the dead branches of a nearby tree at the corner of the yard. I was so excited! I mean, here was a chance to see babies and follow how the family grows and disperses. And I could photograph them! (Photography is another interest I've developed since getting COPD.) Whoo hoo! O delightful day!

I felt like celebrating

But the absolute, unequivocal, very best part was that I could actually walk the 100 or more feet down to the tree. I'd been taking walks to exercise and build up some stamina and it had worked! I felt like celebrating.

So I did.

But it got me to thinking. For healthy people being able to walk through the back yard is probably not remarkable. To them, it's probably actually commonplace and not worth buying a new book to mark the occasion. It may even seem silly to them.

I don't care.

My accomplishments might seem small to others but they are huge to me

I am very aware that I can't do what I used to, I can't achieve what I used to, and the standards of a society full of healthy people are much higher than I can reach. I'm sick, I know I'm sick, and I know what challenges I have. Walking distances is one of them. So when I'm able to conquer my big back yard it's a huge accomplishment to me.

And that's what matters.

And that's what's worth celebrating.

So why shouldn't we pat ourselves on the back for making progress, no matter how small? Why shouldn't we enjoy the little things, like finding a woodpecker nest? We should.

We need all the great feelings that we can get

And why should we? I'm glad you asked; I'll tell you. Our illness is not easy. It can be downright horrible. We can sometimes deal with a lot of bad feelings, not only physically but mentally such as depression and anxiety. So when we reach a goal, no matter what it is, it helps us to feel better about ourselves. Accomplishing something is a great feeling. And we need all the great feelings and positive thoughts we can get. Those never hurt and they usually help.

It can be tough to just get through the day

So if you got out of bed today, good for you. If you took a shower, or read a book, or learned something new, good for you. If you went for a walk, good for you. If you went for a swim, or went to pulmonary rehab, or went to the store, good for you. If you're able to work, good for you. If you were cheerful today, good for you. If you conquered some of your anxiety or felt less depressed, good for you. If you were kind to someone or said something nice, good for you.

And most of all, if you got through the day, good for you.

Celebrate it.

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