The Things We Take for Granted

The Things We Take for Granted

Lupus is mean — good for stealing a lot of things from the people it affects. However, since it stole my main career, life has become a lot slower, primarily because lupus stole my energy. But that’s not the point of this column. The point is that when you move more slowly, you start to notice things that you didn’t have time to notice before.

I have always been creative, but sometimes taking the time to express that creativity has taken a backseat to rearing kids, making meals, running to work, and spending time socializing after a long week. Now, I notice flowers growing out of sidewalk cracks, children discovering bugs in the grass, and even the expressions on people’s faces when certain events are taking place.

(Photo by Kellie McRae)

Unfortunately, when you have lupus, you realize a lot of other things that have nothing to do with being creative also have been taken for granted: A good hearty laugh that doesn’t hurt because you inhaled too deeply; learning how to sleep sitting up because sometimes being horizontal creates more pain; a good shower without needing a nap afterward (that’s a high-energy day); figuring out the best time to have your last meal of the day so that you don’t end up awake half the night with digestive issues. Yes, lupus makes you slow down, and it helps you learn to appreciate the life you were given. It truly reminds you that what was once easy now comes with complications.

I will say this: I do not care for some of the things that came so easily to me being at the forefront of my mind constantly. But being the joy junkie that I am, somehow there is almost always a silver lining. I have found a new, creative hobby that rewards me for moving a little more slowly. I have started taking pictures of the things I see as I stroll along through this new life of mine — something that makes me and the people with whom I have shared moments smile, or something I want to eat, for example.

I don’t know if you have something creative that would bring you some sort of joy, but if you can find it to help take your mind off the aches and pains, even for a little while, I say expand on it.

The only thing that really bugs me about my new hobby is that sometimes I see something that makes me take a deep breath because it’s cool to me, and then lupus reminds me of why I now have the time and the slower speed to appreciate the moment. Those deep breaths come at a price.

Here are a few photos I have taken as I stroll through my day. I don’t know if you will enjoy seeing them as much as I have come to enjoy taking them. On the days when I can’t move very fast, this gives me an excuse to feel as if I am moving slowly on purpose. Remember to take some time and appreciate the things that are around you. (The flowers are my favorite.)

(Photos by Kellie McRae)

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Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

13 comments

  1. Liliana says:

    Wow !!! You just described me. Love ~! I really like to read your blog. I tried to write myself … but it did not go well. I gave up ! Therefore, there are those little things that can really brighten up my day. 😀 <3 Love ! Liliana

  2. Patti says:

    Your photos are beautiful! You described how I feel, about slowing down, living in the present…I design and make glass beaded jewelry..sometimes just playing with the beads, looking at their colors, feeling the texture..is just fun. I don’t always have the energy to create..as I have to chose where I put my energy as many of us do!
    I truly enjoy your blog a lot, you have a way of striking a chord with my Lupus..
    thank you!

  3. SAMI says:

    Kellie, all I can say is how much I enjoyed reading your piece. It really describes what happens when Lupus takes a grip on ones life. I am just learning to appreciate the little things as I was just forced to slow down.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Sami, So glad you enjoyed it, its tough with all the things that happens in our lives. We could look at things in a negative way but it serves no one to spend too much time in those places, learning how to adjust isn’t always easy but sometimes it can be pleasurable.

  4. SAMI says:

    Your words are inspiring!!! I woke up feeling negative and down this morning.
    For what it’s worth you lifted my spirits!

    Looking forward to your next posting.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Sami, I’m so glad my words made you feel better. Some days just hearing something like that lifts mine, I know I do my best to end all of my posts on a high note but as you know in this battle, sometimes that’s difficult so hearing from you that I am helping, helps me 🙂

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Kristina, your English conveyed just fine 🙂 I have a lot of patience with others are trying a language that is 2nd to them. I am super excited that this article inspired you to read and to comment too! Welcome and I hope to hear more from you

  5. Cheryl says:

    Your words say it perfectly. I have been living with Lupus for almost 20 years. That last few years have really taken a toll on me. But like you have have found a love of photography. It is the one activity that doesn’t drain my energy and gives me joy. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Cheryl, yes the energy draining thing is vital. I do my best to do more activities that are low key because I find that then I can actually get out and do more. I let everyone who invites me to things know I am very low key and I mosey lol I’ve learned to not get in a hurry and finding things I enjoy has that thought at the top of mind. Do you do photography as well? It’s interesting what happens when you take the camera off of auto (some stuff is just terrible lol)

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