Have I Given Up? The Search for Joy in My Battle

Kellie McRae avatar

by Kellie McRae |

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I don’t make resolutions. It seems that now they have been replaced with mantras and buzzwords. However, my daughter asked me on New Year’s Day if I had something that could give me life guidance this year. I told her that instead of constantly trying to find ways to monetize my efforts and work all the time, I wanted to find things that I enjoyed. And if those activities bring me money, then great.

As I looked into the things I thought would bring me joy, I felt as if I’d chosen them because they would not overly challenge my body. I’ve seen little corners of the world and still have some countries left to visit and have stamped on my passport. But the thought of packing and traveling to new places makes me feel apprehensive and exhausted.

Traveling to new places is another level of stress. While I want to go, part of me thinks I should stay put. I’ve shared that I’m teaching myself to sew. The more bags I make, the more people are asking to buy them. I started offering these bags, not just as a potential source of income but because they bring others joy. And let’s face it, what am I going to do with a giant pile of purses?

Somedays, I am too exhausted to sew, so I spend time on my computer, figuring out how to add to my online business and increase my income. Instead of doing this, I decided to teach myself a new skill that I can do from bed. I gathered together my initial supplies but once again felt as if I was giving up.

I think that I will enjoy learning how to make purse bling — I chose this activity to accompany my bag-making, but also because I could do it in bed. For a person who, in the past, spent a lot of time on the go, making choices around what I can do from my bed feels as if I have accepted that’s where I’m destined to be.

It’s frustrating to think that lupus has led to my preferring to be alone in my bed, engaged in activities that allow me to stay inside. I feel as if I’ve given up. Then I remind myself that on the days I can go out, I do.

I don’t know how much traveling I will accomplish this year, but I plan to find joy in the things I create, the people I spend time with, and in the many days that I will be fortunate to have. Some days I feel as if I’ve given up; at other times, I realize that my continual search for joy and efforts to bring happiness to others are merely different ways of battling.


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