I’ve never been a positive person.  I am quick to find problems, drawbacks, and concerns; rather than benefits, advantages, and gains.  I wouldn’t consider myself to be negative, but then again, that’s what all negative people say.  This outlook works well enough, but I’m trying to be more positive.  Perspective is a powerful factor, one that can change a situation’s outcome.

I visualize positive results, not always first, but eventually.  Sure the car might explode and the house might burn down and I might be horribly disfigured and I might wake up in the hospital two months later as a quadriplegic and I might have to pay a three point eight million dollar medical bill, or everything might be fine.

Recently, my back pain has returned.  This morning, it took me ten minutes to shuffle and yelp my way out of bed, stand up (hunch over), limp to my phone, throw some clothes on the bed, and leave the room.  Ten agonizing minutes from 5:10 to 5:20, filled with fiery nerve pain and despair.  Not the best way to start the day, even though it keeps me from sleeping in.  If it hurts so much to get out of bed the first time, I am surely not going to repeat the ordeal for a bit more rest.

I remind myself that (so far) this is a recurring temporary inflammation problem.  I’m essentially disabled for about one month out of every four or five.  Not so bad, people have it worse.  Once I endure the morning, the rest of the day goes smoother.  Thankfully, I work at a desk these days, things were more interesting when I was expected to stand in flip-flops and walk up and down the sales floor for nine hours a day.  That was difficult, I almost bought a cane.

Today I took a few Advil and went to the rock-climbing gym.  Back pain or no, I refuse to waste my membership fee.  It didn’t work out.  I couldn’t climb anywhere near as well as normal, so I was about to leave.  But I’m trying to be positive.  Instead of whining about what I can’t do, I thought about what I could.  I worked on some different strengthening exercises, which went well.

I can’t climb, but I can work the campus board and systems board.

I can’t run, but I can walk on the treadmill.

I can’t do sit-ups, but I can do planks.

It hurts to stand and move, but I can still do it.

I can’t control everything about my life, but I can control how I think.


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