I have always loved checking the mail. I don’t know how it works where you live, but our street doesn’t have door to door mail, we have a community mailbox. Checking the mail was always my thing growing up. I have actually had serious debates with myself about whether I should check the mail even though I checked it two days ago, or if I should wait until it had been a week because then it’s more fun. We’re the first house on the street, and our street is a bit of a hill, so checking the mail involves walking down the street. When I was really sick and basically bedridden, checking the mail got me up and about even for just a few minutes. After my surgery, when I was too sore to move much, the first way I got myself up and about was by hobbling down the street to check the mail.
Why am I telling you this? Just hang on…
Several months ago we got a letter saying that in the next few weeks our mailbox would be switched out for the new kind that is apparently harder to break into and also better suited to packages since everyone is ordering things online nowadays. Much to my disappointment, that new mailbox never came! Then, last week sometime we got new mailbox keys and another letter saying that we would be switched over to the new kind very shortly. I wasn’t holding my breath.
Well, I just walked down to check the mail and lo and behold, the new mailbox was there!! If you think I am faking my excitement about this, you should know that on my way back up the street I shared the news with a neighbour, and when my sister called a few minutes ago I answered the phone by skipping the hello’s and jumping right into “the new mailbox is here!” And if you still don’t believe me, well scroll down to the end of this post and you will see a picture of me with the new mailbox. (No, I wouldn’t have a picture with the new mailbox if I wasn’t writing a blog about it, but the excitement is real, my friends.)
So again, why am I telling you this? Am I just crazy?
Yes, I am crazy, but I also have a point here.
I experienced true excitement over a new mailbox. Trivial as it is, it made me happy. I was equally excited earlier in the week when my medical supply guy gave me 200 generic Gravol tablets for free. That’s right, I was truly tickled over anti-nausea medication. I also can’t wait until October or November when the fabric store starts carrying winter and Christmas patterns so that I can make festive tube pads.
Yes, it’s too bad that some days I feel too sick to do much or go anywhere, but those days can be made a tiny bit brighter by checking the mail. Yes, it’s rather unfortunate that I have to take anti-nausea drugs every day, several times a day, but free Gravol is still a fun surprise! And yes, having a feeding tube is not fun, but it’s a little bit less terrible if I have fun tube pad patterns instead of plain, boring gauze.
I get excited about the simplest things, I look forward to the most random things, and some of the most trivial things make me disproportionately happy. Call me crazy, but that’s how I cope. That’s how I make it through the day. If I spent all my time focusing on how overwhelming this whole chronic illness thing is and despairing over all the things I wish I could do but can’t, it would ruin me. And it would only make it even harder to manage everything. So I don’t.
Instead, I celebrate a new mailbox.
Think about little kids, and how excited they get over learning something new or seeing something cool. We don’t have to lose that as we grow older. If anything, we need to hold onto that even more as responsibilities take over and life gets harder.
It all comes down to joy. Joy is what gets me through.
Yes, I am crazy. But I’m happy, too.