10 ways I feel like Julia Child while living with chronic illness

food healthy wood table

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My husband actually came up with this title, probably because he wanted to see just how creative I could be………..or maybe because he secretly wishes I was related to Ms. Child  and some of her cooking genes were in my DNA.  Nope………..and add a chronic illness or three…….cooking is not something I usually enjoy.

So, my friends, the bar for me to feel like a gourmet chef is set really low –

  1.  There is food in the fridge that can be eaten without any cooking at all – yogurt, salad mix, fruit, cut up veggies – hey isn’t eating raw all the rage?!
  2.   There are fruits and veggies on the counter that can be eaten just as they are – bonus points if they are in multiple colors – I know vegan is in!
  3. There are vegetables that can be eaten after being heated up in the microwave – my kids are starting to love sweet potatoes – at least this is what I choose to believe!
  4.   There are still freezer meals  available if you are able to reach deep enough into the chest freezer without losing your balance.
  5.   My pantry has items that can be eaten just by being heated up in the microwave – a can of soup and a can of veggies – hey,  mix those together and I am pretty sure it would taste good enough to try it again.
  6.  There is something cooking in the crockpot.
  7.  There are enough leftovers from the day before to feed everyone another meal!
  8.  I actually cut up fruit and veggies to eat with a meal.
  9.   I prepared something edible with more than three ingredients.
  10.   I have the energy to eat the food once I have prepared it!

 

And there you have it my friends………… if any of those 10 things are happening, I feel like I am rockin’ it in the meal prep department.

 

friendships and chronic illness

adorable animals breed canine

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This is a tough subject for me to write about as it brings up a big bag of mixed emotions.  Chronic illness makes relationship tough, very tough.  When you have been ill as long as I have, friendships tend to fall by the way side.  People in our society want a quick fix, “feel better soon” is on so many cards that I want to puke.  CI doesn’t work that way, sickness is forever, barring a miraculous healing……and……yes, I pray and continue to pray for healing and continue to learn about my illnesses and take what steps I can to heal, but our society doesn’t like to deal with things for the long haul.

When you don’t know how you are going to feel in a week, let alone the next hour, it is hard to plan ahead.  Your brain so wants to go out and have fun, see friends, explore the world, plan a vacation for next year, but your body may have a very different plan.

As you grow older with your illness(es) it is even harder to maintain friendships.  You have had to cancel too often, your energy to reach out to people starts to dwindle.  You have a hard enough time just getting through your day……….work (if that is even possible), laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kiddos (if that is in your life), medical appointments, the list goes on and on………………by the end of the day, there is little to no energy left – if you even made it to the end of the day without having to crawl back into bed or back to the sofa.

This post may be sounding a bit like a downer, but I don’t mean it to be so.  It is more of a realistic reflection by someone who has been living this life for more than two decades.  Only you can determine how to maintain friendships, but I have discovered that it was much easier when I was younger………but as people grow older, have families, careers, their lives become bigger and mine has become smaller.  Yes, I was blessed with kids before my CIs really took hold, so all of my energy went to trying to get through my day.  Maintaining friendships for me was sending emails and personal letters letting others know I was thinking about them.  So many outings and get-togethers had to be cancelled because I just couldn’t be there………..some people get it, others don’t, and you just have to let those that don’t go.  It’s not worth the effort or stress on your already struggling body.

You have to be strong enough to truly believe that this is not your fault.  You did nothing wrong and you are an amazing person, they are the ones who are missing out by not taking time to be around you.  I have come to realize in my years of interacting with people who suffer, most of them are the most compassionate, loving, strong, amazing, gentle, generous people around.  If someone can’t see that because you had to cancel dinner plans as a result of your illness……..it is their loss.  Eventually the friendship will dissolve and that extra energy can be put in a place where someone will appreciate it and just maybe that someone is YOU!

 

 

cs lewis quote on friendship 15 Famous Quotes on Friendship

lonely road

 

bare trees at golden hour

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no one can truly understand the pain and discomfort of  living

to understand the masks put on every day, to live within the confines of  this society, not to be viewed as worthless, useless, in a culture that wants fast paced living, quick movements, immediate answers, a fountain of youth, boundless energy, radiating health………..

we struggle to even maneuver down this path……….it is twisting, turning sharply with multiple bumps in the road

it’s a lonely road we roam…………..the desperation, the clinging onto hope, the desire to feel normal……………it is astounding thoughts of healing we try to keep alive – pushed to the back of our minds so not to be overwhelmed with the thoughts of what might be.

the road is endless and uncharted.  it is an intimidating place to ramble as the fog covers the path – your view is obscured…………you have no ability to see where you are going.

it’s like taking a trip, to an unknown place without any clue to where you are going or how you are going to get there…………..not a path I would have chosen to take, but one I am on nonetheless.

some of my favorite live webcams

close up of hand feeding on tree trunk

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Stuck in bed and sick of Netflix and/or Amazon Prime, need a mental break from your work screen, some inspiration for a blog post or you just want to watch something cool and relaxing?  Check out 10 of my favorite live webcams!

May it bring a smile or two to your face!

 

batworld cam – multiple choice of views on this page

Bison Cam and prairie dog cam

Charlotte’s Pasture

HenCam – yep, I do have chickens in my backyard, but I love chickens so much I also enjoy watching others.

Honey Bee Landing Zone

jelly cam – there is something relaxing and mesmorizing about watching these beautiful creatures.

Northern Lights cam

Old Friends Senior Dogs

Sauces Bald Eagle Cam

Turkey Barn Cam

 

 

what if?

woman dark eye spooky

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what if there was no sadness?

what if there was no pain?

what if there was no sorrow?

what if there was no illness?

what if there were no struggles?

what if there was no evil?

what if there was no hunger?

 

what would all of that mean?

free summer meals for kids through 18

cooked fish fillet on plate

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Free lunches, and in some locations breakfast and even dinner, are available FREE to ANY child 18 and under throughout the United States.  Check out the website below to find a location near you.

In our state, most elementary schools and large city parks distribute lunches Monday through Friday.  The below website is good, but many places are probably missing as even our small community has a nonprofit organization, in addition to the government funded summer lunch programs, who also offer free meals for anyone Monday-Friday.

Please know that if you are struggling financially or physically there are places, especially in the summer, to get food.  Please do not be embarrassed to reach out for help.

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

If you are looking for some free activities (cheap) for your kids, you may find something in this post.

pain

adult alone anxious black and white

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in those deep and dark moments of physical and emotional pain you search your soul for strength………….

and in those moments you pray for guidance, for relief – that if there is a lesson to be learned………….to please reveal it in a clear and gentle way………….

maybe it is in these moments when we really learn how strong we are, or maybe it is how weak………..

that we can get through this on our own…………….or that we need others

we are mentally strong enough to tackle it head on……………..or how close we are  completely losing it………….

it is in these moments we realize just how fragile we are………..how we walk a pencil thin line everyday………….between making it and breaking down………….