Love and Light and Purple Tutus
Sometimes the world can seem like an irredeemably sad place. When surrounded by hate and injustice, after I cry and get angry, I like to take a turn to focus on the small pieces of my life that bring love and light to the world.
It’s a concept I learned in therapy to cope with the day-to-day mental struggles of chronic illness–– on any given day, you can list three good things. On some days, they might be huge happies: you got a promotion, you welcomed a new baby into the family, you finally found a new medication that works for you. On other days, it can be much harder to think of three positives. But I find if I dig a little, I can always find something: the bus was there right when I got to the stop. My favorite song came on the radio twice today. I ate a really solid bagel sandwich.
Listing things that are good may sound silly–– believe me, I’ve had many friends and family good-naturedly roll their eyes at me when I push them to find three things to be happy about when they’re having a bad day. But as it turns out, life is actually made up of these little, seemingly trivial things. Sure, promotions and babies are great–– but if you live your whole life seeking big things to sustain your happiness, it will probably continue to elude you.
So here are my three happies for today:
I discovered a really great new dog Instagram account.
I got to chat with my sister for a bit.
I had a really great burst of creative inspiration.
See? Nothing life altering. I didn’t cure cancer or win a million dollars, but listing out the little things is an immediate mood-booster, and a quick way to find the good in a day that maybe seemed like actual garbage before. And when that doesn’t work, I go back to some old “good days.” This past weekend was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time–– not only did I go buy stacks on stacks on stacks of used books at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest, but Saturday was finally Chicago’s CCFA walk.
I’d been looking forward to the day for months now, as I’m sure anyone who follows me on social media can attest, but it truly exceeded my greatest expectations. Over 20 of my closest friends and family showed up to walk for me, from my parents to my cousins to my co-workers to my childhood best friends and everyone in between. I’ve never felt so much love in one steaming-hot city park.
My cousins even decked out their adorable babies in homemade team shirts, a move that almost brought me to tears I was so excited and heart-warmed. I might be biased, but it probably made my team the winner in the cuteness category.
We raised over $1,700 for CCFA thanks to almost 40 amazing donors who all came together to support a girl with some malfunctioning intestines, and I can’t thank everyone enough. I’ve never been so excited to have so many thank you notes to write. I even got a chance to be interviewed about my experience with Crohn’s in an effort improve life for other patients, so in addition to raising hella cash, we also raised a lot of awareness.
So to the CCFA employees and volunteers who helped out to make the walk happen to the donors who consistently made my day to the friends who basically walked a 5k in 100-degree heat–– THANK YOU. YOU ARE THE LOVE AND LIGHT THIS WORLD NEEDS.