My Living List.

My apologies for my recent absence. I am sitting here fighting through my brain fog to write this piece, so I apologise also for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

I could sit here and tell you that I’ve been busy, which I guess is true to some extent.
But truth be told, I just couldn’t bring myself to write.

I hit a low point – one of those extremely low points where you cannot find one single strand of string to hold onto and live through another day. I went through a lot in a short month’s time. I dealt with heartache and the loss of a relationship I was quite fond of, I had numerous inconclusive, boring appointments, I faced issues with my Government about my health, and I naturally battled my inner Depression and Anxiety demons as a result of everything.

I was not brave enough, or well enough, to write or read.

But here I am, well into 2016 – a year I never thought I’d see come, and I thought that it was time to write.

I spent New Year’s alone, and as I sat there counting down the seconds until we “welcomed” 2016, I thought, what the heck have I done this year?
What have I achieved?
This illness, the appointments and symptoms had naturally consumed me and I was ending the year emotionally and physically battered, and alone.

Good ol’ Social Media being inundated with joyous posts from others about how much they succeeded during the year, photos of their adventures, messages to their loved ones and a list of New Year’s Resolutions that were either diet or travel related.
Of course I was jealous. I couldn’t stand it. My entire year had been a blur. I had some ups, but mostly downs.

I didn’t want to go into 2016 feeling the same… losing another year to nothing.

I’m not sure about you, but I was left questioning myself.
Was I to blame for not having achieved anything?
I thought I was strong enough already battling something that most people couldn’t dream of feeling or going through… I thought that I was trying hard enough? How much harder could I try to get better? There were so many thoughts, and then I realised that I had lost myself in trying to achieve optimum health and became an ill zombie.
I was given the bad end of the health stick, and I naturally signed my life away in an instant. Appointments and symptoms were my life now. Every time I planned to go back to work, I was stopped by another flare up and I lost myself to the feeling that I would never go back to work again.
I didn’t think that I deserved to be happy.

I didn’t know how to be sick and be happy, so I stopped living.

What I should have done was realise that I was still very much capable of achieving things. They might not be as big as other people’s achievements, but they were achievements nonetheless.

I was going to be sick for a while longer, so what was I capable of achieving?
How could I make this year a little more memorable?
How could I accept my illness and live at the same time? I had forgotten what it felt like to have muscle strain from laughing, and I had forgotten what it felt like to take a spontaneous adventure.

And all of these thoughts prompted the ultimate question, how can I be happy?

I created a Bucket List, which I prefer to call “My Living List”, and in 2016 I plan on achieving one or more things from my list and continuously adding to it.

I invite you to write one too.

I am sure that there are a handful of things that you wanted to do before you got sick, so tell me what is stopping you from achieving?

Being Chronically Ill?

Maybe some of your dreams are a little out of reach because of your current circumstances, but I assure you that there are small things you can still do. I also know that we can’t plan things, as our symptoms usually don’t cooperate with plans. But, there are small, exciting, uplifting things that you can still dream of doing.

You deserve to be happy just as much as a healthy person.
Your goals don’t have to be big or adventurous. They can be something small like getting up and out of bed, taking a few steps outside, writing a blog, doing something independently, laughing more… or you can take a leap and write your craziest, most daring dreams in hope of achieving them.

I began with a mixture of both.
There is no timeline on when the goals have to be achieved, and the best thing is that you can write blogs about your separate achievements! Share them with the blogging world! The blogging world is fantastic, so connect, make friends and help each other achieve your little goals!

I do suggest though that you don’t make the goals generic and all about your illness. Of COURSE we all want to be illness free, or manage our symptoms better, but the entire point of this is to focus on things that make us happy and give us confidence. Instead of writing “finding a cure for my illness”, I broke my goal into much smaller chunks and said “have one week nausea free”.
You have to keep your symptoms in mind, but don’t let them stop you from living. Take everything one day at a time.

I surprisingly feel much livelier already having this list to guide me through the year.
I have horrible symptom days like today, but I am really pushing myself that little bit more to get out beyond these four walls and the shadows of my illness, and live.

Join me.
Take the time to sit down and write a list. Do it with a loved one, or on your own. Grow your list and start crossing these dreams off day by day, so when the end of 2016 comes we can both look back and not feel regret.

Instead, we can stand together, proud, for making the most of every as many moments as we possibly could.

Remember that if you choose to post your list to your blog, please tag “mylivinglist” so others can find you! Happy 2016 to my loyal followers. May this year bring us all better health and happiness.

Here is my own personal list that I will continue to add to:

  1. Get my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care
  2. Get back to work casually or part time
  3. Go for a half an hour walk alone
  4. Go for an hour walk alone
  5. Do 10 Minutes Workouts for a month straight
  6. Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge
  7. Start Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  8. Finish Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  9. Try and say yes to going out, unless you are having a 10/10 bad symptom day!
  10. Get a job in Childcare/as a teacher
  11. Write a Children’s Book
  12. Publish a Children’s Book
  13. Spontaneous Getaway
  14. V̶i̶s̶i̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶F̶r̶u̶i̶t̶ ̶F̶a̶r̶m̶ ̶
  15. Go to a park full of beautiful trees
  16. Dressup for a fancy dinner
  17. Sleep in a tent, under the stars
  18. W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶l̶o̶g̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶s̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶s̶ ̶
  19. Hit 2000 Followers
  20. Drive for an hour
  21. Drive independently
  22. Tolerate more vitamins and less unnatural medication
  23. Dance to Flo Rida’s “Sugar” Hiphop Routine
  24. Go overseas
  25. Volunteer
  26. Don’t hold onto negative energy and hate
  27. Makeup and hair makeover
  28. Have professional photos taken
  29. Go to dinner with Childcare girls
  30. Go to dinner with Red girls
  31. Go to dinner with Spotless girls
  32. Have one week nausea free
  33. Have one week dizzy free
  34. No alcohol for two years
  35. Be able to say “I feel better in the stomach”
  36. One more piercing (eight as a total)
  37. Tattoo to signify strength
  38. Go to three football matches
  39. Cook something organic and yummy
  40. Volunteer at Royal Children’s Hospital
  41. Start Foundation for Invisible Illness
  42. Visit my overseas blog friends
  43. Visit a shopping centre alone
  44. Go to a spa retreat
  45. Conquer a Ferris Wheel (when less dizzier)
  46. Sing for an audience
  47. Read an entire novel
  48. Visit the zoo
  49. Donate toys to Christmas Tree
  50. Move out of home
  51. Start Pilates
  52. Don’t go to sleep angry!
  53. Have all of my certificates framed
  54. Eat one of those fancy burgers advertised everywhere
  55. Dye hair entirely blonde
  56. Go camping
  57. Eat waffles (gluten free waffles?)
  58. Walk barefoot on a tropical beach
  59. Pay for someone else’s groceries
  60. Learn more Italian words
  61. Catch a train or bus independently
  62. Be confident to take a photo of myself every day for thirty days
  63. Romantic kiss in the rain
  64. Attend as many birthdays as possible
  65. Meet someone famous
  66. Eat from a Food Truck
  67. Write for a magazine
  68. Learn to swim
  69. Refrain from using Social Media for a week
  70. Have one specialist say “you have made improvements”
  71. Be healthy enough to donate blood
  72. Visit the snow
  73. Go to a Dressup party
  74. Cut out coffee from my diet entirely
  75. Make/try Kombucha tea
  76. Hit 100+ Facebook page Followers!
  77. Write fifteen poetry pieces
  78. Make a difference in someone’s life
  79. Laugh until my chest aches
  80. Grow Strawberries!

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34 comments

    1. When you get to 75 let me know💓💓💓. We love Kombucha___😊. Have been drinking and selling Scobys for over a year. It has helped me. I am not a Dr. Just give a hollar. We are New York Kombucha on Amazon. I would love to gift you a Scoby when you are at that phase. Nothing better than making your own Kombucha.💓💓. Now to making my list.😉😉

      Like

      1. I’m going to have a look! Remember you don’t have to do the list in order (maybe I should have written that). I’m just not sure if my stomach will be able to handle Kombucha. I have heard wonderful things, though!
        You are so kind ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I was happy to see you had posted! And,I like it! No goal is too small, particularly when doing anything at all is such a challenge. Sometimes I suck at life, and find myself saying “when I feel better, I’ll do ____”, and that results in me sitting around doing nothing, while waiting for something that might never happen. You’ve got the right idea here, focusing on what you CAN do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cass* Wow, now I know why I enjoyed our chats back then… This post brings to life my night and ending of the year (alone on newyears too, counting down the minutes) to perhaps a better one? I have been numb to write, *feeling forced* So I type what I type and hope that it makes sense in my post’s but it doesn’t… What I’m getting at (haha) is that my illness hit hard tonight, I’ve been on a high of great accomplishments and moving for in life, but with the holidays and tonight (being a bad one in particular) the steady downfall of depression and ahhh never-mind too much for a reply here… Thanks for doing so well and getting your words to appear in your post so I can feel not so alone in what I feel also…

    Continue the fight Cass* We all can beat it… 🙂
    You are Smart, Kind, Helpful… Etc…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! I love this. It can be so hard to give up dreams, and it’s so necessary for us to replace them with new dreams. Reading this, I could really identify with you. I have struggled with these things too. I could really benefit from a livinglist and will work on writing down some ideas. Great idea!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There’s no harm in slowing down. Sometimes we have to take life at our own pace. I wish you all the best with your Living List, it’s such a great idea and you’ve got some wonderful goals! Welcome back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If it makes you feel any better, lot of people simply pretend on social media, how they’re happy, because they don’t want to look bad in front of others. Anyway, wish you lot of strength to follow your list and enjoy this year 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you 😊 blonde would be a lovely start but being sick means my hair is not ready to be bleached or it could possibly fall out 😞 I have to do it “gradually”
      And hopefully my brain allows me to read a novel. The choices for just one good one are way too difficult! There are so many good books! Do you have any suggestions?

      Like

      1. I’d like to be a blonde too, but I’m too dark really..never mind. Ooo novel wise..hmmm I’m not sure…depends what genre you’re into…a murder mystery with a hint of romance is a nice start maybe? Or do you want to jump straight in to War and Peace? Please don’t do that. Haha.

        So, which list item are you working on right now?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh gosh, do you *really* have to cut out coffee?? That’s terrible. I’ve got a bachelors is childhood studies, so I am completely behind you on that one. I started it when I was 32. I was in good health though, but I did have 2 small kids that needed extra support than usual. I hate that I love a bit of romance too. Makes me feel like a girl. Lol. 🙂 xx. Get that application filled by the end of the week. Ok??? !

        Like

      3. Oh I have to hold off on the bachelor until I get my diploma transcript! Long story. I’m from australia. But i definitely will enrol midyear. It gives me time to chase up the transcript.

        Coffee is by choice haha probably a silly choice. I only have a cup a day. But i am replacing it with green tea to boost my health 😦 xx

        Like

      4. One coffee a day????? That’s practically given it up already!! Green tea?? Oh bless you. I tried it. Didn’t like it. Blergh. And that redbush stuff. Yuch.
        Fingers crossed you get it all sorted and enrol yourself ASAP! Does the heart good to have a plan in place I always think. I’m in from Wales, UK. Bet it’s a lot warmer where you are😆.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You’ve already achieved 78. ‘Make a difference in someone’s life.’ Over a 1,000 people who read/follow your blog (including me) are so incredibly blessed to hear what you have to say. You inspire all of us. I also like 42…you’re always welcome in good ol’ New York!!! 😛 I can’t wait to make my own list, I really love this idea 🙂

    Best of luck to you and keep us updated on that list 🙂

    Like

  7. I agree with what you mean about people at the end of the year. It can get particularly sickening with parents posting photos of their kids receiving awards. My daughter made it into the opportunity class but has never won an award from school. Has received 2 distinctions from UNSW and it did all seem a bit odd. She asked me why. These are hard questions to answer as a parent
    I like your list but is it achievable? I read about SMART goals.
    Anyway, you might have a laugh at the resolutions I wrote for my dogs: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/mummy-dogs-cant-read-but/
    There are three inter-connected posts you can reach from there.
    My daughter will be starting at a new school and I’ll be driving her every day at least at the start and I have currently got my hours right out of whack and just doing that is my current goal. Don’t know how she’s going to manage the travel but we’re going to give it a term and see. She’s pretty determined.
    xx Rowena

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  8. I’m having way too bad of a day to get pumped about this. I want to. But I kind of do this every day. i say “tomorrow I’ll get up early and exercise”. But I don’t. The dread is just too much. Thank you for the blog. I will follow you. I have GAD, depression, PTSD, and then hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can make all the symptoms worse. I hope your blog and the blogs of others on these invisible illnesses will help give me hope and motivation. Thank you.

    Like

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