“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson
How perfect is that for those of us living with a chronic illness who also want to live a positive life? We certainly don't choose to live with constant pain, with the fatigue, with enough medications to rival a small family, with frequent visits to the doctor's office, with medical bills that could fund a terrific vacation. They are just a part of the hand that we have been dealt. It's how we handle that hand that determines whether or not we "win". If you have ever watched the World Series of Poker; it is not necessarily the best cards that win the hand; it's the player that does the most with the cards he or she has been dealt. It's all in the approach that you take.
In keeping with the poker game analogy- if you have ever watched or played a game you know that you can plop ten people down at the same table and you will have ten entirely different "games" being played. People watching is one of my favorite things to do and watching a live poker game can be a lot of fun. From the quiet and serious player who never shows a hint of what is going on in their hand, to the loud and brash player who uses distraction to get inside the heads of the other players, to the person who is just having a good time and enjoying the company and the game no matter what and the guy who is so competitive that he gets visually aggravated and even angry when things don't go their way; personalities are all over the map. I feel like I have met all of these people (and more) while navigating the world of chronic illness.
Many of the people that I admire the most in this part of my life (Yes- YOU Miss Dazey, Wren, Riotkat ) are the ones who take the hand they are dealt and don't just throw down their cards and give up. They take a pretty crappy situation and they not only live with it- they make the best of it as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia are not who they are, it does not consume their life, it is just one facet of a very full life. If you read their writings they live lives filled with love and joy, wonder and peace. You can find Miss Dazey here, Wren is here and you can follow @riotkat on Twitter. These ladies will inspire you- they inspire me on a regular basis. They take the hand that has been dealt them and no matter what the cards; they play to win. I learn so much from them and from the way they approach their lives. I hope you can too.
***The above quote came to me yesterday from Real Simple Magazine. I get a "Daily Thought" from them in my email around 8:30 each morning. As an aside- if I could only read one magazine for the rest of my life- that one would be it. Most magazines I bring home and then literally rip out all of the articles that I want to read, put them in a folder and take them with me to any place that I will have to wait around. With Real Simple- I not only keep the magazine intact- I keep the magazine period because the articles and tips are so good. If you like positive quotes- go to their website and sign up for the Daily Thought newsletter- it gives me a lift each morning. ***