Welcome back everyone! I’m super excited to share this with you. I have put together a free 5-day email course called Thriving Forward: Master Your Inner Game for More Happiness, Well-being and Success. You can find it on my website at www.bobbikahler.com/thriving forward and I’ll put that it in the show notes for you. I hope that you’ll check it out and let me know what you think. I wanted to put together a short course that would provide a boost for people.
Today I want to talk about a question that I get a lot when I’m interviewed about my illness in 2003 and my recovery.
I’m often asked what was one of the most important things that Rick and I did during that time.
Here it is. But, I have to warn you that it may sound simple.
We didn’t wait for me to recover to be happy. We were happy along the way.
That might sound a little weird, right? So, I want to be clear that we were NOT happy that I was sick, but we chose to not allow the illness to keep us from being happy.
This was a very intentional choice. I remember the day that we talked about it. It was the day after the doctor told us that only 3% of people who had what I had would recover. Rick brought my tea upstairs to the bedroom and I said to him: “I know that you didn’t sign up for this and if you want to leave, I would understand.” We weren’t even engaged yet and I truly would have understood if that had been too much.
Instead, he hugged me and said, “We’ll get through this together and we’ll figure out a new way to have fun with where we are now.”
Here is how that shaped some of our choices:
· Since I was too sick to hike, we decided to take long drives instead. Rick would bundle me in a blanket and help me out to the car – which in and of itself was exhausting – and then we’d go for a drive. This is when we lived in Portland Oregon so sometimes we drove to the coast, sometimes we drove around Mt. Hood, and sometimes down the Columbia River Gorge. We enjoyed the view and talking to each other. I often fell asleep but that was okay.
· Since I was pretty housebound, we got a pingpong table for the basement so that on those days when I did have some energy, we could go down there and play for a 10-15 minutes.
· We made our backyard into an oasis so we could sit out there and watch our kitties play.
· Once I started getting a little stronger and could walk more than a mile – which took 3 or 4 years, we took up Disc Golf. It wasn’t that strenuous – basically walking and throwing a frisbee occasionally – but it was a game that we could play and get better at.
I’m sharing this because people frequently put our happiness on hold. We wait for conditions to be perfect, for everything to be just right and we think “then I can be happy.”
Be happy now.
Be happy with where you are and who you are – even if you know that you have things that maybe you want to change or ways you want to grow. That’s okay. But choose to be happy in your present.
While I never ever want to go back to that time when I was sick, Rick and I frequently talk about the fun that we had and how we grew together even more.
I think that it would have been incredibly discouraging back then to think: I can’t be happy until I’m well or until I can run again or whatever.
The simple happiness that we found day to day kept us going – and growing together.
If you find yourself thinking some variation of
· Once “x” happens, then I can be happy or feel good, etc.
Stop yourself and try reframing it. Here’s what I do:
· Instead of Once “x” happens, then I can be happy or feel good, etc.
I say something like: Once “X” happens, I am going to make a point of celebrating that.
There’s value in celebrating a goal that you’ve reached or a milestone or an achievement – and you can do that without putting your happiness on hold for the illusive someday.
I hope you’ll give that a try — as well as look for things to savor in all of your days.
Thanks so much for being here and supporting the podcast by leaving a review or sharing an episode with a friend or colleague or by subscribing to it! You are the reason we’ve reached the top 5% of podcasts. So thank you! Have a great week and keep thriving!