After answering the questions, it was determined that I am a frog.
Let me back up and explain that first sentence.
Last week, my dad, son, and I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography to see the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition.(If you are in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend it.The exhibit is on display until January 13th, 2019.Joel Sartore’s photographs are astounding, and his mission is so inspiring!)
One part of the exhibit involved an interactive activity where visitors use a touch-screen to answer simple questions.After making it known that I was an early riser and not a night owl, preferred a beach area to a snowy area, and would rather play with stuffed animals than video games, (there were other questions too), the determination was made that my Photo Ark animal was the Reinwardti’s Frog.
I’m not sure how I feel about being a frog.(My son was also a frog; my dad was a toad).
I think of frogs as slimy.As bug-eating.As noisy.As the dead creature I had to dissect back in seventh grade biology class.
Though, when I read the paragraph explaining the “similarities” my animal and I shared, one line did stand out.“… and when the going gets tough, you show your backbone.”
You don’t often think of frogs and their backbones.And maybe people don’t always think of me as being tough either.But if I’ve learned (and am still learning) anything during these years with a chronic medical condition, it’s that I am indeed tough.
I have a question for you, dear readers.How would you define “self-care?”
For some, it means a bit of pampering, such as taking the time to get a pedicure or massage.For others, it means doing something just for you, something that makes you feel good, whether it’s sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book or going for a walk.
But what about people like me?People who struggle with invisible disabilities?People for whom “self care” means something entirely different?
Clickhere to be redirected to The Mighty to read my recently published personal essay, “With Autoimmune Disease, There Are More ‘Self-’ Practices Than Just Self-Care.”
I gained a reputation after teaching for a number of years.I was kind.Organized.Structured.Calm.Patient.Loving.
And even though I’m no longer teaching, those adjectives still apply.
But there’s another side of me.The side that is sometimes so frustrated, so beaten-down that I feel like channeling Bill Murray’s character in What About Bob? and letting out a long tirade of curse words.And while I don’t let myself go to that extreme, it still isn’t easy to deal with daily pain and stay calm.
Instead, I write about it.
Click here to be re-directed to The Mighty to read my latest personal essay, “The Words I Use to Describe Life With an Autoimmune Disease.”