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Strength: Day 8 #100PositiveDays

“Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body.” Pythagoras

Strength is relative. My Strong, may not be the same Strong that it was last year, and it’s definitely not the same as your Strong. But in the end, Strength is needed for us all to “keep on keepin’ on” and get through the hard stuff.

Strength can be measured in terms of physical muscle mass. It can be measured by perseverance. Strength can be measured by emotions, athletic Strength, Strength in talents, Strength in relationships, etc. Strength cannot just be measured in the amount of time you spend at the gym or how far you run.

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Hope: Day 7 #100PositiveDays

“In this world you’ve just got to hope for the best and prepare for the worst and take whatever God sends.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery

Hope. Without it, what do we have? If not for hope, life is just a static repetition, day after day.

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Hope is especially important when going through hard times. When each day brings new challenges and it feels like things are getting worse, what do we have if not for Hope? One of the hardest things about chronic illness is feeling like you are going backwards, things are getting worse, and you have trouble seeing the brighter days ahead. But Hope is what allows us to push through to the next day and get out of bed in the morning.

“Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Scent: Day 6 #100PositiveDays

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” – Walter Hagen

Smells. My grandfather’s house. Lysol-smelling colonoscopy prep. Christmas trees. Snow-covered mountains. Today, I’ve just written a poem explaining my favorite scents. I hope you enjoy!

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Gracie’s House

I pull into the drive
and park my car.
Sitting, waiting, relaxing.
I’m here, my happy place.
I turn off the engine
and look out my window.
My pretty little mare,
stares back at me.

Hearing my door open,
her ears move forward,
with head held high,
peering over the stall.
She nuzzles the halter,
I open the gate,
feet prancing below her,
she’s ready to run.

Off in the distance,
I smell it before I see it.
A special scent of fly spray,
reminiscent of horse camp.
And with that one scent
I’m taken to a place
where worries are lost
and friendship is found.

There’s dust in the air,
it collects on my eyelids.
Hay on my arms,
manure beneath my feet.
Some may turn their nose up,
disgraced by the thought.
But these smells are my quiet;
I like them, a lot.

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What memories do you have, both good and bad, that are triggered by certain smells?

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Hello: Day 5 #100PositiveDays

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” – A.A. Milne

It can be easy to lose touch with friends and family. This is especially likely when they live in another state, or you don’t see them often. A commitment to a weekly Saturday phone call, emails back and forth with updates, or a simple instant message on google chat or Facebook can help make a big difference in keeping in touch with someone.

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Maybe the person doesn’t like phone calls and you are too busy to talk for an hour. My mom sends emails regularly to people in her life with the subject line: “How’s my son?” or “How’s my brother?” which begins an email conversation that she can respond to when she has a few minutes. Continue reading

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A Win: Day 4 #100PositiveDays

“Success will never be a big step in the future: Success is a small step taken just now.” – Jonatan Martensson

In case you don’t already know, it has been a rough couple years for me in terms of stomach issues. I have had complaints of stomach problems for 8 years, but it wasn’t until 2 1/2 years ago that I went gluten free. Even after going gluten free I have never completely felt 100% better. Recently I tested positive for fairly severe gastroparesis, which means I have delayed gut motility. My dietitian also thinks I have something called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which frequently occurs in patients with gastroparesis. The treatment is a sugar-free diet. Sugar-free, as in, no carbs, no ketchup, no pickles, honey, or cereal, or fruit juice… or happiness. Just kidding 🙂

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Memory: Day 3 #100PositiveDays

“The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” – Casare Pavese

As a child, I spent my elementary school years growing up in a small town in northeast Tennessee: thick accents, southern food, country music, and the color orange. But along with all the southern charm came some pretty chilly winters. Now, when I tell people that Tennessee was cold, they often laugh and dismiss my words, since “it’s not nearly as cold as New England.” Alright, so I didn’t grow up walking to school in knee-high snow or negative degree mornings, but we still had our fair share of chilly temps and snow days.

I remember we used to wait up until all hours of the evening, praying for a snow day off from school and on those few days a year when we got one, what a celebration it was. Layering on jackets, scarves, waterproof gloves, and boots. Digging out the sleds and hot hands from last year and running outside to play in the snow. We made snowmen (granted they usually melted within a day or two), threw snowballs, and found the biggest hills to sled down for a couple of hours before collapsing inside by the heater with some hot chocolate: the tingling feeling running through our hands and feet as we nearly burned our skin on the heater. We treasured these snow days like double rainbows, never knowing how long it would be until we would see one again.

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Random Kindness: Day 2 #100PositiveDays

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often. – Mae West

I’m so excited for this one! Just the other day I saw a posting on Facebook that read:
“To start this year off in a loving way is participating in the Pay-it-Forward initiative… The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year- anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy…Let’s do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other.”

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