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Pass it on: Day 11 #100PositiveDays

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” – Steve Maraboli

Take what you need.

I originally saw this idea on a friend’s Instagram, where they had run across a flyer with words at the bottom that you could tear off. It simply said “take what you need.” I knew I had to recreate this and spread the joy around my university’s campus, and hopefully the larger Tucson area.

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Gratitude: Day 10 #100PositiveDays

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – Gilbert K Chesterton

Today I am thankful for the gift of exercise. I know I recently wrote about strength and that it isn’t all about physical muscle, but the fact that I am able to get out of bed every day and use my body, is a blessing.

Yesterday my mom and I took my dog for a walk, in keeping with our new Saturday tradition. There is a great walking path where she works and my 10 year old dog helps us keep a good pace, wet nose leading the way. Yesterday evening I used my therapy bands and equipment and did some exercises. Some days, my body just is not up for exercise and my joints ache so much that it’s impossible to do even the easiest exercises. But I can’t get in the habit that I often fall into of letting that be my normal, and taking for granted the days when I do feel well enough to work out. I have to be thankful for those days God has given me and use them to my advantage so that I will hopefully have more of them, the more I stabilize my joints and gain muscle.

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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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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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