The things that affect your life are usually vastly out of your control. The office move that took me away from a glass building with designated outdoor space to a stuffy, windowless office with a bus station and a roundabout right outside. The weather picking Saturday and Sunday to pour with rain while Monday is set for sunshine and 26 degree heat. My genes causing a malformation of my collagen that makes me stretchy and hurt.
I can’t change those things so I’m supposed to accept them. But it doesn’t really end with accepting them. After, or while, you’re working on the acceptance part you need to start creating work arounds.
If I work in an office with no windows how can I get some daylight? If my office is too hot for me how can I cool down when facilities won’t ramp up the air con? If it’s raining on my only days off what can I do that doesn’t involve sitting inside all weekend. If my whole body hurts all the time what can I do to help it? How can I ease the pain? Or if I can’t, how can I deal with it?
I’m getting better at work arounds. Problem solving is my forte and when I have enough energy and mental clarity I can usually see the way forward pretty easily.
I’m not very good at the acceptance part though. I still get temper tantrum angry that my work situation is so much worse for my wellbeing than it was a couple of years ago. I could move companies, but I like who I work for, I just don’t like the new office as much as the old one. And it’s tough to feel evicted from someplace nice.
Sometimes I get furious about having Ehlers-Danlos. It doesn’t help, in fact it makes me feel worse, but it just seems so unfair sometimes that I struggle to do anything except stew about the unfairness. Usually it happens when I’m having a flare up and I’m in a lot of pain. Even after taking my painkillers.
But more and more these days I try to call one of my parents or my best friend and just chat about other things. Focusing on something else is usually better.
When I can’t change things, and they make me angry, remembering to have gratitude for everything else in my life helps a lot. I remember I have a great job that I love even if the office is rubbish. I remember that I have medical insurance that lets me see the best doctors for my EDS even if it doesn’t cover everything I’d like it to. I remember that I have great family and friends and that I’m in a position to purchase some things to make my life easier – like a lightweight vacuum cleaner or laptop or supportive shoes.
So, it’s true what they say – life isn’t what happens to you, it’s how you react to it. I try, very hard, to react gracefully and with gratitude. I don’t always manage, but life really is better when I do.