I had some great advice given to me during my fight to recover from a traumatic brain injury. Like many post concussion syndrome patients, I struggled with depression. My doctor recommended that I do just one thing every day that I enjoy. That may sound easy but it has been a difficult challenge. My life was literally torn upside down and for months it was a daily struggle to just get myself dressed. (And no, I am not exaggerating…..) It was easy to become overly focused and frustrated about the things I couldn’t do rather than what I could.
As per doctor’s orders, I created a list of what makes me happy, things I enjoy or used to enjoy, and things I want to do. As my daughter and husband would say, “create a love list”. I now look for and choose to do at least one thing every day that makes me happy. Life is too short to be miserable.
I still can’t ride a bike, ski, run 3 miles, sew, play the piano, or read longer than 15 minutes at a time, but I can honestly say I have found simple pleasures in life that bring me joy and happiness.
My sister recently corrected me for feeling sorry for myself because I still cannot do everything I used to. She reminded me that joy can come from watching and supporting our friends, family, and others as they succeed and enjoy life. It isn’t always about us being the center of attention.
When I found this picture, I was reminded of how happy I was to watch my son enjoy “riding a fish” in a Colorado river. It reminds me that part of finding joy in this life is looking for and choosing every day to do the things that truly make me happy.