I haven't written, but things are going just fine. Brinley is feeling fine and the jaw and leg pain seem to have disappeared, so the vincristine must be out of her system. I, however, have been more frustrated than normal. I have no excuse and have been quite disappointed in myself, I generally have a good attitude. So yesterday I turned a corner. I was feeling so bad about everything that was totally out of my control. It was consuming my thoughts and I couldn't concentrate on anything else, except these things that I can't do anything about. I try not to write too depressing stuff, which is why I haven't written much (okay, sometimes I write depressing stuff, I know). So here's the good news, yesterday I told myself ENOUGH! I made a list of all the things I can't control that are frustrating me. Then I made a list of the things I CAN control and hung it on my fridge and decided to focus on that instead. It completely turned me around! My list looked something like this:

Things I cannot control:
1. The cancer in my child's body, whether or not she will be cured.
2. Side effects that are caused by the chemo, short and long term.
3. The bills that come in.
4. The amount of income we have.
5. Medical bills.
6. The phase of life I am in.
7. The feelings of my children.
8. The actions of others.
9. How I am treated by others.
10. The trials I will have to go through.
11. How many hours are in the day, and how much I can do in them.

Things I can control:
1. My face - smile, frown, make up, hair.
2. The way I treat other people - family, friends, strangers.
3. How clean my house is. (Okay, so that one can switch from list to list, depending on the day :) )
4. The time I spend with my kids, and husband.
5. The way I handle money issues, what to spend money on.
6. How I help Brinley cope with side effects.
7. The way we choose to live.
8. How happy my family is. (doesn't that directly depend on how happy mom is??)
9. My spiritual well being.
10. What I choose to do with my time, priorities.

So all day I looked at my CAN control list, and worked on those things. It really made a difference, I can control a lot of things about my life! I can smile at my family, even during tough times! I can control that, and I did! Sounds trivial, but a big deal when mom is always stressed. So I will leave that list on my fridge until it is in my head permanently. Please don't think I'm a grouchy old hag, I just haven't been myself. It's funny how discouragement creeps in and slowly overtakes you without you even noticing. Before you know it you are a different person and it's affecting everyone you come in contact with. Well, I'm giving it the boot!!! (don't hold me to it forever, surely there will be off days.....and you all know I'll write about it when it comes!!!)


Stacy said...

Kristin -you always seem so positive to me. I feel just like you do a lot. I will take your advice because heaven knows I need it. Feeling in control is very important so maybe if I didn't feel like I had to control everything I would be happier. Thanks for the update! It was great to have you guys here last night.

Sole said...

I would never attempt to compare my trials to yours, I think we both know that unless you've been there you just don't know what it's like. But I do want to share a little something with you. I have recently been reading (a lot!) the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope". It has helped me so much in many things, but especially being able to focus on having hope. That alone has brought more peace to my mind and heart. I totally recommend it, well... when you get a minute!! :)

Ana said...

Good for you Kristin!! You are an inspiration to me :) I will try to follow your example. It is hard not to feel discouraged sometimes...

Have a nice weekend!

Ana Luisa

Ashley said...

SUCH a great tip. I'm going to try it. Thanks for sharing, sweet and wise Kristin.

John Hanks said...

Once again, you've raised your head above the weeds and found a way to move forward. You are so right to focus on the doable. You are only one, but you ARE one. You can't do everything, but you can do something. With the help of God you WILL do it. I love you and your family, Kristin. I look forward to seeing you next week.