Hello everyone! Janae asked me, her mom, months ago to write a guest post about a couple of the lessons I have learned in my life. I am finally getting around to it! When I think of my life’s lessons I think of how grateful I am for them AFTER I go through them. So here are a couple of my lessons (ones I can disclose anyway) and what I learned from them. Please let me know what trials/experiences you have been through and what you learned from them.
I grew up in Southern California with my teen years in the late 60’s. My first wake up call came when I was stalked at the age of 18. The stalker called my phone every morning at 6 AM during the week (I guess he took the weekends off, ha!) and threatened me for around 18 months. He would tell me what I had worn and where I had been the day before. The police could not seem to catch this person, phone traces weren’t what they are now, so they needed me to answer the phone to try to get more information. (I did eventually change phone numbers too but he still got to me.) We all knew what he sounded like but not what he looked like. Thanks to his bomb threat, he also ruined our wedding reception because the police had to be there, opening all the presents and checking out people, which delayed our reception until most people left.
Eventually he was caught. He was a mentally unstable person who had gone through my cashier’s line at work and fixated on me. I had no idea what he looked like or that he had seen me at work. I didn’t see this but was told there was a wall in his house that had hundreds of pictures of me. I never saw anyone around me with a camera either. Creepy!
Do I wish I didn’t have to go through this trial? Not really. Early on in this trial I had to make a decision. I could stay home and hide under my bed or I could go to school (college), work at my job and date my boyfriend (now my husband). It took a little while to build up the courage necessary knowing some guy was after me but I decided to live my life. I learned to keep moving forward under difficult circumstances. I learned about mind control so I could focus on my day and not on fear. (Although now you know why I ALWAYS have a dog ((hypoallergenic, see next trial)) trained to let me know what is going on in my house! Ha! Maybe not so brave afterall!)
For the first time in my life I had to be observant of everything that was going on around me. Maybe I learned the kind of courage that you guys show when you train and run 26.2 or 50 miles!! That is so scary to me! This experience also helped me understand people that are fearful. I know what they are feeling and really try to help them.
Health trials can really be “helpful” as far as teaching us life skills. Here are some of the highlights of my last 13 years (all started in my fifties), not because of poor me (everyone has trials), but because then I can talk about the lessons I learned. (Thanks to the resting requirement, last year I started a new hobby, hand wood carving!)
*Mega flu shot reaction 13 years ago that caused horrible neuropathy pain in my feet for years (so glad Crocs were invented, even convinced myself they were cute), wrecked my immune system (still a problem), gave me asthma, allergies to everything outside, medicines etc., 5 years of shots to help immune system and still required. (But I’ve sure gotten out of a lot of yard work!)
*Heart rhythm problems resulting in a heart ablation to correct one easy electrical problem and one hard 2nd pacemaker problem (70% corrected and growing back again). Rhythm problems cause me to have to rest a lot and not get overly tired or problems start.
*Due to a retinal artery occlusion the doctors found a hole in my heart which is not operable. Good, because no way was I signing that permission form anyway. Yikes!
*What little hearing I had tanked to almost none. Not painful, just annoying and produces a feeling of seclusion and frustration. Lesson learned- always have someone with you at the airport! Trying to lip read moustached agent+concealed gun questions+wrong answers=tense moments you never want to experience! Ha!
Do I wish I never had the flu shot etc.? Depends on the day you ask, but I sure wouldn’t trade all that I have learned. I have a huge understanding and empathy for people living in chronic pain. It is so hard to get away from it and be part of life. I am sooooo grateful for pain free days that I used to take for granted. I live with a couple problems that can turn life threatening really quickly. Thanks to other trials I have the ability to use mind control to not focus on the problems and enjoy the here and now. After having to live indoors (my bedroom to be exact) with 3 air cleaners running 24/7 for several springs and summers, I can’t even describe the joy of taking a walk outside in all of nature’s beauty now. During that “bubble” time I entered over 83,000 US census names and info (indexing) into the volunteer digitizing program so I did accomplish something. I cherish going to my kids events and grandchildren’s outdoor activities. I dreamed of the day I could do that again and boy I have appreciated it! I can really sympathize, even though my health trials aren’t that bad, with people that have really, heavy duty health problems. I am grateful for that empathy. I try to focus on the important things in life like my family.
PS Janae here for a second… I put Brooke in the dress I was wearing above:
I guess what I have learned in my life is that if we are able to learn from our hard trials, we will gain the emotional strength to live this life as a much stronger person who can then help others who are going through hard trials too. That’s really the key.
Runners are amazingly supportive! I love it! Thanks for reading!
Please let me know what trials/experiences you have been through and what you learned from them.