Health Is A Gift None Of Us Should Take For Granted

Most of us tootle about in our daily lives, rushing from one place to another, running around like headless chickens. Sometimes with a long list of tasks, ‘must do’ things that just cannot be left. “ Don’t put off today what can be done tomorrow” is  a common mantra many of us live our lives by.

However just for a minute sit down this Easter, whatever your religion faith or none, just stop for a few minutes and really think about your life and what would happen if for some awful reason you became ill or immobile or disabled! All those extremely important tasks that you just have to do every day would pale into insignificance.

I have just been brought back down to earth with a bump – quite literally! And oh goodness me has it taught me a lesson about life and how we live it and what is REALLY important.

I’ve broken my foot. Fell over the dog carrying a large basket of washing. I’m the sort of person that if there’s anything in the washing basket, it just has to be washed! Yes I know it’s not important, but to me it sort of is. I have a fear of not keeping on top of things, everything has to be just so. You never know who may turn up unexpectedly – the daughters may have friends to stay – everything has to be perfect etc etc etc…

Well now I can’t do anything. I fell quite badly and immediately my foot swelled up and I had a plaster on it up to my knee and was given a pair of very awkward crutches to use.

For a few days I really struggled. I couldn’t put any weight on it at all and for some reason my crutches had a life of their own.

I then fell again and badly bruised my other foot and ankle, the one I had used for hopping – what a nightmare!

Luckily the orthopaedic surgeon decided that the best option for me was a wonderful padded air boot, just like a large ski boot. I can now put weight on it to walk and can take it off for a bath – luxury!

I was feeling sorry for myself realising that I couldn’t get about and my 100 miles an hour lifestyle had been completely taken away from me. Then I came across a wonderful page on Twitter called The Resilience Sessions so I thought I would listen to one of their podcasts as I needed a bit of resilience.

Oh my goodness me what a leveller. What a wake up call. Once I had listened to these ex military personnel that had severe disabilities and life changing injuries due to war, I thought for goodness sake what are you whingeing moaning and complaining about? You’ve got a broken foot that’s all. It’s just going to inconvenience you for a few weeks. Get on with it girl.

I also began to realise how much I had taken my health and fitness for granted. I have to admit I have rather gone on about my running a marathon aged 52 without considering how others may have felt about that. I’m sure some people would love to perform feats of fitness but will never be able to do so as their disabilities totally inhibit any such indulgences.

Well as in every walk of life my little spell of adversity has taught me a big lesson. Whatever you’ve got appreciate it, don’t take it for granted and certainly don’t brag about it. “Pride comes before a fall.”  There’s someone out there that will never have half the health you have and still achieves amazing physical feats every day of their lives.

Being incapacitated and not being able to drive has made me reflect on other areas of my life that may have been neglected. For example I made a cushion last week using my mother in law’s tapestry which she gave me 10 years ago (sadly she is no longer with us) but I’m sure she would have loved the finished result. I’ve also focused on my writing and psychological research. I’ve got a new determination to finish tasks.

So every cloud has a silver lining. Make sure you appreciate yours this Easter. Stop, think, reflect and give thanks for the health you have or have had and those of others.

‘Health really is Wealth!’ and as we age this is more relevant a saying than any other.

Have a great break over the Easter weekend and remember take your time. It doesn’t matter – the tasks will still be there tomorrow and honestly they aren’t that important!

Enjoyed reading this post? Lesley has also written another one on having a positive mindset – read it now

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Elaine Clueit
Elaine Clueit
4 years ago

My sympathies Lesley. I had a freak accident last November whilst in Australia and I have a serious fracture to my left femur. 3 months no weight bearing- 5 months now and still only 60%. My recovery is likely to be up to a year. Like you I am used to rushing about, always on the go and it’s has been a real shock to my system. I like you have come to realise how important your health and mobility is as you get older – exercise is not just about losing weight. I have learned what a wonderful partner I have and the value of good friends and family. I have also had the benefit of an understanding employer. My saviours have been reading, adult colouring, photo editing and Grace and Frankie on Netflix! Good luck and hope you on fully fit soon

lesley greenwood
4 years ago
Reply to  Elaine Clueit

Dear Elaine,
Thanks for you comment , I hope your back fit and 100% soon.
Yes I think it’s just the fact I’m not independent and mobile no driving living in the country is very isolating, but it’s the small things that I find matter,like a friend calling or an email and focusing on my reading.
I was a very active person, tennis especially I loved.
I know I’ve only broken my foot but I’ve also had a chest infection for a couple of weeks and it’s really knocked my confidence.
But writing for and enjoying and having contact with so many amazing like minded women has given me a real joy.
Watch this space I will be back but maybe not quite as quick as I thought.
I’m practising some chair yoga this week hopefully it will leave me with a more positive mindset also,
Best wishes

4 years ago

Similar situation with me – knee replacement didn’t work (due to my history). Living life at one speed is very frustrating as I was so used to whizzing around. Another big operation now due but at least the surgeons seem to know what’s causing all the problems. Husband had just retired so all our plans have come to nothing. Feel so guilty. However, on a plus point I’ve discovered what is important. An email or text out of the blue from a friend planning lunch gives me something to put in the diary – I need structure! Don’t think about travelling abroad any more but a week in Yorkshire is my goal. Similarly, stop thinking about your weight and what other people think of you. Saviours have been Netflix, Daily Telegraph crossword, Doc Martin, Line of Duty and the local pub into which I hobble twice a week with husband and newspapers.

lesley greenwoodesley
4 years ago
Reply to  Viv

Dear Viv,
Thanks for you comment , I really hope you’re back 100% soon.
I wish you all the best for your recovery