Posted in Life Lessons, Newly-Diagnosed, Uncategorized

Dear Body, Today I Choose Love…

I know I left you on not the highest of notes last time I wrote. However, as promised, my anger only lasted a day and then I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on. As they say, things always seem darkest before the dawn, right? Come Wednesday morning, I found light. My lingering chest congestion symptoms had faded away and for the first time in a week, my head seemed clear and I no longer viewed the world through a hazy veil. I energetically taught my classes and enjoyed each one, rather than viewing each one as a mile on the marathon of my day as I had the week before, when exhaustion had won over. And then this weekend arrived and I realized just how beautiful life is when you and your body are on the same team, rather than opposing forces.
Two Fridays ago, I was sitting in the doctor’s office yet again. This past Friday, I was sitting in the late afternoon sun cheering on some of my students at their field hockey game. Two Saturdays ago, I slept most of the morning away and then assumed the position of a lifeless blob on the couch for the remainder of the day. This past Saturday, I was at a cider mill before 9 AM enjoying an apple cider slushie (and purchasing apple cider donuts to share with friends whose immune systems have embraced gluten as a gift rather than an enemy). Two Saturdays ago, I had to cancel a trip to visit friends from grad school. This past Saturday, I got to (very briefly) visit with Baltimore friends before heading up 95 to Philadelphia. I was able to visit with friends from grad school and college, PLUS meet some brand new friends.

Cider Festival! And ND/ACE 15 reunion 🙂

Two Saturdays ago, the extent of my cultural entertainment was episodes of Gilmore Girls on my laptop since I didn’t even have the energy to get up and navigate the TV. This past Saturday, I enjoyed an afternoon Cider Festival (trust me, a post on that is forthcoming too!) and then joined hundreds of Philly residents on the lawn outside Independence Hall for a viewing of “The Barber of Seville”….quite an experience I must say.

Opera on the Mall! And Villanova reunion 🙂
Two Sundays ago, I managed to become somewhat mobile again and ventured outdoors onto my patio. This past Sunday, I was out the door before 9 AM for a visit to my favorite Philly coffee shop. Two Sundays ago, I dragged myself to morning mass at the hospital chapel, figuring the crowds of my parish, and the inevitable hugs and conversations with people I know there, would prove too much exertion. This Sunday, I was able to return to the church in Philly where I had one of my favorite retreats (and breakfast with Fr. James Martin!) for mass.

What better way to start a Sunday??

Two Sundays ago, I ate soup and lots of it. This past Sunday, I got to visit one of my happy places: Sweet Freedom. And now they’ve opened a branch down the road from my alma mater, Villanova. SO I got to see that too!!

A Katie-safe cupcake AND a pumpkin spice latte I didn’t have to make!!
I LOVE Sweet Freedom!

All in all, it was an amazing weekend filled with laughter, joy, love, and delicious treats. It was pretty much the polar opposite of last weekend. And as I sat in my living room last night pondering all these things, I really did feel love and gratitude for my body and its poor, confused immune system. Yes, it can certainly be a pain and make me angry sometimes when plans get ruined. However, by simply eliminating the foods that seem to confuse it, my body does a pretty fantastic job of getting itself back together. And for that, I am truly grateful…and utterly amazed.

So yes, I’ve lost oats. And that still makes me sad when I realize it’s in something else I’ve been eating. However, when I look at all that I gained in just one weekend by giving up oats (well, and gluten, dairy, soy, and corn (sort of)), I’d say it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. There’s still an accountant deep down inside of me and the tradeoff seems quite clear here.

So what I’m saying is some days you’re going to be angry. And that’s OK. Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be sad. Let yourself cry or wallow or hibernate away from people for a day or two. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And some days you’re going to be happy, amazed, and gratified. And you have to appreciate those days. Let yourself feel pure joy. Let happiness consume you. Let yourself laugh and hug and talk to one of your best friends until 12:30 in the morning when you know both of you should probably have gone to sleep hours earlier. Let yourself appreciate all the love that surrounds you, regardless of how your body decides to lash out sometimes.
So in conclusion, today I am choosing love. AND to top it all off: guess what today is?? NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!!!!! That’s right. It’s real. Granted, I am well aware that this is just another construct of corporate America, a clever marketing ploy to draw countless bargain-loving customers who wouldn’t typically cross the threshold of a Dunkin Donuts on a Monday morning…hoping of course that the sight and scent of donuts will overwhelm these patrons and motivate them to spend some money anyway. Yes, I know how these things work. But what I also know is that I love both coffee and bargains; thus anything which allows me to combine the 2, especially on a Monday morning after a weekend away is golden in my book.

That’s right…it’s here!!

 Now I’ve been promising an informational post regarding coffee and other coffee-based beverages…and I do promise one of those is coming. Until then, go get your free coffee, go have a great Monday, and today, or one of these days if today isn’t the one for you, let yourself choose love; because there is so much beauty to appreciate in this life.

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