Focus on the Cans

I’m trying, but all I see are Can’ts

I actually started this piece at the beginning of all this Covid-19 quarantine business and I was full of optimism and advice on ways to stay positive and healthy (both physically and mentally) through the challenge. Then I just got sick of seeing articles on those subjects so I put mine on the back burner, guessing that you all were also suffering from Quarantine Pollyanna Fatigue Syndrome, otherwise known as Thhhssbbbpp!

Now, we are all also subject to Quarantine Misinformation Fatigue Syndrome and Quarantine Political Battle Fatigue Syndrome (at least in the States, we are). It’s exhausting and it’s ridiculous, amirite?

Still, we have to deal with it all. So, how?

At first, I was taking my Labrador retriever Stella for a walk around the neighborhood every day and I was doing something else outside every day – weeding flower beds, clearing deadfall, arranging supplies, whatever. On rainy days, I was working on indoor projects – organizing drawers, closets, etc., and taking donations to thrift stores, ripping up damaged carpet, removing damaged sub-flooring, cooking and freezing tasty, healthy meals for my sister, and spring cleaning. I was also calling my dad every day to chat and I usually called at least one other person just so I could talk to people. (My sister works nights; so, we don’t talk very much most days.) And that was working nicely.

Until my allergies struck.

My sister has a lot of allergies that attack her sinuses, make her sneeze, and leave her with a stuffy head. My allergies go straight to my lungs. I don’t normally have a stuffy head, but my lungs will clog, leaving me with a deep, wet cough. The coughing fits are sometimes so bad that I can’t get air back in, which leaves me lightheaded and panicky. The cough also makes me very tired. The fits are scary from my perspective, but they are apparently terrifying to listen to. My sister is constantly afraid that I’m just going to either keel over or cough up a lung.

Most years, taking an allergy pill nightly keeps the whole cycle under control; however, after two mild winters, this Spring has been an allergy killer in Middle Tennessee. The topography of the region doesn’t help since we sit in sort of a bowl in the middle of the state. Allergens and pollutants get in this bowl and just linger for. ev. er.

I will be okay and able to breathe fine for a day or two, then I’ll do something stupid like go outside for an hour and I’ll be right back to sounding like a TB ward. I need to mow my back yard. I enjoy mowing my back yard. But, I know that if I do it – even wearing a heavy-duty mask – I won’t be able to breathe. I need to finish removing the damaged sub-floor so I can put the new floor in. But, if I am in that room for more than a few minutes, the mold spores still there get me and I’m screwed. It is incredibly frustrating.

Frustrating AND infuriating. I have never thought of myself as particularly delicate or vulnerable; but, this lung thing makes me feel that way and it makes me SO angry! For all the things I want to do and need to do, my lungs are throwing up a big CAN’T when I want and need a big, ole CAN.

Most of the time, I think that the answer to any challenge can be found in the perspective with which you approach it. However, this one is kicking me in the teeth, friends. I can’t seem to get a good perspective so I’m asking you:

How do you approach your CAN’Ts so that you can see your CANS?

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