Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Am I *Truly* Grateful? (PYHO)

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis. Read all about it here. It's not that bad and extremely common, especially with people who run.

This post isn't about the plantar fascitis. It's about my reaction to it.

I like to think I'm a grateful person. That I give thanks for my blessings, that I don't take things for granted.

However, this little diagnosis and my reaction to it has gotten me thinking that I just might not be as grateful as I think I am.

With plantar fascitis comes a fair amount of chronic heel pain. It causes me to have to sit to rest my heel, to not run, to not stand as much while teaching and to think about each step when I'm walking.

All I have been able to do about it is complain. Complain to my husband. Complain to my mom. Complain to my co-workers. Complain to my son's daycare (seriously). Complain to my extended family.

All I have done is complain about my foot pain. Mind you, this pain, while annoying, is not debilitating. I can drive, I can walk (carefully), I can keep up with my normal, day to day activity. I only had to miss work one day.

One thing I can't do: run.

So, what have I focused on? The fact that I can't run. I can still do the elliptical, the bike and the stair climber, but I have gone on and on about how I can't run.

Then, I ran into K in the hallway. K is a special needs child at my school.  She has CP and only learned to walk in the first grade. She is now a fourth grader and I see her walking all the time. She has a pronounced gait, and the steps still do not come easy for her, and yet, I see her. Walking. Unaided. Because she has legs that will allow her to do it.  When she sees me, she smiles and waves. And keeps walking.

And I'm sitting here complaining about a very common form of heel pain that causes me to be unable to run.

Seeing her in the hallway, taking slow, labored steps caused me to think that my attitude of gratitude needs a serious adjustment.

Have you ever wrestled with gratitude?  What did you do to resolve it?

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Jenn and Casey said...

I think we all get caught up in the negative sometimes, it's easy to do. We all hold on to criticism much easier than we do compliments. Maybe it's human nature. But it's good that you were reminded and be thoughtful going forward about it. And I DO hope you get some relief from it, because it sounds very painful!

Maureen | TatterScoops said...

I had those moments too when I complaint and vented out so much and I guess it's normal because it's so easy to fall into self pity forget to count our blessings. My father lost a toe and part of the skin from his foot from diabetic last October and seeing him put me into a lot of different perspective and actually kicked my behind to start living more healthily. Hope you will feel better soon :)

Di said...

I really struggled with gratitude after my son was born. I should have been grateful that he was here but all I could think of was that he was stuck in the NICU and I wasn't the one taking care of him. then I talked to mom's whose kids were going to be in there for month's yet made me realize that 2 weeks was a drop in the bucket.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I'm sorry that you can't run! I think this is one of those really hard situations where you are caught between needing to grieve the loss of something you love (running) and recognizing that you still can do a lot. I think that denying our grief just because others have it worse doesn't allow us to heal, so I say, go ahead and feel sad about it. Maybe afterward, complaining less will help you move on.

Just One Donna said...

I had missed your plantar fascitis post, and now that I read it I think I am suffering from it as well. Yesterday, I asked Hubby to please give me a foot massage because my feet hurt so much. I have changed my footwear, favoring a comfy slipper in the house this winter, but I fear it it the cause of my pain and suffering. Back to shoes with 2 inch heels today and no pain at all...

Adrienne said...

I'm new here, so I'm not up on the heel pain. However, this is a great post that can be a reminder to us all. I have wrestled with gratitude and God seems to snap me out of it real quick with some perspective much like he gave you. I do hope your pain subsides and you're able to get back to running. Forgive me if my lack of knowledge on that topic is painfully obvious. (no pun intended). :)

Kristen said...

I'm new here too, so I don't know about your heel pain - but... I can tell you I wrestle with that feeling of gratefulness too. When I am feeling sorry for myself, I often look at my son - and count my blessings that he is here, alive, and still fighting for every single milestone he might hit. *ugh* just typing that made me tear up.

Great post.


Kristy said...

Hey, be kind to yourself. A foot injury, especially for such an active person, is really hard to accept. I have had foot injuries before, and it's the worst. Everything you do involves your feet! Everything. It can be depressing. Don't feel like you "should" feel a certain way. It sucks. And, eventually, you will get out of this sucky time. Just try to do whatever helps you feel a little better in the meantime.

April said...

Good morning! I'm visiting you from SITS! My husband suffered from the same condition about a year takes time to completely heal, but he felt a lot of frustration, too. Yes, I do struggle with feeling grateful from time to time. Seeing someone who is struggling more than myself makes me feel very blessed.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've got the same problem-- I've got runner's knee from spin class. So while I can run, kick box, dance, etc, I can't do spin. Of course, all I want to do is spin.

Shell said...

I think it's normal to have an adjustment period... a sort of mourning period while we get used to something hard.

But, it just takes a little perspective to get us to be thankful again.