I have a dear friend whose grandson is exceptionally bright and observant. Whenever we see each other, I look forward to her “Colton Stories.” The last one went something like this: He started asking his grandparents if they drove on the grass. Whenever they told him no, he would say, “Mama drives on the grass.” Of course, his mom denied it, but they just could not convince him that she didn’t drive on the grass. It took them a while, but they finally figured how why he was so convinced that she did. From his vantage point in his car seat all he could see beside him was grass. He didn’t have sight of the road so he thought it wasn’t there.
I was giggling as she told this story, but as she told me the last part, I thought I was going to have to pick myself up off the floor…. My friend was on the way to the mall with Colton and his mom and he pointed out some guardrails that were between their vehicle and the woods beyond. He said, “Ma” (that’s what he calls his grandma), “See those things over there? Those are to keep Mama from driving in the woods.”
How many times are we like that precious little boy, only seeing through the lens of our current circumstance? How many times do we think that this immediate pain is all there is? It can be hard to feel optimistic when we’re suffering, but sometimes we can choose to be optimistic by changing our perspective.
I know it’s hard to make that shift sometimes, but I’ve found that if I’m able to think about what I can do rather than what I can’t, and think of the things I can do today that I couldn’t six months ago, it helps me to realize I’m not “driving on the grass” but living my life. This helps make being optimistic about the future possible even when I’m not feeling that way.
I’ve also learned that I can have the perspective that fibromyalgia is who I am or I can take the view that it is only one part of me. Yes, it’s a huge challenge that affects every area of my life, but it doesn’t have to define me. If I can step back and look at the big picture, it’s easier to remember who I really am and have hope for the future.
I choose to be optimistic. How about you?