Fun bank

Compton Acres
The Grand Italian Garden, Compton Acres

I’m finishing this post that I started earlier this year. I am ‘resting’ now after having had a 24 hour ‘escape’. It was my ex brother in law’s wedding, and my eldest was the Best man. Not only was I proud as punch that he should be given such a role, but despite not officially being part of that family for the best part of thirteen years, I and my husband Greg were invited too.

It was a wonderful afternoon, and although I had a stick I managed the day without my wheelchair, using chairs, hubby and sons to prop me up when needed!

Hubby and I left early and stayed in a lovely B&B ( Pinewood Lodge). This morning, before setting off home, and as the boys were in their father’s charge for another week, we visited the beautiful  gardens at Compton Acres. I did need the wheelchair here, but being a very hot and sunny Sunday, in the school holidays, it was remarkably quiet. We even had lunch there, but on the journey home I could feel that my away time was running out.

I went straight to bed and had one of those ‘jet lag’ style naps and my legs are telling me they really didn’t like all that upright business of the previous day. Nothing planned but rest for this week, but a head full of beautiful happy memories to keep me going!

After five years of being bed, and mainly house bound I’ve become all too grateful of previous deposits to my ‘Fun Bank’.
Deposits consist of moments of joy, mainly from pre illness days, but increasingly I find I’m able to deposit new moments of joy and fun to keep the balance in the black.
I’m extremely lucky that I am now more able and can manage more trips out, and that in the EDS/CFS/ME world, five years is a relatively short period of time to find yourself excluded from the ‘real world’. I know of many sufferers who are completely bed and house bound who are notching up decades laying flat on their back trying to stay positive.
Prior to falling ill I was so active and so busy living life that I so rarely stopped to think or remember what I’d done or where I’d been. As soon as one goal or achievement was completed I went full steam ahead into planning the next thing.
The first eighteen months of being bed bound it was a huge comfort to escape into my memories and be able to relieve moments of joy. My joy bank was rapidly being depleted and more time was spent thinking about what I could no longer do and trying to accept that I still had many goals I may never achieve.
During the past five years my husband, sons and step son have continued to live. My friends have lost partners children and parents,suffered and recovered from cancers and bad backs, reminding me of all my blessings.
I’d ordered a ‘Blessings book‘ shortly before I fell ill and the timing couldn’t have been more appropriate. Each day I would write simple things to be grateful for. This simple act makes you really dig deep and start noticing the small things. Just when you think that you can’t possibly have anything to be grateful for you notice that a Robin sat on your window sill just long enough for you to believe it was saying hello, the following year I had a Blue tit that kept ‘looking’ through my bedroom window.

My book soon filled and was put safely into my bookcase not to be opened again until today.I can tell from reading the contents that I was grasping onto hope that I would soon be well again, as were my visitors and many friends. Normally you’re ‘back to work’ before the flowers you’ve been sent have withered and died. With this kind of illness you develop a new ‘normal’ and a pattern of fun and rest if your lucky in between more periods of rest. If you’re lucky the pain isn’t too distracting and you can enjoy sifting through your memory and re living each of those special moments.

I used to find that during particularly bad periods I would post on my Facebook all the good things that had happened that day and I am really enjoying that my ‘normal’ friends are now doing the same. A wave of gratitude is spreading around the world through social media sites and it’s so inspiring and a relief to see that so many of the small things in all of our lives are being acknowledged and enjoyed.

Despite the world wide banking crisis, people’s ‘fun banks’ are enjoying plentiful credits!

Compton Acres

Pinewood Lodge B&B

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