The Things I Miss The Most…

If you’ve been following my blog for much time, you’ll know that I suffer from chronic pain and mobility issues. I’m in pain 24/7 and if it wasn’t for my pain meds I’d be climbing the walls for certain. Without pain medication to “take the edge off” I wouldn’t be able to function at all. I’m thankful that I can still do a little, even though it’s not a lot.

I was thinking last night about all of the things I used to do and how much I miss doing them. It’s terribly depressing. I can’t believe I’m in this predicament at only 56 years old. I am thankful for what I have and what I can still do, but I do miss all the fun things I used to do just 15 short years ago.

Most people take things for granted, as I did. I never thought I’d be in this shape. I never had to think about what I couldn’t do because I could do anything I wanted to do, if I chose to do so.

These are some of the things I miss the most:

  1. Walking & Hiking – I used to be a cross-country backpacker and had put that on the back burner while I raised my children. I still took walks and when we moved here to SW Missouri, we established some trails and I started walking them every day. NowI’m lucky to walk to the bathroom. I have to think about every step and every movement because if I step wrong I could fall. If I fall, I could suffer an injury that would reduce my mobility even more.
  2. Cooking – I used to love cooking. I was damn good at it, too. I have many cookbooks and I always enjoyed trying new recipes and switching them up a bit to accommodate my family. I’m barely able to throw a frozen dinner in the microwave these days. I know that’s a simple task, but there’s still the movement around the kitchen collecting silverware, napkins, plates, etc., and pulling the fixings out of the refrigerator for salad or some other side dish.
  3. Cleaning & Organizing – Yes, I said cleaning. You don’t know how much you miss such a mundane chore until you can’t do it anymore. My house was never immaculate. I had kids and pets. Shit gets dirty. I didn’t stress over it but I cleaned the house once a week. My house used to be organized. Everything had its place. I even packed away the kids’ summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. These days, I can’t clean weekly. What most people do each week is what I do once a month. I do a little each day. That’s all I can do. My house is horribly unorganized these days. I have boxes shoved in closets and I don’t even know what’s in them! I’ve started going through things but that’s going to take me the rest of the year to get done! If I’m lucky!
  4. Going to the Movies – Oh, how I love seeing a movie on the big screen! I used to take the kids to the movies a couple times a month. I’d grab my “movie” purse, which is huge, and I’d smuggle in candy so all we had to pay for was popcorn and drinks. Those were the good ol’ days! Now, going to the movies is painful and awkward. I walk very slow and I feel like I’m going to get trampled. I only have one hand available because I have a cane in my right hand. Someone always has to carry my drink or popcorn. I try to grab seats where other people aren’t going to walk over me to get to other seats. The last time I went to see a movie, people were walking over me and kicking my feet in the process, which causes excruciating pain up and down my legs. I was in tears. We were in the very back row of the theater, too!
  5. Shopping – Yes, even grocery shopping! It’s exhausting, even in a scooter, trying to maneuver around idiots who have to have a stinkin’ family reunion in the middle of the aisle. It’s hard to reach things, even things that aren’t really that high. It’s hard to reach down and get something that might be back a little too far on the bottom shelf. Last Fall, I had the bright idea of going to the Mall and I thought I was going to die. I had my rollator with me so I could walk a little and then sit and rest a little. It was still too much. Any shopping is something I have to work up the courage to do. You just don’t understand unless you’ve experienced chronic pain.
  6. My Home Business – I made my own bath & body products; soaps, bath salts, lotions, body sprays, etc. I loved it! I started with tried and true recipes and then through research and trial and error, came up with my own recipes. I had managed to create a base of repeat customers and was hopeful about the future of my business. I had to close in 2010 because like cooking, it’s a lot of movement in the kitchen that I just can’t do anymore.
  7. Restorative Sleep – I used to sleep good and hard every single night. These days, I’m lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. Not restorative, restful sleep either. It takes me a long time to fall asleep because I can’t find a position that’s comfortable. Between the pain and not being able to relax, it takes me sometimes 2 hours to fall asleep. Then, I’ll sleep for 45 minutes to an hour or so and wake up again. I do this all night long.
  8. Exercise – I always hated exercise when I was younger, aside from walking. Now I wish I could do any exercise without excruciating pain! I bought a recumbent bike a few years ago thinking I might be able to do it but that was a big fat NOPE. I have a glider that I do on occasion and the only reason I can do it at all is that you don’t have to bend your knees to do it! It’s still painful and I push through, but sure wish I could do it more and without pain.
  9. Playing on the Floor with The Littles – The fun of having grandkids is being able to play with them. I used to get down on the floor and play Legos with my son. My daughter and I used to sit on the floor and do puzzles on the coffee table. Nowadays, if I get down on the floor it’s because I’ve fallen and I won’t be able to get up.
  10. Taking The Littles to the Park or Zoo – The last time I went to the zoo was when I was in charge of my grand daughter’s preschooling. Boy, we had a grand time! She learned a lot that day about animals and their habitats. My legs had just started bothering me so I had a little trouble but not like today. If I tried today, I would have to have a scooter or be pushed in a wheelchair.
  11. Hanging Photos – I used to switch up photos of my kids, nieces, and nephews all the time. I just don’t have it in me anymore to hang new ones, and now I have grandkids and tons more photos!!
  12. Gardening and Yard Work – Our yard used to be the nicest one for miles. Total strangers would stop to tell us how nice our yard looked! I loved working in the yard and in the garden. I even helped Dad with the mowing. It was peaceful on that riding mower. Therapeutic in a way. I can’t mow these days because the vibration reverberates through my body and THAT is painful as hell. We always had a nice garden with all kinds of vegetables, from Anaheim Peppers to Zucchini. I had tulips, irises, roses, and lilacs in flower beds around the house. Now, I can’t do the work. I miss the veggies and I miss the flowers. My lilac bush is still alive and the irises are growing wild…but so are the weeds. I hate it.

There are so many things I miss from my “old life” but I try to be thankful for what I can do now. It’s hard to stay focused on the good when there’s so much negativity all the time. It does cause some depression but, like I said, I am thankful for the things I can still do.


November and December are months of reflection, appreciation, and celebration as families come together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, we are all thankful and grateful for everything we have in our lives, but we’re also very busy and our hectic lives prevent us from expressing all that we are thankful for every day of the year.

I’m taking the 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge on Facebook this month. Each day I am posting a status of something I am thankful for and I hope folks understand, that I am not just thankful this month. I am always thankful for everything and everyone in my life, each and every single day.

I would like to also take the opportunity to list 30 things here that I am thankful for and I hope it will inspire others to do the same. We are all thankful for something…and every day there’s something to be thankful for, even though it may be a bad day. So let’s reflect on what is good in our lives, instead of focusing on the bad. We’ll have happier hearts in the end.

30 Things I’m Thankful For

  1. I’m thankful for my children. I’m so glad they call me Mom.
  2. I’m thankful for my Dad, who has always been my rock, my teacher, my comedic relief. He’s always been there for me and is my best friend. I couldn’t ask for a better Dad.
  3. I’m thankful for my baby sisters, who caused me so much grief when we were kids. As adults, we have become great friends.
  4. I’m thankful for my grandchildren, who are all happy, healthy, and safe.
  5. I’m thankful for my furbabies, past and present. They aren’t pets, they’re family.
  6. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made over the years, even those I’m no longer friends with. They have all made me stronger and helped me be the person I am today.
  7. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, even though it leaks in a few places.
  8. I’m thankful for laughing babies, kittens purring, soft rain falling, birds chirping, and wind chimes in the breeze.
  9. I’m thankful for the freedoms I have as an American citizen. I can vote, drive, dress as I choose, go to school, seek medical care, worship as I choose, and make other choices when so many others are not afforded these rights.
  10. I’m thankful for a nice hot bath on a chilly night.
  11. I’m thankful to my therapist for giving me a bath lift so I CAN take a bath
  12. I’m thankful for my favorite foods – pizza, chocolate, popcorn, Mexican food, cheese, soups, and a ton of other yummy things!
  13. I’m thankful for my eclectic tastes in music and to those who share their concert pics because I can’t go to concerts like I used to!
  14. I’m thankful for travelers who share their pics of the places they see, especially Scotland and its castles. I will most likely never get to go myself.
  15. I’m thankful for sweatpants and long sweaters on cool Autumn days and in early Spring.
  16. I’m thankful for lavender and tea tree essential oils because they have cured many a burn or infection!
  17. I’m thankful for modern conveniences such as the washer and dryer, vacuum cleaners, electricity, running water, crock pots, and air fryers.
  18. I’m thankful for the scent of lilacs in the Spring and the warmth of the sun on my face.
  19. I’m thankful to all the teachers who have not taught me what to think, but HOW to think for myself.
  20. I’m thankful for books, movies, and tv shows that not only provide entertainment and an escape from my pain but sometimes teach me something!
  21. I’m thankful for the little bit of mobility I still have. I can still walk, but not much. I’m not bed-ridden and that’s a good thing.
  22. I’m thankful for the pain meds that keep my pain level down on most days. Nothing else has helped in the least.
  23. I’m thankful for all of the kind, compassionate, respectful, empathetic people in this world. It helps to know humanity isn’t lost forever.
  24. I’m thankful for our new veterinarian, Dr. Missy. She’s very compassionate and loving towards my furbabies.
  25. I’m thankful for Capt. Morgan, who helps me on days that my pain meds don’t.
  26. I’m thankful for pawprints in the snow; cats, deer, bunnies, coyotes, bear…doesn’t matter, they’re all important.
  27. I’m thankful the spiders and insects go into hiding when it’s super cold. By mid-summer, I’m sick of them all! (Sick of spiders always!)
  28. I’m thankful for the memories I have (even the bad ones) because at least I can remember.
  29. I’m thankful for my nice warm bed even though the furbabies hog half of it.
  30. I’m thankful for the internet and to all of you! Thanks for reading!


Remember to give thanks, no matter what your beliefs, situation, or surroundings. There’s always something to be grateful for. Peace, my friends. ☮