Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.  – John W. Gardner

I’m frustrated (as many of you know) that I’m off of running for the indefinite future.  And, I’ve felt a tad bit sorry for myself.  So, today I hopped in the pool to jog (during a water aerobics class) with the aggression of a crazy person.  I just wanted to move as fast as I could and forget about all the runners I could see streaming into the club.  All fresh and happy to be outside.  That’s not me right now and the realization made me feel sad.

But the music of this class drew me in and I settled into a routine of moving my body.  And, as I stepped outside of my private invitation pity party, I started to look around at all the people “dancing” in the pool.  Most looked like moving outside the pool might be difficult or painful but here – they were in heaven!  They danced, they shouted, they jumped, and swung their bodies around.  Every one had a smile!

S*** Jessica.  How easy it is for you to judge the world by your own inabilities – whether short-lived or long-term.  What’s your freaking problem?

Then I quietly reminded myself:

It’s impossible to feel self-pity and gratitude at the same time.  All we need to do is change the “tape” – because self-pity is about thinking, “I need more or better.”  Where gratitude is about thinking, “I have more than I need.”  

In the locker room I talked with one of the people I’d been watching.  She told me that moving in the water makes her feel young again (79 years young) and if she could – she’d stay in there all day!  She said she was thankful for the opportunity to at least feel that way once a week.  

Some of our lives problems can’t be prevented nor solved. The loss of loved ones, natural disasters, and just plain getting older.  These are all problems we’ll face at one time or another. So, why not keep an optimistic outlook about our ability to handle whatever life throws our way?  Why not just appreciate what we can do rather than focus (Jessica, are you paying attention) to what we can’t do?  

Ahh yes.  Yet another life lesson right in front of me.  Fortunately, I was the only one who received an invite to this party.

I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a more positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious … and for that I am grateful.  Elizabeth Edwards

Have an amazing weekend my friends.