One of the most common comments I get from people is that my story reminds them to be thankful for the little things—the things that are so easily taken for granted. I would love to say that I’ve learned that lesson for good and always remember to thank my lucky stars for the simple things I am able to do but, alas, I am human. I am eternally thankful that so many of the struggles I faced in the beginning have become ordinary once again. However, as things became easier to do, they also became easier to take for granted.
If you happened to catch my Instagram or Facebook stories yesterday, you would have heard my little tale from the gym. Basically, I went to use the washroom before my workout and my bladder leaked—before a girl could even get her pants off. Thankfully I had already transferred to the toilet and my cushion was saved. To say I was annoyed would be an understatment. I mean, you get yourself all motivated to go the gym and before you can even get out onto the floor, you pee yourself. Don’t you hate it when that happens? (For those just tuning in to the paralysis game, my bladder doesn’t work. Check out the nitty gritty details here).
I wanted to go home but, as previously stated, I was already motivated to go the gym—I was already in the building for crying out loud. I remembered that a really long time ago—probably over a year ago—I put a pair of tights in my car. Turns out, I never put them away. I grabbed them and headed back to the bathroom to change. I headed into the gym to start my workout 15 minutes after I intended to. I was slightly less motivated, significantly more grouchy and I really just wanted to shower.
Regardless, I put in my time at the gym and then I headed home. I picked up my daughter and set her up with a craft so I could get showered and changed. I started the process, annoyed at the extra time this bladder event took from my day, but—like most people—not giving too much thought to what I was doing. But when my transfer over to the shower felt easier than usual, I stopped.
It wasn’t that long ago I couldn’t shower on my own. It wasn’t that long ago I couldn’t change my own pants or drive or feel confident caring for my children. It wasn’t that long ago that this day would never have even existed because my independence didn’t exist.
I didn’t dwell on it for long—a few seconds of thought changed my perspective on the few hours just behind me. Yes, the bladder leak was totally annoying, but it ended up giving me that reminder to be thankful for the little things. I’m thankful that I drove myself to and from the gym and that I changed and showered all on my own. They are small, simple things to so many people—but losing the ability to do them has a massive impact.
It’s interesting the way perspectives change with different events and also the passing of time. It’s never bad to be reminded that the little things are important and worth a moment of appreciation. I was happy to get that reminder and my goal in sharing this was to hopefully do the same for you. I hope you take a moment to be thankful for the little things. Bladder control—if you have it—would be a great place to start.