The only thing better than an inspirational quote is an inspirational quote about things you should never do. You should never judge a book by its cover. You should never count your chickens before they hatch. You absolutely should never look a gift horse in the mouth (what exactly IS a gift horse??).
If you want to live your best life, enjoy this list of things you should never do*.
Career and Business Quotes
“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living and the other helps you make a life.” – Sandra Carey
“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining experience. View life as a continuous learning experience.” – Denis Waitley
“Never mix negative thinking with negative people. Multiplying negatives, in this instance, won’t make a positive.” – Richie Norton
“Never rest on your laurels. Nothing wilts faster than a laurel sat upon.” – Mary Kay Ash
“Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.” – Anonymous
“Never moon a werewolf.” – Mike Bender
“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.” – Phyllis Diller
“Never deny a diagnosis, but do deny the negative verdict that may go with it.” – Norman Cousins
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“Never love anybody that treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” – Kimberly Johnson
“Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Never overestimate your power to change others.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“Never tell a child that something is too hard for them.” – Mitch Albom, quoting his mother
“Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” – Elbert Hubbard
Personal Development Quotes
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth
“Never stagnate. Life is a constant becoming: all stages lead to the beginning of others.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Never treat time as if you have an unlimited supply.” – Og Mandino
“Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” – Gracie Allen
“Never reject an idea because you don’t have the money, manpower, muscle, or months to achieve it!” – Syed Ather
“Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.” – Amelia Earhart
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” – Robert Frost
“Never say more than is necessary.” – Richard Brinsley Sheridan
*Sources include, but are not limited to Brainyquote.com, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and Neverisms: A Quotation Lover’s Guide to Things You Should Never Do, Never Say, or Never Forget.
Writing this blog brings me a whole lot of satisfaction – I love knowing I’m reaching others, sharing information about Chronic Pain and Invisible Illness and helping others as they live their lives with Disabilities. I don’t expect much in return, so when my blog is recognized, it truly delights me. And that’s why I’m thrilled to say I’ve been awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award
So – what is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is recognition given to bloggers by their fellow bloggers. The aim is to honour those of which bring inspiration and positivity to the world through their blog content.
Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
List the Sunshine Blogger Award Rules and display the logo on your site.
Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions given by the person who nominated you.
Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 new questions.
Notify the nominees of their nomination.
I want to extend my thanks to Davis at Everything Starts With Tea. She nominated me for this award and it totally came out of the blue. I was touched and flattered that she thought of me and liked my blog enough to consider it for this award. Thanks Davis…I appreciate it so much!
What has been your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement in blogging has been being nominated for 3 WEGO Health Awards for this year (2019)
What is your motivation to blog?
I like knowing that my blog is reaching people who live with Chronic Illness and is helping them to find answers and affirmation that they are not alone. I work hard to bring information and humour to my posts – I want people to feel this is a solid resource when they have Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia or Invisible Illnesses.
What’s one thing you wish to accomplish before you die?
I would love to take a “Round the World” cruise before I die.
What’s your greatest dream in life?
There are two things – seeing my kids and grandkids have happy healthy lives and to find a cure for Fibromyalgia.
What’s your favourite book and why?
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It’s a hilarious account of her life with mental illness and is truly “laugh out loud” funny!
Pick any moment in life you feel has defined you the most and tell us, why do you feel that’s the case?
I think it’s when I was a single parent and had just started my first job. I went into a position as a receptionist where there were 12 incoming lines, and the computer system was completely different than what I had just been taught in the computer courses I’d been taking to prepare me for work. I knew at that moment I could either sink or swim and I chose to swim. I learned the new system in no time, mastered all those phone lines and discovered I LOVED doing administrative work – I was well suited for it. I thrived and never looked back.
If we were all colours, what colour would you be and why?
I would be pink! Pink is happy and light and cheerful and always makes you feel good. Even when it’s dark pink, it’s still pretty!
Tell me, what is one mistake you’ve made that you’ll never make again?
I will never marry again!!! LOL…that’s because I finally got it right with my current husband…my second attempt.
If you had the ability to fix one of the world’s problems, which would you choose to fix?
I would choose to end world hunger. With a full belly, you can achieve so much, but when you’re starving, everything else is a huge challenge.
You’ve been given a genie lamp – what three wishes are you asking the genie to grant?
What is the best advice you could give to an up and coming, new Blogger?
What was your favourite class in High School and why?
Why did you start blogging?
Do you have a blogging goal?
What is your favourite food?
Is there a tradition from your heritage you’d like to share?
What is your favourite holiday memory?
So there we go…the Sunshine Blogger Award! I hope you enjoyed reading through this and to those of you I’ve nominated, I hope you appreciate how much I care about you and your blog. Please accept the honour in the spirit it’s been given, but if for some reason you are unable to participate, don’t feel bad!!! I know that some people prefer not to share in these awards and my feelings will NOT be hurt in any way if you choose to pass.
Share with your friends and feel free to nominate your own winners! Remember…
For those with “invisible” illness, it’s difficult to find a doctor who believes you’re sick – not just depressed, not just anxious, not just tired – but sick.
So what happens when you find that Physician and then they move on?
I started out by seeing a Naturopathic Doctor in Victoria because I needed nutritional care. My previous doctor had supplied me with enough of my prescriptions to last for 3 months, so that wasn’t as big a concern for me. Dr. Holewa let me know that a new GP would be opening his practice in the same clinic she was located and I called to be put on the waiting list to belong…news about the new doctor had already started circulating in the community and everyone was signing up!
I was still able to get an appointment though, for the last day before the Christmas holidays in 2013. It was basically an interview between the Doctor and me, to see if we were a fit and if he was willing to take me on as a patient, given my challenging health history. Dr. Leong and I really hit it off and he agreed to accept me into his practice (along with my husband). What a relief!
Now, I don’t know what it’s like to try and find a doctor where you live. If you are in the USA, I believe it’s fairly easy. The problem is finding the RIGHT doctor…one who meshes with you in terms of beliefs and who blends with your personality. You want strong medical knowledge, a good office staff, decent parking and hours and the feeling that you’ve found “the best” when you see him/her. I found all of that with Dr. Leong and so we began a 5-year patient/doctor relationship that took us through all my health problems, including my hip replacement, brush with skin cancer and more. And then one day, he told me he was leaving the practice and moving to a smaller town up-Island.
Closing The Practice
The word I heard most from his other patients has been “devastating,” I absolutely concurred. Dr. Leong was highly respected and well loved and the thought of being without him was almost too much to take in. His main reason for leaving was that he wanted to live in a smaller town, and at first, I thought I would simply continue to see him, as his new practice was only a 30-minute drive away. The reality though was that there were no buses that took me there and I would be forever reliant on my husband taking time off work to drive me. That just wasn’t feasible so not only was I losing a good Doctor, I was going to have to find a new one too (there were no plans to replace him in the clinic).
What’s the big deal? Well, as I said, there is a shortage of doctors in my Province. Recommendations filled my email, but the fact was no other doctor in town was taking on new patients. It looked like most of us were going to be resigned to using Urgent Care for our medical treatment. The thought of that filled me with dismay. I needed a good working relationship with my Doctor because of my history and that simply wouldn’t happen in an Urgent Care facility.
Then one day, about three weeks after first receiving the news, word came from the office receptionist that there was a new doctor in town who would be taking on a limited number of new patients. My clinic’s receptionist faxed the referral to the office where this new Doctor would be setting up – not that far from where I was currently going. It seemed that this Doctor had requested from several medical offices that they send their “best patients” to her…and I was one of them! Dr. Penny Wilson agreed to take me on along with my husband! What a relief!! She is here for a year from Australia but promised that if she decided to go back home at the end of the year, one of the other doctors in the new clinic would take us on. My relief was immense.
For those of you who are going through this situation right now, you have my sympathy and my empathy. It can be frightening to be left without a safety net. Keep asking at other offices about being put on a waiting list, and check with your family and friends to see if their doctor can take you on because of your relationship and closeness.
So what DO you do when your doctor leaves and there is no doctor to take over? I wish I had an answer for that. Many doctors have replacements come in when they leave, or the clinic they are leaving hires someone new. When that’s not in the works, you can be left scrambling and in the case of being a Patient with Chronic Pain, that’s so frustrating. Frequent visits are normal because of medication changes, new symptoms to be checked and old symptoms revisited. My best advice is to check with the Doctor who is leaving and ask if there is a succession plan. What do THEY recommend you do?
Having a Doctor leave his practice is a scary prospect. I hope that you never find yourself in the same position I was in, but if you do…I hope it works out well like it did for me. Keep the faith…remember,
Linda G Hill is a great blogger who has a lot of fun with her readers. Every year, she does a new Badge Creation for her One Liner Wednesday series. I’ve decided to enter this year since I was lucky enough to be the “Streams of Consciousness” winner last year.
Here is my entry:
I’m hoping to have success with this…and I wish all the entrants good luck!!!
From time to time, I like to share quotes that I think are beautiful, to help inspire my readers or just make you think. Here are 25 of the most inspirational quotes I’ve found lately to share with you today.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Marianne Williamson.
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. Dale Carnegie.
Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, that’s true strength. Chris Bradford.
Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existence. Sarah Dessen.
Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the hero within us is revealed. Bob Riley.
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. Thomas A. Edison.
You can play it safe, and I wouldn’t blame you for it. You can continue as you’ve been doing, and you’ll survive, but is that what you want? Is that enough? J.M. Darhower.
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. Neil Gaiman.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. Louisa May.
Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more. Roy T. Bennett.
It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs. Jillian Michaels.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. Rabindranath Tagore.
Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. Jamie Paolinetti.
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. Harriet Beecher Stowe.
You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up. Richelle E. Goodrich.
You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain. Tom Hiddleston.
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. Flavia Weedn.
Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about. Marilyn Monroe.
Don’t let something make you miserable if you can do something about it. If that’s what makes you happy, go for it. Kate Brauning.
A boat is always safe in the harbor, but that’s not what boats are built for. Katie Couric.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain.
Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you DESERVE better and go EARN it! Steve Maraboli.
I don’t believe in failure, because simply by saying you’ve failed, you’ve admitted you attempted. And anyone who attempts is not a failure. Those who truly fail in my eyes are the ones who never try at all. The ones who sit on the couch and whine and moan and wait for the world to change for them. Sarah Dessen.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. Unknown.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Harriet Tubman.
Having Fibromyalgia, or any Invisible Illness is hard to live with. People can’t see your pain like they can with other conditions, and we often have to put up with the platitudes of “but you don’t look sick”, or “oh, I get aches and pains all the time too”. Hearing these comments over and over can lead to depression, frustration and resentment. Stress builds and makes you hurt even more, and so a vicious circle begins.
It’s time to read something more positive, words that you can cling to and keep close at heart. These quotes are from a variety of different people who seem to have a handle on anxiety and stress. I hope their words help you. Thanks to Live Purposefully Now for the list:
1. Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far. Jodi Picoult
2. You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. Dan Millman
3. Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. Charles Spurgeon
4. I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear. Steve Maraboli
5. You can’t always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside. Wayne Dyer
6. When you change the way you look at life you literally shape a different life for yourself. Elle Sommer
7. I just give myself permission to suck. I find this hugely liberating. John Green
8. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes everything is an emergency. Natalie Goldberg
9. Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. God opens millions of flowers every day without forcing their buds. Osho
10. Breath is the power behind all things…. I breathe in and know that good things will happen. Tao Porchon-Lynch
11. You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.Steve Maraboli
12. If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good. Shantideva
13. The key to reducing anxiety is to let each situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be. Elle Sommer
14. One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. Bertrand Russell
15. Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea. Mikhail Lermontov
16. The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. William James
17. Stress is the trash of modern life we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. Danzae Pace
18. Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff. Robert Eliot
19. Today I refuse to stress myself out about things I cannot control or change. Anonymous
20. If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius
Living A Stress-Free Life
Re-examine Your Values
Or examine them for the first time. Your values will always make it clear to you what you want in life.
Once you are clear on your values, you can begin to identify the things you could do away with. Those things will probably be your stressors, so this tip helps to clear your mind and prepare for the changes ahead.
You can’t begin to live stress-free if you can’t forgive yourself. If there are issues from your past you haven’t dealt with, you are likely to be filled with stress over them. Living with regrets is also stressful.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. And it’s a journey, not a destination. Just because you took a detour to the wrong side doesn’t mean you can’t find your way back to the right path. Work toward becoming a better person. Let your mistakes be life lessons. Everyone makes mistakes, remember that. And put the past in the past where it belongs.
This goes hand in hand with forgiving yourself. Just as it’s important to forgive yourself, it’s equally important that you forgive others for the wrongs they’ve done to you.
Others are just as worthy of forgiveness as you are. Forgiving others frees you more than it frees them and the extra baggage you’ve been carrying around is liberating to let go of as well.
Accept Your Life Just The Way It Is
No one is promised a perfect life. Though we all strive to achieve happiness and contentment in our lives, it doesn’t always turn out that way. The key to acceptance is to accept it just the way it is. Accepting it doesn’t mean settling in it. It means consciously acknowledging it instead of running away from it in denial.
Whatever your life circumstances, accept them. Only when you accept your life circumstances can you begin to take steps to improve them. This will definitely help you to live stress-free.
Think The Best Of Every Situation
Whatever the situation is that you’re going through, be it divorce, disease, failing at school, getting fired from work, etc., you can still find some good in it. I know that sounds simplistic, but there are always reasons to be grateful as long as you don’t play the victim and accept the circumstances for what they are.
You still have the power to change things. That power is what leads to a stress-free life. Acceptance can be liberating.
Be Present In Everything You Do
It’s easy to be preoccupied with other things while we are doing one thing, and this elevates stress. If you are washing dishes, but now you are worried about paying the bills and the kids’ tuition, and the mortgage, then stress is bound to overwhelm you.
Instead, learn to be present in what you are doing. You can teach yourself to think of only washing the dishes. You can compartmentalize everything so that you don’t let your stressors dominate all your time. This way you don’t let stress prevent you from being productive.
Declutter Your Life
And do this in every way imaginable if you want to live stress-free. People have a lot of stress because they have a lot of material, mental, emotional, financial, intellectual and social clutter. If only they could declutter their lives.
You don’t need all those other things outside of your basic needs. Stop hoarding stuff because managing it means stress. Simplify your life in the best possible way.
Don’t underestimate the significance of gratitude if you want to live stress-free. Most people can’t get out of stress because instead of being grateful for the good things in their lives, they are busy whining about the bad things in their lives.
Sometimes they whine even about the good things because they’ve become blind to how lucky they are. If you are like that, it’s time to change. Gratitude is the best antidote for stress, so take a spoonful and live stress-free.
Readers, thank you for checking out our final Interviewee – the fabulous Terri Sutula.
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you…
Hi, I’m Terri Sutula, and I currently live in the state of Virginia, USA. I’ve been married to the love of my life for the last 21 years, and I’m the Mom of a fabulous grown son. I served 20 years in the Air Force, and after I retired, I went back to school and received my degree in Religion (emphasis church ministry), then obtained my certifications in Personal Training and Health Coaching with the goal of developing a whole-person health ministry. Those plans took a bit of a turn in 2011…. Now I consider my blog to be my ministry, and I hope that by sharing my journey, setbacks and all, I can let people know that there is still life – a great life – after diagnosis, and help them avoid the hopelessness I felt at one point during my illness.
One fascinating fact about me is:
I don’t know if I’d call it fascinating, but it’s something my family loves to tease me about…. I’m constantly making up silly songs to popular tunes. I just can’t seem to help myself haha.
Chronic illness(es)/disabilities I have…
My main issue is fibromyalgia, though I’ve suffered from migraines my entire life, and have also lived with endometriosis, early osteoporosis (probably from the endometriosis treatment), and irritable bowel syndrome for years.
My symptoms/condition began…
Around 2011, my primary fibromyalgia symptoms began after a “snowball” of illnesses, accidents, and a stressful move. I got the flu and soon after that, was diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis, which resolved after about a year. During the same period, I had a couple of bad falls which ended with me doing a face-plant on the pavement. My second fall ended in a trip to the Emergency Room and pain in my ribs for months afterwards. Then, about a year later, we moved to another city, and everything that could go wrong did. I became extremely stressed out, my abdominal symptoms got worse and worse, and the fatigue and whole-body pain became overwhelming.
My diagnosis process was…
Surprisingly enough, my diagnosis process was pretty quick and easy. I went to my Primary Care doctor, explained my symptoms and my accompanying illnesses, and he checked me for tender points, did some bloodwork, and confirmed what I suspected – that I had fibromyalgia.
The hardest part of living with my illness/disabilities is…
The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is my physical limitations. As I mentioned earlier, I was in the military for 20 years, stayed mentally and physically strong, and was capable of doing pretty much anything I put my mind to. Learning to work within my revised capabilities has really been a challenge, but it has also been a time of growth. It’s given me greater empathy for others and I’ve discovered a new sense of purpose.
A typical day for me involves…
I’m not sure I have a really “typical” day – I just do whatever needs to be done on a given day. I do try to do some blog work most days, and I break my cleaning chores into different days so I’m not trying to do everything at once. We’ve started picking up groceries for a few days at a time rather than doing a “big” shopping trip once a week. It gets me out of the house and helps me work with my energy levels. It’s a lot easier to run into the store for a few things than to spend a long time shopping. I guess I’d say I do all the “normal” things others do, just on a smaller, more relaxed scale. I’ve learned that pacing my activities is key to keeping flares at bay.
The one thing I cannot live without is…
I have to say that there are actually two things I can’t live without, my faith and a sense of humour. Both of these are my keys to not just surviving, but thriving, with fibromyalgia and any other adverse event or circumstance that comes my way.
Being ill/disabled has taught me…
This illness has taught me that it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be strong all the time; it’s okay to share the load with others and asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s actually a sign of strength.
My support system is…
My absolute biggest supporter is my husband, and I’m so grateful to have him. I’m very fortunate to have a really supportive family in general, but he’s my day-by-day, minute-by-minute supporter. He sees what I go through many days and is always willing to do whatever I need him to do.
If I had one-day symptom/disability-free I would…
I would go hiking on one of the beautiful trails we have around here. My hubby and I used to love to pack a picnic lunch and go hiking, and unfortunately, my pain and energy levels don’t allow us to do that right now. My goal is to work my way up to at least some of the easy trails.
One positive of having a chronic illness/disability is…
You find out what’s really important to you when you have a chronic illness/disability. When you aren’t in such a place of “doing” all the time, as I was before I became ill, you can concentrate on the things that really add the most value and joy to your life.
One final thing I want people to know is:
There is hope, and there is a fulfilling life after diagnosis. Your life might not look exactly the way you imagined and you might have to learn to adjust to your “new normal” but this new phase of your life might open up even greater opportunities for you to live a life of joy and purpose.
I’m tackling a tough topic again today – intimacy when you live with Chronic Pain. If you remember the Cheap Trick song, it’s been on my mind lately:
I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.
I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
How do you enjoy an active and healthy love life when you’re in pain all the time. How do you appease your partner, who may not understand what it’s like to be in pain 24/7. Even when you’ve explained it a million different ways, when it comes to talking about sex, and how painful it can be, it’s not an easy conversation, no matter how long you’ve been a couple. And your sexual orientation makes no difference either.
Intimacy is the fuel that keeps a good relationship running. It encompasses so much more than just sex. Think about the different ways it’s defined in the Thesaurus:
the state of being intimate.
a close, familiar and unusually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like, to allow the intimacy of using first names.
an amorously familiar act; liberty.
Intimacy is also about being close emotionally. When was the last time you went on a date? When was the last time you actually sat and talked to each other ABOUT each other? Not about work or the kids, but about the two of you and how you’re doing. What’s new, what’s real, what you love about each other? When was the last time you looked into each other’s eyes and said “I love you” and really meant it?
If you haven’t dated for a while, maybe it’s time you did. Here are 25 easy date ideas that might get you started in the right direction:
Go furniture shopping at a thrift store
Volunteer in your community
Go Whale Watching together if you live in an ocean town
Or go to the Zoo or Aquarium
Go to the Library
Play hide and seek in your local park
Go to a Psychic together
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Try Rollerskating at your local rink
Host a dinner party
Go to an Improv show
Host a Board Game party
Have friends over and play board games
Look at Adoptable Pets online. You know, for “someday”
Do a classic Dinner and a Movie date
Go Berry Picking or Apple Picking for whatever is in season
Go to the beach if you have one
Try out a local Bed & Breakfast
How about Trivia Night at a local bar?
Be a Tourist in your own City
Check out your Local Theatre scene
Work out the clues in an Escape Room
Try out a Brewery Tour
Go to Karaoke together and sing the cheesiest songs
So once you’ve reconnected and you’re ready for sex again, the Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions when you have a partner who lives with Chronic Pain*
Sexual intercourse is just one way to satisfy your need for human closeness. Intimacy can be expressed in many different ways.
Touch. Exploring your partner’s body through touch is an exciting way to express your sexual feelings. This can include holding hands, cuddling, fondling, stroking, massaging and kissing. Touch in any form increases feelings of intimacy.
Self-stimulation. Masturbation is a normal and healthy way to fulfil your sexual needs. One partner may use masturbation during mutual sexual activity if the other partner is unable to be very active.
Oral sex. It can be an alternative or supplement to traditional intercourse.
Different positions. Lie side by side, kneel or sit. Look in your library or bookstore for a guide that describes and illustrates different ways to have intercourse. If you’re embarrassed to get this kind of book locally, try an online book retailer.
Vibrators and lubricants. A vibrator can add pleasure without physical exertion. If lack of natural lubrication is a problem, over-the-counter lubricants can prevent pain from vaginal dryness.
The key factors to intimacy are trust, respect and honesty. You need to be able to trust your partner won’t push you into something you’re not physically able to do and will respect your limits. There needs to be honesty between the two of you and with yourselves as well. Don’t use your Chronic Pain as an excuse to get out of sex if it really isn’t a problem…that’s not fair to your partner. If you’re avoiding sex for another reason, then be honest. If you’re mad at your partner for something they’ve done, then say so.
Tell them what and why and talk it out.
Don’t use your health to avoid other issues, because you’re simply breaking the trust and respect factors when you do that. You already have enough physical pain in your life – don’t add mental pain as well. Intimacy is too valuable a commodity to just throw away. Keep working on it and before you know it, you’ll be building and rebuilding the relationship of your dreams. And that’s no Cheap Trick!
When you’re a person living with Chronic Pain (PwCP), you get asked the same question quite frequently.
How are you?
And my standard response has always been, “I’m fine”. But what a lie that is, when clearly, I’m not fine, or I’d be living a different life. If I was fine, I wouldn’t be on disability, using a cane or a walker everywhere I go. If I was fine, I wouldn’t be in constant pain from my Fibromaygia, or my D.I.S.H. or my osteoarthritis in every joint, or experiencing the issues that go along with my Bipolar Disorder or my Diabetes Type 2 or my Trigeminal Neuralgia.
If I was fine, I wouldn’t have insomnia, and be up 22 out of every 24 hours, even after taking valium to help me relax and sleep. If I was fine…I wouldn’t be blogging about being fine.
So why do I respond that way?
People Don’t Want To Hear The Truth
People don’t want to hear the truth. It makes them uncomfortable to know that someone is hurting when there is nothing they can do about it. It makes them feel weird, to hear about someone else’s pain. They get antsy, thinking they’re in for a long diatribe about medical procedures and doctor visits as if they’re at risk for catching something themselves. They get nervous thinking they’ll hear about your emotional state. And to be honest, a lot of the time, people don’t really care how your feeling. They ask you how you because they’re polite. It’s the right thing to do.
So, I’ve decided to stop telling people that I’m fine. I’ve decided to come up with a new response, and that new response is:
“Part of me is great, and part of me is not so great.”
I’ve decided this gives people an out. If they don’t want to know more, they can simply reply “well, I’m glad part of you is great” and carry on with their own lives. If they genuinely want to know more, they can ask about the parts that aren’t doing well. That way, I know that they’re sincere about how I truly am instead of just making polite conversation.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m being sarcastic, because I’m not. I’m genuinely trying to help people be more comfortable around People with Chronic Pain and to find a way to make it easier to ask and answer that question of “how are you”. It’s a tough one because there is no one good answer. The PwCP doesn’t know if you’re sincere and we don’t know how much information you truly want. The last thing we want to do is bore you with the latest in our medical news, and trust me…it’s truly devasting for us when we think you’re interested and then we find out you’re not.
Showing Real Interest
I doubt seriously there’s any malicious intent in your question either, but again, it comes down to being polite and being interested. I would rather give you a polite answer and have you ask for more information if you really want it, but that comes with its own complexities as well. Suppose I say “I’m fine” and you hear “oh, she’s fine, I guess everything must be okay” when what I really mean is “I’m fine, but not really and I wish you would ask me more about my day and how I’m feeling”. It’s a communication breakdown because I don’t feel I can ask for what I want in case you’re not really interested, and you don’t feel like there’s necessarily anything else worth asking about.
If you ask me if I’m fine though and I tell you “actually, I’m not doing so great”, how would you respond? If you’re simply being polite, now you’re stuck. You either have to listen to what’s wrong or say something trite like “oh, I’m so sorry to hear that” and change the subject. Neither of us leaves the conversation satisfied, so my response, even if it’s the truth, isn’t the best one either.
Two small words with so much meaning behind them. That’s why you’ll be hearing a different response from me going forward. I’m going to try my best to stay away from those two words to make it easier on all of us and start answering with my new response:
“I’m doing as well as expected given the number of health issues I’m living with.” That leaves it open to the person to expand on the subject if they wish or to simply say “oh, that’s good” and move on.
I appreciate your thoughts and comments about this subject. And for those of you without chronic pain, I hope you’re doing fine – really!