The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

May 13, 2014

Learn to bend, but not break, through life

— How flexible are you? Think about it.

I keep everything. One of the things I keep is a box of clippings that I call my “Crumbs of Food for Thought.” I use it when I have a mental block and can’t think of anything to write on each week. That treasure box also contains little clippings of things I find interesting that I might use some day for a speech or an article.  

This week, I ran across this little list of Twenty Things to Remember:

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn’t pray. If you pray, don’t worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God, I have a problem. It’s me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day, it’s like inner jogging.

11. The most important things in your house are the people.

12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.

14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

16. We do not remember days, but memories. Life moves fast, so enjoy every precious moment.

17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it, otherwise it is just hearsay.

18. It is alright to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just flush when you are done.

19. Surviving and living life successfully takes courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle; it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.

20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Each and every one of these items is important and a topic for an article. However, the one I was primarily looking at for me was Number 4. Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape. I have learned in my duties as a care-giver that if I am not flexible enough to bend ... I will break.  

In no way, shape or form am I complaining about my position as care-giver. When I married Jim, I promised to love him in sickness and health until death parts us. Well, I took it literally and am in it for the long haul.

It is a joy and a pleasure to care for Jim.  His positive, kind disposition make my job easy. He is patient and appreciative. He is so cooperative. He really wants to get well.  His motto is: Never, never, never give up! And he doesn’t.  

His philosophy of life is what drives him to go to cardiovascular/pulmonary rehab every day and work out to the best of his ability. His patience is allowing me to drive him where he wants to go. That is a huge adjustment for him because he is a “take charge” type of husband who places me on a pedestal. Using a walker or a wheelchair has not been an easy adjustment for him (or me), but we are managing very well.

We are becoming more flexible each and every day. We have to be ... or we break. Each new day presents a new and different problem, and we face them head-on. We have not had one yet we cannot conquer.

I think my upbringing has helped me cope with Jim’s care. And I know Jim’s history in the Marines with his machine gun wound and his tough times in battle prepared him for what lies ahead in his life and recovery. He is strong, determined, resilient, and flexible. Thank goodness!

We are grateful we traveled when we did. We see places on television and say, “Hey, we have been there.” Then we enjoy it all over again by talking about what we did and where we ate and what sights we saw. It is a way to coping and being flexible.  

We think of being flexible as being an adventure. The most interesting trips have been those when the plans had to change. It is always wise to have a plan B on our minds in case of a drastic change. It certainly helps us be more flexible if we can adjust to and accept changes. It sure takes the bumps out of our road to happiness. We stay ready for detours.  

I try not to repeat recipes in my columns. However, I have had so many readers request this recipe, so I will be flexible and repeat it.

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