Why is Fun Important?

Is laughter really the best medicine?

For most of us, the answer is no, don’t quit taking that life-saving pill! But research does show that laughing has positive effects on many of our bodies systems. This article tells all about it: http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter#1

 

Why is it that many of us don’t have fun anymore? Until recently, I had almost completely stopped having fun. I wanted my kids to have fun, I wanted my friends to have fun, I wanted my husband to have fun, but me? I didn’t really think about it.

No, I don’t enjoy being a martyr who lets everyone around them get what they want while I suffer. I just really put everyone else’s happiness so far ahead of my happiness, that I didn’t think about it.  I never wanted to be pushy, or ask, “what’s in it for me?” until the day when I did ask, “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”

 

You CAN have fun again!

 

THE TIME FOR SELF-DENIAL IS OVER

**But first, a disclaimer. You should still take care of your kiddos. You should still be responsible. Please don’t think I’m saying you should go back to acting like a child again and ignoring the adulting that you need to be doing. Just focus on having some FUN!**

 

What do YOU like to do? When was the last time you played with toys with your kids AND ENJOYED IT? If it’s been a long time, start thinking about how to change that. What do YOU like to play with? Seriously. What did you like to play with when you were young? Would you still like that today? What if you went to the store, just to buy a toy that sounds like it would be fun for you to play with, with your children? And why is that idea so crazy?

 

We’re adults, and we can do what we want. We schedule time for work, exercise, cooking, cleaning, all the boring things, but not for daily fun.  Why aren’t we doing the things we used to dream of?  If you want to read a very serious article on play and fun, go here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201405/the-importance-play-having-fun-must-be-taken-seriously Really, it’s a little dark.  They really want you to get out and have some serious fun!

 

Fun and happiness are good!  When we’re having fun we are happier, we feel better, and our relationships are better.  Life is so much brighter when we are enjoying ourselves.

Get out there! Blow some bubbles, pick a game that tickles your fancy, or do whatever you makes you smile and have some FUN! Your face will thank you, and your family will thank you. “TThe family that plays together, stays together.” Be that family!

Want to have hundreds of ideas for having fun, even when you don’t have much energy?  Check out “The Sick Mom’s Guide® to Having Fun Again: If I can do it, you can too!” on Amazon.  It’s got things to do with your friends, the love of your life, “me” time, and 100 things to do with the kiddos, even when you’re exhausted.  It’ll make you all smile!

The Excitement is Building!

There has been so much happening behind the scenes at Chronically Positive Mom!  Jen’s been working diligently on getting the book published, and the e-book is ready to go with the paperback getting its finishing touches! You can find it ON AMAZON HERE.

 

We’re going to start a new path here for the rest of 2017–GUEST BLOGGERS!

There’s been a lot of excitement and fantastic bloggers who want to be part of this amazing movement.

Starting Wednesday, June 14th, we’ll have a weekly guest blogger to share their story and their successes with us.

 

Chronically Positive Mom was started by a chronically ill mom, Jen Hardy, who wanted to help other moms with health issues turn the daily struggle into daily success.  Her symptoms have worsened since November, and she is looking forward to having some other fabulous mamas work with her to keep things moving forward, as she focuses her attention on her health and book, “The Sick Mom’s Guide® to Having Fun Again: If I can do it, you can too!” More info about the book can be found at thesickmomsguide.com

Thank you for your patience, it will be well worth the wait!

Jen

Adopting a special needs pet can be wonderful!

Adopting a Special Needs Pet is WONDERFUL!

 

Have you ever thought of adopting a special needs dog? What about adopting a sick cat?  Am I saying you should consider adopting a pet you know isn’t totally healthy?   I’m guessing your answer is no to the first questions, and I’m definitely saying yes to the last one!!!

 

Why in the world would you want a dog that you know has health needs?

  1. Some of them don’t require long walks-great if you don’t either!
  2. They need extra love and time, which we have (and often need too)
  3. They don’t judge our health situation. (no animals do)
  4. They are OK with just cuddling up when you’re having a tough day.
  5. You are taking care of an animal that might not have had another chance.
  6. You will find your new best friend.
  7. The health benefits of dog ownership are numerous.

 

Often, dogs who are sick can get better, and many do. Like my sweetheart, Pookie. Most of her health issues are gone or controlled. I will tell you that I NEVER wanted a special needs dog. And yet, that’s exactly what I got. She is the greatest little girl!

 

But I wasn’t looking for a sick dog!

 

So how did I end up with an allergy-ridden, ear infections so bad she was deaf, epileptic, bad-knees, barely-can-walk-a-block dog?

 

Special needs dogs are wonderful to adopt!
Isn’t that the cutest face you’ve ever seen?

I’ll tell you…

I used to have a poodle named Hope, ironically to give me hope when I felt depressed.  In a very-long-story-short version—the fire truck that came to save our house from burning down ran over her and crushed my Hope in our driveway. Whew! THAT was awful. I did want another poodle after that, but I couldn’t bear it right away and it’s so hard to find exactly the right dog with the right personality. We just couldn’t seem to find the right one.

As time went on, and the worse I felt physically, the more I wanted a little pup to cuddle with. But let’s face it, I can’t physically walk a dog every hour, nor do I want little puppy presents (aka poop) all over my floor. What’s a girl to do?

I started looking on petfinder.com. I love that you can type in exactly what you want and get adorable faces looking back at you in the click of the mouse. But I wanted a small poodle because I can’t lift more than a few pounds, and I wanted a dog I could pick up to cuddle up in my lap. Also, I’m allergic to most dogs, so we need to be picky. Dogs that meet those specifications are NOT easy to find! And, they are usually VERY expensive (so is my medicine and choices must be made.)

I looked, a little obsessively, online, until I found a little cutie I thought would be perfect. I messaged the rescue, Snooty Giggles, here in Tennessee, about her. They said she wasn’t a good match for me, as she was a little on the hyper side, but they asked what I was looking for and said they’d keep in touch.

I figured I probably didn’t sound like a great owner when I was telling them I can’t move much, or walk a dog more than a few feet, but I decided to wait and see if they would call me. The idea of them matching me up with exactly the right dog did sound pretty wonderful. (Good adoption organizations go through a thourough process to ensure they connect the right companion to the right family)

It took a couple of months for me to get a call that they might have found a buddy for me. They had just gotten three poodles in! They all had significant health problems though, and I really didn’t think I could deal with that when I’ve got my own health stuff here so I told them I’d think about it.

My husband and I talked and decided no, we couldn’t adopt a sick dog. But they had one who was so sick she just sat there on the lady’s lap, and couldn’t be alone when her foster mom went to work because of her seizures. I wanted to have dog just sit on my lap, so we said we’d foster Pookie for 5 days while they found a new long-term foster home for her. Boy was I foolish! One look a that girl and I was hooked!

This is  Pookie in all these pics here..

Sometimes Pookie likes to get dolled up too!

 

The first night at home, she climbed up on the pillow and curled around my head and my hubby said, “Well, that’s it, I guess we’ll be keeping this dog,” and he was right, although it took us a while to figure that out. She is so calm and wonderful!

 

She came into our home house-trained and good with the kids (she does not allow screaming though, she will bark at them for that.) What more could I ask for? Oh yeah, and when I’m in bed she stays on my pillow and growls at anyone who dares disturb my rest.

 

When she had her first seizure I panicked. I called Snooty Giggles and told them I just couldn’t do it, they’d have to find her a new foster. If you’ve never seen a seizure, it’s pretty scary to watch. Then I thought, how could I let her go? I’d go through just about anything for this dog, who better to be with her if she has another one? So I called back and made a permanent commitment. 6 weeks after she came home with me we adopted her on my birthday.

 

I haven’t regretted adopting her for one minute

 

She’s so happy to have a happy home!

 

She takes seizure meds every day, & I just give them to her when I take my own meds. They’re not that expensive after I picked up a pharmacy card online and cut the cost in half! She can’t go for a walk for more than block without needing to be carried, but then neither can I! Basically, we were made for each other!

 

Pookie just needed love and a regular health regimen to get her feeling better and happy. We cleared up the ear infection, and now she hears great! She’s on special allergy food so she has no allergy symptoms, and she hasn’t had a seizure in almost a year! She still just sits in my lap all day, that’s just who she is, and I love every minute of it!

So, if you’re looking for a great friend to keep you company, try a special needs dog or cat. They’ll love you forever, and you’ll find out that you have more in common than you think!

 

(Think you might want to try it, but don’t want to make a permanent commitment until you’re sure? You can apply to foster a dog or cat. You’ll need to go through a screening process, then they’ll connect you with a dog or cat you can foster that will fit into your family. You’ll both be helping an animal that desperately needs it, and finding out if special needs pet parenting is right for you.)

 

Do you have a special pet?  Tell me about it in the comments below…

 

 

Children With Special Needs Have a Lot to Teach Us!

 

What if you could wake up each day smiling in the face of the challenges ahead of you?  What if your health challenges were seen as an obstacle course to play through instead of a ten foot tall brick wall blocking your future?  What if happiness through it all was possible?

Having a chronic illness or disability can be difficult.  Having a chronic illness as a Mom can be totally overwhelming!  We need to adapt to; symptoms, medications & their side effects, medical equipment and the way people respond to that equipment, and many other things.  That, along with the energy we use being a Mom can be really tough.  I’ve noticed that some people struggle with it all, while others seem to stroll through their life with a smile on their face.

I’m all about happiness!  So, I’ve been focusing on those around me who deal with health issues in a positive way.   One day recently, I started watching some of the kids at a pediatric therapy center where my kiddos went to play. That’s where I learned the secret.

 

A happy, positive attitude can truly make a difference!

 

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about children with special needs. (I want to wake up every day with their attitude):

  • Young children with special needs aren’t embarrassed to have their diagnosis.
  • Young children with special needs don’t feel guilty for being sick/challenged.
  • Young children with special needs don’t judge anyone.
  • They like everyone and want to be friends.
  • They have reasonable expectations for themselves.
  • They are willing to try do to do things we might not think they can do, and often succeed.
  • They don’t pity themselves
  • They don’t blame others for their problems.
  • They have the biggest, most authentic smiles.
  • They push themselves to be the best they can be without focusing on the difficulty getting there.
  • They believe they are great.
  • They are great.
  • They see their wheelchair/walker/braces as just part of makes them “them.”
  • They hope, and plan for, the future, a future as bright as anyone else’s.
  • Therapy is fun for them…PT, OT, Speech… they can’t wait to go and succeed.

 

We need to view our challenges through the eyes of our children.  If we believe in ourselves and focus on the positive, we will overcome great odds.  We will feel better and live happier.  We can be miracles to!

Do you want to learn how to have fun again?  Has your life become a boring pile of to-do lists?  Check out the new book coming out in June by Jen Hardy, “The Sick Mom’s Guide® to Having Fun Again: If I can do it, you can too!” at www.thesickmomsguide.com

I LOVE Being a Mom!

I LOVE being a Mom! I love holding those tiny, soft hands; gazing into those deep, innocent eyes; and listening as youth forms its own fascinating opinions and hearing its take on the world.

For a long time, it seemed like loving the “Momness” just wasn’t cool, and when that was true, I was definitely going against the grain.

 

 

I was a baby-carrying, breastfeeding, crunchy mama before I even knew what crunchy meant!

Now there is a resurgence of love and acceptance for the love of being a mom, and I am so thankful! Gone are the days of the fantasy super-mom who works 60 hours, tantalizes her husband in the evenings, and bakes 100 cookies for the bake sale on the weekend, then patting her perfect children on the head as they headed up to bed.

Real Mom is back, and she is AWESOME!

 

I still love the idea of being a superhero, but my superhero is more realistic. She might be in bed more often than most, but she rocks those cute jammies until noon. She loves the heck out of the kids, but has balance, and spends some much-needed time on herself too—she has more to give that way, you know. And as for her husband? Well, they’re a team now. She’s not just his helper, but they are working together to create the fabulous family of their dreams.

 

I LOVE this life! And I love that other people love it too. We, as moms, needed to move away from the “me” mindset and into a team model. Sure, me time is important, but when it’s over, then the focus goes back to all of us. And the time for judging other women, because they do or don’t work, what school choice they make, or the myriad of other things we used to judge each over is coming to an end. Thank goodness!

Our children are seeing the difference, and they’re liking what they see. They get that time for themselves is good, and it’s OK to tune out—for a bit, but after that, things are much better when we come back together as a loving family.

 

 

No matter what kind of mom you are, be proud! Parents have the most important job in the world—overseeing our future. Stay-at-home Moms feel guilty sometimes for not earning money. Working Moms feel guilty sometimes for not being home all the time.  Guilty Mommy isn’t as fun as relaxed mommy, and it’s just not doing anybody any good. You are who you are—go with it! Embrace it! Find other Moms who understand you and love you and hang out with them! I love having friends who do all kinds of different things. We learn from each other.

I wanted to share the joy I’m feeling with you today. There’s been a few rough weeks in the posts here. Mourning is hard, and sad, and that carried over into my writing. It’s better now, and I’m back to my peppy self. I can’t wait to see what the future holds here at Chronically Positive Mom. Big things are coming…

YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY: Take a minute to look into your child’s eyes today and ask what’s on their mind. You’ll both be glad you did! They need you. Even when they don’t seem to want you because they’re too old or too cool, they still need you. They’ll be thankful for your persistence, and you’ll hear about it when they’re older, I promise.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

“Why would I want to try to positive when I’m sick?”

 

CHRONIC ILLNESS AND PAIN ARE TOUGH!

  • They steal your time
  • They steal your energy
  • They take away your mobility
  • They make you grumpy
  • They cost you money
  • They make you feel guilty about the things you can’t do
  • They alienate people who don’t understand

 

I was on Twitter the other day, and a woman was talking about how everyone tells her how to be positive, and she honestly doesn’t WANT to be positive sometimes. I get it. Here’s the truth about me:

 

I AM NOT ALWAYS POSITIVE

I DON’T ALWAYS FEEL LIKE BEING POSITIVE

SOMETIMES I AM DOWNRIGHT GRUMPY

There you have it! Not only do I have asthma that literally takes my breath away; neuropathy that causes pain and burning; myopathy that’s atrophying my muscles; and a host of other illnesses; I am also going through pre-menopause. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. Sometimes, I am one huge, bundle-of-nerves mess.

 

 

We’ve all been there. You are not alone.

 

 

THAT’S WHY I HAVE CHOSEN TO BE POSITIVE

 

 

It doesn’t come naturally to me. I have to work at it. If I didn’t work at it though, I would alienate everyone in my life that I care about. I WAS alienating the people in my life that I cared about.  All I could think about were my sickness and pain, and the fear and guilt they were causing.

Has my situation changed? No. Am I in less pain? No. But I have better relationships and a bright future, all because I chose to be happy and focus on positive things; my family, this blog, and my new book, and our Chronically Positive Mom support group.

 

I HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME ON MY POSITIVE JOURNEY

 

 

I don’t want you to fake it. Everyone hates that. Sometimes you’re gonna feel like crap. Take the time you need to feel it, and do what you can to ease your burden. But after a bit, choose to focus on something else. Create your blog, write your book, put those thousands of pictures you have into some sort of order, write letters to all your long-lost friends. Do something, plan something., connect with someone. Want to learn about publishing a book?  Apply to be on the launch team for “The Sick Mom’s Guide® to Having Fun Again”  You’ll get a free book and a behind the scenes peek at the process, and some other special stuff!

 

I promise, if you let your mind have something besides you to focus on, you will feel a bit better.

 

Want to know more?  Check out this article called, “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress” from the Mayo clinic:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

 

YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY: Find something to focus on the next time you feel miserable. Post it in the comments below, maybe you’ll give someone else the idea they needed to feel better too!

The Sick Mom’s Guide™ to Having Fun Again

A new book is coming!

 

Who is it for?

Any Mom who is sick & tired of being sick & tired!

 

I can’t wait for you to read “The Sick Mom’s Guide™ to Having Fun Again!”  Writing it has been an incredible journey for me, and it has helped me discover so many things I didn’t even realize I could do until I began writing.  I can’t wait to share it with other Moms who feel the way I did just a short year ago; sad, lonely, and bored.  They will become happier, more connected, and start having fun again!  It will be published in June, just in time for Summer vacation reading!

 

Imagine having a reference for experiencing fun with:

  • the love of your life
  • your friends
  • your kids
  • yourself!  Guilt-free all-out FUN!
  • going to the doctor’s office (yes, really)

 

 

For all the details, go to: www.thesickmomsguide.com

 

Whether you are a Mom with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, pending surgery, health issues, or you’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired, “The Sick Mom’s Guide™” has a wealth of ideas about having fun and enjoying yourself.  I’ve had so much fun researching and asking everyone I know (and some people I don’t really know) about how to have fun when we feel miserable.  That’s a really hard thing to do, especially when you feel too yucky to get creative!  So I’ve started the book off with some ways to not feel so miserable anymore.

We need to think back to when we were girls, and we had hopes and dreams and plans for our grown-up years. Although some of those plans won’t work now, others WILL!  And we need to start thinking about what we like and what makes us feel happy again.  Sometimes it’s hard to come up with great ideas when we’re sick or in pain, so I’ve put some fabulous ideas together.

Inside there’s a list of 100 things to do with your kids!  50 of the ideas are for when you don’t feel well enough to get off the couch & 50 of them when you can get out, but don’t have much energy or strength.

 

Want to meet some of the fabulous contributors to the book?  Come check out our support group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chronicallypositivemoms/

Come back soon to see what’s happening next…we’re sharing the process with you, so you can see what the process of writing and publishing a book is and be part of it with us.  It’s all about our community, and making it better–and more FUN!

 

Can’t wait to share more with you!

Jen

 

YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY:  Find a way to have fun today.  You deserve it!

2 RULES OF LIFE–BUSTED

 

We have been lied to all of our lives.  Yes, really.  And I am going to set you free!

No matter who you are or where you live, you have been indoctrinated with superstition.

Sound far-fetched?  Read on…

Last week I was pondering.  It’s something I spend wayyyy too much time doing, to the detriment of myself and my family.  I overthink nearly everything.  But sometimes it leads to a really good idea, and this time, it led to my best one yet.

 

IT IS OK TO ENJOY GOOD THINGS

 

That’s it.  That’s my epiphany.  It’s OK to enjoy good things.  I was taught from a young age, that if I talked about something good happening, I had to knock on wood, apparently to scare the demons of evil away from my goodness. If I didn’t knock on wood, or at least quit talking about it right away, the good thing would instantly be taken from me.  I honestly lived in fear of talking about the things that made me happy.

I took it even further, if it was bad to talk about the good things in my life, it must be bad to enjoy them. Every time something good happened, a series of irrational events would follow:

  1. I felt happy
  2. I immediately felt guilty for feeling happy
  3. I felt that something bad must be right around the corner
  4. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy (look at all of those people who have less than you)

 

That last one leads right into my second epiphany…

It is OK to quit eating when you are full

 

When I was a child, I would eat until I felt full, but I couldn’t quit there.  “Think about all the children starving in China!” Was scornfully whispered at me.  So I would eat up.  Everything on my plate, lest I seemed like a horrible ungrateful food-stealing leech.  Who was I to leave that bite of macaroni and cheese on my plate when other children were dying in the streets?

Why did they always talk about kids in China? What about the kids in other countries all over the world?  What about the kids starving right here in America? What if they sent the excess of food to them? BEFORE it was prepared, so I didn’t have to stuff myself and those poor children didn’t starve anymore?

I was literally 40 years old before I realized that I was making a healthy, rational choice by NOT eating all the food on my plate. 

 

Guess what?  I feel so much happier sharing the good things that happen in my life!  The people around me feel better too, as my happiness surrounds all of us, instead of being hidden away.  You know what else?  That extra weight I struggled with for years is under control now because I don’t eat more than I need to!  It’s wins all around!

 

And now I give you permission:

 

Enjoy good things and quit eating when you are full.  Guilt free.  You are not summoning up the demons to swoop in and steal your good fortune. You are not sentencing children to starvation. Share your good times and happy moments.  Throw away the last few bites of food on your plate you aren’t hungry for.  Have food guilt?  Do a good deed and donate to a food bank.  Then tell everyone else to do it too. Then, good things will keep being shared in the world!

And the next time someone tells you to knock on wood?  Give them permission not to, they deserve it too!

 

YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY: Share something wonderful in your life with someone today.  Tell them all about it.  It will feel so good to think about something positive, and listen to their happy story too.  Smiles all around.

 

Could you use some support and encouragement?  We’d love to have you join our group of Chronically Positive Moms HERE!

 

 

Having a rough week?

 

Dear Chronically Positive Mom Family,

Even me, the “Chronically Positive Mom” can get stuck in my sadness sometimes.  It all started last Friday, when one of the women from our support group passed away.  I have never met her face-to-face, but she has been a ray of sunshine in our group. She has helped me feel better personally by giving me support emotionally, and by giving me advice on a physical symptom I was struggling with, as well as helping others there.

In my quest to build up, support, and empower women with chronic illnesses, I never thought about what I would/should do if something happened to one of them!  In my perfect world here in the computer, they would all miraculously be healed and go on to live brilliant lives, running and playing with their children like never before.

I am telling you, dear one, that I am beside myself today.  Both for the loss of Gina (and for her family), and for the realization that this is the reality we face.   It is in the back of our minds, and the minds of those who are close to us.  What if I go too early?

 

 

It is good and healthy to grieve,

when we are done, we need to give ourselves permission to LIVE

 

Hold your child’s hand, look deep into their eyes and tell them you love them.  Commit random acts of kindness to those around you. Take a walk in the rain.  Surround yourself with beauty.  Do what you love to do.  LOVE others.

On Friday night, Gina’s family found out how many peoples lives she had touched.  They had never known that even though she was sick, she was constantly building up others in her online communities.  She reached out and made a difference, even though her symptoms prevented her from doing the things many others take for granted.  I hope that I am like that, bringing love and hope into your life!

SMILE at everyone around you, and enjoy those precious smiles you get in return!

 

Don’t live each day as if it were your last in fear, but live that way and make purposeful choices to enjoy your life. Focus on the positive so you attract other positive people toward you.  You deserve to be happy.  Pursue that happiness.

 

Saturday, I found out our neighbor had also passed away Friday as well, leaving his precious wife & soul-mate behind.  I talked to her yesterday and she was smiling.  She is there, moving forward and loving everyone in her life. And here I am, crying for my loss. Crying because I feel so sad  Crying because I want to make a difference and make a change, but some things are out of my control.

 

This isn’t a normal positive post, but it’s a real and honest one.  

 

I  love my Chronically Positive Mom family, even though we haven’t met in person.  I love you because even though you might be across the world from me, we share a bond.  I am joyful when you are joyful, and I feel the pain of your bad days.  Live today, enjoy today, love today.  Fill your day with joy for me.  Tomorrow I’ll join you.

 

You are loved, and you are not alone,

Jen

 

 

In an Emergency–Your Medical Information Needs to be Accessible

 

Hi everyone,

Last week, I had the longest phone call that I’ve had in a long time. It was so nice to sit and talk, uninterrupted. My friend, Tiffany, is one of the women from our Chronically Positive Facebook Group. We talked about our families and our health, plus she had some really good ideas for my book. I LOVE her ideas!   I’m so happy to have so much input!

One of the things that Tiffany talked about was the importance of having emergency information prepared for our families and medical team in case something happens to us. I know from personal experience, six separate week-long stays in the hospital, that this is imperative, but I didn’t realize how many people don’t have everything together in one place.

 

 

 

Today I’m asking you to prepare all the info your family needs, just in case you have an emergency. When you have enough energy, take it a step further and put EVERYONE’S info together.

You will feel relaxed having your emergency list prepared & one less thing to worry about

Not only will it come in handy if someone has to call 9-1-1, but you can take it when you travel too.

 Get a checklist of the 10 most important things on your list

when you sign up below

 

Do you already have your emergency information all together? That’s fantastic! We’ve got some special info to add about the kids and their school to write down too.  You’ll get them when you sign up.

 

Have a great week,

Jen

 

p.s. Tiffany is a virtual assistant, if you’re looking for someone who is professional and creative, her Facebook page is here:  https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyMoodyVA/