Beauty on the Bad Days

Last Sunday, I had a serious case of the blah's. I had slept okay, but my energy level was on the floor and I was out of breath with the tiniest movements. I was lugging around extra weight from PMS fluid retention, made worse by my enlarged heart failing to keep pace with its pumping efficiency. I wanted to stay in bed.

But I didn't.

I put my complaints to the side and went to church, knowing from past experience that I never regret making the effort to attend once I'm there. However, once the service let out, I was keen to get home and eat my lunch in front of the television. And I was secretly hoping that my husband would abandon his plans of going for a ride in the mountains, so I could put on my sweats and lose myself on the couch.

But he didn't.

Instead, he loaded up our UTV (side-by-side) and asked if I was ready to go. At that moment I had a choice to make: I could beg off, citing my frumpy feelings and let him do one of my favorite things without me, OR I could gather my hat and sunglasses, pack some snacks and follow him out the door. 

The pull of the sunny, autumn day won out. I moved ever so slowly to get ready, reasoning that I could either be miserable at home or I could be miserable at the top of a mountain, and that maybe the latter wouldn't be so miserable after all.

I can't say that my bloating disappeared as I was riding on the trails. My dear husband was so patient with me when I asked him to stop for a rest or when he had to help me with a potty break as I took baby steps over the rough terrain. I still enjoyed the outing, but not nearly as much as I would have if I had been feeling better. But that's not my point.

I found beauty despite my suffering. 


I saw a panoramic view looking across the valley in which I have lived my whole life, giving me a new perspective and lifting me so I felt a little lighter.

I sat quietly by a shallow stream, listening as the water flowed over rocks and earth while watching the sun glint on its surface. I recorded a couple of videos so I could return to that calming, meditative place.


And in those moments, I was also suspended in peace and not thinking at all about my troubles or my couch.

What choices do you make when you have a bad day? Can you still look for (and find) the beauty?

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Here are some doorways from this week:

  • Last week I woke up craving French toast and my mom offered to make it if I would come over. They babysit my nephews during the day, and 3-year old Arek wanted to help Grandma make cookies. She was patiently giving him items to dump in the bowl (eggs, sugar, baking soda) but he had a red plastic cup that he poured the ingredients into instead. I had to smile at each time he "helped" and at Grandma's attempts to salvage the failed attempt while Arek giggled.

  • I was reminded via email of my updated DNA results on Ancestry.com. Logging in, I was able to read about the regions and countries of my distant ancestors, realizing the beauty in the way genealogy and modern science can tell the story of family.

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