Enthusiasm gets a bad rap sometimes. Or is that just because I live in NY, where we’ve all seen and done it all, so why get excited? We’re told to calm down, be measured, take a deep breath – take it all in stride.
But isn’t life more fun if you’re excited about something? Alright, I know, life is plenty hard – it’s unfair, it’s filled with disappointments, it’s painful. In spite of all that, isn’t life more fun if you’re excited about something?
Try to find at least one thing each day that excites you. It can be silly and small, or a major event. The boost can help you get through the less pleasant aspects of your day. And really great if what excites you is something that gets you moving, that’s good for you.
After I was run down by a taxi years ago (back before I had cancer), every day was painful. I had a spinal cord injury and a lot of soft tissue damage. But we were heading into Spring and the birds were migrating. I got excited about moving out onto the deck to see the warblers returning. And later, I made my daily walks down my long driveway. Walking was still difficult, but picking fresh raspberries for my breakfast made the struggle worthwhile. It was a struggle, but the steady, daily work I did to keep moving helped me to a full recovery – far better than many of my doctors expected. Enthusiasm helped keep me going: enthusiasm for what I might see if I endured the pain, or for what I could find (or eat).
I carried those same ideas forward into my life with cancer. Cancer – all aspects of it – is difficult. It’s exhausting, it’s painful, it’s damn scary! But I tried to find and focus on things that would excite me: nature, walking, art, music. A lot of those happy things turned out to be things that got me moving. And by allowing myself to get excited by even very small physical things, I stayed connected to my body in a positive way.
So, what are you enthused about today? I just bought a new pair of trail running shoes (I put a whole lot of miles on my old ones!). I’m trying out a new shoe. Today, I am really enthusiastic about my new shoes. I can’t wait to take them out for a spin on the trail today.
Staying calm is all well and good, but get enthused about something. Remember as a kid getting excited about something new, a chance to play with friends, or just going outside to see what you could find? Allow yourself just a little of that spirit now. What excites you now?