Last week, I was talking to some book club friends, and one of them raised a thought that spoke deep in my heart.
He moved from another country just a couple of months ago, leaving his wife and cute puppy behind, as part of the long-term process of working visa and expatriation approval.
While he is working full-time and keeping himself busy, he shared how hard such a significant life change can be, and how he misses his former routine.
As he started to feel blue, he decided to take action to improve his quality of life, by taking better care of his physical and spiritual health besides looking for opportunities to build friendships.
Change is Here. To Stay
Living away from our family for decades and working in a foreign country where everything is new and different, is many times overwhelming and unpredictable.
Since my family and I arrived in Portland, we consciously started to find ways to adapt to a different routine, embrace the new lifestyle by making brand-new friends and absorbing the good things changes can bring.
As we met new people, we realized how being in a similar situation, experiencing the same hurdles of health, work or family can be transformational, making someone more empathetic and open to help others.
People who share comparable stories can become a support system of love, and care.
The math of love does not belong in algebra books— the more love one gives, the more one gets.
Friendship is something that continues to amaze me. Some people say it’s the family we choose, and I agree. I called them my “soul” family.
Busy people find time to help, warm hugs come when I am feeling empty inside, a coffee date pops in the calendar when I need some TLC.
Being in Portland for about two years now, presented me with a network of friends, blossoming outside my professional life colleagues. People who know me best, care about my health and family are not the ones I used to spend 10 hours a day inside a beautiful office building. Shallow conversations at the cafeteria were replaced by in-depth emotional exchanges.
I believe that’s because I have changed my mindset and what I was looking for. Lupus pushes me every day to become someone different and better than I used to be. I see and value things I didn’t before. I am not the person I was two years ago.
A chronic disease brought a significant extra weight into my life and has forced me to look at my days and hours differently. With quality time being my top, most valuable treasure, I carefully pick who I choose to talk to, and spend my time with. People who love us have the power to make us unique.
A no-flare day is a special one and I want to enjoy every minute of it. I want to lay down my head on the pillow feeling fulfilled, loved, and accomplished.
Making choices mean that I am keeping something and also declining others. From that perspective, what I leave behind should be less relevant, impactful, and valuable.
When I spend my hours inside an enclosed box feeling sorry about myself, I have to acknowledge the fact that I will not have a good day, and will potentially feel drained, tired, and blank.
Picking up a bad option, it is my free-will; but guess what? I reap what I sow. I will pay the price later, mostly with my well being for the next days.
I invite you to make better choices starting today. Share the love you have in your heart with yourself first and then others, and rest assured that your life will turn for the better.
Why don’t you follow my Instagram @lupushope to continue our conversation? Mindset is a big topic for me and would love to hear your thoughts.