I like lists. I’m bad at keeping track of where they are but I like the attempt to be organized. So I make to do lists and I make Christmas wishlists and lists of gift I want to give. And then I find the lists in a book three months later. Lists are often great bookmarks.

And then there are the lists that only live in my mind. My list of things to work on changing in the Church. My list of people who helped me get where I am today. My list of things that never use to happen. The first two are good lists. Lists I look at when I need encouragement and energy. My list of things that never use to happen is a list of frustration and quiet anger.

Entries on that list are things like these: headaches, killer muscle cramps, serious prolonged depressive episodes, afternoon naps, yearly MRIs, yearly bloodwork, having specialists’ numbers in my phonebook. There are more things on the list but I don’t really want to think about them.

And I can’t not think about them. Not when it’s the medications I took this morning and the bloodwork I need and the fact that I’m aching because the weather is changing.

All of which I find encumbering and annoying, but which I live with. As time passes most of the things that never use to happen bother me less and less. Except when I try and explain this to other people.

Somehow it is impossible for me not to see other people thinking, “But it could be so much worse.” “What is it to have to take a few pills everyday.” “How bad can it be to have headaches.” And maybe it’s just me, seeing my own thoughts in their eyes. But sometimes they give voice to what we both think.

And that’s when I don’t know how to tell them that it’s not just any of these things or all of these things. It’s that they never use to happen. And now they always will.

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