Acknowledging what you have is a major lesson to living happily– rather than focusing on what you don’t have, and being miserable as a result, life tends to be a lot better when you focus on how fortunate you already are. My recent injury has caused me to think about this concept a lot, and I’ve come up with two new rules for living based on it:

Rule # 1: Appreciate everything you can do. Immediately after my accident, I fell into a very steep downward spiral, because every moment of my day seemed to point out all the things I couldn’t do anymore. Showering, getting dressed, feeding myself, brushing my teeth… everything was suddenly difficult. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t surf, hike, ride a bike, or any of the fun things that made up my regular daily activities that contributed to what I considered a good lifestyle. But rather than dwell on my limitations, it became imperative for my own sanity to be grateful that I still had my vision, use of my arms, one good leg, and countless other functions. It is still an uphill battle, but day by day I am getting stronger. And even if that weren’t the case, I am still damn lucky. Rather than lamenting your physical limitations, embrace what you have and don’t take it for granted.

Rule #2: Be unceasingly grateful for the people in your life. I always prided myself on being a modern independent lady and not needing help from others. That came to a crashing end very quickly. In the first weeks, I needed help to do the most basic tasks, and I had to rely on others. If you have those few special people who are there for you, no matter what, then count yourself very fortunate, and say thank you. Because sometimes you will need them. And be there for them when they need you. Share love.

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