“Thoughts influence behavior, which influences outcome, which in turn feeds back into your thoughts.”
One day when I was feeling particularly terrible about migraine and all the things I want to do and can’t, I made a big list called “There’s always something I want to do that I can do!” and put it on my fridge.
Maybe I’m pretty sick one day and I can’t do the data analysis I want to do, but I can take a nap – taking a nap is a delicious thing that I want to do! Maybe I’m a little sick one day and I can’t make heads or tails of the paper I want to read, but I’d really enjoy watering my plants and it needs to get done and doesn’t require me to recall linear algebra.
I still grieve over things I can’t or couldn’t do, dreams I can’t pursue. And I think it’s ok to be sad or frustrated at what migraine steals from me. But it’s easy to let that grief and sadness get too big, to do nothing at all when I can’t do the big, important thing I want to do.
There are smaller, easier things that I want to do to – writing letters to friends, reading novels, dusting my plants, taking a slow walk along the seawall. When I do the smaller things, I can let in some happiness and contentment alongside the grief and anger and fill my life with things I want to do, even if they aren’t all I want to do.