Small Things are Actually Big Things when you Live with Chronic Pain

Small things are big things when you live with chronic pain. Butterflies

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I enjoy life despite pain.

But perhaps that gives people the impression that I run marathons, paint the town red and shop till I drop every weekend.

The reality is nothing like that. It quite simply means I enjoy life. I enjoy living. I enjoy waking up every morning. I don’t enjoy waking up with pain every morning, but I do enjoy waking up! There are always things which make me smile. Small things. Simple things. But, these are the things which help me enjoy life, despite my pain.

The Simple Things Matter

A simple thing like seeing the daylight sneak in through the chink in the bedroom curtains to tell me it’s morning makes me smile. Then to get me going, I often listen to this song from The Koi Boys. It kickstarts my day. It’s loud, it’s fun, it’s catchy…it helps to get me moving. Or hobbling. It’s really more of a hobble than a move!

Enjoying the simple things in life. Countryside, river, peach sky, sunset.

Something else I enjoy – listening to garden birds. We have so many here,  thrushes, finches, tits, sparrows, swallows and house martins. I especially love to hear the chattering of  the house martins after they arrive from Africa every summer. They amaze me. I can hardly travel to the local supermarket without using a satnav, yet those tiny birds can travel thousands of miles by instinct, or by some other incredible power. 

I’m also a closet cloud watcher. I love clouds – wispy, fluffy, fair-weather, dark and angry, white, pink, purple or peach. I love them all, but especially love them when the sun is just peaking through the middle, or giving them a golden outline.

Where I live, I am surrounded by hills. In an ideal world, I’d have the health to be able to climb those hills. But it’s not an ideal world and I don’t have the health to be able to do that. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the views. Every day I look at those hills and see something new. It could be the shapes, the shadows or the colours. There must be a thousand shades of green, yellow, brown and red.

I look out of my kitchen window and see the changes in the trees – from their bare branches in the winter to the new buds appearing in spring. I watch as the new growth appears, then enjoy the view as the branches grow heavy with bright green healthy leaves. It’s a gorgeous site when the berries grow and ripen, and the garden birds feed on them to fatten themselves for winter. When Autumn comes and the green leaves gradually dry up, turn to rusty shades, and fall to the ground, leaving the trees bare again, it doesn’t sadden me. It signals everything is resting and nurturing itself, getting ready to begin the cycle again.

Enjoying life despite pain. Nature, clouds, flowers, trees

I watch for the heather as it starts to bloom on the hills, and look out for the meadowsweet, clover and foxgloves appearing. Snowdrops amaze me, they are the tiniest, most delicate flower, yet they find their way through the hard ground every winter. I could spend hours watching long grass blowing on a windy day. It’s mesmerising. It can really be quite hypnotic as it swishes back and forth in the wind, undulating like waves on an ocean. I have to add that I watch that from behind glass, from the comfort and warmth of my living room!

Home comforts

Heat. Central heating at the flick of a switch. A log fire which crackles and glows, thanks to my husband’s efforts. And food. I can’t forget food. Homemade lentil soup, slow cooked stews, cauliflower cheese, rice pudding…all simple, tasty, comfort foods. There can be nothing nicer that the smell of home cooked food wafting through the house. One of my favourites is the smell of spiced fruit bread after it’s been toasted. It tastes delicious, but the smell lingers. The spiciness of the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg hang around in the air. It leaves an impression – a warm welcome to my kitchen. It also leaves me wanting more, which is maybe not such a good thing!

Hobbies and pastimes are also good distractions

I find enjoyment in so many things – lying in bed with a book or being curled on the couch watching a rom com. I keep my brain working by watching back to back episodes of quiz shows or playing Scrabble online with friends. I write, or occasionally, if my pain and energy levels allow, I paint or craft.

Doing these things are not only enjoyable, but they can help to distract me from my pain. If you are needing ideas for distraction, please take a look at this post – 20 ways to try to distract yourself from pain.

The Small Things Really are Big Things

I enjoy the simple things in life. But simple things matter. They might seem like such small things, but in actual fact, the small things are big things to me.
Pain takes so much from people, but I can’t allow it to take my enjoyment of life.

Small things are big things. flowers, daisies, blue flowers

Perhaps people don’t notice some of these things. Perhaps they’re too busy with their lives to notice. Perhaps it’s because I live with pain – perhaps the pain makes me slow down and notice what’s around me. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, I only know that I notice and I am glad that I notice.

I hope this explains what I mean when I say I enjoy life, despite pain.

I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think that the small things in life are actually the big things? Please leave a comment below.
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66 thoughts on “Small Things are Actually Big Things when you Live with Chronic Pain

  1. Geri Docherty

    I love this and totally relate. I also have chronic pain and try to be as positive as i can, all the time, as getting down about it makes it all worse. Over the last few months i have really started to notice and take enjoyment and pleasure from little things, all very similar things to what you have said. They are things a few years ago, before chronic pain i would not even have noticed. I think as your world becomes smaller you start to see these things and you appreciate them a lot more. So i completely understand what you mean when you say you enjoy life. The small things to others are big things to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trish veltman

    You’ve painted a beautiful picture of your valley. I think the small things are always the best, and learning to appreciate them is one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for sharing this I understand I suffer from fibromyalgia and I remember when I was a young girl how that’d make fun and say I was making it up. I still to this day can’t believe that in 2001 we were so primitive especially in medicine.

        Like

  3. Cheryl

    Interesting. Guess I have been thinking of enjoying life from my more healthy days. Your definition regarding the little things seems to have removed a sense of burden from me. I do enjoy those ‘little things’. Only I had done so in passing.
    Time for a re evaluation and some simple quiet joy. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Very well-written blog, and information that I may also need.
    I’m a Chronic!
    Chronic Pain ✔
    Chronic Fatigue ✔
    Chronic Lupus✔
    Chronic AVN✔
    CHRONIC SKIN CONDITIONS ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
    Thank you, I just got my start to blogging, I call it jlogging be dayawe to me it is more like a Journal.

    Checked over & over to make sure some innermost feeling isn’t displayed for the World to see.

    Thanks again, Stacy

    Like

      1. Thank you, and you don’t have to say a word, but if you feel a word or words please say them!
        I unknowingly started 4-5 blogs, thinking I was logging in via the same one.
        I, in fact was not! I realized I had really put the work in, 4, 5, 6 Blog’s,most probably! lol ! 🙋‍♀️❣🤸🏼‍♀️❣🤸🏼‍♀️❣
        I’m slowly combining into one, just trying to set style I like, the 1 I like the best of course!!
        goldenrule4all.wordpress, LiveWell_BeKind & maybe livewellbekind.wordpress.
        Thanks!
        Sincerely! Stace

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No worries at all, as I said there should be a 🚫⚠️🚫Cautionary 🚫⚠️🚫Story🚫⚠️🚫laid before entering any of my jlog’s at all.
          I went at it as I do most everything up and until NOW!
          It will take a couple weeks I imagine to get all of the Corresponding, Thoughts, Ideas, Goals, Dreams, etc. cohesively together like that of a Magic Rubio’s Cube.

          Depending on the Kidney Stone count this week. Lol….SO NOT LOL! 🤢😡🤢

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I think that WordPress deleted it. It had a lot of great content. It makes me sad. I hope you’re holding together well in this cold weather. Love, Stacy

          Like

      2. Beautifully written! Life is truly all about the simple small things. I agree whole heartedly that living with chronic illness gives us this special gift of having the time to slow down and take notice of all the beauty around us. ❤🙏❤

        Like

  6. I didn’t mean to focus on all the bad, I just was in tuned to getting something done, safely.
    I lived the……. Oh, woah is me!
    I lived it for sure, and I KNOW I AM NEVER GOING BACK!
    I know definately looking for a diagnosis, that took 7 years. My symptoms, knee pain, swelling, redness, cannot walk on legs at all. etc.. 12 yo, Symptoms began in ’96-’97 right after I gave birth to Justin.

    Lupus IS thought to be brought on by Hormonal Changes Inflammation of everything, every organ in your body. Your Skin is your largest organ.

    I did live all up in my pain, heck I even invited others all up in there TOO. Which isn’t cool!
    On the REGULAR!!! Heeey!!

    My life had become a Negative-mucky-mess. I was “shotty” and I knew it! 2 Counselors! After the end of my 20+ year marraige.

    Positive Affirmations have changed my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes we need to focus on all the bad, in order to get to a stage of being able to cope. Sometimes it’s like a light switches on and we realise that we can do this. We can cope.
      I’ve had my moments too when I’ve focused on the negative. You’re not alone there.

      Like

    2. Oooh, Kidney stones…been there. Really painful.
      Take your time with your blog. There’s no rush, is there? I’m following you (on Livewell, so hopefully that’s right), so I should get a notification when you post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BTW I didn’t see it as though focusing only on the bad….. it’a there we HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT, UNFORTUNATELY. Family, having difficulty in trying to see my gbabies, This is as stressfull for me as 5yrs ago when I divorced from my former Husband. The pain in my heart comes out in tears & they just don’t stop.

        Like

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  9. You do have to focus on the smaller things when you live with chronic pain, agreed. I have scoliosis and have broken my back twice – if I ceased stopping to smell the roses, I’d be miserable. So I make sure I look for the good in life and people, and it works a treat 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful post. I’d even argue that those “small things” are the big things that each one of us take for granted, which really makes them big things. It’s a lovely thing to be able to look outside and see the beauty of nature and all it’s sights, sounds, and smells. If more people stopped to admire these things more often, I think we’d all be much healthier and happier. I’m glad you’ve been able to appreciate these things despite your pain, and I wish you a steady and speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. After long time of being very unhappy about what I couldn’t do because of my chronic illness and pain, I finally discovered that the key to a happy — or at minimum, a content — life with chronic illness is shifting my focus to the beauty and wonder of the world. So much of that is about paying attention to what’s going on, both in nature and in your every day. Combining that with gratitude, noticing how much you are enjoying a particular act or thing… And there you are. Happy. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s the way to do it! I think people have this thought that you have to do and see something incredible all the time in order to enjoy life. But the truest enjoyment of life is the everyday parts of life itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lindsay Rae

    In the past few months I’ve been making a solid effort to catch and appreciate these small things that make up our lives. I’ve noticed that life is passing me by due to an overloaded work schedule and just the stressfulness of life itself.

    So I made it a personal goal to keep an open mind to the small, seemingly insignificant moments and really see them as they happen on a day to day basis.

    One of my new favorite small activities is finding lovely, real and beautiful written articles and blog posts like this one and taking in the words and meanings and just being able to sit with it for a while.

    I loved reading this, thank you for writing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lforsythe7040

    This is a great post, and I love your positive outlook where you focus on all the things you love and can enjoy versus the things that you can’t. It’s important to enjoy the simple things whether you have a chronic illness or not because a lot of joy can be had from these little rays of sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. erica3639

    I love this attitude in your post! Life isn’t perfect, but at least we’re alive to live another day. I think enjoying little things like clouds and birds is such an overlooked joy these days. Everybody is so busy being busy that they forget to enjoy the little things. Thank you for such a great reminder that we should all slow down anc enjoy life a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Swagata Sen

    Another great and a very profound post! You are so correct but it goes beyond chronic pain. Being present at the moment being mindful about our surrounding , paying attention and being able to appreciate small things around us make every body happy and content! It is so sad that with such huge advancement of technology , we are gradually forgetting to pay attention to small wonders in our lives. Your post is a very timely reminder for all of us

    Liked by 1 person

  17. stylelullaby

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I know this isn’t chronic pain, but my boyfriend recently got back surgery and it was definitely an eye-opener to the both of us that we take our bodies for granted the little things that we can do everyday when we are well. Thus, appreciating the littlest things is so important to living a fulfilling life.

    Like

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