Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The new catch-phrase heard often in Summer is “stay-cation”. Many people are changing their ideas of vacations due to finances. People are having fun doing simple activities all from their home. People are returning to the simple things in life. This got me thinking, if those people enjoying “stay-cations” can change their vacation plans—I can too! I’m calling mine a “joy-cation”.

What’s a “joy-cation”?

This Summer, I was able to take my first vacation since my back injury. As I was packing for the trip, there was one thing which I didn’t want to pack—my pain. If only I could turn off my pain for a week. That would be refreshing. However, rather than shutting off my pain for the week, I had to prepare for more pain. Every movement I make increases my pain. So, I knew that during my vacation my pain would increase.

Living with an invisible illness or chronic pain makes one change their lifestyle. There are activities which illness and/or pain prevent one from doing. I have worked hard making sure that my pain doesn’t prevent me from enjoying life on a daily basis.

So what if a vacation doesn’t include body surfing in the ocean, or attending sporting events, or concerts—that’s okay! I can enjoy a wonderful vacation with friends doing simple things, such as enjoying a lemon sorbet on a hot summer day. Or spending the evening watching a DVD enjoying popcorn and laughing with friends.

When living with an illness or pain, one must learn to rethink how to enjoy life and have fun. Don’t waste time grieving the past activities that can’t be done anymore. Rather, look for new activities which can be done!

My “joy-cation”
has been just that—a JOY!

Just because I live with chronic pain and headaches, doesn’t mean that I can’t have a wonderful time and break in my normal routine. I’d highly recommend that you begin planning your “joy-cation” ASAP!

Whether I'm on a "joy-cation" or just going through the normal routine at home—I'm learning that God provides joy and blessings each and every day. Noticing those blessings and relishing the joy, sure helps create a positive day!

For more on living with invisible illness and/or chronic pain visit