Rise and Shine
Last updated: May 2018
I still have fond memories from when I was a little girl and my mom would come into my bedroom, first thing in the morning, to wake me up for the day, and she would say, sing actually, “RISE AND SHINE SUNSHINE”! I can close my eyes to this day, and hear those words.
Over the years I have tried to keep that suggestion in my heart and mind, even with RA.
The rise part is not what it used to be but that is OK. Just willing myself with those words to RISE AND SHINE gets me started each day with a positive attitude.
Rise and shine: my RA version of it
Now, however, it has some added tasks associated with it. I try to take stock each morning before I RISE by “testing the waters” and ensuring my joints are, in fact, up to the task of rising. By “checking in” with my joints I know how best to proceed. I move them gently to see how they are doing. I like to do some gentle stretches, while still in bed, and then sitting up with legs over the side. First of all, it keeps me from starting my day in pain, but secondly, it really is a nice, lovely way to begin the day. If I RISE to soon, or without my morning preparation, I run the risk of putting weight on a stiff and painful joint and we all know how hideous a way that is to start the day!
In addition, when I wake up now, I like to snuggle under the covers for a bit, slowly becoming fully awake, spending some time considering the day ahead. This is actually a chance for our bodies and minds to acclimate to being awake and makes the whole process much smoother and more pleasant.
Once up, I continue the process by making my way to the bathroom and the tasks of preparing for the day. How quickly that happens is often entirely based on my pain and stiffness level. But knowing that, I allow myself the luxury of time to do what it takes. In that way, I relieve the stress of rushing which brings me to the SHINE part of that phrase.
My mother’s words were meant to suggest that I arise with the intention of positivity. By telling me to SHINE I imagined myself a bright light, encircling the world just like sunshine! She was suggesting I enter my day with the intention to be bright, warm and inviting to all I encountered during the day. What a lovely and wonderful greeting that was! I never truly appreciated it until years later, pre RA, when I entered one of my son’s rooms, saying those exact words, and he asked what they meant. I had to stop and reflect a moment, put myself back in my childhood bedroom, and hear those words from my mom. When I did, I felt happy and a smile came to my face and I explained its origin for me and why if felt so natural to say them to him.
So to all of my wonderful, fellow RA folks, RISE AND SHINE SUNSHINE!
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