Saturday, September 26, 2015

Coffee and Kayaks (and Other Favorite Things)

“When the dog bites and the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad!” – My Favorite Things (song)

It’s a sunny Saturday and I’ve been inside at home all day, while my daughter is camping with the Girl Scouts and my husband just returned from kayaking. I had discussed going on both of these outings but decided yesterday that I really didn’t want to do either. I was still recovering from a week-long respiratory virus and as a result of my immune system kicking in, my joints weren’t feeling too great and I was plagued with fatigue. Such is my life with RA. Some days I can do everything I want, and others I can’t.

I won’t say I’m complaining today, though. With the pressure off and my schedule wide open, I awoke relaxed and refreshed, and have been enjoying a really nice day. As I wrote in a previous post, sometimes I just need to rest and that’s OK! Having the day “off” has given me a chance to catch up on missed episodes from the last episode of Blue Bloods so that I’ll be all caught up when this season starts.

Yes, I confess, I love to play armchair detective. I used to be a real one (PI and loss prevention agent, not an actual police officer), so watching all those CSI and cop shows is fun for me. I’m proud of the fact that 90 percent of the time, I figure out “who dunnit” before anyone else in my family. It’s like a little game for us. Having shoulder surgery earlier this year, with a lengthy recovery period that kept me firmly planted on the couch for a month or two, pretty much made me a certified expert. They should send me an honorary shield! Ah, the benefits of a sometimes very sedentary life with RA. No criminal is going to get by me!

In addition to today being armchair detective day for me, it is also the last day I’ll be posting as part of #RABlog Week. It’s been a great week, writing about life with rheumatoid arthritis and reading posts from other bloggers afflicted with this disease. But tomorrow is Sunday, which is my day for rest and worship, and I’m ready to get back to my regular writing schedule of once every week or two. School is back in session and so my mom duties are back in full-swing, and with a full (freelance writing and marketing) client load, I don’t have a ton of time to spare these days. If you’re new to this blog and want more frequent encouragement, please visit my Facebook and Pinterest pages. I post more frequently there, with links to other people’s pages as well.

Anyway,  the #RABlog Week Wildcard Topic I chose to write about today is “Tell us what you really enjoy and how that helps with RA.” I’ve already mentioned about my fascination with detective shows. How does that help with RA? Well, for one thing, it gives me something entertaining and engaging that keeps my mind off any pain I may be experiencing, it doesn’t require that I move (helpful if my knee is acting up), and it’s become an actual bonding experience with me and my family. Anything that can accomplish all three of those things at the same time is pretty great! Not to mention, I can watch those shows and know for absolute certainty that, given I’m not being shot at, my life is better than most of the people I am watching.

Those who know me well, though, know I am most passionate about three things: coffee, kayaking and God. And every single one of those is critical to my wellbeing and how I handle having RA.

I am most passionate about three things: coffee, kayaking and God. 

Coffee keeps me going. As a Louisiana native, coffee is more than a drink to me. It’s an invitation to enjoy life. It’s a tradition. It’s social. It’s not for getting wired up (although it does help with RA fatigue). It’s for calming down. It’s for waking up in the morning. It’s for enjoying in the car on the way to work. It’s what you offer a friend or neighbor, whether you’re just meeting to chat or you’re having a heart-to-heart. And as long as there’s good decaf around, it’s for enjoying after dinner. Pecan pie, or any other dessert for that matter, just isn’t as good without it.

Kayaking keeps me motivated. When I am on the water – taking in the clean, crisp air and natural beauty of the water and woods surrounding me – I feel alive and free.  It is there that all of my stress melts away and I can just breathe…ah…and yet, get in some good exercise at the same time. As I paddle, my shoulders feel strong and agile, the gliding motion somehow helping to soothe all the aches away. My hands may get sore, so I wear gloves and go slow, but being on the water makes it worth it. When I had shoulder surgery, I was more faithful in my rehab than most patients. Why? Because I wasn’t willing to risk not paddling on my bucket-list vacation to the Canadian Rockies. If exercising with RA will keep me in good enough shape to kayak, I will do it every day that I can!

God keeps me grounded. Knowing He is there, all-present and all-powerful, gives me joy and gives me hope. Reading His Word not only reminds me of His promises, but it makes me realize that throughout history, He has done some mighty powerful things, even in and through broken people like me. And time in prayer helps me stay grounded in gratitude. Some days are harder than others, but I can always find something to be thankful for, and it seems easier to find that place of peace when I close my eyes and rest in His presence.

Thanks for joining me this week for #RABlog Week. Stay tuned for my next post, which will be featured on Kelly Balarie’s Purposeful Faith page next week. Until then, be well and God bless!

Subscribe to Spring Sight via e-mail
Subscribe to Spring Sight by Email Your privacy is very important. Your email address will not be shared with any 3rd parties. 

Coffee and Kayaks (and Other Favorite Things) originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. It is one of a series of posts specifically about Rheumatoid Arthritis, as part of #RABlog Week. 

Get even more encouragement by following me on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter


  1. Well I enjoy a cup of Joe, and I have my church and love of God. But kayaking? Ahh not so much. I adore this fun blog, thank you for joining us this week I will be a regular reader, and I hope you will join us again next year. 2016 Blog week is just 51 weeks form now. LOL


    1. Thank you so much, Rick! I appreciate you also! :-)