Pausing for Breath

It is something I have to do more often these days when confronted with a flight of stairs or a steep slope (I have sarcoidosis, which means my lungs don’t work as well as they should). At first, I was irate. Why would my lungs no longer obey me? Why should I have to huff and puff and come to an ignominious stop every now and then? I found a dozen different ways of pretending I was stopping to admire something or other (a bit unconvincing half-way up a flight of office stairs). Finally I decided to be honest and just admit that I needed to pause for breath. Now I let people rush past or stare at me wondering whether to offer help and don’t feel embarrassed. Pausing for breath has taught me to take nothing for granted; to wonder at the simple act of breathing; to find joy in the ability of others to run and jump and do all the things I can’t. In an odd kind of way, I think pausing for breath has helped me grow up a little. What has helped you?

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