The Things I Hope I Never Complain About

The Things I Hope I Never Complain About

I sprayed the lemony-scented cleaning spray onto the wooden piano and smiled in contentment as the cloth pushed away layers of dust.

When was the last time I dusted the piano? I wondered. Have I ever dusted this piano? Yikes. No wonder the dust seems to lie too much of an inch thick.

It feels incredible to have the extra energy, the extra movement ability to complete the chores that usually get left behind.

When did dusting the piano ever feel so darn good?

These days I have been feeling better. The bathroom still remains uncleaned way too much of the time. I still often leave dishes unwashed at the end of the day. I still don’t always fold my clothes. And I will never in my entire life, ever, vacuum again. Vacuums and spines are NOT good friends. But, more and more I am taking steps forward, doing things I was not able to do before.

Things like dusting the piano. As I dusted, I thought, I hope this is something I would never complain about if I became healthy again. This ability to clean my house. This extra energy to do the chores that aren’t absolutely necessary.

After living with chronic pain for many years, you realize that cleaning your house is a privilege. A God-given privilege that not everybody gets to do. Some people have to leave their houses dirty. Some people use all of their energy just getting their bodies through the day. For so long, I have prioritized my job, socializing, and other more important activities over cleaning my house. But some days, I get to do both. And it feels amazing.

These things like dusting the piano are the things taken for granted until they are taken away.

I think into the future and hope beyond hope that I keep making progress. I hope for more days of dusting the piano and cleaning the dishes before I go to bed. I hope that my good pain days become more and more and my bad pain days become less and less.

And if that happens, these are the things I hope I never complain about. These are the things that chronic pain has taught me are a privilege and not a drudgery as they sometimes may have seemed in the past.

Should the pain ever go away…

I hope I would never complain about the privilege of keeping my house clean.

I hope I would never complain about the ability to go to work.

I hope I would never complain about being able to exercise.

I hope I would never complain about having to socialize when I don’t feel like it.

I hope I would never complain about serving friends, family, and neighbors.

I hope I would never complain when someone asks me for a favor.

I hope I would never complain about the ability to live in ways that are normal and every day, even if they are boring or tedious.

I didn’t realize it before. But those parts of life that feel so tiresome or difficult when you are healthy. Those parts of life that feel like they are taking time away from what you would rather do. Sometimes, those are the parts of life that you miss the most when you can’t do them anymore.

Check out Life in Slow Motion’s newest book, But God Wouldn’t I Be More Useful to You If I Were Healthy, on


  1. Awwww made me cry again! I’ve been very grateful since April to have more energy to handle tidying and chores. Though the trap for me is overdoing it and then cursing myself for doing too much and for never-ending chores. That’s now, but in April, I was indeed SO happy to be doing all of these things… So what you make me realize now is that by not respecting my limits and keep on pushing myself over my body’s limits makes me dislike those things instead of being grateful and in a peaceful state of mind like I was in the spring….
    Hum, maybe that is the magic key I need to stop when I need to: do I feel grateful for being able to do this or have I pushed myself so much it hurts and the pain and fatigue take over everything?
    Well, I was just asking myself if I should go back to bed after trying to cook my birthday cake (it’s super difficult with rare ingredients so only I can make it so I won’t be sick 😉 The answer is yes. I am grateful I was able to do most of it. Now I’ll let it cool down, won’t rush it because my body is in so much pain. Instead, I really should step back and enjoy the process just like you enjoyed dusting. What’s the point otherwise?! I even messed up the recipe this morning because I was brain fogged so there goes. Yet there I was again trying despite the pain even though I should be less stubborn and do it when I am at peace and grateful and happy.
    Thanks Esther! As always

    1. Claudia, such great insights you bring! Thanks for your thoughts. I had not thought of it that way, but I see where you are coming from. I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself though – I feel so grateful to do these things when I am doing a bit better (like you were back in April), but when my pain spikes, these things feel so difficult and I just make me want to cry. I completely agree that pacing and taking breaks and not pushing to hard is important!

      So exciting about your birthday cake!!! I hope it tastes delicious 🙂

    2. Actually, what day is your birthday? Did I miss it? I usually rely on Facebook to alert me and I’m not seeing it there.

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