Making life shine without work


Chronic illness doesn’t eradicate ambition, desires, goals and dreams. But it can limit our capacity to achieve ambitions we have geared our lives for. Careers we aimed for, trained for, had, wanted, lived for… just limited them. To the point we can only work casually, part-time or not at all. But it doesn’t stop us from having ambitious thoughts. From seeing those mountains that we cannot climb. And it can be immensely frustrating to know we cannot achieve certain goals. Cannot have certain dreams. Are not permitted certain ambitions.

Life shining without work-fulfillment

Giving up a certain career can be a massive blow to our self-worth. Who are we without what we Do? How do we have fulfillment in our lives without the career that held some sort of meaning for us? Kept us engaged and interested? Held our goals and ambitions? Our purpose? Our future aims and desires? Our financial stability?

How do we find fulfillment with that void there?

fullfillment-after-illness (1)

Chasing gleams of sunshine, my friends, chasing sunshine.

I do not hold all the answers to this with my damaged self-worth and difficult time coping with this vary issue. Seeing mountains everywhere I Want to climb and very aware I cannot. Trying to convince myself I can, and just falling down. It hurts, that fall, it really, really hurts.

But I know a few things.

I chase gleams of sunshine.

  1. Keep myself interested and engaged: So I lost a career that was interesting and engaging. This is important. I lack this now. I need something to replace it. We all need something to keep us interested. So we have to fill that void. I fill it with this blog and my creative writing. So a hobby. Something I have a passion for I can throw myself into. Something I find interesting and engaging.
  2. I chase smaller dreams: I make smaller goals and chase smaller ambitions. I try to anyway. I want to have ambitions. I want to have goals and dreams. I just have to make them reasonable and achievable. Focus on what I am capable of instead of what I am clearly not capable of. I want to create something from what I am capable of. Find some sort of niche there.
  3. Realization life is about more than work: Work is a small fraction of what life is about and what it should be about. And if we everyone knew this they would be better off. We just need to focus on the aspects of life that are meaningful beyond the job we have or don’t have. Our friends, spouse, children and families. Our connections. Our interests. Focus on the meaningful things we do have in our life.

By no means is any of that easy. As my brain goes BUT MAYBE I CAN and WHAT IF. I want to stretch my limits. Knowing the consequences. What happened to my health recently with this massive vestibular flare is a rather epically large print message to my mind that I have health issues aside from pain. That I have limits. That I cannot exceed them because I won’t get far and I will regret it, like I always do. Desire and want doesn’t equal physically capable. No matter how much I wished desire, want, being mentally and intellectually capable, being willing all equally being physically capable. They just don’t.

A part of me hates that and therefore doesn’t find satisfaction in what I am capable of. Belittles what I am capable of. Mocks it. Says I am worth less because of it. Which is something I… and none of us, should do. There is value in all the things we are capable of doing. We just need to see the worth in what we do. And the value in our lives as they are now. And find the fulfillment there is to be found in there. Chasing those gleams of sunshine and making them Shine, my friends. Making them shine.

See more:

Our Chronic pain story: Plot
Chronic illness: 2 common limiting beliefs
Mood, happiness, and life satisfaction

Buy Me a Coffee at

7 thoughts on “Making life shine without work

  1. I like this approach to dealing with losing abilities because of a chronic illness. It’s easy to get caught up in all the things I can’t do, but I can choose to not let that define me. I can choose to see my abilities instead 😊. No easy task…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Work, career, money and everything they all entail have been going around my head every day, more so since I lost my job last year from ill health and surgery. I have cried and stressed no end, and can’t seem to get to the point of accepting the situation at all. Thinking of the future, after my next surgery, scares the hell out of me. I’ll save this post to re-read because you’ve said it all so well. Thank you for writing this Nikki 🙂
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad I found and read your post. I too am a creative soul who loves writing. And I did the same as you. I pushed myself beyond endurance. My health paid the price. I literally crashed and burned. I could no longer function. I had the last two of five surgeries and as I recovered they moved my position out of the States. It was a complete relief and yet I’ve struggled with my identity as a disabled person. Thank you for putting your struggles, which echo many of us, down in such an eloquent way. It was a relief to see them in print, to no longer feel alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is difficult to lose work and that sense of daily purpose. I’m glad you have a love of writing like me that you can use to replace your sense of purpose. It really has helped me cope.


Leave a Reply to Dream Girl Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.