In the Grand Scale of Things

The title is a bit tongue in cheek today because the little wildflowers are anything but “grand” in scale! But these tiny flower bouquets, that seem to crop up out of nowhere, add a lovely bit of color to the woods and can be such a joy to ponder. They can feel grand in essence despite their diminutive physical presence.

These little yellow flowers are abound during the spring season in a swampy wooded area I like to walk in whenever the weather isn’t oppressively hot. That isn’t very much of the year when one lives in the sub-tropics, so I really have to make the most of the time I have! That they are spring flowers should be no surprise given their bright as sun yellow color.

I find it sad how most people walk past these little beauties without a thought, only to behold the tall, defiant cypresses that grow in the same area. The latter are majestic and worthy of looking up to (and I mean literally, for these trees can be really tall), but in many ways, I prefer the delicateness of the former. The flowers just feel “happier” to me somehow.

Do you see that little fuzzy ball on the bottom right? I’ve no clue what it is but it’s so cute!

That is so much of life, isn’t it? Especially with a chronic illness. When the good days are few and far apart, we try to make the most of what we’ve got. When the big goals seem too far beyond reach, we focus on the smaller ones. We learn to find joy in the smallest of things.

It sounds like a compromise, and everyone makes some compromises in life at some point or another. But when you’re young, you face judgement from ignorant faces, who are not intimate with your trials, but who feel you have made that compromise too soon in life. You’re left to wonder if you are getting “too comfortable too early” (in my Ph.D. advisor’s words) too close to the ground.

Or is it simply that you have realized that the things that mean the most to you are exactly where you are. That true happiness really is in the smallest, the most seemingly insignificant of things. And that when we reach for the heights, it is usually only to attain something of an illusion – an illusion of power, of respectability, of security. And during that process, as we are looking up at the heights, like that of the cypresses, we miss all the joyful little wildflowers that beckon to us from down below.

In a quiet, meditative moment, it may be wise to wonder: In the grand scale of things, which one matters more?

In the last few weeks, I have gone through another round internal conflict in trying to balance the part of me that wants to reach for the heights, and the part of me that sees sense in drawing the energy from the wildflowers. I concluded that the little joys of the present outweigh the potential of illusory powers in the future. While it is true that I would find much joy in making the best use of my scientific training to benefit society, I had to admit in a moment of honesty, that I would find more joy in not feeling like absolute crap while doing it! This meant finding a line of work that may be “closer to the ground” but more in line with my priorities.

None of this is to say I still don’t have that ambitious spark which would like to see me accomplish big, important things in life. But for now, I feel like just getting through my new exercise routine, without the excess fatigue grounding me in bed for the next several days, would be accomplishment enough for me!

Gentle hugs,


15 thoughts on “In the Grand Scale of Things

    1. Glad you liked my little flowers, as well as the post – thanks!! I have always had trouble with self-compassion, so this is a work in progress for me. Almost went back on it when I was debating whether to take on a demanding job. But for various reasons, one of them being its effects on my current state of health, I decided to eschew it for a “kinder” option. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad this post resonated with you! 🙂 I hope you are indeed able to be gentle with yourself, and treat yourself with kindness. We don’t often value self-compassion in our society, but it is so necessary to successfully manage a chronic illness.


  1. Beautiful photo of the yellow wildflowers. We do get some yellow canola here around spring in Australia that look very similar. Very bright and bold. Really like it when you say, ‘In the grand scale of things…’ It’s something I keep in mind often. True that we can reach for heights but at the same time also enjoy what we got and make the most of it. I can just imagine the compromises you have to make living with chronic illness. Some of us might even think of this as we’re not worthy enough to some things but in reality sometimes we can only just go so far in a particular moment.

    Getting comfortable can be a double edged sword. On one hand, you know you’ve achieved something and there’s comfort in knowing routine and how things are done. On the other hand, growth comes from moving. For me, fame and being the best at something is not my end goal. What matters more to me alongside living with anxiety is that I find something to do that I look forward to every day – which usually is writing, or going to an event, tidying up my place, catching up with friends (while I very much like my own space, making others happy also makes me happy) or maybe just sitting and enjoying some warm weather 🙂 Take care and rest well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Mabel! I completely agree about “comfortable” being a double-edged sword. It is so easy to get cozy and do things we know we are good with. But it is overcoming challenges that help us grow, and by not seeking out the challenges, we face stagnation. And I am so afraid of that – that one day I will find myself stuck and stagnating in life, with fewer and fewer opportunities for growth. I am really glad that you have found out what makes you happy and give your life meaning. I hope that helps with your anxiety too. ❤


        1. I don’t think you will ever have to worry about lack of skills or opportunity! You are so diverse and are doing so well for yourself in all those arenas – from being in the healthcare industry to blogging on social issues to publishing books and giving talks! You are what I dream of becoming with my art and blog, LOL! One of these days I might even get around to writing a book from my own perspective of dealing with a chronic illness in grad school/academia/science. Reading your blog is so encouraging for me. 🙂


          1. I do wonder where you get the idea where I am involved in the healthcare industry, as I never mentioned my work and work hard not to mention it 😀 Lol, you have a lot to be proud of, with a PhD and pushing forward with a chronic illness – probably enough fodder for a few books there 😉 Reading your blog has encouraged me to see that life goes on even with something like social anxiety and depression 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I was reading through several of your posts the other day, and I thought I saw something about healthcare, but I’m so sorry, I may be mistaken. Didn’t mean to make it weird for you, lol. 😛 I am so glad that you find my blog encouraging. I would love to be able to write a book on my experiences, and I may have to speak with you more one day about how to go about it. 🙂


              1. No, no, no weird feelings at all. It’s always interesting to hear about what people think of my blog 😀 Good luck with book writing and if you need anything let me know. I am sure when you are ready, you will do a good job, telling it like it is 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Aiden Lucas
    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 3 years, and it was very painful some days. I was taken methocarbamol to relieve the pain. Sometimes it helps and other days it doesn’t. it was killing me for 3 years, doctor said there was no cure. So I tried to live with it and it wasn’t easy.My childhood friend introduced me to Dr George (Good health herbs home),Dr George fibromyalgia herbal remedy cured me within 6 weeks of usage ,am fibromyalgia free now 100%.for more information visit www .goodhealthherbshome .com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aiden! I am so sorry to hear of your suffering, but glad that you found something that worked for you. Thank you for sharing the herbal remedy with me. I will definitely check it out. Take care! 💙


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