Sarah Lysne: The joy of saying nothing

Published 5:49 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

My friend Marilyn was kind, quiet and very artistic. I own one of her floral pictures. In the middle of the picture is this phrase, “Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.”  I knew by her quite demeanor, that this was a phrase that she lived by.

She would be surprised to know what a difference her example has made in my life.

There is no doubt that my ALS diagnosis has been a heavy emotional burden for me and my loved ones, but I have found that complaining only makes things worse for me and everyone else.

I recently had to get up very early for a Mayo appointment. It was difficult for me.  I was tempted to complain a lot on the way to Rochester, but I didn’t. I looked for joy instead, and here is what I found:

• The parking ramp was sparse, so we didn’t have to drive around for 15 minutes to find a spot.

• We were so prompt that we arrived a few minutes before the appointment time.

• As we entered the clinic, we saw an older man in a wheelchair playing a beautiful song on the grand piano.

• We didn’t have time for lunch after my morning appointments, but we did have time for a much needed coffee break.

• My last appointment only lasted 15 minutes.

When I choose to say nothing instead of complaining, I feel lighter.  My burdens don’t seem as heavy.  I think Marilyn must have discovered this too.