I am on the floor petting Hazel, our Chocolate Lab. Everything about standing up hurts.

I had an MRI that said I have disc trouble. I was in a car wreck 14 years ago, but life moves on. The paperwork said I endure diffuse disc bulge with thickening ligamentum flavum, whatever that means. I’m just hoping I get a steroid shot so that I will feel better for our trip to a family Thanksgiving get together.

But I remind you, I was on the floor petting our Lab and it is after lunch on Friday. Most folks are at work. I can’t do that. Instead, I sent photography and a new poem to a literary journal. I do hope they like it. I also worked on some other writing — an idea I had for a novel. I go out of my way not talking about a car wreck that left me in a three-month coma.

I tell you this not to evoke sympathy. No, I am simply painting a picture of what can be like when everything goes to hell in a handbasket, but if you focus on the good, marry an angel, and do your utmost best to get a few things done, it turns out just fine.

I can’t work, but I can love. I can’t jog, but I can take good photographs. I can’t teach, but I can write one hell of a poem. What it all ends up coming down to is what you do with what you’ve got. You can gain lots of sympathy with what you’ve lost, but what good does that do you? I learned the hard way that it amounts to squat.

So now what? Love the best you can, my friends. Live, love, and enjoy the hell out of this fine life God gave us.

As a writer, Dunlap has published several books and is easily found online. As a clergy-spouse, he moved to Greenwood for his wife to be the rector of Church of the Resurrection Episcopal.