turtle wins

Being slow isn’t a bad thing

Is it time for bed yet? That was my first thought as I woke up this morning. I glanced at the clock and it was proudly displaying 6:30 AM. That’s way too far away from the sun going down and me climbing back into bed. I yawned, tried to stretch and yawned some more but only seconds passed. Now the clock says it’s 6:31 AM. At least it’s one minute closer. Maybe I can just lie here another 720 minutes.

Some days I wake up already knowing how my body is going to behave, and I can already tell that mine is going to be moving slow…turtle slow. I have yet to wake up feeling refreshed and chipper, even after my morning cup of coffee. As a matter of fact, I haven’t felt rested in years. I’m not even sure what it feels like anymore.

I used to hate the kind of people who wake up immediately bouncing around with gusto as soon as they open their eyes. Right about now I wish I had a teeny tiny bit of their morning pep and bounce.

So, how do you function when your body won’t function? How do you pull together enough energy to get up and get yourself dressed? What do you do when you have to drag your body through the day as it rebels at any and every form of movement? How do you win the fight with your own body?

People don’t quite understand that kind of MS dilemma and how difficult those questions are to answer. They see our bodies and think that nothing is wrong with us. If only they could take a look at the damage hidden beneath our skin and tucked away in our Central Nervous System. It would tell a completely different story because that’s where the chaos lives.

When your legs are having trouble placing one foot in front of the other to take you where you need to go or your hands contain zero strength as everything you hold comes crashing to the floor, don’t let your inability to do something keep you from living your day.

There’s more to living than walking or holding onto things. Sure MS gets in the way of just about everything we do, but don’t let it steal the one thing that will help you through your day…hope.

Hope for a better today than you had yesterday. Hope for more strength when you are at your weakest. Hope for a day of less pain and smaller struggles. Hope for the tears to be dried up and smiles to take their place. Hope for real, genuine friends to become a part of your journey. Hope for hope!

Be kind to yourself today. Don’t push too hard, too fast. Know your limits and say “no” to people demanding more. No is not a dirty word. It’s a word that will save you from many stressful and unnecessary situations. You are in charge of your day. You are the boss, the head honcho, the big cheese of your body. You get to set the pace, no matter how slow it may seem to others.

Remember, being slow isn’t a bad thing. Don’t forget about the tortoise and the hare. Both set off to win a race which the hare should have had no problems in winning, but the tortoise crossed the finish line first. Be the tortoise today. Use your smarts over your bodies abilities and cross the finish line at the end of the day a winner.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

18 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Well I guess a bit of ‘responsibility’ does great things for me. Every Tuesday morning (that’s today for me) during school terms we have mainly music. Andthat is good to get me moving and feeling good about myself. I just get annoyed by that feeling is not for seven days a week.
    Even with a wheelchair I am pleasantly surprised that I,m more accepted than I thought I would. This is in a supermarket as well as other places so I don’t feel so bad having to use it. I was asked this morning by one of the parents why I am in it and I told her that I have MS and my right leg turns off and gives me no help. She understood that and it made me feel better that she didn’t ‘judge’me for using it.
    I don’t know of your social settings etc. but I have found just be the person you are and bring some of your previous things through that make you who you really are. I am putting forward to those who know me that I am still the same as before inside and not another person. This is a reassurance for them that makes their dealing with me easier for both of us.

  2. Carla Broadbent Rogers
    Carla Broadbent Rogers says:

    This to all of you who have found the Wonderful World of Penelope Conway…..Remember every day of the week ends in “day”.
    You need to rewrite your calendar “Myday….Allmyday…..Notyourday….Napday….and so on. Be well and enjoy “Yourday”

  3. Kate Aquilino
    Kate Aquilino says:

    I can’t link. If you google Coimbra Vitamin d Protocol, you’ll read about what I’m trying next. I can’t let that fatigue come between me and my soon to be babe (grandchild). This protocol might lead to a ‘turn off’ of autoimmunes. Who knows who I am without all this baggage? I can’t wait to see.

  4. kate Aquilino
    kate Aquilino says:

    I’m good in the morning. You can count on me as early as 5. But I need a three to four hour afternoon nap. Bedtime is 10. That’s in bed. Lights out. I’m a toddler who stays up too late! I’m retired now and have the time and no pressure. I worked for thirty years and I do understand that blinding fatigue. That’s why this is my next adventure.

  5. Jane
    Jane says:

    I resemble todays remark. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I couldn’t wait for the weekend and all I did was sleep thru’ it. Now it’s Monday and all I still want to do is sleep. I have a great boss but even he would draw the line at coming out and finding my head on my desk, asleep…

  6. Sarah Beale
    Sarah Beale says:

    I took a group of children to see a ballet of the Toroise and the Hare last week. at the time I didn’t really relate the story to my situation but it actually is a good analogy to make. I shall now feel a lot more positive about being a tortoise.

  7. Heather Adsit says:

    I was one of the last who finished my walk this year. I didn’t really care that I ended up using my cane… or how my legs decided to drag a bit.

    I was with others who had canes and pushing there walkers and we all crossed that line 🙂

    Even a few in chairs did it 🙂

    I’m done now. I am going to be slow for a few days now and your right.
    Don’t let anyone push you.

    Slow and steady still wins. 🙂

    As always… I love your posts 🙂

  8. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Ah, this post was timely, Penelope. My symptoms have been getting worse over the past few months, even though I’m taking Tecfidera. If it’s another relapse, I’ll look at different drugs but at the moment I don’t know and I’m fed up. I totally relate to that not wanting to get up feeling when you know everything is going to be a struggle. I’m trying to stay positive but today is a crap day!

  9. Jean Carnell Riales says:

    Supposed to work night shift tonight, but my body is already saying ” NO!” Please keep good thoughts for me as I go through the process of trying to get a work from home position. I really need that new job! I’m too embarrassed to take my cane to work, but keep trying to fall down when I try to stand up.

    • Positive Living with MS - Multiple Sclerosis says:

      Believing with you. And don’t be embarrassed to use a cane. It’s hard at first but you have to break your thinking that using a cane it a weakness. Think of it as a tool needed on the job like a carpenter uses a hammer or an accountant uses a calculator. And besides, it’s much easier to use a cane than the crutches needed for a broken bone. Sending hugs your way today…xoxo!!!

    • Carla L Broadbent Rogers
      Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

      Jean, get yourself a few stylish canes. Different colors or patterns. Make them an accessory, like a pair of earrings or scarf or bracelet. My favorite color is purple. I have several different ones. I get compliments from people. I say ” If I am going to have use a cane, it is going to be a pretty one!” We did not ask for MS, but certain things I REFUSE to let it take from me. Be well…Be strong…..step out in YOUR style.

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