Things I’ve learned from my journey with MS

Multiple Sclerosis has taught me the value and importance of living…really living. In looking back on my own journey, I have noticed the shift I made from being overly focused on achievements and promotions to building lasting friendships and choosing to enjoy the little things in life. Things like rainy days, moments of quiet, giggles and laughter, sunsets, butterfly kisses, “thinking of you” texts, and of course the much appreciated cup of coffee.

For me, spending time with the people I love, giving of myself to help the less fortunate, and spending some much needed time taking care of myself…those are the things that are important. If anything, MS has given my life a greater purpose because it has opened my eyes to seeing the value of life itself.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read them through and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman Trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is that none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

What do you spend your time on? The key thing is to always remember that no matter what happens in life or how bad things may get, surrounding yourself with people who care and love you is what’s important. That’s what gets you through your day.

The people you remember are the ones that made a personal difference in your life. Strive to be that kind of person for others. You won’t be able to change the world, but if you make a difference in just one person’s life…that’s the world to them.

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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. Tracy Elders says:

    I really believe in enjoying what i can do rather than worrying about what i could do before or what i thought the future would hold. I love to dance whenever the opportunity arises and enjoy my family, friends and coffee x

  2. Monique Coles says:

    Funny you would say that,have been invited to an Ms lunch my 1st ever,and also to catch up with an old friend,have decided my future is more important than my past!!

  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    Thank you for your post today. I really needed it. I was feeling like crap yesterday and reading your post made me feel like I was going to be part of the 30%. Reading this today made me realize not every day is bad and I have to look forward to the good days. Thank you for not only being honest about the bad days, but reminding us that there are good days too.

  4. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Feels like you were watching me today… met the most amazing helpful people today, and want to thank them a thousand times over & over again… but guess what happened..?!? They just left, without leaving their names/ adresses, after telling me that it was only the natural thing to do, and that everybody would have done the same. ..
    I know better though, and will forever remember my personal helpers / heroes/ angels… not a religious person myself it ‘s nevertheless these people who make me believe there’s something good to be found in this life!!!

  5. Tracey Santin Beaudry says:

    I would like to get to that stage because right now I’m missing my past and wondering what my future has because it’s not what I was expecting at all. The friends that say they’re there for you whenever you need them are never there when you need them ever there’s always something else and family really doesn’t exist and the family that does has no idea and does not understand it should be the way that it was but it is no longer

    • Brandi Heuring-jones says:

      I too am struggling. I see all the ads for wheelchairs that bring you up in height and they are smiling in the chair. I am not there yet or is it my husband is not. Both I am sure. I was trying to remember just yesterday what it was like to walk normal. I cant!! I do know that I really enjoy sitting back and watching others have fun. I am 41 though and could be an age thing. LOL. I know we are all in this together but I am here and you are there. Talking does help some but again it is back to reality.

    • Tracey Santin Beaudry says:

      Brandi I am 43 and until two years ago I was cycling 62-100 kilometers a day on the weekends running 10k a day skiing all weekend with my family. to me it has nothing to do with age from the time that I turned 35 I was more active and living life with my kids and family than I ever was until this, 2 years ago all of a sudden 1 weekend this started and dragged me down and I’m done. Now that being said I do work out every single morning with weights everyday I still tried to do what I can it’s just so much harder and some days feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck like today

    • Martina Reck says:

      This ist so true. With this illness you have to learn to be on your own. I not just lost my long time boyfriend but also my family. Nobody can understand by daily battle. They rather don’t want to see or talk to me. They may think it’s all my fault…

  6. Katheen Reardon
    Katheen Reardon says:

    Penelope thank you for always posting positive . This sums up me . Love you .

  7. Angela Gagliardi says:

    This is so unbelievably true. My partner and I struggle with this because since being diagnosed I’ve started making that change to trying to enjoy the smaller things in life and finding such appreciation in them…whereas he is more concerned with job money etc. Which I get to but maybe having a chronic illness really does make you see life from a very different perspective.

  8. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    What you said is so true. It is good to be ereminded of this. It is those little moments that are most memorable and really count the most. It is that friend who is there when you need an ear to listen that we should remember as a blessing or one of God’s Angels. I was distraught this weekend. I am now feeling slightly more focused. Thank you . God Bless you Penelope 😇

  9. Maureen Fairhurst
    Maureen Fairhurst says:

    This is exactly my purpose in life now! Penelope, you’ve changed my world by being a part of my support team and friend! I’ve never had anyone I could talk to about my feelings, my day to day life and more importantly, just listening, without judgment! Thank you love <3 <3 <3

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