I was out shopping the other day and lost a $20 bill. I know I had it in my pocket, the same pocket my keys were in, but it must have fallen out as I reached in to get my keys. I don’t use a purse much anymore only because carrying it around is too cumbersome, but it would have been a great day to be carrying one.
I know where and when I lost it, but it’s interesting that the people standing around didn’t see it, or if they did, they chose not to say anything. I have noticed more and more these days that people are lacking integrity. They’d be more apt to pocket it themselves then to say something. I’ve always been the opposite. Even if I get too much change at the store, I will give back the extra. You don’t see much of that kind of integrity these days. Not that it doesn’t happen, just it’s not the norm…and that’s sad.
I shrugged it off and said to myself, “I hope the person that picked it up uses it for good and that it helps others in the process.” Even a loss can be turned into something good if you let it. That was my choice. I could have chosen to get angry and fume about it for hours…but that wouldn’t put $20 back into my pocket. It would only make me miserable, as well as those around me, so why even go there?
As I was driving home I thought about how that lost $20 bill is much like our lives with MS. Life is going well—yes we have our daily troubles and problems, but nothing that can’t be overcome—our pockets are filled with good health and future goals, then something happens as we reach in to get our keys. Sometimes, we don’t realize anything is missing until we are down the road a ways, but as soon as we notice, we begin searching everywhere. We look in our other pockets, under the seat of the car, on the ground, in our hands and even go home to see if maybe, just maybe, we left it on the kitchen counter.
For some of us that search is long and heart wrenching. For others it’s a simple “Oh well, life goes on” thought. But regardless of your response…something is missing that can’t be easily replaced. You have to learn to shift your priorities and even change the course of your life. It’s not an easy transition. The hardest thing of all about a life with MS is that the transition is continual, and for many of us, the changes happen so unexpectedly and sudden that it’s almost as if we keep losing $20 bills on a daily basis. That’s a difficult place to be.
MS is a disease where you lose things…you lose myelin but in the process you lose the ability to do the things you love, need and used to do without even thinking. You can let those losses make you angry and bitter, but you have to realize that no amount of yelling, screaming, cursing or hate is going to put your health back into your pocket.
This is how I look at it. I see that I have a disease that’s unpredictable, I see that I’m more limited than I was before and that I have to change my life accordingly, but I also see that I’m capable of so much more in life. There are new things to learn and new ways of doing things. We should never stop learning and NEVER stop trying.
If the one thing you were good at is no longer possible, then find something new to be good at. We learn skills over time. You weren’t good at something just because you tried it once. No, you spent time and years perfecting your skills. Stop thinking about what used to be. Find a new passion to focus on and learn to be the best you can be at it. When you do, you will find your pockets filling up. Maybe not with perfect health…but with contentment and peace. I would take that over health any day.