money on the ground

Something is missing

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.

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.

17 replies
  1. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Why do people think l am Drunk or a drug addict because l have days when l Shake and loose my balance , l get the same effect as a bottle of wine if l stand up to quickly and it costs me nothing 😃😡

  2. Della Smalley says:

    You lose more than money,u lose friends. Because they don’t understand the MS n alot of times im in bad or afraid to go out shopping because at times my leg’s just give out.

  3. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks for reminding me Penelope. The MS has taken some of my passion and buried it somewhere.Now I find it har to get passionate about much, which is a little annoying. I on’t really know what will happen next so I’ll just have to wait an see.
    Hey I got my cataracts removed last week and I can see a lot clearer out of my left eye. Now the other eye looks sick again. This has nothing to do with MS so it can be fixed easily.
    It must be nice to have $20 to lose. I’ve almost forgotten what that feels like.

  4. Ethel Himel says:

    Yes I loose things too and forget to finish doing my task and the pain and dizziness and not being able to move well and blurred vision but if I loose a friend because of MS then they really was not a true friend

  5. Kathy Buys says:

    I would never eye roll, speak ugly about or criticize someone’s loss due to an illness or disease process. It is cruel, it’s not by choice yet I’ve seen & heard it from people I never expected to be so mean spirited.

  6. Judy
    Judy says:

    So well said, Penelope! We have to just be with what is. Crying and screamiing may be a good and necessary release. However, it’s not going to make ms go away. Breath and accept the pain, ’cause it’s there.

  7. Kathy Buys says:

    Some day I hope to find these things b/c I think most of the losses are here in the house. It’s so frustrating, & you continue to look for days. Then come the eye rolls, seriously do you think that’s a desired conversation? If I didn’t need to know- I wouldn’t ask. Where is the kindness to one another?

  8. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Needed to hear this! It not only addresses MS but, the loses I’m going through. You are a true blessing!

  9. Jason Rogowski
    Jason Rogowski says:

    Took me awhile, but no I’m @ peace with this “new” life.

    Stay strong.
    Stay positive.

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