Will you have a good day with bad moments or a bad day with good ones?

A mosquito woke me up this morning. Do you know how annoying it is to have something you can’t see buzzing around your ears? Bzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzz. I swatted at the air a few times to distract it and make it go away, but each time I did, it just came back again. I’m sure I will find a welt or two somewhere on my arms or neck later on from its bite. Just thinking about it is making me itch.

For the record, since I was a kid mosquito’s have had this weird attraction to me. I have no idea why. I can be in a room full of people wearing tank tops and shorts and I will be the one every mosquito in town comes to have a meal with. I guess I’m just that lovable.

I told someone once that multiple sclerosis is a lot like a mosquito. Think about it…like the mosquito, MS is crazy annoying. You don’t see it as it buzzes about and it won’t go away no matter how much you swat at it. You don’t see its bite as myelin starts to be chewed away, but you sure feel the effects later. Oh, and in a room full of people, you happen to be the lucky one it was attracted to. What a glorious day…NOT!

Who would have guessed we would be such lovable people? I’d rather punch MS in the face than have it bite me again, but I have yet to get it to sit still long enough to knock it out. I think I’ve wounded it a few times, and for that I’m thankful.

This is my life. It’s filled with difficulties, pain, falls, and brain fog moments. It is accompanied by wheelchairs, walking canes, leg braces and urine bags. I wish I could trade it all in for something else, but I can’t…so I live on.

Although life can be hard, it has many beautiful moments mixed in which makes everything worth fighting for. I’ve noticed that you can’t get rid of all the bad things around you in order to just keep the good. There will always be weeds in a beautiful garden, a rotten grape on a fresh picked cluster from the vine and dirt on your shoes.

Good and bad always go together, but from where I sit the bad makes the good so much more beautiful. I appreciate life more now than I did before MS. I value the small things and don’t take the simple pleasures in life for granted any more.

Sure, times are tough and I still cry a lot. I actually broke down in tears this morning while taking a shower, but when I was through, I took a deep breath and dried my tears. That little bit of crying did wonders for my day. It seems it leaked out the pressures in life that had been building up.

I can’t promise you that multiple sclerosis is going away any time soon, but I can promise that you won’t be alone in the fight and that there is something beautiful in the ugliness of life.

Will you have a good day with bad moments or a bad day with good ones? It’s all a matter of perspective.

Zebra Question
by Shel Silverstein

I asked the zebra
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Or you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra
About stripes
Again.

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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.

15 replies
  1. Carol Shinn says:

    Dear Penelope… you are so wise, articulate and also somehow you even manage to be humerous . All this …and somehow managing to connect with others who are fighting the same battle . I love your words of wisdom and they truly do help me and I’m certain, many others. Thank you for your wonderful words … perhaps one day you could write a book … you certainly know how to inspire✨

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I liked the zebra dialog it fits somewhere in everyone’s life. Perspective is sometimes hard to see but when put into place makes hard times easy.

  3. Deborah Mills
    Deborah Mills says:

    I so agree.
    I have had ms for 35 years more than 1/2
    My life. I wake up every morning thankful that I do
    I have had 2 kids and have a wonderful supportive husband.
    Life is good despite MS
    Don’t get me wrong I have had some bad times but it is just easier for me to focus on the good on my life.

  4. Riet Kooiker says:

    Paula , you are so positive, and strong , I no ,or I think I no , what you are going true , and what. Is lying ahead, please keep on smiling ,fulfill your ideas of keeping strong ,we love you so much ,and stand by you, xx

  5. Craig Stroedecke says:

    I try to wake up every day positive… That is the only thing you can do when you have a chronic illness… I try to look at it as there is always somebody out there who has it worse than me…
    I then began the day by taking care of my dogs and cats… Getting my wife’s stuff together before she goes to work… then I spend one hour doing Tai chi everyday… This is my goal for every morning …. Now not everyday is cooperative like that… I have days where everything I have stated, just don’t happen… Since creating a daily routine… I tend to have more good days than bad… The older I get, and the longer I have had MS I notice things around me, including myself have slowed down… but I’ll be darned if I let Multiple Sclerosis rule my life 24/7/365..!

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