Be the best you that you can be

Have you ever made it through your day when suddenly the thought hits you, “What did I do today?” Then as you contemplated the answer, you realized you don’t actually remember what occupied your time. You even have periods of the day you lost either due to naps, periods of brain fog, or MS moments.

Those kinds of losses, or should I say feelings of defeat, have a tendency to weigh heavy on a person’s thoughts and can even cause you to feel less of a person or useless. After all, you know how much time it should take you to shower and prepare for your day, but even something as simple as that has become difficult to manage. Your meaning of accomplishment has changed over the years from scaling a mountain, to climbing a flight of stairs, to walking ten steps, to getting out of bed.

But no matter what you are able to get done today—whether it’s running a marathon, walking to the mailbox, or making sure the couch doesn’t get lonely—as long as you do the best you can in all that you do…that’s what matters. Your best will be different than mine and may be different than your best was last year, last month or even yesterday.

You can’t spend your day muddling through regrets, weighty thoughts and unnecessary worries. You’ve heard the phrase seize the day? Well, this is your day to seize. Take ahold of today and make it yours. Shake off everything that is keeping you from simply being your best and actually living. Shake off those feelings of doubt, defeat, and disappointments.

You are not a burden because your best requires help from others, and you are not a failure because it takes you longer to finish just about everything you do. Just do your best and don’t allow your mind to wander thinking about what could-a, should-a, would-a been. Today may not be your best day, just don’t let that keep you from being your best in it.

island

Sometimes I wish I could just run away

Life isn’t fair. It’s tough and filled with plenty of bad things. I go through periods of time when I simply want to get away from it all…no distractions, no phone calls, no text messages, no people, no MS, no anything. It’s at those times when I will curl up in my comfy overstuffed chair, turn my phone off and do absolutely nothing.

I know it seems impossible to be able to do nothing because even doing nothing is doing something, but somehow I manage to do it. Wait a minute, maybe I really am doing something when I think I’m doing nothing but since my brain scatters my thoughts I forget the something I was doing which turns it into nothing. Now there’s a thought to ponder.

When I step away from the mess that is overtaking my life into a place of solitude, I come back better focused and able to get things done. Sometimes it’s takes just 5 minutes of being away to regroup my thoughts. Other times it’s more like 30 minutes, an hour or even a day. But that pause does something magical and helps me to tackle even the hardest of tasks.

I can remember the times when my workload would become intense at my job. The pressure, the stress…it would become overwhelming. When that happened, I would walk away from my desk and lock myself in a bathroom stall down the hall from my office to just pause and breathe. That was the only place I knew I could truly be alone and get away from everyone and everything. Somehow time stood still for me in the bathroom. Other times I would just go for a walk around the building or to the kitchen to get a fresh cup of coffee. Anything to get away momentarily so I could better focus.

I know that sounds weird to some people, but short breaks like that really help. We all need a place where we can get away from the craziness in life in order to simply breathe. The bathroom may not be the place you choose. For you it may be a moment of solitude in your car, or out taking a walk through the mall, or hiding in your bedroom closet under stacks and stacks of laundry…but regardless of where it is, it’s important to take that time.

It would be amazing to be able to take a vacation to some remote island anytime you needed a break, but that kind of thing just doesn’t happen so you have to create your own island of escape right where you are. Today my island is my alone time on the couch as I think about spring time, butterflies and picking fresh flowers. Something other than MS, medical bills and my to-do list.

Don’t feel guilty stepping away to take a pause. Take the time you need even if that means telling someone “no.” Take charge of your day…only make sure you always keep an island close by. A cool breeze, amazing view and some drinks with umbrellas wouldn’t hurt either.

It’s a new year

It’s a new year, a new day, I have a fresh cup of coffee…same ole body.  Hmm, that didn’t go as planned.  I guess you can’t have everything you wish for. I tried wishing for a million dollars too but that didn’t work out for me either. I still have the same bills, house payments, piles of dirty laundry and dishes to clean.

I think the new and the old have run into each other and crashed into a pile on my bedroom floor. It even tried pulling me down there the other day. That accounts for the twisted ankle and bruised knee I now have.

I know it’s not easy to find the good around you when the tears come so easy, but there is good out there. Being diagnosed with MS isn’t the end of the world so don’t let it ruin your year before it even gets started. There is a light shining through the darkness. And no, it’s not the light of a train barreling down the tracks heading in your direction. It’s hope.

Regardless of everything happening in your world and the weakness you feel in your body, choose to go into today filled with hope. Hope is the very thing that will get you through the struggle and keep you going when everything else around you appears to be falling apart. Hope that in spite of multiple sclerosis you will accomplish great things this year.

I hope for a cure.
I hope for strength.
I hope for less pain.
I hope for laughter.
I hope for understanding.
I hope for pancakes, lots of coffee, and chocolate…definitely chocolate.

Out of everything I could hope for, most of all…I hope for hope.