Today is New Year’s Day. A day typically dedicated to reflection and statements of intentions. Every New Year for the past 3 years, I have made New Year’s resolutions. These have all revolved around my health and improving its state of deterioration, which had begun to speed up between 2008 and 2010. Each year, I felt more determined than the previous to work harder at finding out what was wrong with me, how to fix it, and go about doing so. And at the conclusion of each year, I was left feeling varying levels of failure because of these resolutions. (Although, 2013 has probably revealed a lot more potential than other years, even if it has been one of the worst for my body.) So this year, as 2013 began to wrap up, and 2014 loomed closer, I decided to not make a resolution. I felt I did not want the self imposed pressure, when I already know that I am doing my best to improve my health. More specifically, I didn’t want that added feeling of failure when reflecting on previous resolutions, when my health battles are frustrating enough.
However, on the day of New Year’s Eve, as I read people’s statements, and listened to them explore their purpose and decisions, I began to think that maybe I do need a New Year’s Resolution. After all, it is but a goal, and I constantly have small, medium and large goals in my life, which all of you with chronic health problems will understand too well. So after mulling over what I need to improve or appreciate or stop doing or start doing, I came to this conclusion. In 2014, I will just be.
I am constantly over thinking things in my head, partly due to having too much time to over think, partly due to the frustrating dead-end feeling that comes with chronic illness. I find myself unnecessarily worrying, or unnecessarily being frustrated or saddened by some one’s actions, or building something up and then being unnecessarily disappointed when it doesn’t happen that way. Chronic illnesses takes what you thought was normal, and throws it up in the air and causes it to land in a million different directions and angles. I have said it before and I will say it again; we need to allow ourselves to step out from the dark cloud that chronic illness is, and enjoy what we do have. Live in the moment. We don’t get to do this “life” thing twice (as far as we know!), and it seems ridiculous to let it slip past us, while we let illness tarnish our thoughts, alter our plans and change our happiness. Obviously, chronic illness comes in all shapes and sizes, and inevitably our thoughts, plans and happiness will be effected. Also, chronic illness requires determination, motivation, strength and perseverance to battle, so I am not saying we can just sit back and hope all will go the way we would like.
However, somehow, in the blur of pain, confusion, frustration, and sickness, we need to find a way to see the good in a moment, not just the discomfort. In 2014, I need to, we need to, just be.
Happy New Year!