stressSometimes we get caught up in the things that are going on in our lives and forget how good we’ve got it. I’ve recently taken on new responsibilities at Oghma Creative Media, branching out into editorial duties, and it’s felt a little overwhelming in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited by the possibilities. But, at the same time, I’m a bit apprehensive as to whether or not I can carry out the duties.

Then I read a post by my niece, and it put things in perspective for me.

I’m in reasonably good health for someone who doesn’t take care of himself like he should. I could stand to lose a lot of weight, I’ve got a bum knee, and as I write this, I’ve been fighting an ear infection for almost three weeks. I could really stand to go to a chiropractor but can’t afford it as yet, so I’m having a problem with my right hip (comes from a pinched nerve, I’m sure) as well as a stiff neck and numbness in my fingers when I lay in certain positions at night. And no, it’s not restrictive blood flow because it’ll just be two fingers on the hand, not the entire hand.

I list all these maladies not to get pity or empathy, but as a means of comparison because, in addition to all the normal problems of life, my niece has multiple sclerosis. And yet, she carries on a very active life, doing things I’m not sure I could find the motivation to do. She has three boys, several animals, a partner (though from what I hear he’s very helpful), an active online life that includes multiple blogs, as well as other activities. And yet, you hardly ever hear a peep out of her about her MS. Sometimes she’ll say something about her legs bothering her. Occasionally she’ll complain about headaches, or lack of energy. But she does it in a way that makes it sound like it’s no big deal.

What you don’t hear about are the fears she talks about in the post I linked you to above. She doesn’t talk about how, when her MS is in remission, there’s the unreasonablewhat-people-think-ms (from a logical standpoint, anyway) hope that all the doctors were wrong, that all those years of trying to pin down just what was wrong with her were a bad dream and the diagnosis was in error.

And then the pains start. Or the weakness comes on. And she knows that, no, the diagnosis was not in error, the years of trying to find out why she has those problems were, in fact, real. That the fears the disease is progressing this time are, indeed, something she will have to live with the rest of her life.

Most people (me included, I’m sure) would be inclined to stand outside and shout to the heavens, “Why?!” I’m sure she wants to as well sometimes. But she has a belief system that, I’m also sure, brings her comfort at times like that (I know mine does), and she has a lot of support from caring family and friends. That means a lot.

Reading her post put things in perspective for me. Will I retain it? No. I’m human. I’ll need something sent my way eventually to remind me again. But I pass her post on to you in the hope it will help you as it helped me.

gratitudeBe grateful for what you have. You never know when circumstances will change and there’ll be no turning back.



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