accentuate the positive

 

Okay, upon reflection of yesterday, I was in a pretty low place, so I figured I should probably add a little fun and lightness to the atmosphere before the blog is overcome & bogged down by sadness.  Urgh.  (Have you ever listened to the newest Caberet soundtrack?  Alan Cumming does this amazing ‘urgh’ sound ~ that’s what’s in my head!).

Couple positives ~ despite having to drastically cut back my wine consumption, the man and I got an awesome dual zone, eighteen bottle fridge yesterday.  So excited about it (even if his car accessories still haven’t arrived!).

And we made a decadent, yet gluten-free meal for dinner ~ almost as indulgent as Micky Dee’s (my ‘feel bad’ favorite) but so much better for us!  Nachos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We used:

Gluten free corn chips (sea salt flavored!)

Fresh tomatoes, diced

Fresh basil (did I mention the man built me a little herb garden?)

Black beans

Grated white cheddar

Wild ground antelope

Seriously, we thought we were going to run out, and we had loads extra.  So good.  So things aren’t that bad I guess.  It’s all just about learning, pacing myself and knowing when to step back, take a breath and enjoy the ride.

hard truths

Where to start ….

Here’s the thing.  I know what i want to say.  I just don’t quite know how to get there from nothing.   Ultimate challenge, eh?

So, truth.  After all the sympathy and the positive thoughts, at the bottom of it all lurks the cold, hard truth.  You don’t have MS.  You aren’t struggling.  My mother said this to me matter-of-factly, as she has been dealing with it as well in her own situation.  She may have even laughed dryly and then said with total clarity, “You know Mousie, everyone says they are so sorry ~ but their gut reaction is relief.  And wouldn’t yours be?”  A thoughtful pause.  “It would be. I would be relieved it wasn’t happening to me.”

Aye, there’s the rub.

Listen, she’s right.  In the past, when I’ve heard about other people’s trouble I’ve felt terrible, but also secretly glad that I got to go home and forget all about it.  And I know that as I struggle through all these changes no one is sitting at home worrying about me.  Life moves on, there are things to see, to do, to experience.  Heck, I have so much exciting stuff going on I don’t even want to have to deal with all the baggage.  Unfortunately, here I am.

It’s humbling, all the things I’m learning as I work through my very first *official* flare.  I’ve had good moments, a lot of bad ones, and I’ve been horribly tired (hence the silence on here).  I wonder how many others are out there, dealing like I am, figuring out how to navigate this stuff.  It’s not easy.  And any idea I had of just sort of brushing over MS is gone.  No one could ignore this stuff.  I mean, wrap your head around being 33 and barely able to see, walk straight or tie your shoes?  If it wasn’t real, it would be sort of hilarious.  It still kind of is.

So I thought today I would reflect on the things keeping me sane, keeping me smiling through this.

I met a man with MS who was so kind, smart, and utterly sympathetic on Sunday, and he has agreed to talk to me and help me in any way he can. It’s amazing how generous people are ~ especially when they truly understand and care.

MS has given me perspective on life ~ I just don’t have time for the crap anymore.  I want to be happy, to enjoy the good things, to laugh with my love, snuggle with my puppy, enjoy good books and movies and time with family and beautiful vistas and trips ….  It’s amazing what life has to offer you when you are willing to look past the daily humdrum stuff.

I am obsessed with audible.com.  I love getting in the car and disappearing inside a good book ~no stressful vision required.  I’m completely addicted and cannot rave enough about how amazing the written word is ~ I remember my mum reading aloud to Dave and I as we grew up, and she gave us such a precious gift.  I am forever grateful.

People are incredibly generous.  Seriously.  We were just given amazing news from our landlords ~ they are building us an outdoor patio area and mostly, we just asked.  So often we defeat ourselves before even giving things a try.  I love being surprised in the best possible way.  I can’t wait to enjoy being outside with Lucy and the man and enjoying our gorgeous garden from our friends/landlords.

I am overwhelmed by my boss and his huge heart.  Work isn’t always easy, and it can be stressful and crazy.  But it’s exciting and fun and ever-changing, and my boss has been flexible as I’ve faced my obstacles and been nothing but supportive.  He will probably never read this, but I couldn’t ask for a better leader, owner and friend.  He has been incredible through all this, and I am eternally grateful.

And finally, to the man.  I would be lost without you ~ with you, I am not alone, or scared, or overwhelmed.  You make life all that it is.  I cannot wait to promise forever to you, and I am so glad that you will be there to walk by my side and be my best friend, confidante and love for the rest of my life & into eternity.  Thank you for getting me through this.  I promise it will get easier.

Everyone has ups and downs ~ that’s a universal truth.  And not one of us knows what it’s like to walk in someone else’s moccasins.  My path has been tough recently, but I am clinging to the faith that things will get easier, I will get better and as I do so, I will learn more about how to deal with my moccasins.

Today, they’re pretty okay.  I’m hoping that means I’m in the home stretch to feeling better.

 

 

 

in the good times, and the bad

This evening, Lucy and I are on our own.  And that’s okay, because the man is pursuing a dream, and I get pretty excited when I think about that.  So here us girls are, finally curled up on the couch, watching all my DVR’d episodes of “Dallas” (yup, I will openly admit it ~ complete guilty pleasure!).

I’ve had a lot on my mind the last few days, but I’m not sure any of them are good blog posts.  I took a bunch of pictures of the lunches I prepared for the man and I this week but I didn’t cook anything new or exciting ~ just clean food so we ate a good mid-day meal.  Then, I thought about blogging about yoga, but I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot lately.  So I’m sort of back at square one ~ yammering along as has become my recent trend.

Right now life is a whirlwind of wedding prep (59 days! wha?!?), new routines and work.  When we look back at the nearly four years we have been living together, we are amazed at how far we’ve come, and the life we have built together.  It’s exciting to be able to celebrate our fifth anniversary with our wedding, and be able to look back at the positive growth that has occurred.

We’ve worked really hard.

When we first got together we made a pact.  We worked in restaurants, and our hours were crazy.  It meant never really seeing each other and never having the ability to spend quality time with our families.  We wanted normalcy, a routine.   We were together a year before finding our current home, and when we did, we both worked Monday through Friday jobs, leaving our nights and weekends free.

Now, four years later, I am pretty proud to say that we both have great jobs, and have been really successful in them.  We’ve expanded our family by adding our furry love, Lucy Lou, we’ve rearranged and redesigned each room in our apartment, upgraded things.  I feel like a real grown-up!  I mean, seriously, I make lunches for us for the week.  And blend green smoothies every morning packed with veggies.  Grown-ups do that kind of thing.  When did this happen?

But at the root of all of it ~especially in light of the absurd amount of drama our wedding has stirred up (on both sides) ~ it all comes down to one thing.  And I didn’t realize it at first, but I do now.

For the first time since I was eighteen, I am okay with who I am.  I’m pretty weird (or, to be politically correct, unique) and I’m okay with that.  I feel confident enough to say I know who I am, I know what I want, I know what’s important to me, I’m good at what I do and all of that is okay.  In fact, it’s better than okay.  It’s a relief.  I think it’s easy to lose yourself, it’s easy to believe you are less than what you are, fall into a pit of despair, focus on negativity, eat crappy food … all that stuff.  It’s a lot harder to stand tall and be proud of who you are, blemishes, eccentricities and all.

I spent years apologizing for old mistakes, worrying myself to death about how to prove myself (to people who weren’t really interested in knowing me anyway), attempting to prove people’s assumptions about me wrong.  And guess what?  Who cares about those people ~ those judgers and doubters and nay-sayers.  They weren’t looking to help me succeed anyway ~ they were condemning me, and pointing it out to boot.

What I’ve learned ~ where I’ve arrived after the absolutely real, completely shit year I’ve ploughed through ~ is that I didn’t need them anyway.  In the darkest moments, the people who had always been there were there again.  They were the strength and encouragement and positive force I needed.  There are a hell of a lot of truths revealed in the tough times (a person’s character is revealed, as one of my favorite quotes reads).

I also think with age, a person is better able to look at others and say, with a smile,” I just don’t care what you say anymore.  I’m taking my own power back.”  I’ve learned a lot of lessons in 2013 ~ bad news can help you make positive changes, my mum is a super hero, sticking with something through the hard times can actually pay off, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need … my list is actually pretty long.

So to wrap up yet another ramble ~ I like me.  And experiencing that moment changes life.  I wish that everyone gets to that realization and feels as liberated as I did.  It’s nice to be comfy in one’s own skin and know the real truth of one of the best sayings ever.

You can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time. 

It’s better to be able to sleep at night knowing you’ve lived your life in conjunction with who you are and what you value.  Much better.