Happy Different, But Doable Holidays
As the holidays are quickly embarking upon us, I find myself hovering in unfamiliar territory – not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I am really a lover of holidays (and birthdays – particularly mine and my children’s). And I love the festivities, traditions, fun, and fellowship that are correlated with them. I am just fighting to feel the 'hype,’ if you will, compared to years past.
Personal and global challenges this year
It’s certainly not that I am not happy to see special days; it’s just different. When the holiday falls smack dab in the throes of a pandemic, when our new verbiage consists of phrases such as "social distancing," "flatten the curve," "remote or hybrid learning." When we are bound to wear facial coverings and gloves and require disinfectant and hand sanitizer because our lives depend on it all – literally. Not overlooking any personal occurrences I encountered this year like my fall resulting in a broken foot or the MS flare that followed and all of the circumstances which surrounded each incident.
We were able to adapt during Thanksgiving
2020 came in roaring and never really quieted, but I can be resilient. For instance, it was certainly a new look for Thanksgiving 2020. We didn’t gather physically with immediate family, but each nuclear family/household joined one another for a bit of immediate family togetherness via Zoom – which was actually quite fun. And instead of my mother preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal for our whole family, my daughter cooked for me, herself, and her brother – and did a phenomenal job! Different, but doable.
Finding joy despite the stress and anxiety of 2020
I'm not willing to let global nor personal circumstances steal my joy. First of all, my faith tells me that Jesus is the reason for the season and nothing can change that. Secondly, I still have a wishlist, albeit some things may be a wee bit different. Here's an excerpt of my 'all I want for Christmas' list:
- A world free of MS thanks to a cure for multiple sclerosis (and any other incurable diseases)
- A world free of COVID-19 thanks to an effective, safe, trustworthy vaccine
- An unlimited gathering of family and friends with no restrictions, P.P.E., or health concerns
- An MS symptom-free day, week, month, year - forever!
- A wheelchair accessible van
- Bath and Body Works (of course!)
Christmas will be spent like Thanksgiving. It will be me, my J's (my children), and my dog Bailee. We will open gifts, eat, lounge, enjoy one another, and still look forward to the day we can reconvene to traditional, physical fellowship with our family. It will undoubtedly be different, but doable.
Happy New Year!
I don't know what 2021 has in store. Personally, I've seen changes in my MS. Not changes to be celebrated either. That fact does nothing for my 'holiday hype,' but it's okay. I am marching into 2021 with a blind faith. I'm taking determination, optimism, and hope with me along with two powerful messages:
- My personal mantra: I will overcome and not succumb
- The Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference"
I plan to fight to keep my hype, my functionality - no matter how limited - my joy and positivity. New year, new possibilities. Some things the same, some different...but doable.
I wish for each of you festive spirits and a safe, happy holiday season filled with good cheer! ?
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?