The Good Stuff
There are days when I'll suddenly stop and realize how good I truly feel. I may be exhausted to the core, and I know I need to rest, but I feel too good to stop. Dare I even say I feel great? These days or moments, I want to soak it all up and hope the feeling never fades.
Reflecting on our summer
Moments like that make me sit and reflect on how there have been some tough times this summer. Money has been tighter for our family than we would like. Summer has rushed past, and I'm racing for time, trying to get everything done before school starts for my kids. The kids are in desperate need of routine, which causes mood swings and misery. I can see the need they have for the structure school provides, yet I'm sad that our summer fun is now memories, and another year is beginning. I've been sick with both COVID and strep this summer, so everything seems more complicated now.
Focusing on the good things while living with MS
Yet, despite all the stress, I can still reflect on this summer and know I've also done some things and made memories that have made me proud.
I taught myself things this summer. I taught myself to properly hang a picture on the wall without anyone's help. I retaught myself how to sew. One day I even taught myself how to take down and put back up the blinds. And, after 6 years of being in our home, I finally bit the bullet and bought curtains, which gave our house a more "homey" feel. It's incredible what an upgrade such a simple thing can give your home!
We went on the best family vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains and wandered through the beauty of Tennessee. I witnessed my son and the triplets go to their first big amusement park and make many new memories. There were a lot of days with way too much screen time and not enough activities, but I thoroughly enjoyed those days of watching my kids interact, watch shows together, and learn new things.
Balancing the positive and negative
When I look back on this summer, I don't see all the hard days that had me begging for a moment of solitude. Even on the days that felt the longest, and the worst, there was still good. Instead of focusing on the bad, I see all we were blessed to do. I see the time we had together.
When I focus on all the bad, I forget the reminders that I was also productive, even if it wasn't as much as I had hoped. I forget the memories that will last a lifetime, the good and the bad. The kind of memories you look back on and laugh at and wish you could only go back in time. There's a perfect line between too optimistic and too pessimistic. I try to be somewhere in the middle. Sometimes it feels like I take 1 step forward just to take 3 steps back. The ratio is different for everyone. What does it look/feel like for you?
What my MS has taught me
My MS journey has taught me that I genuinely relish the days I feel great. Yet, I do so with caution. As odd as it may sound, I'm almost thankful I don't feel great all the time because if I did, I would forget to soak in all the little moments. I would forget how precious and dear time is. How if I don't have several hundred rainy days a year, would I truly be able to soak up the sunshine?
Life has taught me many things, but I'm most grateful that it has taught me this; life is unpredictable, and some days are downright miserable, but those great days? Those great days are when I think back on all the good stuff. Even on the worst days, the good stuff can still radiate through trials and pain. It's the good stuff that keeps us thankful for another day.
The good stuff is what it's all about
We remember the bad stuff, sure, but the good stuff sticks the most. It reminds me of the Kenny Chesney song, ironically named, The Good Stuff. So as good ol' Kenny says:
"And drink it up
'Cause that's the good stuff
The good stuff."
Would it have been helpful to hear from others and their experiences when you were beginning your MS journey?
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