Seasons Greetings, MS: Blessed to Enjoy Another Holiday

There are some people that are just 'over' the holidays. The pandemic and its risks in addition to the recent surges and variants, emotional unrest relative to whether or not to host or partake in holiday gatherings, the impact of being overwhelmed by the stress, the hustle and bustle of the season are all examples of why this time of year may not be so jolly for some. Whether stricken with a chronic disease or not.

Holidays with MS

I get why some may not be feeling the excitement the season should bring. I, too, have to be careful with exposure to the virus or, as much as, if not more than some. I have a chronic disease, multiple sclerosis, that has created a plethora of limitations for me. I also have to try to not allow the stress and pressures of this time of year to overwhelm me, as it could have severe consequences relative to my MS. I have worries and concerns beyond the above because life happens. I just couldn't allow anything to steal my joy.

Adjusting plans as we go

It's important to identify what I want to do, figure out how or if I can make it happen, and it helps to remember the words "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." (An excerpt from the Serenity Prayer).

There were a few things I knew my children wanted and/or that I wanted them to have, but I couldn't get out physically to shop so I did so online. I wanted to put together holiday treats for my family and friends. I was able to get those items online also. I am unable to wrap gifts and keep things together so I was happy to accept the willing assistance of my current and former aides to pull it all together. I desired to visit my parents' home for Christmas, but it was not practical to rent a wheelchair-accessible van. Instead, I spent the day with them on Christmas Eve by utilizing our state's Paratransit and we had a delightful visit.

What I'm grateful for this year

Christmas day was enjoyed at home with my J's and our Bailee, eating a delicious meal my daughter prepared and a few pop-ins from my sisters and their families. Adding to my happiness was when my church asked me to write a short skit to be performed at the Christmas Eve program at church based on the theme 'Jesus is the reason for the season' - which is another...in fact, the primary reason...that this holiday brings me such joy and gratitude beyond gifts and fellowship. I was happy to oblige and wrote Holiday Bingo Game Night. The concept was that it isn't about winning prizes or the commercial side of Christmas, but rather what the true meaning of the season is truly about. I watched the performance via Zoom and the cast did an amazing job of bringing what I'd written to life!

It was a blessing to celebrate, see, revel in and appreciate another holiday season in spite of everything going on during the pandemic and its effects, and in my MS world.

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