A senior woman sits in her house and gazes out the window

Doing My Best for a Living

When meeting someone for the first time or seeing someone after many years, it's natural to ask questions to become acquainted or reacquainted. Areas of interest may revolve around family, hobbies, or in the case of reacquainting, just a plain old catch-up session of what's been happening in their life during the missed time.

What do you do for a living?

The one question sure to be asked is, "So what do you do for a living?" And the response will undoubtedly be an occupation that is needed to make society whole. Perhaps they're a nurse, teacher, police officer, homemaker, skilled laborer, truck driver, business owner, corrections officer, journalist, retail worker, realtor...the list could go on. They may have even had more than one occupation or career. However, there's one answer one wouldn't expect, yet it's as important as any other.

My career journey

It was important that every job that I have done for a living was fulfilling for me - and they were. I wanted to be of service to others, and use my good judgment, critical thinking skills, and creativity to problem-solve and create healthy, professional environments for co-workers, clients, and customers alike.

Initially, I made my living as a customer service professional. Working with people and providing stellar service and assistance has always been my 'thing'. I made the decision to move my skills in a bit of a different direction and became a Leasing Agent/Community Manager. I loved what I was doing, but unfortunately, the hours weren't conducive to raising a young family, which prompted a change. At that point, I became an Administrative Secretary/Office Manager. I absolutely adored my job and just knew this would be my 'last stop' until retirement. However, I didn't realize just how impactful that thought would be, nor that it would come so soon.

Working while living with MS

I was diagnosed with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 2007. After 10 years or so, my symptoms increased and my functionality began to decrease. It came to the point where I had to medically retire and begin life on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I refused to live life twiddling my thumbs, so I used my love of writing and started freelance writing. I am also writing (and have nearly completed) my memoir. That is fulfilling to me.

I have now transitioned into the secondary progressive stage of MS. That occurred approximately five years ago. I am sedentary and without good use of my fine and gross motor skills, amongst a host of other perils and challenges.

I'm doing my best

This journey is indeed a difficult one. One consisting of being primarily homebound, requiring the use of home health aides, being dependent on the most basic needs, and striving daily to overcome and not succumb to the emotional struggle of this unsolicited life. My world still requires creativity, sound judgment, and critical thinking to stay in the game. With that said, at this juncture, if I were asked what I do for a living, I would proudly tell them "my best." My best - the one answer one wouldn't expect, yet it's as important as any other.

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