Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wondering What the New Year Holds in Store for You?

Welcome to another Question of the Week.

A new year seems like a pretty good time to contemplate what is going to happen over the next 366 days (err, make that 363.)

Let's face it; we all want good things to happen to us.  I know for a fact that some good things will happen in 2012.  I also know some not-so-good things will happen too.  But I chose to focus on the good things because it's the good things in life that help me get through the not-so-pleasant stuff that shows up uninvited on my doorstep.  

But if you are thinking about the new year and saying to yourself, 'It's just going to be the same thing, day-in and day-out, like it was last year.' well, that's not going to fly with me.  If you don't think anything good will happen to you this year, I'm going to challenge you to think otherwise.

Yes, there are things we can control and things we cannot control.  And it sure seems like it's the unpleasant circumstances not within our control that grab hold of our attention and won't let go.  It is all too easy to get demoralized, depressed and worn down by the stuff we can't do a darn thing about.  I completely understand if this is where you are at, because I have been there too and it sucks.

Here is the thing.  If you spend your time trying to fix the things that are unfixable, you are going to be a very unhappy camper.  On the other hand, if you switch your focus onto the things you can control, you will start to feeling better about yourself and your life.  Nothing is more empowering than reclaiming your potential and doing everything you can do to better your situation in life in spite of your health problems. I promise!

To get you started, let's assume for a moment that the Mayan prophecy is true and the world is going to come to an end on December 21, 2012.  If you truly believed this, what would you want to do between now and then?  Hint, hint!  Maybe it's that something fun and life-affirming you've been holding off on because you have been waiting until your feel better...

Me?  I want to go on a vacation with my husband, somewhere pleasurable, where we can take a leave of absence from the daily grind and just enjoy ourselves and each other.  A couple of places come to mind as I think about this, but the one place I know we can both agreed upon is Las Vegas.

Now because I live with multiple chronic illnesses, going on vacation takes a lot of planning and preparation.  I start with a Special Event worksheet.  It helps me start thinking about all the extra things I need to do before, during and after any event that will ensure I can participate without causing a huge flare-up of my symptoms. It also gets me thinking about modifying how I do things given my health challenges.

Chronic illness does impose limits and restrictions on how I do things, but it can't stop me from doing the things I want to do.  It is a lot of work, but it is so worth it when I am able to do something fun AND really enjoy it despite my chronic illnesses.  Plus having something fun to look forward to really helps get me through the sucky stuff in my life.

So what about you?  What does the new year hold in store for you?  What can you take charge of in your life that will help you feel better about yourself and your life?  What is something fun and life-affirming that would bring you more laughter and joy in 2012?

I'd love to hear from you, even if you are struggling with this challenge.  Perhaps, together, we can engage in some problem-solving and come up with a plan of action that lets you do something you didn't think possible because of your chronic illness.  So please leave a comment here or over at the OMA&P! Facebook page.

If you are really stuck, feel free to contact me via email.  I'd love to take this conversation further if you are willing to be featured in a future post here at OMA&P!.

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1 comment

Jennifer said...

This feature is such a great idea, I mean lets face it.. not been well gives you nothing to look forward to. Only absolute bleakness. knowing how to have some contol over the new year (in which ever way that my be) will give some positivity to the future.. its just gaining something. Mine - this year will be that exactly knowing to control the things I can and put them in place of the ones I can't and try not to feel guilty about the ones I can't. Because that my friends in it's self grinds the hell away from you if you let it. Jennifer x