Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Playing the Cards I'm Dealt

I love the emotional and intellectual sides of aging.  With each decade, I grow more certain about who I am, what matters to me, and where my strengths lie. I worry less about pleasing others and more about doing what’s right for my physical and mental health.  Without Multiple Sclerosis, I likely would have enjoyed this aspect of aging, but I believe having MS accelerated my drive to live a life I love and feel good about myself. 


I thought some things were non-negotiable while I was pre-diagnosis and in peak physical health.  Post MS diagnosis, those same things were reconsidered and proved to be negotiable. With diagnosis, my body’s confusing aspects had an explanation, and I could no longer dismiss them when they appeared.  Work and the expectations people placed on me were no longer the highest priorities. Rest, sleep and personal fulfillment earned positions of power that would affect choices and influence decisions.  For me, this was helpful and necessary.    


There’s a wisdom that developed slowly and was hard earned with each revelation. It continues to constantly evolve and contribute to a healthier perspective and sense of well-being.


One-quarter of my life lived is post MS diagnosis, and I’ve likely been living more than half of my life with MS.  I will turn 52 this year, and it tickles me to compare my age to matching the number of cards in a full deck. I’ll consider myself as playing with a full deck and working on adding another deck. I’m wary of the wild cards, but I will play what I’m dealt.


My MS experience has been painful, challenging and full of loss as I played the hands I was dealt. Changing the game helped me lessen my pain and increase fulfillment.  As I reflect on the last 14 years since my MS diagnosis, I appreciate the personal and professional growth I’ve experienced, the changes I’ve made, and the people who supported me along the way.