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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Toward a new year's resolution

New Year's resolutions can be so cliched. We promise ourselves to committ to something or to give something up. Maybe we start out the year with a bang but often our resolutions fall by the wayside. Some people might say, "Why make a resolution at all?" I have said that many times myself and yet this year it is a primary drive for me. While I am determined to focus on what's working in my life, it is still abundantly clear that such a focus is not enough to make my life feel good to me. I am craving something more.

I have thought long and hard about what changes I would like to make in myself in the coming year. There are a few but I feel that if I really work hard on just one or two that many of the others may fall into place. One thing that MS has really shown me is that each day is a chance to reinvent oneself. Sometimes this is easier said than done and so I like the idea of looking toward the new year as a clean slate where I can still change my life for the better.

This all leads to my actual resolution. My resolution is to work hard to not allow little things to make me so anxious and overwhelmed. In order to achieve this difficult goal, there are a few things I need to do. I need to stop making mountains out of mole hills. I must accept and enjoy my present because I have no real idea about what I want from the future. There are some things I must do even when I don't feel great or feel apathetic because in the long run, I will beat myself up otherwise. I need to second guess myself and my choices less. I need to find ways to manage little tasks and not let them make me panicky and stressed. I must keep breathing because lately I get myself so spun around that I cannot even achieve this simple yet essential thing.

For months I have been asking myself, what I want but I still don't know. It is alien for me to not have loftier goals and bigger dreams but I do not. Perhaps this is ok or perhaps it is a symptom of my poor stress-management. While it does feel like the worst of my depression is behind me, it just is not gone yet. I can't lie to myself and say I am happy when I am not. I find moments of happiness and small things I enjoy but nothing lasting. I think I find my best times when I am completely present, unconcerned with what is next and I am feeling relaxed. I need to find ways to expand upon this.

I am trying to think of things that I love outside just my husband and my dog. I know I love reading, writing and creating things. I really have enjoyed the job of refashionista but lately I have let it fall by the wayside. I used to really enjoy going shopping and/or putting myself together to look nice but lately it just overwhelms me and I also often feel like I can't find a way to look good although my body has never looked better. I love doing and teaching yoga and so I know that I need to reprioritize it even though there can be an enormous time committment. I like to spend time with friends and family when I don't feel like it's keeping me from taking care of things I have to do. Accomplishing things makes me feel good too. Doing things well also gives me some fulfillment. I look at what I have listed and wonder if it is enough or if I need to find something more. I think that these things will hold me for the short term as I work on my resolution but in the long term, I will need to find other things to drive and entertain me. I will continue to seek answers within myself in the coming year even as I work toward my resolution.

6 comments:

~ Charlene S Noto said...

You said: "I look at what I have listed and wonder if it is enough or if I need to find something more."

It's funny...as I was reading down your list, I was thinking how nice it was. I love your list of things you enjoy and do well. It seems like a wealth of "good things".

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Charlene. I needed that.

LISA EMRICH said...

Nadja, you've described so many things to do or not to do in the coming year which are wonderful focuses for anytime.

Personally, I don't do New Years Resolutions. It is a time which is mid-season for me, mentally and professionally. My 'year' tends to coincide with the school year. Don't know if that really makes any difference.

Within your growth as a person living with a chronic illness and as a person who is moving into a new decade of life, you are focusing on many "good things" just as Charlene said.

Sounds lovely to me. Peace to You and a Happy New Year. (Please pardon the Christmas reference)

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Lisa :)

Blinders Off said...

Happy New Year!

BRAINCHEESE said...

Nadja,

I was thinking about you and a comment you left on CHEESE about your own shortness of breath being related to "anxiety". Has anyone ever put forth the notion to you that your "anxiety/angst" MIGHT be physiological in nature and NOT because of a character defect or your inability to deal with something? Just a thought here...there are some interesting theories flying around out there about depression/mood and the MS brain. What "if" your anxiety was a direct result of your nervous system malfunctioning and NOT because of your thinking? How might you see yourself/deal with yourself if this were true? What if you couldn't BEHAVE your way out of the anxiety (by changing behavioral patterns/thinking patterns in your life), but instead had to incorporate anxiety as a symptom of MS...just like fatigue or spasticity?

I have no real idea where I am going here, but I just wonder if you are one of us MSers who has more neurological misfiring in the emotion centers of the brain causing your anxiety? (Lots of research right now about Parkinson's and other brain disorders creating physiological changes in the brain centers that rule emotion)

Thinking out loud...and nice list, BTW. :-)

Linda D. in Seattle