It’s the New Year! That time of renewed resolutions to be better than we were the previous year. It’s an almost magical time of year where, by changing out our 2017 calendar loaded with twelve months of puppy cuteness with a brand new 2018 calendar jam packed with sparkly unicorns, we can instantly erase all of our missteps and false starts and start over with fresh new dreams. Or at least that’s what we like to convince ourselves will happen. And while it’s true that the past is the past and our failures can be learned from and filed away, most of life’s challenges will follow us from year to year.
That annoying relative will still be around next year. All we can do is resolve to accept them for their weirdness and hope for an increase in our patience. Our job follows us right through the New Year’s Eve celebrations and we find ourselves back at our desk on January 2nd. We can either be grateful for what we have or decide to improve our situation.
Our bodies definitely follow us into the New Year. It would be a dream come true for a lot of people if for every foot the Times Square ball dropped, it meant a pound of fat instantly lost. It would actually be worth it to stay up until midnight to watch it fall. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work. Every year, when you make that January 1st resolution to lose that extra belly fat, you actually have to put some effort into making it happen. So we join gyms or start diets, vowing to start first thing next week. Some of us just continue with our 365-Day Challenge to be more active (anyone want to join me?).
If only it were so easy to get rid of chronic illness and disease. These too follow us from one calendar to another, often times with increasing symptoms and problems. We would love to make a resolution to be healthier and stronger, have less pain and fewer doctor visits.
When I was looking back on 2017, my first impulse was to label it a lousy year, the year someone told me I may have a terminal disease. Man, was I so glad to have that crappy year over! But when I forced myself to look for some positive experiences, I found that 2017 wasn’t such a bad year after all. In fact, it was pretty great. We were blessed with our fifth grandchild, a cute little boy named Jasper. We also learned of a sixth little boy in the making, expected to arrive in the spring of 2018. We spent a week on the beaches of Cancun, soaking in some tropical sun. Our trip back to South Dakota to see our kids and granddaughters was filled with marathon coloring sessions, fort building, trips to the park, and Trolls soundtrack sing-a-longs. Our weekends often included sleepovers with our older grandsons. One of our many weekend getaways took us to the beautiful Park City mountains, surrounded by the color changing fall leaves. And then there was our Thanksgiving holiday, spent filling a bucket list item on the island of Manhattan, enjoying the sights and sounds (and smells) of amazing New York City.
If I am honest with myself, I can credit my possible diagnosis with being responsible for some very positive changes in myself. The 365-Day Challenge that began it all, has pushed me to better myself physically and mentally on a daily basis. The Rock Steady Boxing classes that I go to twice a week introduced me to some incredibly strong Parkinson’s fighters who are great examples to me, and a caring charismatic trainer that pushes me further than I believe I can go.
This blog has allowed me to look deeper into myself and discover what I am made of, giving me an outlet for my frustrations and questions, and helping me to see the good and positive that surrounds me.
“I found that 2017 wasn’t such a bad year after all.”
The year 2017 was an eventful year. It might possibly be considered in hindsight to be an exceptionally fit and healthy year when compared to the years to come. Either way, I will look back upon it, as well as on future years, with fondness for the memories that were created as I passed through it.
I’m looking forward to the New Year.