Dec 23, 2012

What would you take with you into the New Year?

We have a week left before entering the year 2013. There is not one of us out there who has not had something bad, good, unusual, traumatic, ecstatic or unexpected happen in 2012 – whether it is the loss of a friendship, the death of a loved one, failing an important exam, losing your house, or receiving a bad diagnosis which can potentially change your life. How does one handle these things and how do you? What nugget of information for quality living would you take with you into the New Year?  

The diagnosis that changed everything

Nine months ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Needless to say I was devastated and now take ten pills a day to keep me feeling normal. I was so angry at the diagnosis that I refused for six weeks to take any medication. I booked a ticket instead and went to the US to visit my daughter and grand kids. I returned to Cape Town six weeks later. I spent a lot of time thinking about my life. I had good times in between but when I wake up in the morning the first thing that hits me is that I have a degenerative brain disease. Yes, sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I cry when I roll around in pain on the bed massaging my legs which sometimes is so sore that all I can do is take pain pills and walk it out. My years of panic and anxiety have put me here. Not God, not my parents, just me. 

Acceptance and new beginnings

I never write with the radio on, but this morning I did. There was an inspirational speaker talking about New Year resolutions. Here is what he had to say: that one has to be aware of time and live in the present, not the past. To take a breath, to feel your feet on the ground and not dwell on things you cannot change. We have too many regrets and are too embedded in the past. Learn from your past and do not turn it into a monument of misery. Don’t say I am a divorcee and label yourself. You are an experiencer! Grow yourself into the next moment and into the future. Ask yourself what you have done and what you have not and set new goals for yourself for the New Year.

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