Every year when the new year rolls around, I tell myself that the new year will be my year. It will finally be better than the last and my life will be drastically new and improved. I set big expectations for myself and what I wish to accomplish. Then, each year, roadblocks and pot holes make for a not-so-smooth drive through the year, leaving me hoping that things can only go up from there.
Since 2016 started, I’ve been reflecting on what I want this year to be. Then I realized that, despite my best laid plans and intentions, the only predictable thing about life and living with chronic illness is it’s unpredictably. So instead of choosing a new year’s resolution or following the new trend of choosing one word to inspire your year, I am focusing only on one thing: to live with true joy.
How do I define true joy you may ask? As a lovely spoonie and blogger, Chanel White, once wrote: “true joy is letting go of what you intended life to be and revering instead in what it is.” This definitely struck a chord with me and inspired my new outlook I hope to maintain this year.
Had you asked me two years ago, I would have told you that, at this time in my life, I’d be in my second year of university. That I’d be working as a resident assistant on campus. That’d I’d be working hard studying and volunteering and enjoying the university life. My current situation couldn’t be anymore different.
Truthfully, I’m struggling with my illness. My nausea is becoming more and more debilitating, so much that, most days, I barely get out of bed. I’ve been debating since the beginning of winter semester whether taking online classes is feasible or whether to take another semester off. I’m getting to the end of an already short list of treatment options and am searching for new doctors with new leads that could point me in the right direction.
My life right now is nothing like I intended it to be and I’m learning to be okay with that. As Chanel so eloquently put it, I need to let go of my expectations of what my life should be and just live each day to my best ability. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my dreams, it simply means that, for now, I’m putting them on the back burner in order to focus on bigger and better things. Perhaps, in order to accomplish those things, I need to focus on my health for a little while first. Or perhaps the universe has a completely different plan for me. Who knows.
Sometimes, I think we, myself included, get so caught up in the big picture that we forget to be thankful for the little things. So, instead of dwelling on all the things that I wish I could do or was doing in 2016, I’m going to do my best to be grateful for the things I am doing and can do. I’m going to fill my days with things that I and my body can both enjoy, anything from reading to crochet to coloring to watching Netflix. I’m going to try and find a little bit of light in even my darkest days.
Though I may not accomplish any of my big dreams or make it through the year without any major roadblocks (I’ve already hit a few), I’m certain that if I am forgiving with myself for the things I can’t do and focus on the little things life blesses me with everyday, 2016 will in fact be my year.