Fresh Something

By Lauren Kovacs

We all have that New Year’s resolution bug. For MS folks a fresh start comes every day, really. We learn that even tying our shoes in two tries instead of three is a fresh start.

It can be hard for many to see joy in the simple things. Just getting my hair in a ponytail is worth celebrating, for example. If people would take joy in simple things, maybe things would be different. We may not be able to share that we tied our son’s tie for his band concert, but celebrate victory, no matter how small or weird.

My idea for 2019 is to make note of my personal victories each day. Some days it might be only that I made it to the restroom in time. Other days, I did 15 reps instead of 10. They are small,  but they are my victories.

So, for my fresh 2019, I am going to try and celebrate small victories. MS humbles you. MS does not have big flashy promotions. Celebrate small stuff. Learn to be a minimalist in your personal victories.

Find what works to make your life easier. Others button their shirts with ease. Maybe getting in and out of the shower safely is your goal. Lip gloss on my lips instead of in my eye, bonus.

My PT really wants me to get and use a scooter in the house for bad days. My stubborn nature is having trouble with this. But, after over 20 years and only being in my early 40s I am tired of missing out.

2019 is my year to embracing myself. The OT said I need to get in the pool more, since we have one in the yard. I think I am part cat. I hate water. Some days water almost burns.

I have to wave good-bye to the old me and embrace the new. Yes, the old me was a gymnast and an athlete, but I have to learn to keep the lessons and tackle this new challenge. This year I want to be a cat that loves water. Small goals.

My pride keeps getting in my way. I no longer am the bruise-covered gymnast who flipped around on the beam. I must learn that my bruises mean something else now. 2019 is a year of change for me. Hard work means learning to move safely and live well.

Fresh starts mean leaving the past in the past. I want to embrace my inner fish and get in the pool more. I want to keep walking, but maybe a scooter to use, as needed, will help.

I want to put my pride aside. My younger sons put in my earrings. Maybe asking them to French braid my hair is too much, but I want to ask for help from others who offered in the past. It is very hard and many would rather get lost than ask for directions. Pride aside this year.

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The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit or call (800) 532-7667.

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