Hop to it, but a nap might be better

By Lauren Kovacs

Hop away from the old and hop to the new. It is always a good time to star anew, fresh air and new life. Leave to cold dead winter behind. Shed it like an old snake skin.

I know easier said than done. I face the “why bother” monster too. Spring feels magical. Embrace that magic. Before the suffocating, still summer heat, and bugs, enjoy the clean breeze and light air.

New beginnings don’t care where you plop them, but springtime seems to be good. Try a bit of exercise. Maybe some easy, gentle yoga? Maybe a few sit-ups. Maybe a pet is your new or perhaps something else. Organizing something to better suit your needs. Be open to anything being a new beginning.

A new hair cut is a refreshing way to mark a new beginning, even if it is crushed by fatigue. I think making plans is just as good as doing them. Trying is worthy for us. Daily unplanned obstacles are thrown at us, like an over filled water balloon.

I plan on getting some pink streaks in my hair this summer. If I can get it done, great. If not, no loss. I avoid appointments because I never know what MS will do. I am far from spontaneous and I hyper-plan. With MS, appointments often are commitments I avoid. MS requires flexibility. I am more set in stone, a “yes sir” kind of girl. MS is at odds with being raised a Navy brat.

So, plan your new beginning, but be flexible enough to change plans. MS is like chocolate in summer. Some days it melts on your hand and other days you have bad tremors and it melts in your hair. True story. Plan, but be flexible.

I like to see flexibility as plan B. Flexibility and spontaneity cause me anxiety. New beginnings are more like goals. I think any new good habit is a new beginning really. Self improvement is great. Self care is a great new beginning too. 

Fresh flowers, for example, on my kitchen counter, all the time, was a new beginning for me. My allergies don’t really like it, but too bad. I enjoy fresh flowers, as my morning greeting. I just have tissues handy. New beginnings should be good. They may require a contingency or a strategy.

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Stress Management

By Lauren Kovacs

We are surrounded by stress of all kinds. Each kind needs different management. But, don’t surrender to it. You gotta be like a ninja in your approach. Sneak up on it. Don’t stress about stress.

I try to fight each stressor individually. A custom fight. Each one gets something different. How special.

I do try different ways of dealing with each. Breathing through it can work. I admit, I get frustrating and start to cry. But, being raised by a military man, I learned to plow through frustrations. Identify it is stressing you out and find a solution. Crying can be a good release, but don’t stay too long.

Listening to music is a big help. I listen to my favorite tunes. Some power me up and others mellow me out. My boys hate my music, but it gets me through. I have a song I listened too before gymnastic meets. I was too legit to quit. Keep going.

Anger, for me, at something being hard has helped me. I often stress about getting shoes on. Shoe fights. I start sweating. I sing to myself. I am too legit to quit.

My mom recently entered a memory care home. I can’t stress about that so, I have some chocolate. One little piece helps me and I try and be positive too.

Stress is all around. It can be small like just brushing your hair without smacking yourself in the face. It can be big like a loved one saying something mean. Try different ways to squish that stress bug.

At times, the stress bug will quiet right away. Other times, it seems to have nine lives. Smoosh it each time with a different tactic. Just don’t give in. Something will quiet that bug. Two bits of chocolate or more might be needed.

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Is it worth it?

By Lauren Kovacs

I am a big introvert. I think I am allergic to people. It is more drama and there is always drama. I hate drama. MS gives us enough drama, so I don’t need more. “Full up dude. Move on. Nothing to see here.”

With that being said, we still need human interaction. Build relationships with substance. Learn to hone in on that vibe. Tune into the valued relationship channel. If this is not natural for you, it can be learned.

I once did not listen to that station concerning someone. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was chastising myself for being too hard on people. I opened my gate and didn’t pay attention. Bad idea. Let’s just say that not everyone out-grows being mean.

MSers cannot afford to just ignore signs or vibes you would normally see before you jump into the shark tank. There are sharp teeth in the tank of life. Some people know no other way then to eat you alive. 

When you come across a treasured relationship, keep it. It is a rare gem. Family doesn’t automatically mean you are in possession of a rare gem. You have to test it and put feelers out. Go slow.

Sad to say, but a lot of folks will never understand. MS is tough to contemplate even for those of us living with it. MS is full of surprises.  Study your relationships. What is their value?

Our efforts are worth a lot. Are the receivers worth your efforts? In a valued or important relationship choose  wisely. Observation and your gut feeling often play a role in valued relationships. Choose wisely.

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Things that Give Me Hope

By Lauren Kovacs

After 2020, my hope bucket has changed. Simple is the way to go. Smaller goals and a smaller court or field.

Waking up to sunshine is a cause for hope. Sunshine gives me hope of the smile of a new day. No matter how cold it might be, sunshine gives me hope to move and helps me begin my day. Even if my to do list is crushed by MS fatigue, I had hope.

I am not blind to the struggles of MS. I have times when Continue reading

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Jump?

By Lauren Kovacs

I know this is tough. We don’t want to be a burden by trying to connect. I have to remind   myself to let my MS do the talking. We might be having a bad day and we might sound drunk. We might be beyond exhausted or having pain. Connecting with non-MSers can be hard.

You have to take care of you. I often “hit the wall” so to speak and just Continue reading

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Relax, Chill

By Lauren Kovacs

This, unfortunately, is a battle most MS folks fight daily. I do. Each situation requires a custom battle to fight stress. We have to adapt. Change our warrior armor based on the battle ahead.

I find a day might be needed to access the situation, if multiple days of Continue reading

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Shh, I have a secret

By Lauren Kovacs

Those secret symptoms wreak havoc and party hard in our body. They high five each other as they go to torture some part of us. I swear there is some kind of party in my left arm involving fire.

It is not a calm “kumbaya” bonfire. It is more like a concert with pyrotechnics and lava. Every night the burning visits me, like a ghost. It sneaks up on me. It lights my Continue reading

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Smoothing the Path

By Lauren Kovacs

Ah, the double-edged sword of summer. We welcome the sun and curse the heat. Just the change of season can wake the MS dragon. The MS dragon is fierce. Just do your best and always be prepared.

That can mean very different things for each individual. I have found some tactics for the summer battle. Aside from Continue reading

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Finding Calm

By Lauren Kovacs

Minus some bad ideas, let’s cope with being stuck. Exploring new things can eat up time, no calories. I know the fridge and I are now best  friends.

Try to find ways to keep busy. Read, put yourself in a “show hole” by watching something or do some yoga.

I take my scooter out and one of my sons walks with me around our neighborhood. Fresh air and Vitamin D does a body good. Soon it will be hot enough Continue reading

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Pink Sparkles with Unicorns – Finding Connection

By Lauren Kovacs

Well here we are forced to be hermits with this virus going around. While embracing our inner hermit is just part of some MSers lives already, it is different when your inner hermit is forced to be a hermit. Having a choice to be a hermit is now not our choice.

In light of this, connections and support are essential. Sanity is imperative. Online or phone connections are all the rage. Face-to-face is Continue reading

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