A New Year Ahead

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m having a hard time believing that we’ll be in a new year soon. Regardless, 2022 is rapidly approaching with each passing day. It feels like time has gone by more quickly, even during a pandemic, and that we’ve just flown through this past year at lightning speed. Luckily 2021 brought with it more hope and opportunity than the previous year. With its vaccine availability we were able to start doing more and seeing people again. The virus has not gone away but there is more protection now than before and with it more hope and high spirits heading into this New Year.

Spending time with others

Hopefully this upcoming year we will see people getting together more often. Of course, all the while still abiding by safety measures and precautions, when possible. But gathering again with friends and loved ones will be a welcome, continued change we hope to see.

Continued research and education

We continue to learn more daily when it comes to the COVID-19 virus and its variants, and hopefully this will continue in 2022. But not only that, MS research and education remain vital for the MS community as well. Treatment investigations, clinical studies, and education programs have increased over the past year and offered avenues of hope for those in the MS space. Education remains key to staying apprised of what’s impacting those touched by MS.

Support and encouragement

It’s been a trying time we’ve found ourselves in for nearly two years now. Things have weighed heavy on people’s emotions and well-being, but support in the MS community has remained strong and resilient. We’ve seen people still connecting with one another through various means to stay linked and provide encouragement to others. Be it online, by phone, or other avenues of communication, members of the MS community tried their best to stay in touch. MS organizations and groups continued to provide vital services as well, letting individuals know they’re not alone.

As we embark upon this New Year, let’s try to stay hopeful for refreshing changes and opportunities that may come. We can continue to hope for better times ahead.

Wishing everyone a hopeful and bright New Year!

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A Hopeful 2021

When the countdown to New Year was upon us and the clock finally struck midnight on January 1st, I felt hopeful and optimistic about the new year ahead. Seriously, after a year like 2020 you could do nothing but believe that 2021 must be better, right? Well, we can certainly hope so!

We haven’t rid ourselves of the pandemic, but with the distribution and development of several vaccines hopefully Continue reading

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New Year, New Outlook

It’s hard to believe we’re through the thick of the holiday season and into a new decade already! 2020 brings with it the potential to try new things and gain new perspectives, or I like to think that it does. I’m not one for liking change or trying something new but I am choosing to alter my outlook in this new year. It’s just going to take some time and hard work. And even more patience.

I don’t typically make resolutions Continue reading

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My New Year’s Resolution

January is officially here. Wow! We are already in the year 2020, and do you know what that means? Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions. However, I’m still not over Christmas. I mean, I’m the person who would keep the Christmas tree up until March. Yep, I’m THAT person. I’m not kidding. My husband takes Continue reading

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Fresh Starts: Changing Self-Talk to Serve Me Better

By Stacie Prada

Sometimes we want to make changes, and sometimes we need to make changes.  We choose some, and some are thrust upon us. It doesn’t always mean we’re ready or able to make them. Making a fresh start can be exciting and intimidating.

I’m a big fan of trying to make these changes easier.  Like the placebo effect can help us feel better when we take sugar pills thinking they’re medication, I’m all for using how our brains work to – for lack of a better word – trick myself into doing things I want to do.

How we think, our opinions of ourselves, and the language we use can limit us and our personal growth.  I’m considering Continue reading

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Hope in the New Year

Hello, 2019! You got here fast! And I hope you brought some good and positivity with you for the year ahead. Right before the New Year rang in my cell phone died for a period of time in the final hours of 2018. Because I tend to be a bit of a pessimist at times, my first thought was, “Oh great, is this a sign of what 2019 has in store? Because if it is I’m sleeping through it!” My husband, who is definitely a glass half-full type of personality, completely changed my way of thinking. Since I’ve been Continue reading

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So You Made a Resolution

Oh the New Year! Each January 1st millions of people make pacts, decisions and turn over new leaves as a shiny new year looms ahead of them. You may not be the resolutions type. Maybe you think “What’s the point? A majority of New Year’s resolutions go bust anyway.” And you are right. In fact, US News states that roughly 80% of all resolutions made, fail by just the second week of February. 80%, 6 weeks in! That’s nuts. Now there are lots of blogs and how-to lists Continue reading

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New Year, New Beginning

As it turned midnight on January 1st of 2018, I think a lot of people, including myself, held hopes that this new year would bring with it more optimism and hope, especially more so than its previous 2017 counterpart which brought controversy and devastation throughout the year. Entering a new year can mean new beginnings for things and more possibilities, but most importantly, a chance to reassess what your needs are and how to fulfill them. For some this may be physical needs as it relates to the body and addressing medical issues or concerns. For others this may mean focusing on emotional or spiritual needs and how this influences day to day and self-care. No matter what the needs look like, the beginning of a new year represents another fresh start to prioritize things and to take care of you.

It’s not always easy to do this with the chaos each day can bring, but that’s why you prioritize, so certain things take precedence over others when there’s not enough time in the day for everything. It may come down to making to-do lists with tasks and goals and crossing things off one by one, or setting one specific need as a goal to focus on for the week or entire month. The method of prioritizing needs doesn’t have to be perfect and it surely won’t look the same for everyone; it’s going to be tailored to each person and what their specific needs are. But it all begins with an act of self-respect; to increase awareness of what it is that’s needed and telling yourself you deserve it.

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A Little Bit of Light

It was only a sunny smile,

and little it cost in the giving,

But like morning light it scattered,

the night and made the day worth living.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is the author of my all-time favorite book and this poem that, though short, reminds me the important role that light can play. Light is not only the opposite of darkness and necessary for many of the things we routinely do, but it’s also a great symbol. This time of year we routinely hear words such as peace, joy, good will (yes I know that’s two words) and my favorite of all – Hope. Light reminds me of the hope that we can have and sometimes have to fight for. It’s not easy at times with all that the world throws at us to hold onto hope and it can be difficult to get back when it seems it’s gone. But it’s also one of the things at this time of year we think on as one year prepares to give way to another. When we start to wonder what might be.

There is this amazing festival in Thailand (northern Thailand to be more exact), called Yi Peng, where people set afloat thousands of paper sky lanterns or Khom loi and fill the night air. This festival has been adopted and is celebrated around the world including here in the US. Cities and communities around the country hold lantern festivals during the year, giving participants opportunities to not only come together to partake in and watch something breathtakingly spectacular, but also to reflect. Many people assign to their lantern some significance or importance. Maybe your lantern could symbolize turning over a new leaf or good wishes for starting down a new path. It could also stand for letting go of something you’d been holding on to, making peace with something or someone you’ve had a hard time with. Or it could symbolize your hope for yourself and those around you. Light, as Fitzgerald puts it, has the power to scatter the night and while he is specifically talking about the light a smile can bring, I’d add in that hope in it’s many forms brings forth a powerful light as well. This December, as 2016 begins to wind down, take some time to yourself to find where you can relight your hope and scatter the darkness. Maybe make today a little brighter.

eventi

If you are interested in seeing first hand one of the incredible lantern festivals and, like myself, cannot go to Thailand check out The Lantern Fest.

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Stick to YOUR OWN agenda

During this month’s blog posts we’ve had discussions relating to resolutions, changes, and goals for the new year ahead. While many people work hard to create their own plans and generate new goals to achieve, some individuals try to impose their own agenda onto others—with the expectation that the objectives they envisioned for that person will automatically be met.

Some of us are not complete strangers to this situation; especially if during your childhood or adolescent years you had parents or other figures hold you to complete certain tasks and require the execution of specific goals. This is usually not done in malice, but rather people wanting the best for others and for them to perform at their highest level of potential. However, for individuals experiencing an illness or disability, these anticipations can be overwhelming and burdensome at times, especially if they don’t match with their abilities and skillsets. Everyone is different and is capable of different things.

Even though it’s done with good intentions, others expectations can sometimes take over one’s own agenda completely, leaving their own goals and aspirations on the sidelines. It’s difficult trying to meet others’ goals for what you should or should not be accomplishing, and it can be downright exhausting trying to satisfy others in this manner. That’s why it’s important to stick to your own plans and agenda—to realize your abilities or limitations and to strive forward with this thoughtfully in mind. You can take others suggestions, if asked for, to take into consideration when you’re forming your objectives, but they should be your own and done on your own terms. It’s hard to please everyone, but if at the end of the day you are comfortable with the decisions you’ve made and the feats you’ve conquered, I’d say to chalk that up as a win!

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