Just over a year ago, I got an MRI report that suggested I have MS. After further testing, we found that to be true. In a lot of ways, getting this diagnosis is the best thing that could happen for me. I might not *want* MS, but I am happy to know what’s going on. I think my overall health and life have improved as I know how to take care of myself better Most importantly, I’ve learned to give myself grace and others grace.
I don’t even mean that you have to be determined to complete one thing a day. There are quotes for that, and that practice is useful, but I mean just getting down to the basics of “I’m doing the best I can.” Indeed, that might change from day to day. I think the key to feeling content with life, even when everything is going wrong, is to live each day knowing that you did your best.
This weekend, I finished writing Mr. Darcy’s Grieving Wife. It’s taken far longer than I thought it would. There were days and even weeks when I wrote zero words. I used to beat myself up over that. Now, I accept that it’s part of life for me now. Instead, I spent my days doing other things–sometimes nothing but trying to get or stay healthy. Some days I had to reserve my energy for family commitments. Sometimes I needed to give myself a relaxation day as it’s been difficult to balance my anxiety and depression in recent months.
I didn’t see it happen. I wasn’t aware of the changes at all. But looking back to who I was a year ago, and who I am today, and I know I am far happier now. I didn’t accomplish as many things as I hoped I would in the last year. However, that’s okay. I haven’t changed into a super-writing ultra-human ninja vampire that never needs to sleep and can live a thousand years and published six years. I didn’t lose fifty pounds or spend exercise every day. I did choose happiness and grace each and every day, and that has made all the difference. Now, I feel like I am accomplishing more when I can. After weeks of 0 words written, I wrote 5,000 words in the last two days. All because I *listened* to what my body needed. When the time was right to write, I was able to reach my goals. I still didn’t live perfection on those two days. I relied on my husband to bring me meals and spend most of the day with the kids. I didn’t sleep enough (my mind had a hard time of turning off). However, I got an important task done.
Transformation is a continual process, and that’s why the daily effort is so important. I know in coming years, I will continue to see bigger changes in me from this shift in my mindset.