This piece was first published on the MS Ireland ‘MS and Me’ blog site. It was written with an eye to St. Valentine’s Day.
“It has been a while since I spoke with you all. Much has happened in the winter months that have lead me down different paths into places I never expected. On one of these paths I have re-discovered the joys of friendship and of being renewed through good conversation and company. Those dark winter months when it seemed as though it’ll never get bright again were certainly a challenge. One of these challenges were named when sharing time with friends-I wasn’t truly enjoying my life. I’d been something of a zombie, numbed to the good stuff.
Thankfully, time moved and now, looking out on this fine Spring morning, the calm after the dark storm of winter, there has been a change in the light. The air seems clearer, no longer the muggy grey that haunted the early part of the year. Spring has *Sprung*, more light/time to spend outside enjoying the fresh air and the newness of life in the trees and flowers. The birds also seem to have gone on double-time, sending out their cheery songs from early morning. It is also, since last month, the time shops and displays have been shouting about love, romance and other such things. I am a little cynical about the stereotypical roses, cards, love hearts and things festooned in red. However, being reminded to think about the people I share my life with is a good thing. . So, what’s love got to do with it? It has every thing to do with a good life. A good friend who knows when to listen and when to talk is a balm for any wound we have.
Living with MS is a mixed bag in our general Toolbox for Life. Sometimes forget about it because it really isn’t a big deal for us and we’d much prefer not to think about it. Or at times, it can be all at once frightening and confusing and all we can think about. As we navigate our way through information about what might be, how it might be and how it will affect us, it is very easy to forget about the rest of life and the people we share it with. If we’re struggling with new symptoms, or grieving the loss of something, it takes extra-effort to look for the good stuff.
Recently, I’ve been revamping my Toolbox and added some things to help me deal differently with challenges.
Remember to enjoy life and look for the good stuff.
- Use 15 minutes in the morning to read something uplifting. If you’re into it, read a Bible/spiritual book, say some prayers. Ponder.
- This day and particularly on Valentines Day look for the love and express your own.
- Do everything you can to make the most of this day.
While not everyone will be getting a Valentine card from me this year, I will be making an extra effort to show my gratitude to those who have been so kind and loving to me during the year. And for those I might feel less than loving towards…it is so much better to think with a head of peace than one of animosity.
As life whizzes past at gale force speed, remembering to remember people we care about and showing our appreciation can slip. Whether it is the unexpected card that arrives in the post, a bunch of beautiful fragrant flowers or the gentle touch of another’s hand, remembering to show our love and gratitude is one of the fine reminders of Valentine’s Day. Whatever way you do it, just do it.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but is the parent of all others”. Cicero
© Emma Rogan 2014