I'm going into my fourth year of "early retirement" due to disability. As is my custom, I am reviewing lessons learned from last year.
The most important lesson learned is that I should not plan to have the same level of energy that I had before disability. Last year, there were too many times when I believed that I was normal and had the same energy level that I had before. So I filled up my schedule, made commitments, volunteered endlessly, and then crashed in confusion. "What happened?" I would whine. Then I would go to the doctor looking for yet another prescription, or try alternative therapies that friends said were successful for them.
But last year, I lost sight of my authentic self. I lost sight of the reason for my disability. This next year, I am going to ignore the cultural message that "You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To and Don't Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise." Bullpoop. I'm going to avoid going to lectures by people with MS who climb Mt. Everest or travel the world in 80 days. I am not using them as role models any more. I will be my own authority and not succumb to peer pressure.
This next year, I pledge to do less. I pledge to focus on a few fundamental activities, and to avoid saying 'yes' to everything. I pledge to give serious thoughts to my priorities. And I AM prepared to deal with the disappointments - mine and others.
Just thought you should know this now so that you will be prepared for a different year, too.