MS: it's all about balance
It's all about balance. I used to repeat this mantra several times a day to martial arts students and myself.
I was a confident black belt instructor of taekwondo, and achieved my black belt and passed my instructor course in January last year. This January I'm walking with a stick and holding on to the walls in my flat. I'm on my way to a shop that sells handrails for the shower.
My balance is not good. On a good day I can go back to Wii fit and this seems to help, as long as I don't try to stand on one leg. Toasting in the new year, I said I aimed to execute a perfect flying bicycle kick at some point in 2013. My loving partner suggested I aim for something more manageable.
My local MS Society holds a weekly yoga session, I'll start going to that and on a Wednesday evening we can use the hydrotherapy pool. I'll stop dwelling on the things I can't do and focus on what I can do.
I've had to cut down hours at work as a project manager but I can still write at home and I've always aimed to be a writer. I find holding a knife and fork difficult but I can still eat well and love and laugh. I might feel like a swarm of bees is flying around inside my body but tomorrow might be better.
I don't know if I'll ever get used to having MS. Just when I think I'm managing, symptoms flare up or something happens to highlight how different life has become.
I used to believe in working hard to achieve your goals and the more work you put in, the more you would be rewarded. Now I believe it's more healthy and productive to work towards achieving balance. Not physical balance that I needed in martial arts, although working towards that would be good, but a balance between relaxation with a focus on personal wellbeing and working to earn money and achieve goals.
I'm lucky that I have always enjoyed creative writing and sometimes manage to get paid for it. I will also remember to have fun and try new things. As my mother used to say, "You're a long time dead", so let's do our best to balance that out with a good life.
So I hope you all have a well balanced 2013. When you feel down I hope someone or something can make you laugh. If you're staggering around I hope something around the corner can lift your spirits, and if your hands feel hot, sore and stiff I hope you find something cool to hold onto. All the best and happy new year.