New Year Beginnings
New Year, new beginnings. New Year, new year resolutions. New Year, new me, new you. To be honest, I’ve always viewed it as just another day, with different numbers flipped on the calendar. I spent New Year’s and New Year’s Eve working, doing ‘normal’ stuff, but indulging in some fancy meals as an excuse :p Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially when memories are formed with good friends and family. I recognise that this is a privilege, and I am grateful to have it.
That being said, there are indeed new beginnings for the new year for me, and a pretty major one at that! I’ll be starting a part time role at my friend’s company, about 20 hours a week. Though being chronically ill, I view that as a full time role. My maximum productivity levels per day are 4 – 6 hours, if that at all.
I’ve known this friend for 20 years now (geez!), and he got me on board his team because I have chronic illnesses, and he just became a father. Yet, I am still feeling pressure, mainly from myself. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, which is a feeling I’m sure weighs many of us down all the time, tied to chronic fatigue as the anchor. But I need to remind myself to take it one step at at a time, and to not stress over the small stuff, which I’m obviously not great at!
In any case, a more stable source of income is a relief, and I’ll see where this goes for us all, for now. Who knows what the future holds, right? And who knows what’s around the corner, we just need to keep walking and turning at those corners. There is no dead end in life per se. Only endless mysterious corridors to walk through, sometimes difficult choices to make at forks, and doors to open using curiosity as the master key.
Enduring & Gracing
My mum once said to me as a teenage girl, “I admire your strength”. I was hugging my legs in pain, with tears streaming down my face. I didn’t understand. I was a mess. Broken and defeated.
She went on to explain that it had to do with endurance, the gracefulness that comes with it, all without complaint or self-pity (though there’s nothing wrong with that), and how that encapsulated what being a woman was about. To be human, really. To survive through hell and high water.
2020 has been a a year that tested the endurance of humanity, with the ongoing pandemic and mutated strains. Yet I have hope that things will get better. Maybe not immediately, or even for the foreseeable future. But having lived through decades of chronic illness, I have confidence. With chronic illness there are only impermanent highs, and extreme rock bottoms that you come hurtling back down into. We survive, each and every time.
We heal when we start to believe that it is a possibility, and with the help of others. There is no doing this alone. So I know deep down inside me that we will survive the pandemic as a collective humanity. I only hope that the virus doesn’t destroy too many lives, before we surrender our egos for the betterment of society.
I think that this pandemic has also revealed the best and worst in us as human beings. How selfish we are, yet how generous. How helpless, yet how strong. How easily we can be broken mentally, yet also how we’re creative and learn to adapt. How we’re all so different, yet the same. How we’re all so human. These are all, unsurprisingly, life lessons that we’ve learned as people who live with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Yet this pandemic has highlighted them in bright yellow.
I’m not really an affirmation or symbol type of person, so I’m thinking hard about what this new year could represent for me. I think I tend to have certain people – fiction or otherwise – whom I look up to, rather than a symbol. And I do love a good quote. So I’ll sum it up with my ‘life quote’:
“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” – Viktor Frankl
This truly is my life motto. To keep asking life – what is it you demand from me? Because it always demands the very best. And I want to be life’s empty vessel. That emptiness is where one’s usefulness lies within.
*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.
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As usual, I found myself nodding along with all that you said, you truly are a wise person Sheryl and I enjoy reading your posts. Good luck with your new job, I know you can do this! Happy New Year and I look forward to linking up with your future link ups.
Happy New Year, Sheryl. Big congratulations on your new job, I am so happy for you, and I am sure you will do great! I just loved your quote “we survive, each and every time” – it’s one which is so true but one that we constantly forget especially in the midst of such severe and relentless symptoms. I just liked to thank you for providing such thought-provoking and revealing prompts every month and your continued support and friendship toward myself and so many others! You are such a brilliant advocate! x
Happy New Year!
Such a great post, and great prompts. I love the line “we survive, each and every time.” Yes! We can survive and endure and have hope as we go forward.
Wishing you good health and productive days in the new year.
I can see why you feel a little apprehension about a new job. It’s definitely challenging at times to work with chronic illness, especially if there are deadlines involved and stressful projects. Wishing you all the best with it Sheryl!
Congratulations on the new job, I’m sure you will succeed! And wonderful guidance from your mum when you were a teenager. It reminded me of a similar scenario when I was a child recovering from yet another eye operation, and both my mum and my nan were there to support and encourage me, calling me brave yet keeping me grounded and making sure I didn’t succumb to the pain and self-pity. They made me the woman I am today, determined and resilient.
Oh wow, this is a biggie for 2021 for you, Sheryl. Congratulations on the job! It’s absolutely a lot to take on, but you are more than capable, it’s just your health that has the potential to hold you back or slow you down. As your friend knows about your chronic illness it’ll hopefully mean you can listen to your body (more so than at a random firm with a manager than may have zero idea or compassion) and that you can be honest if you’re finding things too much or need to make any adjustments. Very exciting times – I really hope it goes as smoothly as possible lovely! You got this! xx
Happy New Year, Sheryl. Congratulations! I’m really happy for you and I know how it feels to be starting something new and wondering if you can do it. I also know you and you are meticulous with planning and time management. I know you can do it, especially with an understanding employer.
Good luck with the new job, Sheryl. Be extra extra kind to yourself.