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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