Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year? To Be Determined...

Hello and belated Happy New Year.

Fresh starts. Clean slates. January 1st is like having all of your pencils sharpened for the first day of school. You're ready and eager to get going. However, there can be a lot 'breakages' and lost pencils in the term ahead. And, I don't know about you but I certainly feel like a used, chewed-up little stub by the end of  December.

Resolutions? Webster's dictionary defines it as  ..."characterized by determination... to make a firm decision on something..." I gave up on making New Year's resolutions. Hah! I couldn't carry them off when I was in good health.  When fibromyalgia entered my world, any delusions about the typical diet and exercise resolutions went right out the window.

The only predictable factor about fibromyalgia is its unpredictability. With that unpredictability comes a certain loss of personal power, making it difficult to feel as if you're in the driver's seat. Our personal sense of control is lost as we feel our parts seize up and our motors won't start. How many of you have made resolutions that  involved strict self-discipline, self-denial and unbending willpower?  I know you would all raise your hands if it didn't hurt so much. If you're a chronic pain sufferer, you can make all the resolutions your little heart desires but you must realize that some days will be better than others. On very bad days, don't expect yourself to get up and race the Indy 500 when you can't even drag your chassis out of bed. This is unrealistic thinking which will lead to frustration and disappointment. There will be days when you can't cross off everything on your to-do list AND expect to make dinner too.  If you can't accept that, a second look at your priorities is definitely in order. We fibromites push ourselves past our limits. My point?  If you make resolutions for the upcoming year, why not resolve to be kinder and gentler with yourself? Respect your limits and be open to changes that may occur throughout your day. Flexibility is key, in every sense of the word.

Okay, I lied. I do have one resolution. I blog sporadically and I would like to engage the reader and gain more followers. I could aim high and promise to blog every day.  However, I'm familiar with my tendency toward procrastination. I want to keep this resolution, but I'm not going to put unnecessary pressure on myself to write an entry every single day. Besides, I may not feel like blogging every day. Any number of obstacles could spring up - a computer glitch, a flare, bad hair day.... I'm setting a reachable goal despite the inconvenience of having fibromyalgia. I think three to four entries a week feels doable. You can't run before you learn to walk, right? In the case of fibro, most days you can't do either!

2010 was an extremely difficult year for me. I haven't had such a dismal and depressing year since my mother died in 1994. Many factors played a role in making 2010 the second worst year of my life. (Topic for a new blog?) Is 2011 destined to be just as bad? No one knows for sure. But, attitude can affect your perception a great deal. If I viewed last year's problems with a positive outlook, instead of a 'woe is me' mindset, would it have been a better year for me? You're probably expecting me to say, 'YES, without a doubt it would have been better.' But I know, as sure as I'm sitting here, it would have sucked no matter what outlook I took. Sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes shit smells like shit no matter how much perfume you throw at it. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to keep your head above water.

I could make a prediction that 2011 is going to be a better year than 2010. But who really knows, right? One thing I do know for sure is that I've been on a steady diet of self-help books since the age of sixteen.  Book covers with the words dysfunctional, affirmations and co-dependence make up most of my rag-tag library. The titles differ but the message is the same: it's all about intention and thought. What you think, you can make manifest.  It sounds too simple to work, but your reality is what you make it.

I needed to find a reason for my suffering. I needed to understand why so many bad things happened to me. I racked my brains and examined my heart inside out and back again for an answer. I wondered about the karma factor as an explanation for my bad year. I even thought I might have been hexed. Finally, I realized a basic truth but I didn't like the answer. The answer is sometimes there is no answer. If there is, you may never know why. Sometimes you have to surrender the struggle, with grace, and move on.

 If it all boils down to your outlook, then it makes sense that your reality, your day-to-day existence, will lie in your own hands. If obstacles and problems are examined in a new light, one with optimism and hope, you will likely find the joy, the happiness and contentment that you seek. Every action starts with a thought. That's what the experts tell me. If this is true, then simply put, you can think yourself happy - or miserable.

Will 2011 be a better year for me? I hope so. If I decide to adopt the positive-thinking only policy, I stand a good chance of getting through the year happy and intact. Then again, accidents happen. Bad things happen to good people. My best answer is that a happy new year has yet to be determined. That's life.

Thanks for reading.

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