New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken – at least that’s what if feels like for me. The pattern of my life to date has been to make resolutions but never cross them off my list. Every year I envisioned these grand sweeping dreams and every year those dreams floated away from my reach, bursting like delicate soap bubbles. With the advent of arthritis, my grand sweeping dreams changed with the limitations of my disease, but even with my adjustments I was never able to keep them. I started to wonder if it was worth the effort of making new resolutions. If I was going to be facing another year battling the unpredictable antics of old lady RA, would I have the time and energy to achieve my goals? But looking back at 2014, I discovered something extraordinary.
Lost in the shadow of my grand promises, I somehow achieved a cluster of small goals I failed to recognize as accomplishment. I mastered the limitations of my body with swimming, yoga and strength training; I studied new techniques in OT and PT to reduce pressure on my joints. I travelled to Atlantic Canada; I learned hand exercises to keep my fingers nimble and reduce stiffness; I published poetry, short stories and contributed to a health article; I was invited to a bloggers event called ARTHFully Living, hosted by Janssen and GCI group; I visited Toronto for the first time and had the opportunity to see my brother while I was there. I attended writers’ festivals and workshops, and was invited to contribute guest posts for other websites. I fell off the exercise wagon a few times and climbed back on; I endured bad flare days with a smile on my face and celebrated spirited days where I climbed sand dunes and bounced on trampolines. All in all, not too shabby for a girl with arthritis. I didn’t envision any of this and yet, I accomplished more than I imagined. I’ve learned to appreciate the enduring power found in the little things: picking up a mug without pain; walking one block without fatigue; writing one story without struggle. In fact, as it turned out, many of my finest moments and triumphs in the last year were the surprising result of broken resolutions.
And so for the year ahead, I will reflect on those big bold dreams with the full confidence that along the way I will pluck small victories from the fragments of their inevitable failure. I look forward to the small triumphs of another year of broken resolutions – one step at a time, one day at a time, one story at a time, one victory at a time. Look out arthritis – breaking your resolve is always on my list.
Wishing everyone a Happy Healthy New Year – may you find victories in the little things and marvel at every achievement, because in every small goal there is always cause to celebrate.