Strength

It was 5 years ago that I started having a strange numbness in my left arm and hand. I had just started swimming laps at my gym, and I knew something was really wrong. By the first week of August, I couldn’t do anything with that arm and hand. After multiple doctor visits, blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on August 26th. It was the biggest shock of my life. 

Looking back now, I realize that I started having MS symptoms in college, such as vertigo, fatigue, and depression. But I didn’t know it was MS at the time. It took paralysis of my arm and hand in 2016 to get my attention and into an MRI machine that showed lesions in my brain and spine. Thankfully, by the Grace of God, function has returned to my arm and hand, and I have been stable on medication since that time.  

But I never know what tomorrow brings. And that is where the strength comes in. It is terrifying having Multiple Sclerosis. So I lean on God for all my strength, joy, hope, and peace. And because of that, I THRIVE. The photo in this meme is me at 17 years old when I was vacationing in Pompano Beach, Florida in 1984. For me it captures the determination I feel to face all the challenges in my life going forward.

Thanks Be To God.

Growing Bolder

One of my favorite PBS shows is called Growing Bolder. 

It is ā€œa team of award-winning journalists, broadcasters and creatives all focused on sharing the inspirational stories of ordinary people living extraordinary lives ā€“ men and women who are redefining the possibilities of life after 50.ā€ 

When I turned 50, I decided to stop coloring my hair. I had been covering white and silver hair since my late twenties. Stopping was the best decision I ever made. I only wish Iā€™d done it sooner. 

Ageism is alive and well in our society, so going natural feels like a rebellious act. And that fits me perfectly.

The Importance of Play

Play comes easy when we are children. But when we become adults, play has to be a conscious choice – and an important one.

Adulthood brings responsibilities and stresses that we never imagined in our younger days. For a lot of us, that means a complete disconnect from all the things that brought us joy in our youth.

But making play a part of our adult life is essential for our overall well-being. We must reconnect with those activities that brought us pleasure back in the day.

For my husband, that is playing disc golf. I love this photo of him teeing off because this is his fun zone. He earned the name Captain Comet from his buddies – the man has skills.

Captain Comet, Taylor Park Disc Golf Course, Largo, Florida. Photo by Bill Repko

Be Yourself

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

This is one of my favorite quotes because it delivers a very important truth. If you want to live a peaceful, joyful, and powerful life, you must embrace your authentic self.

What is your authentic self, you ask? It is simply who you were created to be in this world.

The process of discovering your authentic self is not so simple. This is because most of us have been influenced by our families, schools, and communities since a very early age. As we grow up, there are pressures to fit in. We receive strong signals that it’s not okay to be ourselves.

So over the years, we become someone that makes others happy, while we ourselves feel empty and lost. We feel like we’re faking it all.

If you do decide to embark on a journey of self-discovery, know that it will take work. But as the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy.

Once you discover your authentic self, you begin to see that what makes you unique in this world is where your value lies.