Reflecting at the End of a Decade

by Ariela Paulsen
Reflecting at the End of a Decade

Wait, it’s 2020!?  Where did this decade go??

Social media is bursting with posts comparing life now to ten years ago.  For spoonies, those decade comparisons can hit especially hard. Perhaps ten years ago you were healthy, unaware of any medical mishaps you might be facing soon.  Maybe you hadn’t yet had to give up that treasured pastime. Or, it’s possible you’re in a great place today and looking back is a wonderful reminder of just how far you’ve come.

Wherever you are today, let’s take a minute to process the closing of this year.  What losses have you had to grieve? In what ways have you creatively found solutions to puzzling problems?  Which triumphs do you want to remember as you start the climb into a new year? Taking the time to process and start the new year with intention can bring meaning and momentum to your life.  Consider writing down the highlights from your year, the little successes that you can use as fuel when things get tough.

The theme for January is going to be self-love.  We will think about New Year’s resolutions and how to make next year a good one, but first we need to love ourselves for all of the challenges we faced this year.  Accept what you were unable to achieve and celebrate the successes!

In my own life, it has been quite a transformative year.  I began January 2019 by leaving a job that I loved and taking a few months off to regenerate spoons, strengthen my body and mental health, and do some soul-searching.  I eased my way back into work that would be a better fit for my health needs, advocating to my new employers along the way. Thanks to these radical changes in my lifestyle, I’ve been able to eat some new foods, exercise regularly, and begin socializing again.  Perhaps most importantly, I’ve had enough energy to give back to the people I care about. I have met so many Friends in the Fight this year and finally been able to loan my spoons and support in ways that others did for me in past years.

The year has not all been smooth sailing.  I, of course, have had ups and downs. I’ve had dreams about playing rugby and then woken up to full-body pain and the truth that I will never play rugby (or any sport) again.  I have been too sick to play with my nieces and nephews (whom I adore!) and smothered the growing fear of what motherhood might mean for me. I have had to leave my students alone during their finals to go lay down in the staff kitchen, trying to pull myself together enough to make it home.  I certainly have work to do to make next year a good one, but I will start by accepting that all of my fears and pain and struggles were valid. As I sit here, picturing the me of 2019, I send love and compassion to myself for enduring so much.  

At Mighty Well, we are celebrating a year of growing our diverse community!  We were chosen for Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab.  We took steps forward with our vision of giving back to the patients we care so much about through nonprofit partnerships.  We’ve created the Mighty Well Brand Ambassadors, connecting the Mighty Well family and sharing stories of the people who inspire us to keep creating!

What are you feeling as we close out 2019?  We’d love to hear from you and reflect as a community!

See you in 2020 🖤

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