I bet you're wondering where the speed-bump is. Well, when I was asked about long term goals, I burst into tears. It was a bigger speed-bump than I anticipated. You know, the ones where you think you'll make it over without a hitch and the car bottoms out half way over. The question sent me on a one way trip to all the goals I set, not believing that my illnesses would get in the way, and they did. I thought that if I just go slow and steady, get enough rest and listen to what my body needed, I'd be able to accomplish anything. When I didn't have an answer to the question, I was asked what my long term goals use to be. My heart stopped and I looked up, realizing that I once had many long term goals and it felt as though I'd never be able to have them again because of the unpredictability of the chronic pain, brain fog and so forth. I once was excited and determined to own a sustainable, service oriented business. I've been a business owner and loved it. I owned and operated a yoga studio and before I understood brain fog and how it can derail your life, I was out of business. Since I was in my 20's, I've dreamed of running a marathon. I continue to try to be of service, in a leadership role at my spiritual center, but history has shown that I am unable to be there consistently. I enjoy teaching and coaching and would love to serve on the board.
Not having long term goals just feels fatalistic to me. My desire is to grow and challenge myself. I get excited about being able to look forward to something. What do I have to look forward to if I'm unable to make long term goals?
OK, I've given myself enough time to grieve the old, outdated expectations of my life. And that last paragraph was four too many sentences, but sometimes we all need a reality check and a mini pity party.
It's time to create, which I'm good at. I don't have the answers yet, but to start with, I can ask a new question. What long term goals can I create that will give me something to look forward to? How can I re-design my life in a way that utilizes the gifts I uncover through the chronic illness?
So, with that, my first long term goal is to learn how to embrace, appreciate and respect the gifts I possess and learn how to share them with the world. As one of the steps toward this goal, I'm going to look for inspiration... and here's one..
Professor Stephen Hawking and his nurse.Alessandrozocc @ Dreamstime.com
Stephen W. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, in his early 20's. He was given 3-5 years to live with the disease. However, he has lived several decades past this date and has achieved international acclaim as an author and for his work in quantum gravity and theoretical cosmology. He holds numerous degrees and has won over a dozen awards for his scientific research.
Mr. Hawking has published many books, including the following:
- A Brief History of Time
- The Universe in a Nutshell
- Black Holes, Baby Universes and Other Essays
- A Briefer History of Time with Leonard Mlodinow
- The Grand Design with Leonard Mlodinow
- George's Secret Key to the Universe with Lucy Hawking
- George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt with Lucy Hawking
Due to complications of ALS, Mr. Hawking uses a speech synthesizer to communicate with his friends, family members and audiences.
By Charlotte Gerber, About.com Guide
It seems appropriate to end with the old adage, "If he can do it, so can I".
Thanks for reading!!