Monthly Archives: June 2015

Life is What Happens

We all have dreams, don’t we? Some dreams are only ever held within, and not shared with other people. Some dreams we barely feel able to admit even to ourselves. But the dreams are there, firing our imagination, keeping us going in life and striving for what we truly want.

Dreams and real life often have clashes, of course. Dreaming you’ll be a graceful ballet dancer, thrilling audiences around the world will probably stay just a dream a wonderful dream of course, but no one that will occur, if you’re over fifty, and have MS, for instance. You can still hold the dream, mould it perhaps, to further fit your actual life. That dream could become a walk in a fun run/walk. Or it may become a desire to travel interstate to watch that graceful ballet dancer, performing as you have dreamed of dancing.

When we dream, we open our minds to possibilities, and possibilities can help one keep on going. At the moment, I am working with my writing group to put on our first Festival – Gawler Festival of Words . We have it planned and programmed and it’s on next month! Exciting times for a small writing group in a country town, exciting and well worth dreaming of, and working toward putting into action.

A year ago, I hadn’t dreamed about doing something as big as this may turn out to be, but the seeds of great things were there, and those seeds are looking like they will bear fruit. Everyone we talk to about this project gets excited, and if the vibe and buzz is anything to go by, it will be great! And if the buzz fizzles out and it ends up just being OK, well that’s still fine – life can get in the way of greatness sometimes. The planning and the shape of the Festival has been laid out and we know we can learn from the process for this year and tweak and shape it better for 2016!

So at the moment, my dream is to run a great Festival, sharing knowledge and helping other writers find ways and mentors to perhaps help them meet their dreams of being a well read best-selling writer! I’m a lucky MS sufferer. Multiple Sclerosis hasn’t slowed me down enough yet to stop me doing the things I enjoy the most. I like to write, poetry/prose, fiction or non fiction, sitting down writing is a favoured past time. My thought processes may get a little jumbled up at times, but editing after can help to make sense of things. After all, a first draft is only a first draft, not a final copy. My writing is my therapy to help me live a positive life, and positive thinking helps my brain to help me!

hula hoop for blog

Exercise can help me too – keeping active, walking, moving, and such things will help to keep my body going. One of my tools to help with this is the family Wii Fit machine. I ignore the machine too much, but I know it’s there waiting for me to get back with my program, weighing in, doing the exercises, and feeling the benefits from it. The hula hoop is one of my favourite exercises, it gets my heart going, and sometimes I even get close to my former personal best score – now that’s a fine dream to have, to smash my own PB, and maybe even one day beat my husband’s top score!

So exercise, and positive thinking help me, connecting with my community helps me too. Medication is another thing that helps me. My MS medication, Gilenya, seems to be working for me, my life is under control, side effects from it are minimal, life feels good. I like the way my life is happening at the moment. If it heads off in another direction though, well I know I can re-think the plan and work with what I have, to live another kind of life if necessary. With positive plans, good friends and a great family all helping, my life as it’s currently happening is a good life!

What is this Blog All About?

You might think this blog is all about Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Well it isn’t, not All of it. It certainly has a lot about MS in it, but it’s also about exercise, diet, a bit of philosophy, some funny stuff, the odd mention perhaps of dogs and gardens, and about writing. There may be a wide variety of other things that can be found on this blog.

This blog is actually about LIVING WELL with MS. And that Living Well part of the blog, and of my own life, are extremely important. Existing with MS is certainly not what my aim in life is. I aim to live well, live a good life, live a life that inspires me and can be inspiring to other people. The title of this blog, which is also the title of the memoir I wrote about my new life with MS, has the term Living Well With MS, right there.

aleppo pine

One of the keys to better health is to live well. This can include good nutrition, enough exercise and minimisation of stress. I aim to follow these three points in my life, and I believe I am doing well because of that. That’s not all there is to living well though, in my opinion. I believe living a good and connected life, and having a ‘positive thinking’ approach to life are also important.

I’ve recently done some training in Mindfulness, which incorporated meditation as well as looking at life in a mindful way. This training was useful for me in part because I learned new things. It was even more useful for me, I think, because it backed up many of my own thoughts about the benefits of being connected with community, and doing things for others, finding ways to help and so on.

Doing the things you enjoy doing are also important in living a good life. I’m fortunate that some of my favourite things to do are easy for me – I love writing and that is certainly easy to do, sitting here at my computer, with food, drink and toilet facilities close at hand. I also enjoy being involved with others who love to write, leading two writing groups and being a committee member of another. These things keep me involved and actively engaging with my writing community.

Being the editor of the Mallala Crossroad Chronicle is also one of my interests. This is a newsletter that goes out to members of the town of Mallala and others interested in what goes on there. I’m proud and happy to have been involved in this newsletter from the start back in 2005 or 2006, and am also happy to have taken this little newsletter from 4 A4 pages at the beginning, to the current 20 – 24 pages. The Chronicle is now printed in colour, with interesting articles, some of which are sent in by residents, and with advertising opportunities for local business.

These things keep me alive to the good things at home and in my broader community, and help me to Live Well with MS!