Monthly Archives: December 2015

My Ideal Life

Have you ever thought about what your ideal life would look like? Is it anything similar to the life you have now? Is it even a possible thing, to live your ideal life?

I’m thinking about such things at the moment because, well because it’s still Christmas holiday time, and I’m at home with the computer and not needing to do anything much for the rest of the day … More particularly though, perhaps, I’ve been thinking about my weight, my health and what I can do so that I am happier with both of those things.

My weight is only a minor issue, I only have a few kilojoules I want to lose. My health though, that’s a different manner. When one has a chronic illness that causes a degree of muscle weakness and also fatigue, it might seem that physical exercise is just too hard to do. The reality though is something else. Doing more can lead to being able to do even more.

I’ve seen this happen for myself in the past. a couple of years ago, I was diligent in keeping up with my exercise program, and I was feeling physically much more able. Even now, when I think about some other people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (my chronic illness), I am glad that I am still able to walk, drive my car, even run a little if I really need to. Some of the people I know with MS need wheelchairs, and I hope to be able to avoid that.

As I’ve said here previously, my neurologist, when he told me what was ailing me, told me to “Use it or Lose it!” That thought certainly kept me going when I got my weight down to its adult lowest weight. It was a little too thin I think though, and I wasn’t eating enough nutritious food – vegetables and so on.

Anyway getting back to my ideal life – My current level of physical ability is OK, but ideally I would be able to easily go up and down stairs, and walk for miles. In my ideal life, I will wear size ten clothes and look great in them – no muffin top, with my jeans fitting me well, a little bit loose to be comfortable.

In my ideal life I will eat plenty of healthy food – with an emphasis on vegetables. This will lead to healthy skin, bones, everything, and I will glow with good health!

Of course in my ideal life, I will also be a popular public speaker, talking about various aspects of my life, and being seen a a lovely and inspiring person. And of course, in my ideal life, I will have written more books, and sold more and more and more of them, online, in bookshops, at book readings and launches, through my websites and at public speaking events!

I’m heading in the direction of my ideal life. I’m not there yet, but I’m more or less working on it, in a way. I’m not widely famous and being contacted constantly for more public speaking gigs, but I’ve had a few of them, and I’m known as a published writer around where I live and beyond. I don’t have all of my books in lots of book shops, but I have some of them in some places, and in libraries in South Australia and other places in Australia.

But the most important thing I’m doing to get to my ideal life, I think, is that I’ve signed up with a program being run by the South Australian government – Get Healthy SA  I’ve only just started – the relevant ‘tools’ arrived in the mail, and I’ve begun working on my plans/goals/actions and so on. I have my own coach who will help me to fine tune them, I think. He will contact me again around the middle of January and we will talk about it all.

Another important thing I’m doing that is related to attaining my ideal life is the workshops I have begun presenting every Sunday morning in a cafe gallery I love, Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery in Gawler. I’m also the writer in residence there, twice a week, so that’s three days a week in a lovely cafe, with lovely food – it’s no wonder the weight is piling on.

The group I’m leading with their writing is inspiring though – they inspire me as I inspire them, so we’re all winning. All in all, if this isn’t my ideal life yet, it’s a pretty good life, that’s for sure!



Christmas Greetings!

Hello everyone, I hope the Christmas Season’s many duties are travelling along nicely for you, and you are almost ready for the easy part of it all to begin. Christmas when you’re a child is full of fun and happy anticipation, but for the adults it’s not always quite so joyful.

There’s the presents to be bought (and budgeted for), food to be cooked, houses to be tidied up for visitors and many other things. These things are hard enough to get through when you’re full of strength, but with an illness, it just gets harder and harder.

And when you have Multiple Sclerosis, the more difficult things are, the more stress there is involved, the harder it can become for you. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, at least the weather is nice and cool. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is in the first month of summer, and in the state I live in, this summer is kicking in HARD! with too many stinking hot days of well over 35 degrees celsius.

This weather makes me eternally grateful for our air conditioner, which makes our living room almost arctic in its coolness, and I only get hot if I have to venture outside. Fortunately I can stay inside almost all of the time, and if I have to drive anywhere, my car has good air conditioning.

Living with MS is not the easiest thing in the world, but I’m glad that my physical symptoms have been able to be controlled, and I am so much better than I was when I was first diagnosed with this disease. And I’m lucky that my current medication (Gilenya) is working well for me, when I know it doesn’t go so well for some others.

People with MS are all different, unique. What works for one won’t necessarily work for all others. It’s a juggling act, trying to balance medications, side affects, life preferences, family matters and work. When you add in possible cognitive decline, it gets even trickier.

If you have MS and you’re coping well with the whole mess, well done, I salute you. If you have MS and not coping well, I salute you too, keep on with your life as best you can, never turn down offers of help, and good luck to you to work through your struggles.

If you don’t have MS, but know someone who has it, don’t ever assume you know how they feel, unless you’ve ever been stuck in a thick prickly mud pool and couldn’t escape from it. That’s how MS can feel. The best you can do for a loved one, or friend with MS is to ask if you can help with anything, and to listen to what they tell you, and listen for the things they don’t actually say too.

Being an able bodied helper who listens without judging can sometimes be the best thing you can be for your MS friend.chptr12 pic

image by Simon Kneebone