Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year of Doing Less

I'm going into my fourth year of "early retirement" due to disability.  As is my custom, I am reviewing lessons learned from last year. 

The most important lesson learned is that I should not plan to have the same level of energy that I had before disability.  Last year, there were too many times when I believed that I was normal and had the same energy level that I had before.  So I filled up my schedule, made commitments, volunteered endlessly, and then crashed in confusion.  "What happened?" I would whine.  Then I would go to the doctor looking for yet another prescription, or try alternative therapies that friends said were successful for them.

But last year, I lost sight of my authentic self.  I lost sight of the reason for my disability.  This next year, I am going to ignore the cultural message that "You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To and Don't Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise."  Bullpoop.  I'm going to avoid going to lectures by people with MS who climb Mt. Everest or travel the world in 80 days.  I am not using them as role models any more.  I will be my own authority and not succumb to peer pressure.

This next year, I pledge to do less. I pledge to focus on a few fundamental activities, and to avoid saying 'yes' to everything.  I pledge to give serious thoughts to my priorities.  And I AM prepared to deal with the disappointments - mine and others. 

Just thought you should know this now so that you will be prepared for a different year, too.

Happy New Year!



  1. Thanks Joan, for sharing your struggles and victories. Noel

  2. Hurray for authenticity! I look forward to reading about your experiences of life, and any time you want to hear what my guiding angels say about what I can offer you, I'm willing to share. With love from Zing

  3. Sometimes recognizing limits is the greatest victory.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful choice for the new year!! Hope you are having a nice weekend. :)

  5. That's a great decision to make for 2011. I myself need to learn to slow down and make less commitments. I wish you the best in the coming year! Hope you had a great holiday!

  6. It takes practice, letting go of how it was and being with what is...continuous practice.

  7. Just found your blog .Enjoying reading it. Taking a nap is my new favorite hobby.

  8. I heard someone say once that, when trying to set priorities, we should make a Yes list. Then, when someone asks us to do something, we look at our Yes list and see if that thing fits on the list. So it's not so much saying "no" to things but saying "yes" to other things. That's helpful to me.
    Lazy J

  9. Bullpoop is right! A Christian to the core but eternal truth is eternal truth and I believe in the law of attraction. It's still Bullpoop! I have no power over this MS! All I have control over is my attitude! And I choose to be happy! ~and sleep a lot!!

    I look forward to reading more and getting to know you!


  10. Great post, and great philosophy!! hear hear!!