Last week I wrote in my journal this spontaneous and uncensored entry: “I’m grateful for good days, calm days full of peace and acceptance, and for seeing life as beautiful, just as it is.”
What a gift this entry was to me. Re-reading it conjures up the way I felt when I wrote it, and helps me to appreciate the journey I’ve been on during the seven years since I first began experiencing symptoms of MCI.
I remember well the fear and dread I experienced after hearing my diagnosis. Of forecasting a rapid transformation from ‘me’ into a grotesque hag and projecting my quick demise into oblivion. I cried often during those early days and felt sad most of the time.
Fortunately, those projections were way off. Not only has my progression of memory loss and decline been a slower process than I expected, my attitude has changed for the better. I do my best to not dwell on the negatives of my condition and or be resentful, but to focus on acceptance and appreciation of what I am still able to do, experience and enjoy. And while I’m not perfect in my transformation, I remind myself: I’ve never done anything in my life perfectly—that is an impossibility. It’s the trying that really counts.
After years of working, parenting, and being an active community member, I can now appreciate the blessing of open space on my calendar. Days when I can read, do jigsaw puzzles, work crosswords, take walks with Keith and our dogs, veg out with reruns on TV, or embroidery baby quilts.
I understand these days are likely a ‘grace period’ for me and that my condition will likely change in time. But such is the reality of all of life; nothing stays the same.
I’ve been down the road of being sad, morose, and resentful—and that path is really pathetic. So I’ll stay on this course for as long as possible—and see life as beautiful, just as it is.