And of course, personally.
So, time to take a stumbling step back and reflect upon what worked, what didn’t and what I’m hoping for in 2019.
- The Teenager – like any parent, watching your child sprout wings and take flight is incredible. He’s had a lot of ups and downs, but he’s ending the year on a high note. Plus, he now understands why I ask him to open the window after a shower. Progress.
- Friends – what can I say? Without you guys I would be nothing.
- Writing – this year, I became a member of the National Union of Journalists, inspired by an (unsuccessful) interview for a short-course teaching job at a local University. I’d failed to see myself as a ‘writer’, but with great feedback from one of the interviewers a couple of days afterwards, I am now tentatively agreeing, that yes, I have a lot to say through many different channels, and why not consider myself a professional writer? Writing about life with MS is so important and I’ll do so until I no longer can.
- The Hernia (Phyllis) – now gone after a quick operation, thankfully, although the stitches are taking a crazy amount of time to heal. I still walk like a robot.
- Student Finance Wales – after applying during the Summer, I was approved in December for my Post-grad Student Loan. It took over half a year, but here I am, an Academic Research Associate and PhD student, aiming to highlight MS and all its complexities.
- PIP – I had a huge amount of support moving from DLA to PIP, but I ended up with a pitiful award until a fantastic blog-reader of mine intervened and put me in touch with my local MP. Long story short, my case was heard and I was given the right amount after a truly epic battle. Note to DWP – MS is still incurable.
- Saxaphone – long-term readers might remember I was thinking about taking up the sax. Hmm. I put it to one side and then last week I was in a cafe and saw two adverts for teachers. One to think about.
Not so good things:
- Paleo/Keto/Fasting – I’ve tried all three, and am still not eating pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc. To no avail!! Same weight, same old me. However, I like the energy this eating plan gives me, so I’ll continue, but will still be annoyed that it’s not working where I want it most. Gah.
- Singledom – yep, still single. I saw a tweet the other day, along the lines of, ‘Ok, so that’s it, I’ve come to terms with it, I can never imagine another first date, the awkwardness, etc.’. And I found myself agreeing. So that’s that then.
- The outside world – having battles with the DWP and SFW has taken its toll. I just don’t go out that much at all. Chuck in a big dollop of MS fatigue and I’m done. The world passes me by.
- Loved ones – are struggling. It’s raw, painful and all too real. I think when you lose a parent at such a young age, you become hyper-sensitive to death and dying and it never leaves you.
- Mud – no matter how MS and the post-op hernia limits me, I seem to be surrounded by the stuff.
Hopes for 2019:
- The Teenager – will become more happy in his own skin and realise his worth.
- Me – I will accept the size I am now and embrace it, rather than saying, ‘sorry I’m so – well – round, and chunky.’
- Studies – I will keep studying/writing/researching my PhD. I’m struggling to fit it in around work and MS, but it keeps me going, in so many ways.
- Life – I would like to come to terms with things I cannot change. I also hope that my yearly MRI throws up pretty patterns and nothing else.
- Other things – I’d like to learn how to re-pot plant cuttings.