Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights. In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? Measure in love...seasons of love.
That really does sum up how I will "measure" my year...the moments that involved love and joy and care. Those times that I shared in loving and caring and laughing with family and friends. Those times I witnessed others caring and sharing their time, energy, love and lives with others in our world.
That really is the truest, most sincere and honest measure of the value of the year 2011. I am choosing to see beyond my own situation with RA so that I can find peace and satisfaction in my life. It would be easy to simply focus on my own narrow perspective of life with RA. But in order to have a satisfying life and to successfully manage a chronic disease like RA, we need to step outside of our own individual circumstances and view the world on a larger scale....
When I think back to the times this year when I was not only happier but actually healthier, they inevitably involve lots of joy filled activities with family and friends...times when I was NOT isolated or alone thinking of my illness and the difficulties associated with RA.
Don't misunderstand what I mean here....I am not suggesting that we in any way stop being vigilant about the management of this disease. It remains absolutely critical that we attend to the demands of RA. That said there MUST be a balance between meeting our health needs and letting our every waking moment be centered around it.
Without that balance I believe we will succumb to the disease. Without that balance the challenges that are such a part of RA will become more than we can tackle. Without that balance, our lives will spin out of our control and we will fall into a state characterized by pain and depression.
This may seem like an exaggeration but it is not. Studies have proven again and again that when you focus "outside of yourself" you are healthier both physically and mentally. I have the honor of working with hundreds of elders who are volunteers in our community and so I see first hand how much better off they are than their contemporaries who are less engaged in life. They seem to have struck that perfect balance that I aim to duplicate!