I’ve been blessed with many supportive souls since my lupus diagnosis, a few of whom also live with chronic illness. One of them, along with her partner, has taught me a most valuable lesson, by being my constant reminder that sometimes it’s not about leaps and bounds, but just putting one foot in front of the other.
I’ve read many inspirational posts and quotes that assert life is about the journey, not the destination. This is supposed to remind us all that life is short and to always accept and cherish the present for what it is.
I used to really connect with this mantra. However, after being diagnosed with lupus, I realized that some parts of my journey are incredibly difficult to cherish and sometimes it’s not about celebrating the journey, but focusing on where it might lead — my destination.
I still try to find the great in every single day, but there are some moments when I just need to think about the bigger picture and where I’m heading.
As I look back over this year there already are moments where I couldn’t bring myself to love and live in the moment, as so many people strive to do.
Life can be painful and stressful and altogether unfair. And it’s in these moments that I won’t be forcing myself to stop, look around and appreciate the sunshine, but rather to remember that all I need to do is keep on keeping on toward my destination.
I’m a striver, a fighter, a bit of a perfectionist and an overachiever. I’ve always believed we shouldn’t set our sights on the bare minimum, but aim high and, if possible, climb higher.
And I still believe this.
But living with chronic illness has taught me that not every day is about breaking records and pushing the limits. Some days are about moving forward that one inch; that is both a victory and an accomplishment.
Everyday I wake up knowing that a part of my life is in the hands of something that I have little to no control of, and some of these days are not good ones.
It’s always a good day when I see my renal doctor, to be told that my kidney function is improving and all my test results show I’m getting better with every visit.
But it’s a bad day when I start to notice that my hair – the one thing I got to hold on to when I felt like I had next to nothing else recognizable – is starting to thin and fall out and I don’t know why.
It’s not as easy as it once was to take these bad days, because when I find something new is happening to my body, I can’t just brush it off. It’s not simply bad luck or coincidence; there’s a reason behind it and usually its name is lupus.
But on those days my life doesn’t come to a standstill. I have to keep moving toward that elusive destination and it doesn’t matter whether I make it an inch or a mile, as long as I continue pushing forward.
While I’ve used this Confucius quote before, it’s something I’ve come to live my life by and I can’t help but share it again:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”― Confucius
I still set goals and still aim as far as I can in every aspect of my life.
I will achieve everything I set out to in my lifetime; that won’t ever change.
But these days I know I need to set myself free of time limits because it is not my pace that matters, but my persistence and determination.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.