What Are Your Goals?

Kellie McRae avatar

by Kellie McRae |

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I have been asked what my goals are twice in the past two months. At one time, I would have told you that I was an ambitious overachiever. Now, I strive to get out of bed before 9 a.m. The first time it was on a questionnaire at the doctor’s office, and my snarky answer was to be alive by this time next year. I thought it was funny in a dark way, given the current status of my health. The doctor didn’t think it was so funny, that might be why he was all too happy to refer me for therapy.

The second time I was asked this question was a few days ago by a new friend who is also a business owner. I am rarely at a loss for words, but I had no real answer to her question. Just a few short years ago, I had goals to retire at 50 and travel the world to find a place to live outside of the U.S. Strangely, I have met those goals, but not in the manner that I’d anticipated. I raised two children on my own. I eliminated my debt and was stashing every dollar I had, investing in stocks. I’d hoped to buy a few properties to support me into old age. Instead, I was forced out of work almost five years before my deadline, was denied disability, leaving me to live on those savings and sell off my stock. Real estate for retirement seems like a pipe dream as I struggle to figure out who I am and what I’m doing with my life now.

I’ve been to many places since my diagnosis, but these trips have not been for pleasure. I moved to Thailand because my research showed they were very familiar with lupus, they had quality, affordable healthcare, and a lifestyle that was also affordable. It’s a developing country that offers first world amenities. I lived there for two years. I am now in Mexico because I was told that my persistently low platelet count could eventually be fatal. So I decided — last minute — to move closer to my children.

I had plans to leave Thailand and to try Portugal next. When I arrived in most of the countries I visited, there was stress on my body and days of pain and recovery. I have a few other countries I’d like to see before I stop globetrotting but because of the issues I seem to have after lengthy flights, I wonder if I will ever see them. I also wonder, based on not receiving disability payments and the inability to work, if I will see them because of financial constraints as well. I would never have thought that a question I’ve been answering all my life would cause so much introspection.

I have no answers at this time unless you count being alive at this time next year. I am currently exploring the passion in my possibilities. I’m optimistic that if I am asked this question in the next three months, I will have an answer. One that includes living — and not just being alive.


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.


Laurie Wotus avatar

Laurie Wotus

Greetings Kellie!
Thank you for your columns. I do not have lupus but my dear sister does.
Your honesty, joy and insight helps me to understand and hopefully add encouragement to my sister.
With much appreciation,
Sending my sister love to you too!!

Kellie McRae avatar

Kellie McRae

Hi Laurie, How awesome is it that you are there for your sister, trying to learn what she deals with and being supportive. Thank you for taking the time to read my column and I'm happy I can provide some insight. I wish your sister more good days than bad and thank you for being there for her and for reading! You rock!

Raquel Jorge avatar

Raquel Jorge

Hi Kellie, If you come to Portugal (OPorto) let me know, you will not regret it, it's a lovely city, and I will help you in everything I can.

Kisses and congratulations for your column.

Kellie McRae avatar

Kellie McRae

Hi Raquel,

I hope to be able to take you up on that offer. Before I decided to come to Mexico, Porto was where I'd planned to go next. Its still on my travel wish list. I have heard nothing but good things about Portugal. Many people, of course, say Lisbon but I wanted to venture to Porto since I don't need big city living just convenience and great people. Thanks for the invitation!


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