M is for…

So just how have we got to February already? It is crazy how time flies and seeing this month zoom past, I realise that I’m soon back to work after Maternity leave. How can that be? You all know by this stage how time passing by scares me a little, so in typical ‘me style’, I’m not allowing myself to think too much about it because it’s all about the here and now.

Anyway, lately (and I’m not sure if it’s because of the time of year or the fact I’ve had a cold) but I have been feeling particularly tired. No, not just tired but in true Fermanagh ‘spake’, there have been numerous occasions in the past few weeks where I’ve been ‘banjaxed’. You see that’s another lovely symptom of ‘The F Word’ (Frederichs Ataxia). Annoyingly this condition not only robs me of the full use of my legs, but it also ensures that for no reason and following no particular pattern, there are days when (and I don’t exaggerate) it takes every ounce of willpower I have to do the most simple of things. Throw into that mix, a teething baby and I’ll let you figure the rest out yourself. The fact that I’ve had a cold doesn’t help either because even a simple cold hits me like a tonne of bricks. (Not that I’ve ever experienced getting hit with a tonne of anything thankfully, but I imagine that to be pretty gruelling!)

So if you have casually asked me lately, “how are you?” I might well have replied with, “not too bad, just a bit tired.” Well that’s me actually saying this hideous ‘F Word’ is getting the better of me on these ‘tired days’. You may well have replied with a standard, “me too, gosh i’m tired today.” I have no doubt that we all experience tiredness at some point, of course we do. It’s a busy and tough life we all lead and our feelings are all relative to personal experiences. However, ‘The F Word’ now ensures that I don’t feel ‘normal tiredness’ anymore. So next time I admit to being tired, I’m admitting to complete, unexplainable exhaustion; the kind I can find no words to describe.

But enough of that because as you know, I try (desperately hard sometimes) to find a silver lining in anything gloomy. So in my depths of tiredness, one good thing reigned it meant I had time to think. Now Seamus doesn’t always agree with me that this is a good thing. More often than not, he accuses me of overthinking. I don’t often admit that you are right Seamus, but sometimes I might be guilty of that I agree!

Only sometimes though! This time, my thinking time started to ponder something worthwhile. That big question loomed- why? Why me? Why did I have to inherit this extremely rare condition? Why has it suddenly shown up in me and none of my other family? The list goes on…

Now my thinking time didn’t allow for answers to emulate for all of the above questions. But one thought kept bouncing back at me and that was- well why not me?

What I’m saying is that we all have things to deal with, big or small and they are all relative to us and our own experiences.

Anyway, all this thinking time made me think of something my uncle always says. As an avid Fermanagh fan he reckons that Fermanagh fans hold a particularly unique mindset given that we all wholeheartedly support our lads in green and yet our trophy cabinet could be considered comparatively bare when contrasted with other counties. Well perhaps the same bodes for the worries we all deal with? Perhaps afflictions like ‘The F Word is then best dealt to me, at least I have a positive mindset to try to overcome the little blighter.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am I no way claiming superiority nor do I think that I am special in any way. In fact in many ways I think ‘The F Word’ has forced me to be as strong as I am. To put it simply, I have no choice. If I show it weakness, it wins and I can’t just stand around and let that happen. In true Fermanagh spirit, I will put up a fight and maybe one day I will achieve my own silverware; a cure for ‘The F Word, a cure to stamp out Frederichs Ataxia once and for all.

So this month M is for mindset of course!

It is vital in every aspect of life that we try hard to maintain a positive mindset. I know that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to always maintain this stance. Believe me, I have bad days thrown in amongst the good. But in the end I work hard to be positive, to look forward in hope and remain thankful for the past and present and for all the good things in my life.

I guess I am lucky in that I have a good support network around me. That helps. It helps a lot. It helps to know that I can talk to people. It’s not easy bottling your troubles up in fact in many ways, I think it can make things worse. A whole lot worse. Sometimes through simply talking, your troubles become less and positivity can shine through. Of course it’s not always about talking though. Listening is key. I think it’s sometimes easy in this busy life to rush along, constantly thinking of your to do list, of work, the kids, whatever. But do we really always listen? It’s something I’m working on. I think it’s important. We need to listen to others, giving someone 15 minutes listening time us nothing out of your day especially if it helps them to regain some positive vibes.

So until next time, I hope that like me you can have some time out. Time for yourself to think of all the good things. Look forward to the future in hope and work hard on that positive mindset. Remember, talk, listen and share. You don’t always have to be winning to be a winner.

Until next time folks…

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