Well, here we are – New Year’s Eve. A time where we reflect on the past year that has just gone whilst looking forward to the new incoming year and all the possibilities that it could bring.
This time of year always seems significant as it offers hope and endless possibilities. It tells us that although our year has been full of highs and lows, it allows us to celebrate the fact that we have survived another year. It feels that we are on the precipice of change. It’s funny though really isn’t it? I mean as significant and exciting it is that we end one year and at the beginning of another, it really is just another day on our calendar. And although we often feel that the new year brings about change and new possibilities; nothing really changes (apart from the hanging of a new calendar on our walls).
The days after Christmas allows us to sit down and contemplate the year that has passed. To celebrate the triumphs of our years and to dwell on the things that didn’t go well or those which we weren’t expecting. It is a time to reflect on everything that has happened and to make plans for the new year (for me this includes a trip to Bath and another cruise!). We mark the occasion by making New Year’s Resolutions; a list of things that we hope to change or what we want to achieve during the next 365 days. Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, even join in these celebrations by creating a review of everything we have contributed to our timelines.
I remember an old tradition that my Mum told me, and one which my great-grandmother used to do every year – this old tradition saw people opening their front and back doors as a way of letting out the old year and to bring in the new. A beautiful tradition that offers everything that the new year is all about – the celebration of the old, and looking forward to the future.
But however exciting and wonderous the prospect of a new year brings, it is not always the case when living with a chronic illness.
Although the new year offers celebration of getting through a year living with debilitating symptoms, endless hospital appointments and many days lying in bed, it can also be a time of great anxiety.
As many look forward to the new year and everything that it could possibly offer, we spoonies wonder what the next year will bring. What questions will be answered with upcoming hospital appointments? Whether new symptoms will present themselves? If there will be a deterioration in our health within the next 365 days. Yes, we contemplate everything non-health related too, but when living with chronic illness everyday, it is hard not to first think about our long-term health conditions when it is such a time to reflect and contemplate the end of one year, and the prospect of the start of a new one.
Personally, for me although this past year has seen many changes in terms of my own neurological condition; most of which are not for the good with the deterioration of many of my symptoms, there were however many highlights and positives that have happened during 2014, including:
- Visiting new places
- Being able to shop in Next for the first tine in years
- Our cruise (although there were still many tough days, the experience of the trip was positives in many ways)
- Meeting new people and making new penpals
- Writing for a digital publication for those living with chronic illnesses
- Being interviewed for a pharmaceutical magazine as a patient and my views on healthcare (it was lovely for someone to take an interest in my opinions)
- Meeting my new neurologist who actively listens and interested in my opinions and those of my parents
Those were just some of the positive experiences that has made up my year during 2014. And hoping that there are many more during 2015!!
I hope that when you are sitting and contemplating your year during the last 365 days there are many good points to take away. And what’s more, I sincerely hope each and every one of you reading this has an amazing New Year’s Eve and that 2015 is a magical and wonderful year for you!