Today I turned 28 and I’m absolutely delighted about it. It’s the first year that I consider to be late twenties so the standard reaction may be to panic about lost youth. However, I’m able to see each year as a blessing for many reasons. These include:
1. Reaching another birthday has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve been able to do, see and experience over the last year. Despite having a major operation, it has been a fantastic 12 months and I think 28 could be a contender for the best year ever. More on this below.
2. A friend I grew up with died of cancer in the last year and it was a real wake up call for me. While I may have myasthenia gravis, I’m fit and healthy enough to do almost anything I want. At times when I feel sorry for myself, it’s important to think of Jemma and the fact that she would have given anything for more time. I have the time that she was tragically deprived of and I plan to make the most of it.
3. Turning 28 means it’s ok to be a silver fox, obviously. This is a relief as my grey hairs seem to be multiplying by the day. Look closely at my photos and I’m sure you’ll be able to spot them.
Back to the reflection. When I think where I was last year at this time – physically and emotionally – I’m definitely a lot stronger and feel more in control of my body and my MG.
I spent my 27th birthday in Edinburgh with friends and family and then in Pitlochry with Elaine. This morning I looked at my pictures from last year. The only photos I have of myself from this weekend are the ones below despite having a whole album with Los of pics of Elaine and my family. I clearly was still very uncomfortable with the physical appearance of my condition.
Anyway this year, due to feeling more at ease with my situation, this blog making me confront the physical appearance issues by taking a snap each day and my symptoms being more predictable, I feel much more comfortable in my skin.
After forcing myself to take on physical challenges last year, I feel more confident in being able to achieve my fitness goals this year. On top of the stage 1 of the Camino de Santiago, I’ve signed up for a mini duathlon with my friend Sarah in April and London to Eastbourne 60 mile cycle with Elaine in September. I don’t have the same fears about not being strong enough that I did after last year – that doesn’t mean that I don’t have hard training ahead.
Last year I was very focused on trying to reduce or maintain my drugs and would get anxious each time I had to increase them. Now I’m more comfortable with the fact that the condition fluctuates so there will be times I need them more than others. I still would like to go into remission but in the mean time I need to focus on keeping myself feeling strong.
Due to all of the things above, for the first time I feel able to say I know what I want in a year’s time, in five years and even some of what I want a decade ahead. Not that it won’t be subject to change – life would be dull if it were that predictable. But having a bit of a plan feels incredibly calming.
Anyway, before I get even more sentimental, I’ve had a fantastic time celebrating my birthday – last night in award winning Host restaurant (above) and today over burgers and beers in the meat packing district (below). As you can see, I’m going home for a good rest and a health kick now as my ptosis has flared up due to late nights, a rich diet and a bit of birthday booze. But, I’m feeling generally calm and ready for whatever my 28th year throws at me.