Friday, November 2, 2012

Reflections On the Year

Another birthday is on the rise...YAY!!  Yes, on Sunday I will be 41 and fabulous, and able to celebrate!  As I started looking forward to this occasion, I also turned back to reflect on this past year...which has been full of changes, some good and some not-so-good.  I was dealt the blow of early retirement due to my CMT, and forced to find a new path.  In my search I rediscovered my artistic side, and have been able to use my talents to raise money for the CMTA, which has been awesome!  That, along with this blog, earned me the CMTA's 'I Am A Star' award, which was a tremendous honor...and even though my recent blow of negative blood test results (to determine what type of CMT I have) were upsetting to me, I have worked hard to continue moving forward. That is often how life happens, full of ups and downs...and yet I am determined not to focus solely on the bad things, which tend to scream longer and louder in order to grab my attention.  The good things that happen to us in life often lie quietly until they are remembered at random moments, and sometimes we manage to forget about them altogether.  They deserve the spotlight...and they deserve recognition.  Remembering the good memories is what keeps the smile on my face, after all!

As writing is my way of thinking things through and exploring new avenues, I decided to try a writing exercise I read about on a 'Neurolmuscular Diseases' site called Bella Online.  This site provides all sorts of information about living with ND's, though I never expected to find an exercise that would get my creative juices flowing!  This certainly isn't limited to one type of writing, and is just another tool that opens your mind and expands your imagination.  The exercise prompts you to choose a word and circle it, and from that word write any other words you can think of, drawing a connecting line to each one...without stopping to think about why.  One word leads to the next and some branch off on their own, leaving you with the makings of a short story, or even a poem.  Pretty straight forward, though where it leads you may be surprising.  And so I grabbed a little piece of paper and wrote my first word, 'Birthday'...a word I actually didn't use in my final piece, because it didn't seem to fit.   This is what my word graph looked like at the beginning:
 And from these words, I created this poem about growth and change, and the passing of milestones.  The poem came out a lot more serious than I was intending, though like I said; where this exercise leads you may be surprising!
Moving Forward 
With every year, every milestone passes.
Moving forward, ever forward...
I see each new day as a gift.
I embrace each new year as it comes;
Embrace it completely...
With abandon, with hope, and with faith.
For as the clock of age ticks by,
Wisdom also grows...the wisdom of life,
The wisdom of experience.
Lessons learned, and lessons earned.
I wear each lesson as a badge...
Badges of honor adorn my chest.
I'm proud of these badges!
And proud of the scars I got for earning them.
They have molded me; they have shaped me. 
As I grow older my scars grow...
The physical ones stretch and change;
The emotional ones become more flexible.
I do not hold tightly to my younger self...
I embrace my future, and welcome change.
For change brings opportunity.
Opportunity brings new life,
New life brings healing...
And healing brings wholeness!
With every year, every milestone passes.
Moving forward, ever forward.
And I see each new day as a gift!
As always, in writing this I was reminded why my birthday is so important to's a way of marking time, reviewing my experiences, and remembering the obstacles I've conquered! So as that milestone comes I will remember the good times during this past year, such as the many artistic opportunities that have come to me...I will remember how I've become a part of the CMT community, and have been able to give back in so many ways.  The other memories are still there, of course...though I will try and remember what I've gained because of them, as my way of dealing with the changes.  And I will celebrate in style, while I eat gluten free pizza...YUMMY!  Have a great weekend, everybody! 


  1. Another year in your young life .... and look at all you've accomplished ! I still find you amazing at the level of fight , faith , determination , and talent you display, no matter what turn of events comes your way . You are a mighty friend to many ... and a shining example of how one can manage a life with courage , grace , a smile on their face,and a twinkle in their eye ! A Champion .....
    I loved your poem , your abundance of talent is such a gift . Perhaps you might think of doing a short book of poems......
    Happy Birthday Friend [ Sunday ]

    1. Thank you Al, for your continued support and reading of the blog! I will keep a poetry book in new opportunities are always a good thing:-)

  2. Happy early birthday! I love how birthdays make us reflective. And I love how you embrace what's ahead :). Good times await :)

    What a cool idea for a poem! I want to try one :)

    I hope the rest of the week is creative and lovely! Rock on!

    1. Thanks, Lenka! I see good times for all of us ahead :-) I hope you share your poem once it's done!