Chronic Illness Intentions: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

What about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you usually get very far? Do they last for the whole year, are they forgotten after a few months or even a week? According to the statistics, less than ten percent achieve what they initially wanted, that’s a bit scary. Naturally, as a chronic illness warrior I have lots of goals to set each New Year’s Eve. I revise my energy, physical abilities, potential risks and possibilities. Some of my resolutions are health-related – they concern special diets and workouts. Others have to do with the way I combine my private and professional life. Will I get far with my brand new resolutions? No idea. Still: I have a word of comfort for you.

They say your second life begins when you realize you only have one. But nobody talks about how long your new-found second life actually lasts. One would believe that the shock of being diagnosed with cancer leads to radical, long lasting changes. My experience is that it doesn’t. Even in those dreadful months when I thought I had only a few more years to live, I quickly grew accustomed to the fact. I even forgot about it once in a while. I got lost in my daily routine, laughed, cried, was bored and angry.

I remember thinking that having an incurable disease should instantly convert me into a better kind of person full of wisdom, goodness and grace. Big mistake! I am afraid I am as bad (or good) as before.

Despite of all my resolutions and intentions I remain imperfect. Not wise at all, but at least honest: I would estimate that my so-called “second life” after being diagnosed lasted for about four weeks. Then it was back to normal. And now? Of course, there are moments when my leukemia or other events unsettle me. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I may well be into my fourth or fifth life by now. There will be more lives to come; simply because although my spirit is willing, my flesh is far too weak to a l w a y s be the kind of person I want to be.

So far, I have been good in 2018. And if I fail I will try – over and over again. I have learnt that not only life is an option. Thankfully lives are an option as well. I have more than a cat and I can make a new start anytime I want to.

After all: tomorrow is another day. 🙂

Happy New Year! Get the most out of 2018, dear reader!

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