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    • #26275
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend.

      Sorry I’ve been a little quiet here lately. My main job at this site’s parent company has kept me busy, but I enjoy reading posts and conversations here.

      I wanted to share my general feelings of optimism and hope right now. With all the chaos and uncertainty we’ve all experienced in the past year, I genuinely feel like things are finally looking up. Cases are generally going down and more people are getting vaccinated. I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week. While I recognize how fortunate I am, I do hope that more and more people in our community will be eligible soon.

      Recently, I wrote about embracing the stillness and tranquility when life gets crazy. Even now as things are brighter for me, this message holds true. Just observing the everyday joys of life or listening to good music does wonder for the soul.

      What about you? What’s something that lifts your spirits or that you can cling to this week?

    • #26293
      Mike Huddleston
      Participant

      Hey Kevin – interesting topic.  So, I’ve been working full time from home almost a year to the day now.  My last full day in the office was Monday, March 16th, 2020, and I had to go back in for a few hours to pick up a few forgotten items later that week.  I am still not eligible for the vaccine, but will sign up as soon as it becomes available.  And yes, things are trending downward, which is a good thing, although I am cautiously optimistic between spring breaks and some states easing restrictions while so many residents are yet to be vaccinated.  So, still using my same approach and safeguards.  My wife has received both doses as she works in a dental office.

      I thinks SMA has provided us with years of practice for some of the hardships of the pandemic and restrictions.  Not directly, but indirectly.  What I mean is I’ve watched my body lose functionality over decades.  I was diagnosed at 16, symptomatic for a couple of years before that, and ambulatory until 2015 when I was 52.  So, although there were periods of frustration, I chose to focus more on the things I could still do.  I think that in part had a mostly positive effect on my outlook.  Similarly, with the pandemic restrictions, I tried to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t.  I have an appreciation for 2 more hours of sleep everyday and NOT getting up at 4 a.m. on days going to the office.  And I live in Maryland and have a nearly 40 mile commute to the office near the MD-DC border.  So, I’ve also eliminated about 2 hours or more daily by not commuting.

      This is not perfect, but it does allow me to appreciate all I do have and focus on the positive.  I do miss some of the socialization aspects of being in the office and chance meetings of long time acquaintances and friends.   I’ve worked there over 34 years, so know a lot of people.   So, to me, this isn’t something I’m clinging to this week, but has been a longtime trend of trying to focus on the positive things and little joys of life each and every day.  Maybe it’s weird that SMA has helped prepare me a bit for the COVID restrictions.  I don’t know, as I try not to over analyze it, but it helps and seems to work for me.

    • #26298
      Crystal
      Participant

      Mike, I don’t think it’s weird SMA prepared you for the pandemic. It definitely prepared me and my family for the pandemic. My mom tells me all the time that focusing on the positive aspects of life helps, and she’s right. It’s just hard to do that sometimes.
      Another thing that she says helps me a lot too. I’ve been struggling with a lot of pain lately and certain activities, like taking a bath, hurt more and sometimes hurt me seriously in a way that doesn’t heal for weeks, and therefore I hate those things. I’m actually scared of baths even though my mom is super careful. But my mom said, “Instead of fearing pain, go into each day knowing that you are going to experience some kind of a pain but set a goal for each day. That way you can say, yes this happened that hurt BUT I accomplished THIS today. It doesn’t have to be an insane goal. Maybe something like, I will hold my book open on my own for 20 minutes today while I read.” At first, I didn’t see how that was supposed to help, but I tried it out, and let me tell you, it really does help. It doesn’t take the pain away. It doesn’t fix anything. It just gives me a reason to want to get out of bed every day. It gives me a reason to live each day. So I guess that’s what I cling to each day. That and my brother. My brother is the one thing that has kept me from losing my mind.

      • #26328
        Mike Huddleston
        Participant

        Crystal – Thank you for your amazing post.  I am sorry to hear about your struggles with pain, but love the way you approach it and each day.

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