In the past I have introduced the concept of accepting consecutive unwelcomed “new norms” into my life. I was referring to the “normal” for my particular life situation. My husband was in Maryland/DC. I was in Louisiana, but after twelve months apart we were finally living together back in New Orleans. I didn’t however mention the transition period into this new normal. As it so happens that is exactly where we (my husband and I) are at this very moment. That sinister transition subtly begins the moment the excitement of seeing each other fades and you can clearly see reality. That reality is your “new normal.” It sneaks in the moment you stop shaving your legs and go to bed without taking a shower!

I was a track star in my own mind.

I would run 5 miles on the track.

Due to Multiple Sclerosis, a wheelchair steers my course and shapes our new normal. I used to be an avid runner. Now, fatigue,a common symptom of M.S., dictates our daily routines. I use to handle a 40+ hour work week. Today, muscle spasms leave me stiff as a brick and at other times so loose I have trouble grasping a ballpoint pen! A little over 2 years ago I was totally “normal” and my husband and I were working in Maryland/DC/VA.

With these challenges, I know that acceptance is the way out of sadness, pity and the mourning of who I use to be. I usually have to hit rock bottom before I can rise up. Gratitude for the things I have and can do today is ushered in. It seems easy enough, right? The key is that I have to remind myself of these things daily…even moment to moment. I can’t depend on anyone else to do it for me. It needs to be the constant backdrop behind my life, my new normal if you will. It’s tricky! Often, at the exact moment I need to do it, I can’t. It takes me a little time. So my goal is to slowly try to decrease the time between the frustration/attack and the moment of acceptance/gratitude. That’s a lofty challenge to undertake!
That being said our transition can be as smooth or as rocky as we (mostly I) choose to make it! I thought it would be easy once he arrived here in New Orleans. But I need help with just about everything and I can’t stand it! It’s demeaning and bad for my ego! I love that I can pull my laptop out while lying right beside him and write. He has no clue!!! To me this is exerting my independence and it feels great!
I have to make it clear that he does nearly everything around the house: cooking, cleaning, washing, oh, due to accidents with bleach, I don’t wash his clothes. Instead, he washes all our clothes! He definitely does more than his fair share around the house. Once again, yes I am grateful for that but doggone it, I can’t stand that either! Don’t be mistaken, I help out too. Now I’m responsible for the towels around here.

It’s getting smoother now. I am defining whom I am now as oppose to who I use to be. I’m reluctantly dealing with my new limitations, while Tommy is trying to keep me happy. To be honest he is totally fine. Totally fine! I’m the one refining!

Oh by the way, “Please take a shower tonight” is a quote from Tommy.