To have a “year of fun” is an idea I stole from Bill and Giuliana Rancic. After a year of hardships this couple decided to have fun for the next year and not worry about their baby woes. Watching their reality show in syndication while laying on my couch in my pajamas at 4:00pm on a Monday inspired me to do something about my own woes.
In the past year, I got engaged to the man of my dreams, got married on the beaches of Mexico, celebrated more in Chicago, spent time with family and friends, went to Mardi Gras and Graceland, gave up coffee, returned to a job I had left and discovered frozen yogurt–all amazing things for which I am so grateful.
However, in the past year I have also been to the ER three times, started using a cane to walk, called in sick, cancelled appointments, cancelled dinners, cancelled trips to see theatre, the in-laws, a movie. I missed a dear friend’s funeral, a baby’s first birthday, and countless other important events because of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
When I tell people I have this disease, they say, “Oh but you are so young.” (I’m 28). When I tell them I was diagnosed at the age of 12, they don’t quite know what to say. Unfortunately, this is not that uncommon, and while I was fortunate to only experience mild symptoms for many years of my life, I have developed more severe symptoms over the past year. Every day brings uncertainty–how severe will my pain be? Will I be able to go to work? How tired will I be? When will this pill kick in?
Throughout all this, I am also waiting. Waiting for better results, new medications to work and to just feel better. I try to be patient and positive but it is not always easy. So in the past year, I have often found myself on the couch in my pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon watching reality tv in syndication and feeling pretty sorry for myself.
This blog, however, is my personal challenge to fight the sadness and desperation that can come with living with a painful and debilitating disease, to fight the urge to watch TV all day and attempt to do something fun. Every day. Simple but daunting.
Be it small or large, public or private, communal or solo, I will do something to brighten my spirits every day for the next year. This blog will not only hold me accountable, but also (hopefully) provide some inspiration to others who struggle with disease, depression or just plain lazy bones.
(This post will always be accessible on the What is a Year of Fun? page).