Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why Life With Chronic Illness Can Improve With This Unconventional New Year's Resolution

"This year I will eat healthier.
"This year I will become organized.
"This year I will exercise daily," says the one taking their last bite of a fast food while exiting a cluttered car to visit the gym for the first and only time that week.

Yeah, that was me once too.

Okay, maybe all New Year resolutions are quite that frivolous. Most do consist of commendable goals to further one's professional and/or personal life. Regardless, my resolution for the upcoming year is not to have a resolution. And my life with chronic illness will be better for it.

Chronic illness impacts every facet of current and future life. Its presences exists in all decisions, from the menial choice of breakfast cereal (or, um, feeding tube formula?), to which store to shop at, to education and a career. The incessant planning involved is exhausting. Our futures are uncertain with teeter-tottering health intruding upon goals and aspirations. Formulating a New Years resolution is beginning the new year on a foundation of more planning and more uncertainty, almost always resulting in failure. A lengthy list of resolutions that may or may not be attainable is not the ideal infrastructure of success.

 If there is any lesson that the preceding years have offered, it is that life rarely transpires according to expectations. The absence of a resolution represents living the healthiest life possible. It reduces stress from additional planning, leaves no opportunity for failure due to declining health, and allows considerable time to make the best decisions for the now.

So when questioned about my New Year's resolution, I am happier not to have one. I will cherish the present and take life as it comes.