As Seasons Change, I Reflect on Hard Work and Hope
Last weekend in New York City offered a combination of past, present, and future, at least in terms of the weather. We had sub-freezing temperatures with rain and snow, a late sunset due to daylight saving time, and a sunny day that served as a reminder that spring is upon us.
I was supposed to go for my weekly long run on Saturday, but the snowy weather persuaded me to move it to Sunday.
As with the new year or birthdays, the changing seasons offer a time to reflect (and do some spring cleaning).
Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of big changes or resolutions just because the calendar shifts. I figure that if we want to change, we should move forward. We don’t need permission to become our best selves.
That said, it’s probably a bit too simplistic of an approach. Oftentimes — and this definitely applies to me — a changing calendar is the best motivator. If a new year, a new season, or a birthday helps someone to improve their life or the lives of others, then I celebrate it wholeheartedly. After all, some people make resolutions that stick. I applaud that and truly hope you are among them. I am rooting for your success.
Also, I am all for hope. Miracles do happen. However, I believe that most success happens due to a combination of what I call “H & H”: hope and hard work. I know that I have consistently needed both.
Hope is a broad term, often encompassing other concepts like luck, blessings, beliefs, and so on. Essentially, I’m talking about when something good happens, but you really didn’t do anything to provoke it.
Hope is wonderful to have, especially when you struggle with sarcoidosis. But over the long term, that kind of hope won’t matter without the other “H” — hard work.
What does hard work mean when you are talking about managing a disease? Well, it could mean quite a few things, but it’s best to focus on the things you can control.
In my case, I’ll ask myself what I can control in terms of sarcoidosis. Candidly, some days it feels like the answer is nothing. But I can control my attitude.
Considering how the disease can present itself so differently for each of us sarcoidosis fighters, it seems natural that our attitudes and approaches will differ, too. I’m not about to suggest that I’m always happy with sarcoidosis. But I do work hard to remain as mindful and positive as I can be with this condition. I accept it even as I fight it.
Hard work also means listening to my doctors at Johns Hopkins while also listening to my body. Hard work means scheduling and sitting through frustrating and never-ending tests and scans to track my sarcoidosis status. It means taking hundreds of pills and receiving monthly infusions to keep me at baseline status. I call it my never-ending basic maintenance.
There is no doubt that I have been fortunate in my ability to fight sarcoidosis. I have a supportive family and friends and world-class medical care. I am well aware that I have been blessed many times over and am thankful for it. But I’ve also worked my butt off to manage this terrible disease, and I’ve pushed myself in unusual ways.
I just need to keep moving, especially when the seasons change.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.