Ushering in the new year - armed with lupus knowledge

Wow. 2014. We made it!

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the previous year's happenings - big, little, and in between. 2014 was a good year for me, my family, my house (!), and my businesses. Growth, physical and/or emotional, happened in almost every aspect of the Gorman household (save our waistlines), so I believe it was a success!

Moving back into our renovated house was a big one for us, and I continue to enjoy the "newness" of it all. Our place is now pleasing to the eye, functional, and designed just the way we wanted it to be. We wouldn't change a thing - which is the best result possible.

Sending Deirdre to school five days a week (albeit only 3 hours a day) was a bigger adjustment for me than I thought it would be. It was my first real introduction into the the world of "school-aged children", and being on someone else's schedule (in this case, the school's) was a brand-new experience. For the first time ever, we had to help Deirdre get dressed, fed, and out the door every day at the exact same time (and Bernadette, two of those five days). It was an adjustment for sure. We also had to adjust to not having Deirdre around every morning (read: I missed her), and it became painfully obvious that the hours Deirdre and Bernadette are in school are only going to increase year after year. Ugh. How did I become an empty-nester all of a sudden? :)

This was also my first full year in the Pillbag business, and it was great. I've learned so much about working with manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers, and have enjoyed interacting with my customers, many of them multiple times. Who knew people would keep coming back to try the newest Pillbag design?! I will continue to try and grow the niche business I've carved for myself, while striving to keep my ever-evolving chronic illness in check. What a balancing act - one that takes some serious concentration!

Goals, changes, and adjustments aside, I find that my greatest success of last year is that I'm still here, alive and well. That I've made it yet another year with lupus in tow is the greatest feat of all. As 2014 begins, I know more about what works with lupus, and what doesn't than ever before. I have a better understanding of how far I can or cannot push myself, a more accurate account of what makes for stable health and wellness, and a more detailed plan for what I need to do to achieve that stability. I've added (and subtracted) a few new medications to the roster, I've gathered more (indisputable) evidence on why I need my rest, and understand even more than I did a year ago that it's okay to ask for help.

Sure, I think I need a few more hours of sleep than I did a year ago. And yes, I'm on a slightly higher dose of medicine than this time last year.  But it's not the numbers that I find make for a successful year. It's the knowledge. It's knowing that regardless of the ebb and flow of a disease like lupus, you can still come out on top. You can still enjoy your family. You can still make exciting changes to your house, if you choose. You can still make contributions in a work-like environment. You can still strive to be well. And you can still strive to live well, despite lupus.

So welcome, 2014. I'm ready for you!


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