Cheers, to a new New Year’s Eve tradition: Gratitude

Karina, a woman with short brown hair leans against a wall on a balcony during sunset. She wears a white hoodie and holds a glass of wine in her hand. In the background you can see an old church and many older houses.

Can you believe that the year is almost over? Again? I feel like since the pandemic started, time has flown but also stood still at the same time. Unlike 2020 – we can all agree that 2020 should just be canceled entirely, right? – I have mixed feelings about this year. Yes, the pandemic made it more challenging if compared to my ‘regular’ challenges due to EDS, but overall, for me, it wasn’t all too bad.

Since I got chronically ill, usually, every single one of my New Year’s Eve wishes was centered around my health. In the beginning, while I was desperately searching for the cause of my symptoms, I was hoping to miraculously get cured and feel healthy again. Then, when I finally knew I had EDS, I would wish for one more or less stable year with preferably no surgeries. And well, with COVID, I was wishing that my loved ones and my community would stay safe and that no healthy person would have to find out what being chronically ill actually means. Also, for myself, I was hoping I wouldn’t get even more chronic illnesses on top of my already way too long list of conditions.

I was always hoping for something, feeling like my life needed improvement in one way or another, and when those hopes and dreams didn’t actually come true, I would be disappointed. But that’s not really how it works, is it? I mean, the universe isn’t just handing out passes for a worry-free new year to anyone that asks for it – which is, to be fair, likely the whole world.

I realized, maybe it’s me who needs to change her mindset and reevaluate her life a bit. We live in a culture where most of us are never really satisfied with what we have. We always thrive for more, and often, that’s a good thing. That’s what keeps us moving, makes us reach our goals, but I realized that doesn’t necessarily apply to life with a chronic illness. My chronic illness won’t go away or even become better just because I sent up a few good wishes during the fireworks on one random night every year. Maybe it doesn’t have to because the year wasn’t all that bad.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need another year of shutdowns, death and isolation, but I realized how privileged I am to still be here to see another year. So this year, there won’t be any hopes and wishes for the next one. This year, I will look back and write down the five things that happened during this year I am grateful for.

I am grateful for…

  1. my move home to be closer to my family – I miss the US; I miss my friends over there but do I miss sitting in the economy class on a 12-hour flight? Nope.
  2. not having lost the ability to write and be a journalist – thanks body! –  because this fulfills me the most in the entire world.
  3. having been able to swim in the ocean on several occasions, which is the happiest of my happy places.
  4. my therapist and her support to work through some really tough old trauma and becoming a better version of myself – at least I hope I did, but who am I to judge :)
  5. every single person that offered me support and listened to my problems last year, which really was no small task.

And from now on, I won’t hope or wish for a better next year. I will just take every day as it comes – crappy or good.

So what’s on your list?

Happy Holidays & all the best for you and your loved ones!

See you next year!



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *