We all brought our own meat to grill and a side to share and Grandpa and Grandma Rose made us a homemade cheesecake. It was super super yummy leaving only one piece remaining. (This pic was taken BEFORE my husband and I's Canasta game in which I had to have another piece.)
We topped off the evening with our white elephant gift exchange and there were a lot of awesome and fun gifts this year....this one taking the cake for the most creative. (An Ipad) We had a great time!
I reflect on these types of parties from previous years and how I would prepare for a couple of weeks, worry about silly details, and took forever afterward to clean up and recoup. Things are much different now. Some of these changes have happened over time, and some due to MS. The work involved? Sending out a few texts to organize and remind, and about an hour of setting up a couple of tables and a few decorations and stringing lights on the railing. That's it. Everyone did their own cooking (my son helped out a lot) and clean up only took about 1/2 hour. It was super easy.
As I sat in church earlier that day, I had time to quietly think during the sacrament. I could still strongly feel the impressions I had had a couple of days before at the Piano Guys concert when they performed Oh come Emanuel. I felt a peace about my MS and actually felt a little as if I had received a gift due to its presence. My previous life was full of worrying. I worried about everything and everyone, my students, my family, my neighbors, my friends. I felt like I needed to constantly be aware and working to help everyone. That is not a bad thing in moderation, but I felt constant responsibility for everyone around me. It was physically and emotionally exhausting.
Now? I work under a different set of rules, many of which have been taught by necessity due to MS. I try to pray each day that the Lord will inspire me as to who I can help. I follow those inspirations and know that that is enough. He will take care of the rest. I try not to worry about the small things as much. I'm finding pleasure and peace in things of significance and have greatly simplified my life.
Sometimes I miss all the things I could do before and the activities I was able to be a part of, but I have more peace. I count MS as the reason why I have this blessing. Although I hate many things about this disease, and it frightens me at times, I have to say I'm grateful.
Today? It's my day off....nothing on the calendar (YAY). My goals for the day? Blog (which I'm just about done), and paint.... and treating myself to a lot of nothing after such a busy weekend. I'm getting to understand my body better with each passing day and I know if I want to be able to work and other things.....a day of rest is my ticket. I've known this for a little while, but I'm starting to be able to not feel guilty about it. There something healing about a day like this.
keeping family connected
having fun with new technology (just put in a security system and my Echo Dot....super fun!)