Ignoring the RA Ticking Clock in the New Year

Yes, it’s that time again. New Year. The time when everyone is making resolutions and promises to themselves for what their 2022 is going to be like, usually forgetting that everything by February breaks.

I have made posts in the past going over all the things you should wish for/resolve to do in your own new year and, frankly, I don’t think there’s anything left I haven’t said already.

What I'd like to attempt for the new year

So, this year, instead, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do in the New Year. Or, at least, what I’m going to attempt.

I know, I know. You’re probably saying, "Why the heck should we care what you want to do in the New Year?" Well, you probably shouldn’t. Then again, many of you have been loyal readers of what I like to call my "poignant nonsense" for years, so why stop now?

In all seriousness, though, I figure it may give you some ideas or even make you feel a little bit less alone in your rheumatoid arthritis or whatever chronic illness you live with. And if we aren’t trying to feel a little less lonely, then what are we doing here?

Worry less about the ticking clock

So, I promised myself that this year I’m going to worry less about the imagined ticking clock that seems to inform everything I do.

When you have RA or any chronic illness really for a long time, it starts to get to the point where you expect things to happen. Even the most positive-thinking, upbeat person in the world has more and more moments of doubt as time goes on.

I mean, I think we all know that the more years of damage chronic illness does to a body, the greater the chance that you are going to suffer a major event at some point down the road. It’s kind of like getting 2 tacos for a dollar at the one-off fast-food place in your town that used to be Taco Bell but is now called Taco Ball because they couldn’t afford a new sign.

You can eat those tacos but it’s pretty much a guarantee that later on, they are going to cause you problems - you’re just waiting for the other gastrointestinal shoe to drop. It’s the same with RA and chronic illness and, more and more, lately, it’s been monopolizing my grey matter’s real estate.

It feels like the countdown had sped up

Even if I was healthy, I’d probably feel up against it as I am - I will admit (begrudgingly) - getting older. Slightly. So, there’s that. Throw in the whole RA/chronic illness thing, and the countdown speeds up.

I just have so many things still on my life’s to-do list that I’m afraid I won’t get to do. I still want to write several of the screenplays I have worked out. I still want to give acting a real shot. I still want to... well, you get the idea.

I won’t bore you with the details of my life’s wish list but, sufficed to say, I hear that RA clock ticking and I have to fend it off more and more lately. So that’s why, in 2022, I’m just going to do my best to forget about it and do the things I want to do. How? Well, that’s the trick.

There’s no age limit for success

So I’m going to remind myself that there are countless examples of people becoming successful later in life. Actors, businessmen, inventors, artists – the list goes on and on.

You may not know any, err, offhand, but they exist. Trust me, I’ve looked. And looked. And looks some more. And then verified it several times with cross-references and sourcing. Not Wikipedia.

But I digress – the point is, it may be a little more difficult and it may take a little longer, but there’s no age limit on your to-do list. Sure, if "jump out of plane" is on your list and you’re about to turn 90, well, then, it may be worth avoiding. But barring any similar extreme examples, there’s no age limit for success.

Filling my calendar with things I want to do

Also, I’m going to pack my calendar with as many things as I can possibly stand. Schedule my day entirely, if necessary, to prevent a lot of idle time. Idle time is usually when that tick-tock from RA Hell sounds the loudest. When I’m distracted or focusing on something, I can usually forget about it for a while.

Make every minute count double

So that’s my main resolution for 2022 if you want to call it that. I’m going to forge ahead despite the RA and the myriad of surgeries I have scheduled for this year and complete at least 2 or 3 of the things on my wish list. It may mean forgoing some of the other things I like to do, but as long as I can keep my mind off the clock of Damocles hanging over my head, then I should be able to actually enjoy myself.

Yes, my rheumatoid arthritis will likely have some major crisis in store for me within the next 5 years, but I can’t spend my whole life waiting for it like California waiting for the "big one." I have to push ahead because of my RA, not despite it.

If it really is going to give me less time overall, then every minute has to count double. Have a great new year, talk soon!

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