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New Year, New Decade, New Me?

There is some debate whether 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade or 2021 does; but for the purposes of this article, we’re saying it’s the end of the previous one.

The last six months have been extremely difficult for me. When it came to my feelings on RA, I turned into Jekyll and Hyde. One minute I hated my condition so much I cried; the next, I’ve smiled because I was pretty darn lucky in all aspects of the condition. I tried to stay positive until all of a sudden, I was reminded of what my life was supposed to be like and how far from those dreams I was.

I’ve written a fair amount of articles on these contradicting feelings, but I think there are more coming. 2020 is going to be a year.

Turning 30 with rheumatoid arthritis

My 10 year anniversary of a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

First, July marks my 10 year diagnosis anniversary. That’s a pretty intense mark. Second, I’m turning 30. I have spent a whole decade of my life with this disease and not just any ten years, an entire growing period!

Looking back on what I learned about myself

I was supposed to learn how to “adult” and navigate life without school, new social obligations, life in general. Instead, I had to navigate a life-altering disease that side-lined me from life. If I am being brutally honest, I did nothing with those ten years. It was a waste of a decade.

I certainly didn’t find myself or define my life. It looks like I have to use my 30s for that.

So…where do I start?

I figured out how to maintain “suitable” health. I had my low periods but generally, I managed. But, not well enough; I could do better.

Practicing patience in my 30s

What should my new year or new decade resolutions be? Eat better, exercise more (the usual rubbish)? A zebra doesn’t change its stripes that easily, does it? At this point in my life, I’m pretty locked into my personality. Can I become a better version of myself?

I need to exercise patience. My 20s were a smorgasbord, a chaotic whirlwind of everything I was supposed to do plus the addition of a chronic condition. Yes, the rheumatoid disease stunted my development, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had no control. I don’t know what my 30s will bring, I cannot set goals or make plans. I have to be patient. I have to be kind to myself. I have to accept the timeline I am given.

Letting go of extra negativity

And, who knows, letting go of that burden, those extra negative thoughts may lead me to clarity, which could lead to a better lifestyle, which in turn leads to better health.

It’s a new year, a new decade, and hopefully, a positive, more engaged me.

Do you have any NY resolutions? Let me know in the comments!


This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • tckrd
    3 weeks ago

    Try to put a twist on things and think of your adventure this way. How much stronger I get and better are you to have the experience of the ongoing changes you are going through. Then take it one step further. Look how much I have helped and can continue to help others because of what I have been blessed with.

  • 2mra
    1 month ago

    Hi Monica…Happy New Year!!!

    I was wondering where you had gotten to. Good to hear that you are still around. I’m sad to hear that you haven’t been feeling well the past 6 months. Are you planning on changing medications or have you already?

    I try not to think of my younger years of hopes for an interesting and adventurous future. Unfortunately, it pops into my mind once in a while though. Usually by a comment from family or friends.

    My happiest dreams after graduating from high school, were looking forward to moving to my first apartment in the big city, starting college and working at my intended career. Simple, like most teenagers.

    Most of those came true except for the career. I certainly didn’t plan on being dxd. with yet another autoimmune disease and then others afterwards. I had to accept a less active and stressful job. RA, I think is still the worst disease, so far. Knock on wood!

    I’ve been on the emotional roller coaster like most but thankfully haven’t fallen as far down as some.

    Even though the pain and fatigue has been horrid more times than not, from the meds not working, I seem to have the inner strength to be able to pick myself up and push on. Especially, when our kids were little and rambunctious, always inviting new and favourite friends over. For sure, I credit having kids to make my hubby and I grow up fast.

    HA! You could have lied about your impatience. We wouldn’t have known. I know you as a sweet, pretty, determined, compassionate, young lady. I’ll leave it at that.

    No, for last 10 years, I have had no N.Y’s resolutions.

    I wish you all the Best in your New Year, Resolution, Birthday and Anniversary.

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    1 month ago

    Hey (@hwb0w4)!!

    Thank you so much for commenting! You know how much I appreciate it. 🙂 (and, for the lovely compliment!!)

    I am doing pretty well. I think it’s been more the emotional rollercoaster of RA than the physical symptoms.

    I love your approach. You’re right, there are going to be times when the burden is huge but we always have to pick ourselves up and move on. We have so much going on in our lives and it helps relieve some of that burden.

    Someone on the FB page said RA is huge game of Chutes and Ladders. I’ve never heard that analogy before but I think it describes the condition perfectly!

    All the best and I hope you are well! ~Monica

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    1 month ago

    @mysengupta Yah, spoiler alert: adulting is overrated. If I had known, I wouldn’t have been in such a rush to get here. Thirty is good though, it can go either way. You can still lean more towards the young side and get away with it. Do that. Your new year’s resolution should be something I always say: as long as you don’t ever let yourself think you’re old, then you won’t be. After all, we’ve been old physically since we were young. 🙂 Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    1 month ago

    Hey Daniel!

    Adulting is so overrated. I think I get away with a lot because I look much younger than I am. People don’t look at me and say “oh you don’t have a job…but you’re thirty”…You know?

    I still remember when I was in school and the teachers were *gasp* 30. They seemed so put together and mature. I’m there now and still feel like I’m 20. It’s a good thing, right? May I just feel that way because I slept through most of my 20s like Rip Van Winkle..

    Thanks for the comment, Daniel! 🙂

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips moderator
    1 month ago

    If you figure out a way to give up negativity, lets bottle it and we will make oodles and scads of money. Then we will go to the Bahamas and doge hurricanes for 53 years.

    well I wont make it 50 years, but you and Sheryl can dodge hurricanes when I depart. No doubt I will be blown away just like a hurricane.

    After all Sheryl is just like a hurricane but Neil Young already knew that back in 1969.

    I really love your article, 🙂

    rick – moderator

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