Author Archives: Jamie Hughes

Don’t Be a Turkey

Because I come from a retail family — one that, for decades, put in long hours behind cash registers and in stock rooms — Christmas is not a holiday we particularly look forward to arriving. We enjoyed it, when the day came. But often in my youth, we were…

Meowmaste: Finding a Spark Inside Myself

“We don’t say the ‘D word’ here,” our instructor said. “Just for tonight, let’s all get into downward-facing cat.” The yoga pose wasn’t one I was comfortable in, but then again, so much about yoga makes me uncomfortable — the clothes, the breathy pseudo-spirituality, the jargon, the way…

Life’s Too Short

Both of my sons — and, if I’m being honest, my husband — love Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Yes, that horrid stuff that comes in a blue box, the kind that you make with a packet of powdered cheese, milk and butter. Whenever I put some on the table…

This Too Shall Pass

I posted this meme on social media last week with the caption “Current Life Status,” hoping a laugh might help matters. I’m sorry to say things didn’t improve afterward. I’m not a Debbie Downer or a Sad Sack by nature, and I don’t often write about my struggles here…

Cover to Cover, Books of All Kinds Can Lift Your Life

In “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” as excellent a book about wordcraft as has ever been set to paper, Stephen King says, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” I’m inclined to agree. After all, no matter where you are, you have company if there’s a book at…

Sharpen Your Sense of Joy

Believe it or not, summer is nearing its end, and a new school year is upon us. I don’t know about you all, but I loved back-to-school time. It meant new things to learn, friends to make and activities to try. It involved a new wardrobe, too, but…

What’s Your Strength?

I have a co-worker who can meet someone and 10 minutes later know their life’s story. Heck, she even bonded with a woman who rear-ended her in traffic the other day. I admire this skill and strive to cultivate it in my own life, but it certainly doesn’t…

Go, Go Avocado!

I don’t normally go in for trends. For example, I don’t own a single pair of skinny jeans. I’ve never tried a Unicorn Frappuccino. I’m not on Instagram or Snapchat. I didn’t participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. And I refuse to use the words “doggo,” “pupper,”…

One Man’s Playground is Another Man’s Horror

Multiple sclerosis has a way of messing with one’s head. Whether it’s emotional or psychiatric disorders, fatigue, brain fog, or physical problems, there’s a lot to wrestle with. And to effectively battle this disease requires you to be in a certain state of mind. Let me give…

Make Some Noise: The Importance of Concerts

Pull up a chair, kiddos, and I’ll tell you a sad story. Because we’re both musicians, my husband and I love going to concerts together. We’re on a budget, so we have to be choosy about who we see and where we sit. However, there is a short…

Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Like one third of America, I’m a cat lover. I’ve had kitties in my house since I was a child, often in sets. Currently, I’m the proud parent of two fur babies—Ivan (the tabby) and Baker (the Wegie)—and they’re a great source of joy, entertainment and…

Spring is an Apt Time to Reflect on MS and Hope

T.S. Eliot’s opens his masterwork The Waste Land with four stunning lines of verse: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  Memory and desire, stirring  Dull roots with spring rain.  It seems odd to say that April is…

A Word, If You Please

Thirteen years ago, a neurologist sat on the edge of my hospital bed and told me, “You have MS. It’s not the end of the world. There’s more on the internet than I could ever tell you about, so I suggest you do some research. Good night.” Since…

MS Awareness Month: Which Ribbon Are We Again?

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. That means we need to make the most of these four weeks to raise some money for research, and raise awareness about the disease and the 2.5 million people in the world currently living with it. What’s the best way…

Play On: What Baseball Has Taught Me About MS

When people ask me what I love, I usually respond, “God, my family, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball … in that order.” Other than the Razorbacks, Arkansas (my home state) doesn’t have much in the way of athletic bragging rights. Both when I was a kid and now,…

Fighting MS on Our Own Terms: Vive La Resistance!

There’s one thing you need to know about my family — we’re weird. We laugh at inopportune times. We can go entire days just speaking to one another in movie quotes. Sarcasm is a love language to my clan. And we can make just about anything — and I…

Planning to Succeed in the New Year

Now that 2016 is thankfully behind us, it’s time to start a new year — fresh, rested, and ready to kick butt and chew bubble gum. That being said, rest in peace David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glen Frey, Prince, Nancy Reagan, George Kennedy, Gary Shandling, Anton Yelchin, Gene…

Hope Lights the Way to a Cure for MS

“This first candle in the advent wreath,” I told my kids as I clicked the lighter and set its flame atop the wick, “represents hope. What does that word mean to you guys?” In the warm glow of the purple taper, we talked about everything from wishes and…

Life is a Symphony of Challenges – Play On!

In Cold Sassy Tree, the classic novel by Olive Ann Burns, Grandpa Blakeslee tells his grandson Will Tweedy that, “Livin’ is like pourin’ water out of a tumbler into a dang Coca-Cola bottle. If’n you skeered you cain’t do it.” If you don’t speak fluent hick, as I do,…

‘Courage, Dear Heart’*

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth. Those lines from William W. Purkey, a professor, author and motivational speaker, have been blazoned on countless greeting cards and posters…

Finding Power in Knowledge and Numbers

When you have a chronic illness, learning everything you can about it is both a blessing and curse. The part of me that’s a researcher and a digger at heart, the one who simply can’t get enough information, gathers it nonstop from a variety of sources; after all,  knowledge is…

Vitamin D: You Are What You Eat

A few weeks ago, I visited my general practitioner for a yearly physical. I was expecting him to harp on my weight, cholesterol, blood pressure — any of the other myriad issues that crop up as we age. But surprisingly, I left the office with my self-esteem firmly intact. (In…

Happy is the Woman

  And do you feel scared? I do, but I won’t stop and falter. And if we threw it all away, things can only get better – Howard Jones, “Things Can Only Get Better” Things I’m good at include (but are not limited…

Dancing Doodle

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