Author Archives: Jamie Hughes

A Look Around the Terminal

It’s spring — at least, it’s supposed to be — so getting stuck at the airport due to snow was the last thing I expected during a recent trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. But that’s exactly what happened to me on Sunday. I sat with thousands of fellow passengers,…

You Only Think You Know

When I tell people I have multiple sclerosis, I usually get one of three responses: • “Oh, no! I feel so bad for you!” (Pity) • “Is that the one with the telethon?” (Confusion) • “I know all about that disease! My sister-in-law’s cousin’s college roommate has…

Just Do It

Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a 1997 essay aimed at graduates. In it, she shared many practical nuggets of wisdom such as “Floss,” and thoughts like, “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the…

Up with the Volume, Down with the Noise

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” That’s not a lesson modern American culture has taken to heart, is it? Seems like we’re more inclined to take Daft Punk’s advice and do everything “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” And that’s all well and…

Chicken Soup Has Super Powers

Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of warm fluids. Use a humidifier. Gargle and flush your sinuses with warm salt water. Blow your nose early and often. Take over-the-counter medications. Eat some chicken soup. No doubt, you know what I’m talking about when you read this list of…

We Are Streams that Sing

Wendell Berry, a novelist, poet, farmer and environmental activist, has written a number of superb books. Don’t believe me? Go read “Jayber Crow” and shoot me a message. I would love to discuss it with someone again! As a person who happens to have multiple sclerosis, I…

The Greatest Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner, and that’s why many people are on the fruitless quest for Fingerlings or hocking an organ to buy the new iPhone. Both might be the “hot” presents of the season, but neither of them holds a candle to the great gifts we…

Holding ‘Space’ for Others

  When a friend or loved one is going through a tough time, it’s hard to know how best to help. Do you help carry the burden? Would it be better to offer support from a distance and give the person space? Life can be hard and awkward and…

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,…

Dancing Doodle

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