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A Catalogue of Tiny Gratitudes

A Catalogue of Tiny Gratitudes
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I know quite a few of you are dealing with copious amounts of snow right now, but there is not a speck of white stuff on the ground where I live in Atlanta. And for that, I am grateful. Why? Because I do not like snow. I do not like it in a box. I do not like it with a fox. I do not like it here or there. I do not like it anywhere.

Because I grew up in the South, I’m acclimated to heat and prefer it to bone-biting cold. Also, I was caught in Atlanta traffic for 12.5 hours during the 2014 event now known as “Snowmageddon,” and I’d like to avoid experiencing a nightmare like that again. So, yes, I’m grateful I can still see my poor, withered grass and walk on the sidewalk without risk of slipping.

True gratitude can sometimes be hard to feel when you’re an MS patient. I mean, we’re dealing with a disease that we didn’t earn or deserve, and it can change our lives in an instant. We have to learn to live with a certain amount of uncertainty and to roll with the punches whenever MS decides to rear its ugly head. However, I just marked the 17th anniversary of my diagnosis on Jan. 25, and I must say that it has shaped me for the better in a few ways.

For instance, living with MS has made me more aware of tiny joys — things I would have overlooked before because they were too small, and hence beneath my notice. Right now, in fact, I’m surrounded by a dozen things I’m grateful for.

My space heater and comfy gray sweatshirt are keeping me cozy on a dreary day as I work in my library, my favorite room in the whole wide world. A sugared lemon zest scented candle is burning merrily nearby. I am enjoying a refreshing glass of cucumber water, something that is helping me do a better job of keeping hydrated. I’m drinking it from a mint green mug (my favorite color) made from biodegradable wheat straw-derived polypropylene. (Yay for companies who are doing their bit to be earth-friendly!)

I just finished listening to my new favorite podcast, “Birdnote,” which allows me to learn something new about different kinds of birds as well as enjoy the lovely music they make. And speaking of our feathered friends, my new comfort bird is close by, waiting to be held and smoothed under my thumb. And better still, I have an online yoga class to look forward to!

Each one of those things seems pretty insignificant, but in actuality, they’re remarkable. Every item that brings me pleasure has come my way because of the hard work and creativity of hundreds of amazing people — everyone from the farmer who grew my cucumber to the team of scientists who created my mug, the whittler who carved my bird from a piece of cedar to the yoga instructor who will help me relax and stretch all my cares away with a carefully crafted lesson.

The world is full of amazing people doing wonderful things, and if we’re paying attention and approaching life from the right angle, we get to enjoy that handiwork every single day.

Yes, color me grateful for the seemingly little things.

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jamie A. Hughes is a writer-editor living in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two sons, and a pair of very needy cats. She was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2004 when she was just 25 years old. A lover of words since birth, she wasn’t about to let two little letters get her down. They don’t get the last word. And that’s why she writes her column — to help those dealing with MS to live more thoughtful, hopeful, and inspired lives.
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Jamie A. Hughes is a writer-editor living in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two sons, and a pair of very needy cats. She was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2004 when she was just 25 years old. A lover of words since birth, she wasn’t about to let two little letters get her down. They don’t get the last word. And that’s why she writes her column — to help those dealing with MS to live more thoughtful, hopeful, and inspired lives.
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