Saturday, 23 April 2022

Do you have control over the future?

As a chess player, you must predict what you see in front of you to win. You can anticipate your opponent’s next move, but everything you plan changes if it deviates from your expectation 

In life, you have no control over your future. It’s not guaranteed in a written game plan that you will reach your destination if you follow a few simple rules. Aspects of the end are determined by what you do in life, and most of it lies in your choices. Overeating or drinking excessively affects your health later in life. Participating in extreme sports limits the length of your life every time you take a risk.

Certain future aspects can be shaped, and the younger you start, the better. Today’s youth become disenchanted very quickly with the opportunities they have. You can tell a young girl or boy that youth is fleeting, and they will disagree. Teenage years are like extended prison terms for many teens, and they feel trapped within a system where there seems no end to what is inflicted upon them.

The thing about shaping the future at a young age lies in the fact that you have more energy and enthusiasm. Important choices must be made regarding a career, a partner, and savings for the retirement years. Some options will have a long-term effect on you, while others will not affect you until much later. And while wise choices bring happiness, success, and security, unwise decisions can ruin a person’s life.

In school, students must write exams. The results determine whether they will advance to the next level of education. Given the memorandum before the test, a student would know what to expect and make fewer mistakes. It’s the same with knowing the future, and it would help you make the necessary adjustments in your life to benefit later.

Others set the example. You build on the knowledge and experiences of others, and you imitate what is good and avoid making the mistakes they have made. In that case, you can still mould your future. Should there be any deviations due to tragedy or misfortune, you learn to adapt. You can still achieve happiness, success, and security via the detour.

Living life is hard, and so are many decisions you must make. Yet, you trod on! You lift your head and have faith in tomorrow. Don’t worry about controlling the future. Control your attitude.

The secret of life isn’t what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you. ~ Norman Vincent Peale


Thursday, 21 April 2022

When did it really start?

Many of my posts are about pain, and I’m sure my readers are tired of reading about it. I often feel as if I’m stuck in a loop of repeating what I’ve already said. I never reread my articles once they’re posted. Today I stumbled across an article I wrote in 2008, and I now realize I’ve had it wrong. My pain didn’t start in recent years.


The start of something bigger (13 August 2008)


The year is 2008. I turn 43 towards the end of October. I wake up in the mornings in pain. And I wonder: Is it arthritis?

Of course, the first thing that enters my mind is the revelation that I do not really know what arthritis is. I know it involves inflamed joints, but what does that mean? Why do joints become inflamed? The minute I Google it, I find over a hundred rheumatic diseases and conditions that may affect the joints and muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Damage can be done to the skin, organs, and eyes.

I sit still in awe.

I have often thought that rheumatism or arthritis is an old-age sickness. It’s not. I look at my symptoms just to get a head start. Im tired. I ache. I even have sore eyes. Sometimes I’m over-stressed and depressed – ever so slightly depressed, nothing major. My fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, and feet ache constantly. Every day, I wake up feeling stiff and in discomfort. Sometimes I even wake up several times during the night because of the pain. Even though I have no idea what is wrong with me, I realize I need to visit my doctor. I also need to look at what I’m eating. I can’t ignore that I work long hours, exercise irregularly and have a problem being overweight.

I believe there is no medical drug that can cure the detrimental effects that arthritis has on the body. Most of what I read is meant to reduce pain and inflammation. The medicines and treatment available provide relief, but when one thinks of all the side effects of drugs, and the price, where exactly does the solution lie?

The good thing about arthritis is that it’s not a significant cause of death like heart disease or cancer. The swelling and tiredness, strangely enough, can be handled. Pain, on the other hand, is a whole new ball game. The most significant future dampener lies in knowing that I can become immobile and dependent on help from (hopefully) family members.

I believe we are what we think. If I allow the pain to affect me mentally, I will only feel pain and enable it to control my life. And that’s not viable. Being overworked and stressed to the limit, I realize the importance of rest. So, positive thoughts and more rest seem to be an immediate solution. Well, both are possible. It’s not as if I must save money or go out and buy a whole supply of fresh fruit and vegetables before I can achieve anything.

Positive thoughts require a realistic view of my situation. I need to take it easy and pay attention to my body. I need to adapt not only physically but also mentally to my limitations. And it won’t help at all to feel frustrated or anxious about the situation. The greatest gift of all to whatever I’m dealing with is that I have such a supportive family. I always refer to my husband as my pillar of strength. Having the love, sympathy, and support of him and my children helps me through each day.

One day at a time sometimes becomes one hour at a time. And I’m only beginning with my tribulation. This is but the start of something. Yes, I’ve been suffering for perhaps more than a year now. But I do realize it’s getting worse. I would like to encourage everyone who seems to be going through a similar thing to visit their doctor as soon as possible. I always wait almost until everything is unbearable, and that’s not the way to go about life.

I remain optimistic as I know that the advances made in the medical field can, in the long run, prove to bring an end to a lot of the symptoms arthritis sufferers suffer. I look at my mother, who has been suffering for almost ten years now. Her fingers are distorted and stiff. Yet, she persists in endurance. She’s my hero!


The lesson I learned from this article is that when we live an unbalanced life where our work starts to control us, we forget about past health issues. This can’t be good. In my case, had the peripheral neuropathy been diagnosed back then, would my life be different now? Had I known, would I have taken better care of myself to avoid the decline in nerve damage?

In the end, it is what it is. Now, I must live with the damage. Strange as it may sound, it makes me feel slightly more optimistic knowing that I’ve been coping with pain for 14 years because it gives me hope to continue doing this for another 14 years and more.

Our only limitations are the ones we set up in our own minds. ~ Napoleon Hill  


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