The Month Ahead: Endings and Beginnings
There's a corner in my neighbourhood that turns into a forest last week in November. This is when the Christmas tree guy comes and fills the urban sidewalk with trees and cut branches, boxes of pine cones and little gold and red pots all done up with spruce, fir and ornaments. Every time I pass, I inhale deeply and smile. And to make it really clear that the holidays are on their way, it snowed yesterday.
Today is not just the first day in the last month of the year, but it is also World AIDS Day. There has been progress made in prevention and treatment of this disease, but it is still important to continue to raise awareness and funds for research to help the people who live with it. I have a dear friend who has been HIV-positive for a quarter century, who has had full-blown AIDS twice and who fairly recently and for the fourth time in the last 25 years came very close to death. Thankfully, she battled back to life again and every time I talk to her, I am grateful that she is in my life. Today, I will send a donation in her name to a local organization that provides information and awareness and support to those who are affected by it. If you want to learn more about this issue, the people who are affected by it and what's being done in the field, check out our HIV/AIDS site.
I'd like to introduce you to our new Contributor Chad Fisher. Chad has lived with RA since he was a child and is a dedicated and committed advocate and educator for RA. Please join us in giving him a warm welcome by popping over to his first post to learn more about who he is!
As the seasons turn, many of us are affected by the change in weather. Leslie will write about how the cold weather affects pain and fatigue and the additional challenge of facing each day with a chronic illness, plus the winter blues. But before we get to winter, we have to get through Christmas. Cathy is writing about the upcoming holiday and Lisa will also muse on Christmas in terms of setting priorities and making choices. V will share tips on how to get through the festivities in as pain-free a way as possible.
This is also the time of year where many people reflect on challenges and accomplishments in the past year. Several members of our team will be reviewing the year and exploring the topic of endings and beginnings. Look for posts from Leslie, Chad, V and Cathy on these topics, each from a different point of view. As well, towards the end of the month I'll join in with a retrospective of MyRACentral community's journey throughout 2011.
Inevitably, we will feel compelled to make New Year's resolutions (and usually break them within the first 10 days of January!). Chad is going to take a look at resolutions and living with RA. When we make resolutions, many of us include commitments to helping others in various ways. Lisa will write about donating blood and how RA may impact your ability to do this. Sometimes, the resolutions revolve around dealing with difficult situations. Later this month, I'll interview Eileen Bailey about the book Overcoming Obsessive Love.
As we go into the new year, we make resolutions and promises to ourselves, but every now and again, life throws us a curveball. Several weeks ago, Brad had an accident and broke several bones. He's been off healing for a while and when he is ready to start writing again, he'll give us an update about how he's doing and talk about breaking bones and healing when you have autoimmune issues. Please send him healing wishes in the common area.
We look forward to sharing this holiday season with you and to reading about your experiences of living with RA.
Thank you for choosing us as your online resource and community for RA. On behalf are MyRACentral team, have a wonderful holiday season!