Winter is upon me

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
The above lines are an excerpt from a poem by Robert Frost titled, “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening.” The poem will be very familiar to any english literature student in college or university or to anyone who is fond of poetry. While I remember studying the poem during my time in English 110, the words did not resonate with me at the time; my university career was at a point in my life’s playlist before the, “March of Multiple Sclerosis.” I find winter to be a tough time and a time that tests my resolve in dealing with the disease. The snow has fallen on my home and appears to be permanent.

Another winter is upon me.

When winter approaches, I often think of this poem. My thoughts don’t dwell on what the poet may have meant, but rather how the words seem to fit with the part of my mind that flirts with negativity when contemplating my condition. Dark words can feed dark places.

However, my intent is not be negative and even-though the opening quote has a darkness, I do not wish to echo those somber tones. With the approach of winter, I need to find my centre and reinforce the tools and behaviours I have been using to keep myself sharp.

On Monday, I lifted weights for the first time since near the end of September. Luckily, my diet has been reasonably clean and I actually felt great! Forty-five minutes of weights combined with jumping rope was just what I needed. To my surprise, I found I was actually stronger than the last time I lifted; I have no logical reason which would explain this. I also found I was able to jump rope with a higher pace and more ferocity than what I had recently become accustomed to. Again, I have no idea why this would be, but I am happy.

Wherever you may be this November, if you are like me and the prospect of another winter makes you feel anxious, make the effort to reinforce whatever techniques you are using to be well and cope. I built a home-gym in my basement and have recommitted myself to my diet and to writing on this blog.

The “promises to keep” are to myself, because by extension they make the commitments I have to my family possible. If I keep true to them I will have, “miles to go before I sleep.”

I will have a very full and happy life in the years to come.

4 thoughts on “Winter is upon me”

  1. Avatar

    Sean, your insight continues to be so humbling. Thank you for some basic but oh so profound reminders. I struggle with the transition from fall to winter and can feel very negative about the upcoming months. Coping and wellness techniques come easy when things are going well – can be trickier when our attitude is negative. Taking charge of our health and happiness, being “in the moment”, acknowledging and being grateful for the many positive’s in our lives will surely result in happy and full lives. Take care my son.

  2. Avatar

    Stumbled upon your blog today while researching paleo for MS. I was diagnosed on Friday. I like your blog and your attitude!

    1. Sean

      Melanie, thanks for the comment. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I just celebrated 7 years since my last attack on November 11th.

      If you ever need to vent or support just click the contact link and send me a message through the form and I’ll email you back.

      Be well.

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