It’s New Year’s Eve, the end of 2017, and the time of year when everyone is setting their New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2018. As I reflect on the past year, I look at what I have accomplished and the things that I have not accomplished…. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we should be. I ask myself, “Why are women with epilepsy hard on themselves?” The answer is that we are ALL hard on ourselves whether we have epilepsy or not. Women look around and compare themselves to others around them or the people they see on social media. We need to all remember that what we see on social media is just a snapshot of what is going on in a person’s life and usually the “BEST” snapshot. For me personally, I have decided to set a few goals and they aren’t my usual keep my home perfect, exercise, and eat all healthy foods. I will continue with these goals that I have had but I will also add some new goals and remember that we were not created to be perfect but to strive to be our best.
My first personal goal for 2018 is to step out of my comfort zone. The reason that I chose this is because I want to grow. We cannot grow if we do not step out of our comfort zones. I know it is easy to stay in our nice and comfy ‘comfort zone’ but what will that teach me about the world around me? If I stay in my comfort zone it won’t teach my children that they should experience the world around them. I won’t be able to tell other women and girls with epilepsy to step out and try new things if I am not willing to do it myself. I am not changing who I am but allowing myself to have the opportunity to discover things that I may like as well. When trying new things we may feel scared, nervous, uncertain and vulnerable. These feelings allow us to grow and also make us more confident in who we are as women.
Another goal is to have more deeper and meaningful relationships. In today’s world, we get on social media and think we have lots of friends… The reality is that our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram “friends” are just superficial friends. It is being “present” for your friends and family whether they are near or far that means you have deep and meaningful relationships. I want our community of women and girls living with epilepsy to have deeper relationships with each other. Some exciting things are coming to allow us to begin this as a community so stay tuned 🙂
Finally, I want to travel further than I have ever gone before. Our first research award, the Kimford J. Meador Research in Women with Epilepsy Award, was given to Dr. Michael Owen Kinney from Belfast, Ireland at the American Epilepsy Society meeting in Washington, D.C. in early December this year. As Dr. Gregory Mathews, our board chair, and I were sitting next to each other talking before we presented the award, we began talking about how far we had come since first meeting in his office 12 years ago. I was just a woman needing a new neurologist and he was a neurologist seeing this patient for the first time. The impact that he has had on my life personally, has been life changing. Who would have ever guessed that we would be giving out a research award in a room that was standing room only to a doctor from Ireland. I knew “The sky is the limit” as my husband said, in our Mosaic video. I want to travel further this year with our organization as we show the world that women and girls living with epilepsy need to have their voice heard. We need to empower these females by educating them about their epilepsy. There are many places in this world to travel to and share about My Epilepsy Story.
As I end 2017 and begin 2018, I want to wish each of you a wonderful year to come. I want to ask each of you to join with me and be BOLD in 2018. Step out of your comfort zone, make deeper relationships and travel with us around the world! Together We Can!