One of the coping mechanisms I use for dealing with living with ALS, is setting goals for myself and using them as stepping stones to navigate my way through turbulent times. In order to achieve your goals, you must dream and have the desire and determination to turn this dream into a reality.
When I first got sick, I was worried that I wouldn’t be there to witness my youngest graduate from school, so I set it as my first goal. The day he graduated I was ecstatic and went on to set a new goal for myself, and an ambitious one to say the least – I wanted to be there for my boys’ university graduations. I would put this image in my mind, visualize it, feel it, pray for it, and be determined to make that dream come true, until it did. I dream just like any mother to see my children succeed in life, excel in their work and be happy, content members in their community and so I promised myself that I have to be alive to witness their accomplishments.
After achieving my goals one after the other, I started asking myself “dare I dream of attending their weddings?” The answer was and still is, YES! Yes, I visualized the day my first born would get married, I dreamt of all the details, and it all came true. Now that that dream became a reality, I have set myself a new goal: to plan and experience the weddings of my other two boys—and hopefully see them both happily married, just like their older brother.
I make a point of setting new goals as soon as I accomplish each checkpoint. Reaching my target fills me with strength which in turn propels me to keep persevering and riding the euphoric wave of success onto my new, courageous adventure.
Needless to say, my new goal now is the ultimate prize of being a parent, and that is becoming a grandparent. I hear from friends and relatives that becoming a grandparent is a new level of happiness, that I am eager to experience. Having said this, I don’t mean to rush my children, I completely understand that they need time to enjoy the experience of marriage first. I am just setting a new goal in my life to look forward to and to motivate me, no rush ha ha.
As I keep setting new targets, hopes, dreams and ways to accomplish these goals, life inevitably becomes rosier, and much more optimistic. I highly recommend setting goals in your life, starting with small ambitions. Once you experience the pleasure of your achievement, set a higher goal, dream big, imagine it, and keep visualizing it till it becomes a reality. Dare to dream.