I was aware that this question could cause some upset but I think it’s so important to keep goals and dreams alive in order to foster hope and instill a sense of purpose into our fight by having something to work towards, keeping the light at the end of the tunnel illuminated. Here are some of the answers from our Online Community when I asked the question ‘if you were to be miraculously well tomorrow, what would you do?’:
‘I would get fit and strong! I miss sports, exercise and endorphins! Once physically stronger, I may consider animal welfare world domination and have a little rescue shelter for all the little deformed, damaged or plain old ugly-bug animals because we love them at Bedlam tower’
‘My hope is to be successful in my new career path since I’ve lost my job, thanks to Lyme’
‘My dream is for my daughter to always be happy, no matter what.’
‘My goals to start running again this year, to enter the ‘Race to the Stones’ and raise money and awareness for Lyme.’
‘Climb to the top of Mam Tor in celebration!’
‘I would wake up to watch the sunrise, preferably over the ocean, with a glass of champagne in hand with my gorgeous hubby. Then, I would spend the day doing loads of activities including running, cyclin and swimming. I would follow this by eating lovely food (including carbs) and watch the sun go down with a cocktail in hand and then still have some energy for some other kind of activity.’
‘Just something simple like waking up with energy to start the day and eat properly and not suffer in pain; just to be happy in my job and in my life.’
‘Win my next race in October that I will dedicate to all the Lyme warriors, bringing hope and strength for our daily battle. With this, I want to raise awareness about this illness in order to help others.’
‘I would give blood, get back on the organ donor register, take up translation again (I used to speak 3 languages, but brain fog means I can barely manage one now) and the guitar. I would enjoy the silence again (no tinnitus), I would walk everywhere, run, hike, take up taekwondo again, without pain. If I were cured, I might even consider becoming a mom or a foster parent. Right now, I can barely look after myself and it is a constant battle. But there are better days than others and there is always hope.’
‘Firstly, I would walk to my local beach on my own, have a swim, a coffee and walk home again…..wow. Then, I would book a flight to New York with my hubby to see my baby grandson who is now 6 months old. For now, the cuddles will have to wait until October when they visit the UK. I would then fly to Greece for the remaining weeks of the school holidays and celebrate feeling ‘well’ for the first time in 18 years, doing all the things I used to do. On my return I would start practising my piano and guitars and who knows, may start composing again……so many dreams. Dreaming is a powerful tool!’
‘Get my health back in order to play golf again and also have enough energy to play with my grandchildren and enjoy having them.’
‘I would join the growing team to bring help to people who have no access to alternative treatment, especially herbal treatment.’
Often, we allow health issues to create barriers and define us, our lives and our dreams. We must remember that our lives and dreams should never be defined by our illness. We can still dream of jumping out of planes and skydiving, even if we can’t walk far at present. Our minds unlock a new, brighter world when we are in the right head space and that is why goals and dreams are so important to keep us positive and keep us fighting through the darker days. We all need a bucket list!
As a swimmer I am used to setting goals, short-term goals and long-term goals. My mindset still works that way to this day and often my mum gets mad at me because I want to do EVERYTHING and reach my goals within the window I have set for myself. Setting goals when it comes to recovering from an illness is quite different to setting goals when you are an athlete. I have learnt through personal heartbreak and failures that if a dream isn’t reached, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. We must consider our circumstances. Stop putting time limits on goals getting disappointed if expectations aren’t met. That isn’t to say we can’t dream big. Be SURE to dream big – the crazier the better, that’s what keeps our motivation to fight on, so alive.
The key is NOT to get disheartened if, for example, you planned a trip in October but then had a stint in hospital, so you had cancel. Your second chance may be right around the corner. Have faith and believe. If you have those two things, then you WILL achieve your dream and you WILL make anything possible.
If you don’t believe me – look at all the ‘Greats’ that decorate our history books. Winston Churchill is a prime example. He dreamed of being Prime Minister but for many, many years he was overshadowed in his party and shuffled around from one group to the next trying to get his opinions heard. He suffered dreadfully with depression due to his blips and failures, but he kept on going and fighting. With support from his wife, he got there. He became Prime Minister and even more so, he was Prime Minister during war-time, the most gruelling time to be in charge. He finally found his place and where he was supposed to be. He is now remembered as one of the best Prime Ministers this country has ever had. He may not have been Prime Minister as a young man like he had hoped but he couldn’t have asked for a better way to realise his dream.
It would be THE dream to wake up tomorrow and to be ‘cured’ and we all hold out hope for that day, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop dreaming or working our way through our bucket lists NOW!