This Year, I’m Making New Memories, Not Resolutions

Battling serious health setbacks has refocused this columnist's priorities

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by Ann Reynoso |

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New Year’s resolutions are an annual tradition for many of us. We make promises to ourselves to do something better in the year. But this year, I’ve decided to do something different: Instead of resolutions, I plan to make new memories.

Why make resolutions I know I can’t keep? After a week of creating them, I tend to put them out of my mind and never think about them again. Memories, on the other hand, I can keep in my mind forever. Like a movie, I can always push replay.

Making memories came to mind when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmastime. I thought long and hard, but what I wanted wasn’t within anyone’s capabilities. Wishing my illness away, along with that of thousands of others like me, was impossible.

So I decided to have a happier and more positive outlook, which was within my reach. I told him, “I want to make new memories.”

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Making loved ones smile

While going through family photos, I came across several of my mother, who passed away in July 2020 due to COVID-19. While looking through the photos, I realized I had a smile on my face. It was there because the memories were so real and vivid.

I want to do the same for my loved ones. I want to leave a smile on their faces by leaving memories they can cherish for a lifetime. New Year’s resolutions are a dime a dozen and easily forgotten over time. Memories are something they can remember and play back in their minds anytime they think of me.

Because of my pulmonary fibrosis (PF), I’m always thinking about the time I spend with my loved ones. This is especially true now that my health has declined in recent months. It’s given me perspective about what’s really important in life.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious and incurable illness. In one recent example of how it affects families, “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd’s father, Derek John Murgatroyd, was diagnosed with PF last May. He died on Dec. 29, at the age of 81.

I want to live my best life. I don’t want to be afraid of living. I don’t want to be stuck in one place and time. I don’t want to take anything for granted.

I’ve been so worried about how my illness is affecting me that I’ve forgotten to live. So I’m ready now to enjoy going out and seeing what’s there. I want to make memories with my husband and daughter. I want to fill my calendar with events. I want to make a to-do list and have the courage to finish the activities. I want to forge a path toward the immediate future.

My daughter and I have already made plans to see a musical production, and this time, I won’t forfeit the opportunity to enjoy myself. It’s a chance to make beautiful memories with her.

It’s time for me to have fun, smile, and laugh again without guilt. It’s time to allow myself to move forward after all of the previous years’ losses. My mental health needs to come first to be a better version of myself. It’s almost as if I’d forgotten how to laugh. I’ve become a stranger to fun and laughter, and it’s time we get reacquainted.

This year, I’m rewriting my story. From now on, I, and not my illness, will be the author of my life. I’ve been walking on a tightrope long enough due to my illness. It’s time to come alive.

For these reasons, and because my time may be limited, I’ll be making new memories this year instead of resolutions.


Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.

Comments

Adrian Silva avatar

Adrian Silva

Amazing article tía. Love you. Keep this going...

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Barbara Short avatar

Barbara Short

Enjoyed your article. I did get what I wanted most for Christmas. All my close relatives were here. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows presented to us by our son ,who is an ordained minister and we were rebaptised. I was baptized as a baby and felt we needed to do this again. Great feeling inside my heart. I have been getting progressively worse and now am signed up with hospice. Breathing is worse and so are physical activities. Still get out to dinner occasionally and am planning on getting my hair done this week. We take it hour by hour. Sure wish there was cure for this terrible disease. God bless you.

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