it’s not me, it’s you

C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” How good are you at placing others before yourself?

Oh, humility…. I have had you backwards all these years.

I have spent my lifetime thinking about all the ways in which I don’t measure up. I’m also aware of the ways I measure up just fine, but I dwell on and obsess about the ways in which I don’t. Not only does this negatively impact my regard for myself, it negatively impacts my relationships with others. A few examples: not having people over because my house is not clean enough; not going out with people because I have too many things I’m behind on; spending my time on “I’m-not-good-enough” instead of “you-and-I-are-awesome-and-we-should-hang-out.”

It’s a good wake-up call for me. I need to take time for others and not think so much about myself, even if that self-centeredness is focused on how I can be a better person, as opposed to how great a person I already am. If I just forgot about myself and spent the same amount of time thinking of others, I’d have a chance to make a much more positive impact on the world.

Walk MS success!

Walk MS 2013 - Lori & KatelynWe got up bright and early on April 13th, ready to hit the streets to raise funds for MS research. It was a family reunion of sorts! My sister-in-law, Heidi, got there first with my niece, Kaitlin. My cousins Craig, Katie and Kelly were also on the team, along with Kelly’s husband Keith and their seven-month-old, Katelyn. Quinland had rounded up her friends Molly and Emma, too, so our official count was 10 walkers (and a stroller).

When you check in for the Walk, you are offered colored beads to wear: orange if you have a family member with MS, blue if you have a friend with MS, and purple if you have MS yourself. Instead of race numbers, there were piles of blank ones that said “I’m running for…” It was so amazing to have my friends and family around me and to see “LORI,” “My cousin Lori,” and “My Mom.” Mine said I was running for “MYSELF – and for a breakthrough in treatment for PPMS.”

In the chilly pre-race time, we nibbled on the granola bars and bananas that were so kindly provided by the race sponsors and passed baby Katelyn around from arm to arm. She is the most expressive baby, all big eyes and long eyelashes, and so cuddly!

The Walk, I must admit – and for this I am very thankful – was pretty much a Stroll. We MSers, while an intrepid lot, are not as a group known for being fleet of foot. I was very fleet of lips, though, as I got in some serious chatting time with my family along the way. They are – every one of them – AWESOME, and it kills me that we don’t see each other more. This. Must. Change. And now that I have proclaimed that to one and all, it shall.

I was the last of our team – of course – to cross the finish line. I have no idea what I am shouting, but by that point I was just feeling fantastic. Not physically – I think you can tell I was dragging the bad leg, and I felt pretty wonky for a few days – but I was hyped up.

MS Walk 2013 - Lori at finish lineWe finished the morning with an early lunch at Laughing Planet, with healthy food, healthy conversation, and a healthy dose of babytime.

We’ve already started strategizing for next year. We’ll get a more MS-appropriate name! We’ll wear costumes! Tutus! We’ll have balloons! Signs! I don’t know if we’ll do any or all of that, but it was fun to look at the other teams and see what they had come up with to promote themselves.

The most important thing to do, of course, is thank everyone who joined our team, everyone who donated to Walk MS on behalf of our team, and all those who volunteered to make the day such a success.  (Look at those folks cheering me across the finish line! I’m sure they were cold, but they never missed a beat.) Thank you, thank you all!

xo – Lori

This was the final post at Get Started… Go! – but feel free to comment here!
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Walk MS with me!

Walk MS logoOn April 13th, I will be taking to the streets of Portland with my family and friends for the Walk MS fundraiser.

I thought I’d share the text from our team page with you:

Welcome to the Distractingly Beautiful Cats team for Walk MS! (Quinland and her friend Molly finalized our team name – thanks, guys!)

We’ve formed a team for the Walk MS event because we want to experience a great event and help the National MS Society fund research, advocate for change, and help people with MS. We believe in this cause. Can we count on your support?

Walk MS is a day that brings friends, families, and coworkers together to embrace an important cause. Join us and participate together to make a powerful statement and to keep moving toward a cure. Each step we take brings us closer to a world free of MS.

About MS

Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms. Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

For the type of MS I have – Primary Progressive MS – there is currently NO treatment and there are NO disease-modifying medications approved by the FDA. (Even my megadose steroid protocol is experimental, though we hope it is doing something to keep my immune system calmed down!) All we can do is manage the symptoms. That’s why I am doing Walk MS – I want to support all those who are searching for a treatment and a cure.

Join our team!

Joining our team means you help us raise critical funds to support local programs and cutting-edge research. Your donation puts us closer to realizing our promise to STOP MS in its tracks, RESTORE lost function and END MS forever. Ending MS means no one will receive an MS diagnosis again. Every step counts. Every dollar helps. Every connection matters.

If you would like to walk with us and/or donate any amount – no matter how large or small – visit our team page by clicking here.

I wrote this for Get Started… Go! – but feel free to comment here – and to donate!