A Beautiful Ending

Posted by Kristin Beale in Life After Paralysis on January 11, 2022 # Lifestyle

Kristin and her husband smiling togetherI love endings. Give me the end of the last chapter in a novel, the last Oreo in the sleeve, and the end of a weekend before the work week. I’ll take ‘em all.

I love endings because they’re my chance to reflect, take meaning, and start over new. An ending could be a good thing, like the ending to a tough season in life, or it could be a bad thing, like a joyful moment passing. Either way, the end is my chance to make the good stuff happen again or to practice my lessons learned from the bad stuff.

As the year 2021 is ending, I have a lot of good and bad stuff to reflect on: I got married, I got a wound; I built a house, I ran out of money; I made some new friends, I said “goodbye” to others. The good stuff tended to outweigh, but the lessons from the bad stuff made me grateful for it all—For the most part. Let’s focus on some of that good stuff.

  1. Avocado toast. I think I’m late to this discovery, but I’m all about breakfast food these days – more specifically, two slices of bread with half on avocado on each, a little salt, and a little pepper. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats, fiber, potassium, and vitamins, so eat ‘em up. Call me simple and call me late, but don’t call me hungry until lunchtime.
  2. Biotin vitamins. Along with buying myself milk every week, taking a vitamin in the morning is the number one way to make me feel like an adult. Biotin is a good one because it helps maintain many of your body’s major systems. I’m charmed by the potential it has for long fingernails and clear skin, but carrying nutrients around your body is another of Biotin’s claim to fame.
  3. My Rain Sounds playlists. I share an office with my husband, the video gamer, and nothing annoys me more than the incessant clicking of his mouse. So, I bought myself a cheap pair of over-ear headphones that block out the noise, and I crank up the rain sounds. The rain helps me focus on my work because it’s purely in my background, but more importantly, it blocks out the clicking. I don’t love the wet kind of rain, but the simulated kind has been the answer to my productivity and my lucidity.
  4. Planning for productivity. Speaking of productivity, my To-Do list has been a game-changer in my work this year. I tend to get stuck on things I need to get done, meaning I dwell on and obsess over them until I get around to doing them. By writing things down on a list, I can prioritize and forget about them until I have free time. Call this my stress reliever, and call it my visual reminder that I can’t, in fact, dilly-dally every morning away like I’d prefer to.
  5. Exercise. I earned a handful of medals this year on my handcycle, and I broke some personal records. Exercising and overall taking care of my body is something I’ve had to be intentional about because life gets busy, and I get distracted by that To-Do list I’ve already bragged about. This year, though, I bumped exercise up my list of priorities, and I’ll never neglect it again. Early mornings work best to fit my workouts in, but I’m also no stranger to an evening bike ride. Figure out when works best in your schedule for free time and motivation, then treat yourself to some self-love.
  6. Office supplies and underwear. My online shopping history this past week is filled with staples, rolling ball pens, a grid notebook, and a new pack of underwear. My underwear has giant holes in it, so a new pack was a necessity, and the office supplies were a treat for myself; in my thirties, a new notebook and pen to write with is my adult version of a good time. Somebody, please back me up on this. Whatever your treat looks like, give it to yourself but throw in something practical like underwear in the cart, too.

Whether the past two years of pandemic times have been difficult to get through or the best years of your life, they’re over. What lessons can you take from them? Have you used the time to improve yourself, or to slip into some bad habits? There’s something about the New Year that makes resolution and change feel exciting, so let’s all use our new calendars as a push toward something good. At the very least, take some time to recognize the little things that make you happy. Let’s all do a little more of that.

Kristin Beale is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of two books, Greater Things and A Million Suns, and a comic book, Date Me. Check them out and read an excerpt at https://www.kristinbeale.com/. Her comics can be found on Instagram @Greater.Things.Comics.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.