*Are you happy at the moment?
I would say I am happy at the moment. I recently started a new medication for my Multiple Sclerosis that doesn’t require injections. Not only does it make me happy, it is definitely a reason for celebration! Yes, having to take medication for the rest of my life does create some ill feelings at times, but the fact that I will no longer have to deal with the pain of needles is a complete blessing. Other than that, I am happy with my life as it stands, with a happy and healthy family, and a career I adore.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Don’t grow up too fast, enjoy your mobility, dress the way you want to, and do all the things! Also, please listen to your parents…you will thank them one day, I promise.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have learned that ‘Life’ is not a contest. In the end no one cares how well you can dress your child, no one cares how long you vacationed in the Bahamas, and no one really cares about your personal achievements. The most important person to compete with is YOURSELF because that will bring you the most accomplishment and fulfillment. Try to do something better than the first time you did it. Personal gains are so much healthier and last longer than social gains.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to be able to stop, breathe, and tell myself ‘don’t worry about it, move along’ without hesitation or second guessing myself (which tends to happen quite a bit, but I’m working on it!)
*What’s your secret to happiness?
The secret to happiness is to stop and think about how much worse things can be, and that there may be others out there who would not mind being in your position. When you start to appreciate what you have in your own life, you become happier with it. Say you had to make a trip to the store, you have a full cart, and you realize you forgot your wallet at home right before you have to check out. Yes, it is aggravating having to leave the line, go home and come back, but think of how many people out there don’t even have the means to pay for a cart full of groceries, let alone the means to easily drive to the store and back when they want to. We have to stop and appreciate what we are able to do, not dwell on what we are unable to do.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I take a few minutes every day to tell myself 5 things I am grateful for, and why I am so grateful for them.
*What’s your biggest regret?
My biggest regret was letting my Multiple Sclerosis make me angry for as long as it did. I look back and realize now that I felt worse being angry, and that I missed out on so much because I held such a grudge against my body, having the mentality that I ‘shouldn’t even bother because it isn’t going to make me better’. That negative mentality took a huge toll on my friends, my family, and my own emotional health.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
Appreciate what you have, because not everyone will get the same opportunities.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I would like to quickly accept my choices and decisions without second guessing myself. I end up becoming my own worst enemy.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I am proud of the fact that I was able to not let my Multiple Sclerosis control me, and that I was able to experience so much in my life because I can maintain a positive aspect and see the brighter side of everything.
*When were you happiest?
Surprisingly, I was the happiest when I had my 4th severe M.S. relapse. It was the week that for the first time since my diagnoses, I was not depressed about my condition, the lack of use in my legs, and that I had come to the realization that the M.S. is not going anywhere, so I had best make do with what I still have. I grabbed my cane, and my purse, and went to the store with my mom without a care in the world, or that worry in the back of my mind that people are looking at me funny. I finally felt in control of my situation, and limitless.
*What ten words best describe you?
Resilient, Personable, Compassionate, Philanthropic, Optimistic, Motivated, Real, Unique, Comical, and Nurturing.
Candice is a military spouse, mother, and blogger living with Multiple Sclerosis since 2004. While managing the home front when her husband is on deployment, she works full time for a promotional products distributor as a Digital Marketing Analyst and Community Manager.
She also lends her time to write for various blogs about Digital Marketing and Brand Promotion, with several other contributions to parenting blogs, and Multiple Sclerosis support groups. She is an active member of the MS Society-Delaware Valley Chapter, as well as an avid surfer who fully supports ocean conservation. Keep up with Candice on Twitter @CandiceScheets.