Reviewing 2015 & New Plans for This Year

Last year has seen a lot of firsts, learning and self-discoveries. I also had a lot of fun, spent time with friends and family, went on vacation and basically enjoyed life as it came. But as with all things “life”, you’ll get some not so good parts also. MS symptoms got a bit more obvious, but I battled them with all that was in my power. All in all, it was a full and enjoyable year. This is going to be a long post, so grab a cup of tea, sit confortably, and let’s dig deeper to see why.

2015 had a lot of firsts and lessons learned, but definetly one of the biggest was starting MS treatment in March. I am well-known by people close to me as being deeply scared by needles and taking any kind of shots. Surprise-surprise! Copaxone, the treatment I’m on, is injectable. It’s a daily subcutaneous (under the skin) injection that burns somewhat when it gets inside the body. If someone had told me a few years back that I’m going to do that daily and not run in terror, I would have called him / her crazy! Actually, I found out that I was not afraid of the needle itself, nor it pearcing my skin, but of the reactions / emotions people around me associated with it since I was little (stick around, we’re going to talk about lots of self-discoveries, ha!). So, that was first of the… firsts.

The second most important thing started was this actual blog. SMart Choice Lifestyle was started in April 2015, as a means to inform and talk about MS-related subjects, advice and living with the condition as a young person. You can read more about that process here.

I read or listened to many insightful books / audiobooks, videos and articles. Through all this I learned a lot about myself, business and life in general. To only name a few, let’s talk about:

“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Linchpin” by Seth Godin

“The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

YouTube basically replaced my TV, as I discovered some amazing channels of which I name the ones I learned the most from: 

Mimi and Alex Ikonn

Gary Vaynerchuk

Yoga with Adriene

Chase Jarvis

Tim Ferris

London Real

Since April 2015, once I’ve discovered the magnificent Adriene Mishler’s YouTube yoga channel and got absolutely hooked, I really got into yoga and meditation. Almost a year later, it has proved to be one of the best if not THE best decision and habit of 2015! It has brought so much clarity and strenght (both physically and mentally) to my life. When my body feels tight or sore from MS-related issues or just from daily work, I always turn to yoga stretches and at least 10 minutes of sitting in silence in order to clear my mind and figure out what’s going on with myself. It’s part of my everyday morning and night routines. Thank you, Adriene! You guys! Be sure to subscribe to her channel and try the #30daysofyoga (2015) and #yogacamp (2016) challenges. She's the best teacher I could ever hope for in this yoga journey! You'll see what I mean: she's funny, calm and really takes her time into getting you finding what feels good on the mat.

Going down a similar lane, I rediscovered God and His meaning to me. Got to know myself a little bit better and learned a lot. In conjunction with going deeper in  my mind and emotions, I found love and strength inside. If you ever think that you are not loved or not stong enough to do something, take a step back, analyze your fears, your thought process and see that if you got through today, you are stonger than you think and you’ll eventually find all the love that you will ever need in your own heart. Just trust and get to know yourself better. It’s so worth it!

It was a time of outlining many projects and having new wonderful ideas. A time of finding my “why”, my mission and calling. It has always been there, staring me in the eyes, but I couldn’t see it because I was distracted with what society taught me. So, I’m a writer and a visual storyteller that likes to help people see the best in themselves. The rest will unfold slowly on this blog, so make sure you subscribe to receive every new update.

I understood that all is flowing, changing, moving, and that I need to go with the flow, adapt and just be. Leave stress aside and focus on the present moment. The rest is fading. So, I had more gratefulness and midfulness than in past years and learned that dreams need action in order to come true. The “secret” is not whishfull thinking, is TAKING ACTION! Doing things.

One big lesson is that forgiveness opens the door to endless possibilities of light heartedness, love and fulfillment in one’s life. You only have to come at it with an open heart and just let go of any grudges, resentments and useless negativity that only brings you down in the end.

There are little miracles happening around us all the time, be aware of your surroundings, the people you meet and the things that you go through.

The funny fact about introspection is that it allows you to understand many of the issues, flaws, problems you’ve had through the years and the reason why they happened. So insightful! I understood that life is in fact very simple and light at its core and we are the ones who make it harder through our own daily choices and actions.

This December I turned 30! And felt like 22 *giggles inside*. Going on the shakespearian lane, what’s in a number? To be or not to be… 30!? What the heck! Let’s live it! I’m 03… oops… 30!

I really didn’t face a big drama (or any drama) when changing my decade. It only made me realise how far I’ve come and how many things I have under my belt. And yet again, how young I still am, and how well that fits with MS! The joy! But let’s not exaggerate! Be humble and grateful for the situation I’m in, because I am aware that others have it way harder than me.

I don’t want you to be offended in the very least by my words, so I must explain a bit: I have a sarcastic-ish way of facing issues in my life, so if it seems I’m just making fun of my condition it’s because I really don’t want to take it seriously. It brings me down, and it’s the last thing I want in my life, on top of the daily stresses. I find it very easy to talk MS-related stuff, make fun of it and beat it sensless with food, exercise and rest. Copaxone only does 30% of the job so I take care of the other 70%, which does not include negative emotions. Hope you’ll understand.

Speaking of lifestyle management, I also thought about what was I doing when I had my best days / results / work. Summing it all up, it was a mix of the following things:

- eating healthy, 
- exercising at least 30 minutes per day, 
- sleeping regularly and minimum 8 hours / night, 
- organising my to-do lists and work in an orderly and disciplined way, 
- focusing on doing just one thing at a time, 
- getting inspiration and achieving the right state of mind, 
- having new experiences and learning
- creating content without constraints, judgements or the others’ opinion in mind,
- working from the heart, when I was authentic and true to myself and my core beliefs.

The biggest, most impactful lesson I had last year was the day when I understood that all is flowing, that all is energy (a vibration basically) and that the most important and life-giving one is LOVE in all its shapes and sizes: kindness, gratefulness, generosity, compassion, forgiveness, etc. We are more stronger than we think. The mind is limiting our actions. Let the Ego go and look at the world through your heart. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see.

Other highlights of 2015 were finally receiving “The Wahls Protocol” from the U.S. and a surprise red-rose from my boyfriend (May)

me dropping yet another cup that I had for ages, thanks to MS clumsiness (June) (thank you, dear!), 

the Robbie Williams concert in Bucharest’s Constitution Square (July)

the yearly trip to Sibiu and Hunedoara (August), 

the most amazing late summer light I have ever seen, at my parents’ house (August) (the picture really doesn’t do it justice!),  

best friend rebonding girls day out (September),

my boyfriend made THESE for his niece’s birthday (September),

barbecuing and photographing this little guy in the warm autumn light at my boyfriend’s house (October), 

discovering and SAVING my first entirely gray hair (I still have it!) (November),

and enter my beautiful December (might be subjective here, as I’m born close to Christmas, so… if you love it as much as I do, let me know in the comments below): early birthday resent from my boyfriend

my own self birthday present

celebrating my kindergarden birthday *whistles looking away*,

decorating the Christmas tree

the Christmas tree

waiting for Santa,

and yet another reason why I love roses

For this year, my three main goals are centered on writing, photography and yoga. These three are my main focal points, with some occasional sprinkles of travel here and there. But most of all, my biggest hope for the beginning of this year is that my next MRI doesn’t show any new lesions.

Thank you all for being here and reading this review!

Sign up to the email list, to be sure you’ll get the three main articles I publish every week, plus an occasional fourth or fifth post when I have something new to share!

Until next time, make the SMart Choices for your lifestyle.