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MS and end-of-the-year giving ideas for you

By Dan Digmann

I had a very forward-thinking thought as I flipped the calendar over from October to November.

“You know what?” I open-endedly asked my loving wife, Jennifer. “It’ll be December in less than a month. Okay, I realize that was a very Captain Obvious comment, but wait! There’s more, My Love.”

I honestly think Jennifer was intrigued with where I was going with my December-related drivel. That, or at the very least she was humoring me as to not squash my enthusiasm. See what I mean? Such a loving wife.

“Rather than waiting until the last week of the year to have this discussion, have you given any thought to where we’re going to donate to for our end-of-the-year giving?”

Wow. Such an insipid inquiry that barely lived up to the enthusiasm in your voice, I thought to myself after I asked it out loud. 

I mean, I was proud of myself that this crossed my mind on Nov. 1 rather than Dec. 29, so there’s that. And it did do us some good to have the discussion now so we could better plan for how much we can afford to donate and to which charities we’re going to give.

But wait, there’s more, MS Focus Readers. This whole annual charitable giving conversation got me thinking even more about Jennifer, the entire multiple sclerosis community, and me.

What are we each giving to ourselves at the end of the year? Think about it. Have you ever considered what you’re going to do for yourself when it comes time for end-of-the-year giving? Yes, you deserve it. And I’m not talking about cash, gift cards, stocks, or bonds. 

I’m talking about the things we so often and easily overlook because we’re so wrapped up in thinking about the things we no longer can do because of our MS. The friends and family who have faded from our lives because they couldn’t handle our new realities. The uncertainties of our futures living with this progressive disease of the central nervous system.

Here are a few no-cost gifts to consider for yourself as part of your end-of-the-year giving.

  1. Grace – You truly are doing the best that you can considering the hand you were dealt.
  2. The benefit of the doubt – Hindsight didn’t change because of your MS. It still is 20/20.
  3. A break – You’re dealing with MS 24/7. Even all-star athletes need a time out to breathe.
  4. Permission to be angry – Because smiles don’t happen when you’re frustrated.  
  5. Moments to cry – You’re absolutely right. Sometimes it is too much to handle without the tears.
  6. The time you need – MS affects everyone differently. Only you know when you’re ready to move on.
  7. Perpetual high fives – For every moment of victory you need to celebrate your awesomeness.
  8. Permission to be happy – Because you’re not letting MS take happiness away from you.
  9. Opportunities to grow – These don’t just happen by themselves.
  10. Confidence to move forward – This starts with being your biggest fan. 
  11. Priority status – Start each day with self-care at the top of your list.
  12. Latitude for not having it all together – Remember that you’re living with an unpredictable disease.

See? No-cost gifts for yourself that will keep giving long after this year ends and the new one begins. Use one or use all 12. Double bonus: They are all renewable with each new day, and feel free to share them with others