Hope Wissel

Birthday Reflections

Another year, another milestone….. believe it or not, today is my 63rd birthday!  Do I feel 63?  Nope, not this year!  I kicked MS to the curb A LOT this year.

I wasn’t going to do my annual reflection BUT last night I decided I had so much to be grateful for this year – I would!

Despite the craziness of the “shelter in place” order, I have been content.  I never realized what an introvert I truly was or should I say am!  I don’t mind staying home… sure I miss the hugs at NA meetings  and the running to the store when I get an angel idea to grab materials BUT overall I have learned so much about me through this process.  I enjoy cooking meals – even three times a day!  LOL.  I enjoy staying home because I can always find something to do…yup I squirreled!

I am blessed to have woken up this morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  Am I always this optimistic – NOPE!   I’m determined to be positive and make the most of each day.  Brain fog mornings have been few and far between.  Physical therapy this year helped with the “shuffle” as hubby calls it.  LOL.  The brace has made long walks possible without dragging my foot.  I haven’t lost any of the weight gained because of my MS meds but I haven’t gained anymore either.  I guess that is a win.

Truth be told for many years “birthdays” were just another day.  I was filled with low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and a LOT of nasty inner gremlins which made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration. Today, I was blessed to wake up without expectations.  I have learned this year expectations lead to hurt feelings and resentments.  I have a little bit more confidence and am starting to like myself a little more each day.  I am sometimes still self-centered but I can actually spot when it happens.  I am grateful for whatever the day may bring.  Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.

This year, my Disability was approved as a result of a change in my diagnosis.  I went from RRMS to Primary Progressive.  It was a hard pill to swallow but it does explain so many things.  As a result, changes needed to be made in my life.  Changes which made me put on my “big girl panties” and do…..

I made the decision to step down as a Director with Thirty One.  I will always be a Thirty One girl but I felt I was not giving my best to my customers or my team.  Trying to keep up with all of the exciting things happening in the company was taking its toll on me.  Doing home parties are tough from carrying things into the house to remember prints/products to processing all of the conversations which go on.  A hard decision but a necessary one.

Angels by Hope took off during the holiday season.  I love sharing my angels with everyone.  New ideas continue to come along…. some are a success while others are definite flops.  Allowing the creative juices to flow again has been exciting.  It helps with processing the same as working my puzzles help with eye hand coordination.

I have come to terms with more lost memories and struggling to find the right words to say.  Hubby’s guitar playing has helped with some memories as he plays songs which have meaning in our life.  As I look through old pictures, there is frustration with the occasional glimmer of a tiny memory.  The normal question of “do you remember…….?” when I see old friends or family brings stress and frustration because most times, I don’t remember.

Through it all I hold fast to the mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”  WOW! I feel like this is turning into one of those “holiday letters” you get from people you only hear from once a year…. LOL.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow, tears of joy mixed with some sadness…

  • To my NA friends and family…………thank you for your support and guidance this year.  You have helped this “hot mess” become a better person.  Actually you have helped me to find the person I lost so many years ago.  To those who take my texts at all hours of the night, to those who listen even when I repeat myself, to those who put up with this “old lady”…… I am grateful and blessed to have you in my life.  God willing, we will have two years on the 22nd!
  • To my daughter, Belinda.  God could not have given me a greater gift than to be your mom.  Has the road been rocky the last few years?  I think that’s an understatement!  My relapse created a wall between us which I never thought would happen. You have grown into an amazing woman who I am so proud of.  Today, I feel like we are on the road to rebuilding our relationship.  I know it will not be the same but I’m sure it will be better.
  • To my mom….You are my best friend. I don’t know what to say, you are always there for me.  I’m looking forward to the time when the miles no longer separate us.  Till then, I know you are a phone call or a short drive away.  You are one of my biggest cheerleaders.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the support you have given me during my relapse and recovery.  I know dealing with my MS memory issues is tough but you are a trooper.
  • Lastly, to my hubby (who probably won’t see this)…who is my ROCK!  This past year has been amazing.  There are days I feel like we are back to when we were first dating (yup, that is a good thing).  I know I am not the easiest person to live with (imagine?) but you are always there, standing strong and supporting me.  I’m looking forward to your retirement this year, selling the condo and moving to our forever home.  Together we will do amazing things.

I’m sure there are many more people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this past year.  Please don’t feel slighted…  This has been a great year and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 63 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right?

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Have a blessed day!

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Making a Difference

Hope Inspires Change

Welcome to the “re-launch” of my blog.  For those who have been following me, you know I have struggled with what direction to go.  The inner gremlins of doubt, fear and comparison reared their ugly heads.  I thought I had nothing worth sharing.

TODAY, I am happy to say, I have focus again.

I changed the blog name to “Hope Inspires Change – Living Life on Life’s Terms“.

Growing up, I used to hate the jokes about my name.  Kids can be cruel especially in the 60’s when it was not a common name.  Now, I am embracing the emotion it creates in others.  I am learning just the mention of my name can bring a smile to the face of someone who is struggle.  When I introduce myself to others, I think of it as a God-wink.  A chance to let them know, all things are possible if you are willing to make some small change (baby steps, right?).

So, what does it mean for my blog?  I will be writing about dealing with life on life’s terms – addiction, recovery, relationships, retirement, and whatever life throws at me. I will be sharing my angels and hopefully being able to make a difference in the life of others.  Really, my focus hasn’t changed much BUT the inner gremlins have been kicked to the curb.  Thank you Ruth Soukup of Elite Blog Academy. If you ever considered blogging, check her out. She offers a FREE 3-day bootcamp…. Yup, I squirreled again.  LOL.

At 62 (creeping on 63), I am enjoying life on life’s terms.  Is it always easy? NOPE!  Do I still struggle?  YUP!  The difference is I am learning to “let go” and have some faith mixed with a little hope.  I want to share my strength, hope and experience with you.  And if you need a “guardian angel”, I will have them available too!

So, if you have some inner gremlins and want to learn how I tamed them – follow me.  If you are a fan of angels – follow me.  If you are “old” in the eyes of others but still feel young at heart – follow me.  If you need some inspiration once in awhile – follow me.  You get it, right?

I’m looking forward to sharing with you all again.  I would love to hear from you too on how you live life on life’s terms….

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel, Recovery

Peace Within

Hi blog followers….. I still haven’t figured out the road I want to take with my blog but this was on my heart today…,  Are you wondering “how can she did she get peace within”? LOL.  I have been wondering the same question.

I have 21 months clean today. I have a calmness I haven’t felt in a REALLY long time.  Is everything perfect in my life?  NOPE!  Honestly, what in life is perfect?  The difference has been my daily practice of the first three NA steps .Actually, I am grateful for a strong third step which says “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”.

On those moments I’m alone at home or driving in the car admiring the beauty of the sky, I think about how peaceful life has become.  I am grateful for my relapse. No, I am not grateful for the pain and heartache it caused. BUT it has helped me in so many ways to really appreciate the gift of life.  It has helped me to put my life with MS in perspective and not let it control me.

Over the last few weeks, I have been blessed with a clear head and vey little brain fog.  I have completed physical and occupational therapy – actually graduated out because I was doing so well. YEAH!!  Planning our vacation in April.  Clearing out the clutter so we can put the condo on the market by early summer.  Creating new angel designs.  Tracking my food even though the scale doesn’t seem to be moving much.  Sadly, I had to find a new sponsor which has its growing pains.  LOL. I am taking it one day at a time and enjoying whatever life brings.

Whether you are in recovery or not, here are some simple steps to help you find peace within…

Stop Thinking about Your Past. … 

I will admit for me this is a little easier than for most.  I don’t remember a lot of things –  thank you MS.  I have let go of the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” kind of thinking.  I have stopped beating myself up for the mistakes I made which I can’t change.  Yes, I have regrets.  Yes, I get sad about broken relationships. Yes, the pain and heartache I caused is in my thoughts.  The difference is, I don’t focus on them.  I have faith relationships will be healed.  Definitely not in my time but when God sees fit to make it happen (I will be ready).  I stop focusing on the past and am enjoying the moment of today.

Don’t Push Yourself Hard for Something. …

As not only a recovering addict BUT also a recovering workaholic, this can be tough.  MS has taught me many things – don’t push yourself too hard because you will crash and burn (okay, not literally).  Do I still have goals?  Yup.  The difference now is I am enjoying the journey and where it takes me.  See, God has a plan for my life (and yours) so why not just let it unfold.  This can be rough for a planner (an old grant writing habit).  You can still set goals but don’t push so hard you forget about….

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones.

Loved ones can be family, friends or someone who are important in your life.  I am learning to enjoy the quiet times. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed spending time with loved ones.  The difference is NOW I am in the moment focusing on them and our time together.  I no longer am thinking about the next thing I need to do.  I am grateful for time with hubby – looking forward to his retirement.  I am grateful for the days (not as many as I would like) I get to spend with momma.  I am grateful for the time spent with my fellow women in recovery.  Are there some I don’t get to spend quality time with?  YUP!  Do I mess them?  ABSOLUTELY!  Still I am at peace.  I can’t control others so fix, managing and controlling everything is a quality I have learned to let go of (there are still some days – LOL). I know in time, the day will come when I will get to spend quality time with ALL my loved ones.

Lastly, focus your attention on those things you can control. …

I have always been a peacekeeper, really “a people pleaser”.  I stuffed my feelings when they didn’t agree with what others thought or did.  I tried to fix, manage and control things.  It was how I hid my feelings as well as my addiction.  If I am focusing on others, I didn’t have to think about me. YIKES!  It used to scare the hell out of me.  I didn’t know who I was.  I didn’t like me.  NOW, I am grateful for being able to look inside and see me (most days).  Yes, there are still days I don’t ‘like myself.  There are days the number on the scale makes me crazy despite my best efforts.  The difference is now, I focus on the things I can control.  I watch what I eat  since eating healthier makes me feel better despite the scale.  I talk to others when those inner gremlins creep in instead of stuffing them behind a closed door.  I wake up asking for guidance and go to sleep being grateful for the day.

A long post but I know in my heart someone needed to hear it.  Have a blessed day!

 

Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Beef and Arugula Stir-Fry

Thank you Alene Brennan for today’s recipe.  This is from Terry Wahl’s MS Protocol cookbook but it definitely yummy for everyone!

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cooking Time: 15 minutes     Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound beef sirloin, cut into thin strips (organic grass fed is the best)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I use Wicked Good Spice Mixes Garlic Oil)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 medium red peppers, cut into thick strips
  • 1-2 bunches arugula, well washed
  • 2 teaspoons kuzu (a root – optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (a Japanese sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Stir-fry beef in pan with 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until browned.
  2. Remove beef with tongs or fork, allowing excess oil to drip off and set aside.
  3. With remaining oil, stir-fry ginger and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes and then add bell peppers. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Mix together fresh arugula and bell pepper mixture in a serving bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, combine kuzu, tamari, vinegar and water.
  6. Place mixture into skillet and cook over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.
  7. Return beef to skillet and cook for 1 minute, just enough to warm up beef.
  8. Add beef to serving bowl with arugula and bell peppers.
  9. Mix and serve warm.

There are always leftovers in our house…..I usually cook for 4 – 6 people despite the fact there are only two of us and then hubby gets meals for work. One of my favorite Thirty One thermals is the Thermal Tote which is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

Have a blessed day!

Favorite Products

Teacher Solution Sets

I can’t believe Summer is almost over.  It won’t be long (maybe a week or so) before many will be leaving the sunshine and sand while they head back to school.

Summer may be leaving BUT  it isn’t so bad when there’s so much fall fun to look forward to! Cozy sweaters, leaf piles and of course the hustle and bustle of back to school are right around the corner. I can see many moms doing the happy dance now.  LOL!

Who knows more than teachers about starting the school year off right? From classroom heroes to bus duty buddies, here are eight of  Thirty One’s top styles to create save-the-day solution sets for the ones who put the cool in school (or anyone else who needs to get organized)..

For taming the desk mess

From paperclips and pencils to staplers and snacks, teachers ask a lot of their desks. Make it more manageable with the desktop organizing combo of a Littles Carry-All Caddy (or two), Get Creative Slim Pouch and Get Creative Rectangle Pouch.

This durable, wipeable caddy is perfectly sized to fit a small box of tissues or extra coffee pods for your morning brew, while its exterior mesh pocket can stow paperclips, sticky notes and rubber bands at hand. Pop your markers, pens and pencils into the slim pouch, and use the rectangle pouch for large index cards or to keep loose bits and bobs in one place. Plus, both pouches are made of clear PVC, so you’ll always be able to see what’s stashed inside!

 

For manic mornings and laid-back lunches

One of a teacher’s many superpowers is getting up and ready before the sun, so make mornings a little brighter with a tote-ally perfect pairing that’ll pull double duty. The Crossbody Organizing Tote is one of our top styles for the season, and teachers know why! With all the pockets you could ask for and a spacious design, this tote is an organizing dream. Perfect for the ones who have to take their work home with them (we’re talking grading papers galore), plus the adjustable crossbody strap means hands-free organization, even on the go.

This functional work tote only gets better when paired with our tried-and-true Thermal Tote, its lunchtime partner in crime. Make lunch hour sweeter with an insulated tote in tons of fun prints, and add a personalized embroidered design for a thermal tote that’ll be the talk of the teachers’ lounge. Getting up early might be tough, but packing your lunch in the morning doesn’t have to be!

For classroom clutter

With kids comes mess, but that mess doesn’t have to equal stress. Meet your new all-star organizing team: the Large Utility Tote (our #1 style for the season!) and Double Duty Caddy. With its top handle and two side compartments, the Double Duty Caddy is just the structured sidekick teachers need to store cleaning supplies, art materials, papers or even plates, napkins and plastic utensils for classroom parties!

You already know there are a thousand uses for the LUT, so here are just a few ideas fit for the classroom. And don’t forget to add a custom embroidered message or design in Thirty-One’s personalization studio – just click the “personalize” button under Large Utility Tote to see your design come to life!

  • Stash toys and stuffed animals for indoor recess
  • Fill with books for a portable classroom library
  • Stow pillows and cushions for story circle time
  • Tote playground equipment to and from recess
  • Organize craft supplies for art projects
  • Make a portable lost-and-found!

For after-school fun

When the backpacks are packed and students are on the bus home, it’s time for teachers to take some time to unwind and focus on themselves. No matter the after-school destination, whether it’s a dinner out with the family, running to a yoga class or going out for drinks with the girls, the Boutique Backpack and Perfect Cents Wallet are your go-to duo.

Backpacks are perfect for the ones who are always on the go, and the Boutique Backpack’s faux leather finish elevates it to a statement piece that can also hold all your essentials with ease! And we can’t forget a coordinating wallet to keep your cash, cards and ID neat and organized.

For even more great back-to-school solutions, browse our hand-picked collection of school-ready gift ideas!

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