Friday, December 31, 2010


Regardless of when New Year’s is celebrated – 1934, 1968, or 1991 – there have been two token things that people wish for – a happy and healthy new year. But if we’re wishing for it every year, does that mean it didn’t come to be the year before?

Like virtually everything – happiness and health are all relative. Particularly for IBDers, health takes on a different notion, staying out of the hospital vs. being admitted, being in remission vs. spending life in the bathroom – but it rarely means no pills or no doctors or no painful tests. That is not to say that we can’t be happy, happy people (or, in Grey’s Anatomy terms, shiny, happy people), it just means we’re hiking up a hill when everyone else is chilling on the plateau.

We say it again, and again, and again – happy and healthy, happy and healthy – as if by saying it, it will happen. In some ways, those wishes are alike our idea of fate – regardless of what we do, it will happen. But that makes little real sense – we know we have to work for what we want.

Happy and healthy doesn’t – and shouldn’t – mean predictable. It shouldn’t put us in a turkey-coma like state where all you want to do is sleep, rather happy and healthy should be energizing, exciting, thrilling, fulfilling, and inspiring. Six months ago, I would never have imagined owning literally hundreds of ostomy bags or laughing at the grocery stores’ reusable bag plea ‘BAGS FOR LIFE’, but my colon clearly had other plans. When I decided to take up running (which yes, seems like an oddly impulsive habit to instantly have), my Mom asked why, to which (after a moment of thought) I replied, “Because I can.” I have two feet, sneakers, and am healthy enough to do it.

Personally, happy and healthy means fighting harder to find the cure for IBD, working hard in my classes, eating EVERYTHING I can, running, doing yoga, babysitting kids, reading, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and having the opportunity and energy to do what I want.

And so, I do not only wish everyone a happy and healthy year, but instead a year filled with laughing so hard it makes your sides hurt, friendships that make you happy, people who love you because you’re you, the best food you’ve ever eaten, well-deserved success from hard work, and many moments that make you so happy to be right where you are.



  1. This blog was very inspiring as I have the goal of focusing on what I can do rather than what I cannot! I am excited for a new year with new challenges, memories and experiences.

    YAC Member

  2. Very moving! Love it.

    Wishing the same to you, Jennie!