One of the many things I love about being part of two new groups, Chronic Illness Bloggers and #ChronicSex on Facebook and Twitter, is that I’m exposed to a variety of new bloggers. I love the idea of embracing our beauty outside of our illness presented by Ness of The Girl with the 5 Lads who writes about family life when chronically ill.  
I feel like my life is in transition. At 48, my meds work most of the time at preventing joint pain, but I believe that in combination with peri-menopause, they are preventing me from losing weight which is frustrating but I am working towards appreciating the new body. My kids are growing up and the need to control their every move is gone, although I still make unsuccessful attempts here and there. I’m not sure how long my job of 15 years is going to last due to state budgets issues. I just feel like I’m reestablishing myself and need to focus on what I love about myself which is why I was attracted to this linky. Enjoy and please share your own #besidesmydiagnosis on your blog or through Twitter.

1. #besidesmydiagnosis the three things about my appearance that I love in the mirror?
       My eyes, smile, and naturally graying hair.
2. #besidesmydiagnosis the things I have read most are?
       Kristin Hannah, politics, and educational materials for the pre-GED class I teach.
3. #besidesmydiagnosis my favourite comfort foods are?
       Pizza, chocolate, and wine.
4. #besidesmydiagnosis my favourite past times are?
       Hulu and Netflix, walks, family time.
5. #besidesmydiagnosis my biggest accomplishment since illness is?
       Raising two beautiful children.
6. #besidesmydiagnosis I feel my best quality is?
7. #besidesmydiagnosis my motto/mantra to live by?
       The best thing that can happen to me is happening right now.
8. #besidesmydiagnosis I would love to travel to?
       I’m not really a traveler (anxiety with flying), but I love quiet vacations. – little time in the car but lots of time 
       in nature
9. #besidesmydiagnosis my guilty pleasure is?
       After my evening class ends, I sometimes stop for hamburger and fries and sit in the quiet car eating 
10. #besidesmydiagnosis I have many dreams and ambitions such as?
       To one day be a grandma. To know that the job I do is contributing to a better world. To share my gifts while
        also embracing the unique gifts others have to share.  

Why these questions? (From Ness’ site)
Many people never describe themselves as beautiful as they do not fit into societies/media stereotype of beautiful. This is rubbish, we are all beautiful so should learn to love ourself. (Question 1) We can find friends through our interests, passions so these may open debates and make people find kindred souls. (Questions 2,3,4) We often focus on negativities and fail to see what we have accomplished since illness and make us thing about our best qualities. (Question 5,6) You can tell a lot about a person by their mantra (Question 7) We all need to hold on to our dreams (Question 8, 10) This is just for fun and giggles (Question 9)


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