creative, depression, family, fibro, food, friendship, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, list, marriage, self care, travel

Octobers are my favorite…

I love the beautiful simplicity of this photo. It isn’t mine, it isn’t us. There is something so beautiful about clasped hands, held together, skin-tight, love all that will fit in the between. After yesterday’s post, I wanted to take a little time before posted something far less significant. At the same time, however, looking over my list really allowed me the opportunity to be intentional about the 30 days still to loom ahead, within the month…

Home:

  • decorate for Autumn
  • more candlelit evenings
  • donate 31 things to charity
  • make candied apples
  • make my Grandmother’s apple butter

Create:

  • paper crafting projects
  • pull out the knitting needles
  • experiment more with essential oils and ways to help others with them

Relate:

  • spend time with my BFF, for the almost-week she’s visiting
  • apple picking and making memories
  • welcome my husband home and connect with him in all of the ways, before life takes us on legs of our own journeys again
  • speaking of journeys- fly to Seattle to spend time loving on my beautiful little granddaughter
  • dates with my mom
  • actively displaying gratitude and support to the staff in the nursing home
  • reaching out to connect with other women in life affirming ways

Personal:

  • (finally) meet with personal trainer
  • stick to a schedule for writing, and progress.
  • continued work with my chiropractor and kinesiology
  • hot baths, yoga and self-care

Read/Watch:

  • American Made. (dying to see this movie, even though I know it was technically as September release.)
  • The Mountain Between Us
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin 
  • Reread Alice in Wonderland
  • Braving the Wilderness 

 

What about you? What are you looking forward to, in these growing and cooling evenings? What things do you look forward to the most? Life is hard and heavy, but we still have the responsibility to love the lives we’re living and try to breathe life and beautiful in the brutal… Some days that may be all we’ve got.

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chronic illness, confession, entertainment, fibro, gratitude, journey, rant, self care

I totally hold Joss Whedon responsible…

On Monday I had a pretty rough day. It was one of those days where, if it could go wrong, it did. I had a few rocky appointments/meetings, followed by some pretty not-awesome (but also not terrible) news from my doctor’s office. The thing about the doctor was that they called when I was getting a massage…

I realize this is likely the point in the story where I’ve lost your sympathy vote. Massage? This girl is complaining about her bad day AND she had a massage??? Yeah, I know how it sounds. Please though, allow me to explain. While it may not be everyone who suffers from a chronic illness’ journey, I can tell you that massages are a necessary evil for me. I have to book in advance because of the type of therapist I have to see. When that date rolls around, it doesn’t matter if I am in a Fibro flare up or not, I have to go. How my body receives the massage very much depends on if I am flaring or not, and what the weather outside is like. Let’s take yesterday, for example… It is really, unseasonably hot in Michigan right now and so my body HATES me. My therapist had to spend an extra 15 minutes just to get my neck and shoulder muscles to loosen a little. My lower back has been miserable ever since the massage and I’ve juggled a headache. THIS is more common than not, how I am post massage. So it’s not really a fun thing.

Anyway, I digress… As I am (slowly) dressing from my session, I decide to listen to the voicemail my doctor’s nurse left. What followed was a very ominous message which left me wondering if this was when they share that I only have a few weeks to get my affairs in order. So yeah, I’m fine,(whew!) but the massage AND the anxiety when 90 minutes passed, after I returned the call and left a message, with no word, took their toll on me.

The day had a few other bumps. Over all I just felt drained physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tuesday was different though. I resolved that I would approach every situation differently. (There must have been something off, in the air, yesterday because people were NASTY!) What I found, instead, was myself silently (and often comically) observing life’s quirky bits…

  • like the conveyer belt, at the super market, ate an elderly woman’s $20 bill. Chaos ensued and I was delivered about a hundred apologies and treated with kid gloves as they attempted to solve the error. Is this the sort of thing someone might get really angry about, I wondered. Instead, I had a lovely little chat with Killian the clerk, who must be nearing his 11th birthday, he was so young.  At one point he shared that he really loved old horror movies, and when he offered up movies from the early two-thousands as evidence, I kindly took my receipt and headed for the door. Oh Killian, sweet small boy, I could be your great-grandmother… I really couldn’t, but that is how I felt. (I also bought a bottle of wine, which he did not card me for, so he may feel the same. Silly, Killian.)
  • Tuesdays at 10:20 a.m. are apparently a major traffic time at the USPS. Who knew? I purposefully avoided it on Friday and Monday because I knew my business there would take some time. People were over all carefree, so I clearly made the right choice as everyone in public, Monday, was behaving like they were straight from a freak episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Starbucks drive thru employees tend to lean strongly one way or the other. You have the ones made of cardboard, who seem more bot than person. Those are kind of fun, sort of. (except probably on Monday. No one was fun on Monday. Seriously.) The other side of the spectrum would be the overly chatty ones. The ones who feel the need to divulge very personal information, OR take credit for your purchase. Of course, I am generalizing… Not ALL of them are like this, but I have encountered one or the other more often, as of late. Today I ordered a peach infused green tea. This is not a drink I am new to, and yet, this barista guy decided to congratulate me on my choice. He was confident I would really like it, and that he is always telling people to order this very drink,and they don’t, so it made his day that I had chosen it and that if I did not like it, come back and he would recommend something else. Um, ok, buddy… Pretty sure it is bound to taste like the other 350* I’ve ordered this summer (*slight exaggeration).
  • Tuna. Tuna… I have loved Tuna forever. Grew up eating Tuna casserole, Tuna sandwiches… I have appreciated Tuna because it is such a great source of protein. I tried to eat Tuna at lunch and got sick. the smell, sight and taste of it is so unbelievably repulsive to me- instantaneously. What? Why? I feel like I have lost a friend. (a smelly friend, but hey- I love unconditionally.)
  • People really do stand in super market aisles, lost in confusion. Maybe this has been me at times, but I have never really noticed it in others. Today’s trip found eleven patrons in such circumstance. (Then again, with the conveyor belt eating money and the talk of “super old horror movies” (SHM!) I am suddenly wondering if Joss Whedon is responsible for this silly day too…)

I have produce sitting in my fridge waiting for me to chop, dice and stir it all into a big pot of soup. The lover of fall in me is irritated and antsy that such rituals have not begun. It is nearly 100 degrees outside and my autumn loving soul just cannot understand. I hear rumors that fall will descend upon us tomorrow and I am holding out hope, stock pot and ladle in hand. (At this point I am going to blame Joss Whedon for the weather too, because, why not? It seems like something he would write.)

There is a spider crawling on the outside pane of my office window. I have killed a half a dozen (after spraying, mind you) inside, over the past week. Apparently the spiders are too on their autumn clocks and heading in-doors because it’s time. (either that or- I hesitate to say it- we are slowly being overrun by arachnids. Dang it, Joss… knock it off already.)

In all fairness, today it is misting out, cooler, and absolutely glorious…

beautiful, books, chronic illness, fibro, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, Lately, list, writing

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Happy Friday, lovelies…

How has your week been? It has been an odd week around here.

It is amazing how unnaturally busy it has been. My husband is 8000 miles away and I had some pretty big ideas for how I would use this time that he was gone. Of course, I planned on completely revitalizing my eating and fitness routine, because that makes total sense and seems pretty feasible. It won’t likely shock anyone reading this that I did not do either of these things…

While it has not been a bad week, per say, I think it would be a much easier task to write a list of the week’s five worst bits. (ie: HUMIDITY, HEAT, FIBRO-CRAP…) but that would defeat the whole point of these friday posts. So, here goes…

1.) An ALL CLEAR visit with the vet, regarding sweet Elenor, and subsequently introducing her to Peanut Butter. (She’s a girl after my own heart. IOW: BIG PB fan!)

2.) Braving the Wilderness. Finally… Love Brene!

3.) Himalayan salt and essential oil baths. I’ve read about how beneficial they can be for Fibro stuff, and I have been really wanting to try it. It has, however, been so warm out, and that isn’t the sort of thing that is conducive to hot baths. This week, however, it got rough enough that there wasn’t much I would not have tried. I’m sold.

4.) The album Blurryface by Twenty-One Pilots. I am not new to their music. In fact, I’ve loved several of their tracks for going on two years. Late one evening this week, however, I caught a recording of a show they did in Oakland, on MTV Live. The energy was amazing and so I dusted off my Blurryface and have been listening like an addict ever since.

5.) Faith Illustration. While I am not at all artistic, this is kind of something I would love. I had no idea anything like it existed, but since I learned of it, I have been so inspired!

What about you? What is shareable about your week? Anything exciting about the weekend? I will be spending the majority of my weekend writing, and then taking Elenor to visit my mama.

beautiful, chronic illness, confession, creative, depression, fibro, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, Lately, list, marriage, parenting, self care

the wonder…

Over the weekend I went to Toledo to attend a Beth Moore conference. Of the pages and pages of notes I penned, there is one particular thing Beth said which I have not been able to shake. Don’t misunderstand- She said a lot of truly incredible things. Magnificent and wise things which had my hand, at times, scribbling a million miles a minute just to capture a small fraction of what she shared. This one thing, however, this one particular thing split me wide open and has clung to my spirit…

When you are unable to see the Wonder (of God) anywhere in your life, that’s when it might be time to realize you are the wonder.

I mean seriously- BOOM.

There are times in my life when I have seen the hand of God all over the place, and other times when I would have to simply reassure myself by acknowledging the very miraculous wonder of my journey to motherhood, because nothing else came to mind. As bold and big as that part of my story will always be, there was never a moment when I flirted with considering my own life (or self) as any sort of wonder.

Self care is at the heart of everything I say, anymore, and yet, ironic isn’t it, that I would point to my kids, my spouse and many of my friends as the miraculous wonders of someone Holy, while ignoring the mirrored reflection I posses completely?

No, not me. I have a lazy eye. My hair gets frizzy. I screw up way too much. No one cares about what I have to say. The list can be long and go on, and on, and on.

When I want to be, I can be pretty skilled at finding joy and awe in the moment by moment “small” things. I have journals chronicling my gifts in the ordinary and often pain filled moments. I get it… But what about looking a little differently at these things? It is totally ok for me to see Elenor as a gift, my kids as gifts, my marriage, money, friends, etc… It is an endless list when heading in that direction, but if I reverse it back, it pretty much stops where it began. Am I possibly a gift? Could I be? Could I ever see myself as such a thing, and should I? This goes beyond feeling grateful that, when fibro sore legs throb, at least I have two legs to carry me. This goes beyond when an eye strain headache deblitates me, at least I have eyes to see, to read. But me? I’ll have to question and meditate on such things, but for now I have decided to challenge myself to look a little deeper.

Where is the wonder today?

Today I will photograph.

Today I will write.

Today I will capture.

Today I will create.

Today I will be still.

Today I will bridge a gap and connect.

Today I will…

And maybe it will simply be one capture, one snap shot or one written word. Perhaps my stillness will last three blissful minutes before life sets it. It does not matter the volume, only the intent motivating it. It is in these intentional acts, as well as outside of them, that I will see the wonder.

Some wonder.

Wonder…

beautiful, books, chronic illness, entertainment, fibro, friendship, gratitude, journey, Lately, list

It’s friday, I’m in love…

I would love to delve into the Cure lyrics here and say that I don’t really care if Monday is actually grey, but I’d be lying. This whole week was a little grey honestly. My husband is away on business and I’m missing him. On top of that there has just been sickness, fibro crap, a dental nightmare and odds and end little things that would bury me alive, if I let them.

(I won’t!)

Instead I’m focussing on the great things, and I’ll be honest, I have had to practice being aware and think a lot more about what this week’s little list might look like…

1.) Portugal. The Man... Heard them? While they aren’t new to my radar (think indie alternative meets totally fresh and amazing) this week I found myself gravitating more to their music that I have before. Big awesome, and very much the bulk of the soundtrack carrying my week.

2.) Sweet potato dog chips. Basically I believe they are dried sweet potatoes. We tried making them a few years back and it was a bust. I became so jaded from the experience that I swore my dogs would never eat sweet potatoes again. (just kidding, that’s not true) We did recently pick up a large bag of them and I can honestly say both dogs love them far better than treats. The super nice thing is that 3.5 month old Elenor will stay “busy” on one for a good chunk of time, giving me a small window of productivity.

3.) This book! While I am pretty new to the Enneagram, this book seems to be the perfect launching pad and I am loving it!

4.) You guys… This week I stumbled upon a 55 gram of protein shake, (55!!!) that tastes like dessert. Seriously, it was decadent. (Nutri-bullet: 1 chocolate Premier protein, 2 scoops Chocorite Peanut Butter protein, 5 ice cubes, 1 banana (potassium!!!) and listen for the Angel’s chorus…

5.) Last but not least, this movie! I was lucky enough to catch a showing, earlier in the week, with a friend. We live in a time when new movies come and go so fast, and most of the time they have the feel of mass production products over art. I realize this film is bombing critically, and as a former critic I get it. Here’s the thing though, critics pick faults by nature- it’s the job. (I can also tell you that watching movies, as a critic, sucks.) I know that average viewers aren’t loving it by the majority either. I think maybe it is marketed as something it isn’t… I think the Sweet Home Alabama fans are shouting from their rooftops “FINALLY!!!” and flocking to see it, expecting Sweet Home Alabama. It isn’t. (not even in the same genre) It is Home Again. Not better, but very, very different. Also, it is very, very beautiful…

So that’s my week… Other bright spots are the constant laugh-til-tears over Elenor and her huge personality… She’s going to her first sleepover tonight and I do declare, I’m going to miss this girl like crazy! Tell me about your week…