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My spirit and mood have been vacillating, wildly and erratically at times, between gratitude for life and wishing to be finally done with this journey.  Folded in among this particular ping pong game of emotions there burbles nostalgia for what never was but wished for anyway, moments and times.  Like say, the throb of deep connected love with the same person for a long period of time and the resulting imagined passionate lovemaking.  And let me not forget to write of the fear, dread and anxiety brought on by considering medical procedures, tests and surgeries meant to return to me my health and maybe, may I hope, my sanity. 

Where does one go when the well is dry.  Bone dry.  Yet the body still thirsty and the spirit weak.  Prayer feels too hard.  No, not hard, just not for me.  Not now.  I suppose I feel undeserving somehow of asking for help.  Hard to do this earth journey; seemingly impossible to bridge the worlds or universe. 

For now, I dwell in the land somewhere in between.

All hands on deck. 

Both hands on the wheel at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. 

Houston, we I have am the situation. 

Multiple choice.  Correct answer ~ all of the above.

These past few weeks have been an exercise in cravings, delayed satisfaction, impulsive choice making, setting aside, procrastination, misplacing my mojo, re-discovering my mojo, percolating, marinading, and popcorning ideas, thoughts, theories, plain silliness, deep convoluted thinking meanderings and missing my blog. 

What I have been up to and the revolving re-occuring topics in my head have included, but have not been limited, to:

the hour and minute combination of 11:11 and the significance I have ascribed to this time

~

Spring Fever, which morphed into Sunshine Fever, which changed to Restless Life Syndrome

~

loving my job, total dissatisfication with the same job, searching for new job, applying for new jobs

~

retirement preparedness, freaking out that I have failed, as in utterly, to formulate any such plan,

vesting, vacillating between commitment to stay for 3+ years to wear this retirement vest, back

to freaking out at the thought of such a long term commitment

~

health issues, tipping over, milestones in sleeping upright, off low sodium plan, back on,

yo-yo eating plan

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poor body image, hating, shameful feelings, attempts to embrace my physical self

~

vacations, destinations, monetary commitment toward vacations, gratitude for abundance

~

Setting aside, walking through, moving around, navigating life’s detritus, waking up, being amazed,

feeling flummoxed, groaning disappointment, side-splitting hilarity, tears of pain and surrender,

loving and receiving affection

Man alive!  No wonder I have been absent.  That there is whole hella lot of living. 

Yes, indeed. 

Yes.  I just might get out of my own way…  any minute now. 

Yes.  Out of my own way, I might just move. 

There seems to be a slight problem, a little thorn in the side of the rose.  In fact, there most definitely is a blockade preventing me from moving over, which would then allow me to get out of my own way.  The problem is my exhaustion. 

Yes.  The utterly fatigued state of my being is locking me into place like molasses on a right cold night. 

Not getting a good night’s sleep for so long that I cannot recall when the last time was that I had a good night’s sleep will get me every time.  Gets me in this bone weary and slate wiped clean state of mind. 

Even with all of that, I am still holding out a little hope that I just might be able to move out of my own way.  Sometime in the future.  Hopefully sometime in the near and soon future.  A move I might make.

Take two ibuprofens.  Drink them down with big gulps of water.  Do it quickly lest you be oxygen deprived due to inabilty to breathe through your nose and only your mouth.  Keep a goodly supply of Puffs with lotion tissues nearby.  Apply Neosporin to painfully irritated raw nose. 

Do all of the above throughout your day and night.  Allow the common cold to run its natural course.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, give in to food cravings and allow yourself to be comforted by a steaming hot cup of tomato soup.  Sodium milligrams be damned.  One’s spirits must be buoyed and nurtured during times of physical illness in order to quickly return to health.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

As you may have guessed by now, I am being visited by a headcold.  I realized that this is the first cold I have succumbed to in over a year.  My memory timeline includes such mileposts as my daugher’s birth year and her age at any given point in my adulthood.  An example being, when did I date the woman with the long flowing blond hair with those deep blue eyes?  Well let’s see, my daughter was about 7 years old so I would have been 26.  Another memory milepost is when was the last time I was able to sleep lying down?  Well let’s see that would have been toward then end of January 2011 so about 13 months ago.  And I haven’t had a head cold since then.  Oh the meandering places my mind does travel when my head is all stuffed up… 

Life is good even with the raw nose and achy muscles.  One cold in over a year just isn’t that bad.  Right?  Nothing that taking two ibuprofens won’t help.

Reflecting back to a year ago as I read through previous posts, private journal entries and summoned memories, I concluded that I am better off in my current moments than in the past already lived times. Better. More. Good progress.

And then the devil’s advocate side of me chimes in, challenging the notion of words such as better and more. Judgment calls, really. Getting my attention, this wily provocateur continues with growing insistence stating that all experiences are just that ~ experiences.  Life lessons if you will.  Or maybe even simpler yet, life in any given moment.  Why, this slightly miffed one asks, do we mere mortals insist upon grading life’s happenings as if only happy contentment is the holy grail.  Life is not meant to be a jazzed up cabaret, my dear, this ruffian extols. 

Growing weary of my now ranting inner nemesis I say, not so kindly, Shut Up.  Shut the F up and get out of my inner sanctuary ~ at least for this moment.  Because in this moment Mister Insister of Multifaceted Existence, you are bringing me down.  Muddying the waters.  You see, I agree with what I believe to be your basic premise ~ all experiences hold value.  I further agree with your assertion that… 

Yada yada yada.

Blah Blah Blah.

You see this morning, Mister Advocate, I am not into deep philosophical preponderances.  I was going another route of simple reflection and simpler yet gratitude.  So back to the beginning of my thoughts I go where I was saying that every aspect of my life is better than 12 months ago. 

  • The vertigo condition, although still with me, is more manageable and being treated;
  • I am working in my chosen professional field and making a financial living;
  • My living space is 200% improved;
  • There’s major progress made in sorting out an “it’s complicated” relationship;
  • An easing and deepening of familial ties;
  • Closer and more meaningful friendships with local friends;
  • New friendships that enhance my life;
  • A renewed spiritual awakening and daily practice;
  • A change in diet, while difficult, is much healthier and life sustaining;

~ more ~ better ~

~ much progress ~

I almost lost my mind
I almost went crazy
Buck Crazy,
almost went I, when I instinctively went to roll over on my left side while I was almost sleeping last night. Oh my oh my!

I caught my mind in mid-roll, or turn, since it is difficult to roll in an upright position. Yes, I was able to abort my craziness most likely saving myself from a severe visit from my Bastard Buddy Vertigo (BBV).

Sleep disturbances due to this BBV or more aptly put, trying to avoid visits from my unwelcome BBV, has left me a wee bit cranky and exhausted this week. Smushing my work week into four days in order to relish my three day weekends is well worth the long hours during those four work days. In fact this kind of flexible schedule helps greatly in keeping me an employee at this juncture in my career. But like all things, great and not so great, there’s always the accompanying perks and detractors. The downside of the deal is that I am often done in and used up by the time I unlock my front door and walk into my sweet abode at the end of the day.

Long hours, tired brain, sleep disruption, upgrading my smart phone and figuring out all of the new technology, changes and uncertainty in the workplace, sleeping upright for almost 13 months and uber cold and still too dark days have taken their toll this week.

But you know what?
I am ever so grateful that I stopped my body from following the crazy not good for me impulse`to roll over. Cuz I know from past experience that nothing good was going to come of that and that the quality of my life could have taken a nose dive (no pun intended but apropos). I’ll take a little grumpy and a mediocre exhaustion over longlasting vertigo attacks any day or night.

That, and the fact that winter is passing and we are gaining 5 minutes of daylight back daily, have me almost feeling good to go. Good thing that I have a little while to sip my hot comforting tea from my favorita pottery mug before I have to go about my day outside of my warm home.

My recent medical diagnoses has required me to change my eating habits. Drastically. As long as I can remember, salt has occupied its very own food group at the base of my food pyramid. Other foods were mere vehicles for my favored and craved after salt. I now take in less than 1000 milligrams of sodium daily. So as one might imagine, this shift in diet has not been without some grief and overall loss of appetite.

The change in diet and my faithful following of the doctor’s orders has rested solely on fear. Fear of being permanently plagued with the unbearable vertigo and the loss of what has been up until recently, very keen hearing. My desire to not lose my ability to hear and having endured severe bouts of vertigo for months on end have been the impetus and motivation, which in turn has fueled my robust adherence to this new eating lifestyle.

Changes take some time to grow accustomed to. That, along with the immediate revocation of my loved longed for and lusted after salty goodiness, basically stopped me dead in my tracks when it came to cooking anything tasty for myself or wanting to cook for myself. When cooking for others, I continue to cook with salt and have not required my friends or families to adhere to my strict new diet needs. But when it has come to my cooking to sustain myself that is exactly what I have been reduced to ~ cooking and eating to live and to survive; forget the thriving and enjoyment.

Up until this weekend that is. Today I am cooking a pot of white bean soup that is much lower in sodium than I would have formerly prepared but still has more sodium laden ingredients than I have been allowing myself. I think this is okay. I didn’t go hog wild ~ just enough to make the soup tasty enough to make me want to dip my spoon in more than once or twice.

The delicious savoriness is enveloping my little abode while the soup perks away in my slow cooker. Chunks of bright orange carrots, carmalized yellow onion bits, diced fresh shiny green jalapenos, a bit of browned salt pork, two dusty green bay leaves and a healthy dose of deep red cayenne pepper mingle with the white beans, all bathed in a splash or so of beef broth. I tossed in a dash of ground nutmeg just for kicks. So far, smells delisio.

Comfort.
A reclaiming of my kitchen.

If you were here, I would ladle you up a hot bowl of white bean soup.
Comfort.
Comfort with a spicy kick.
Oh yeah, baby, time to get back in the kitchen.

In between my last post and last night, life has offered up a couple of opportunities ~ thick and juicy ones, as a matter of fact ~ to help grow my resiliency and encourage my practice of regulating my emotions.

That long sentence really means that it’s been a week, my friend ~ it’s been a week.

A week that I am glad and just a little (or more) proud for utilizing coping strategies that work when I put them into motion.

The majority of my emotional dysregulation (I love this term ~ it makes me smile) sprang from news from my health insurance provider’s announcement that my numerous medical appointments, tests, adjustments and procedures are not going to be covered, at all, due to a clause regarding pre-existing conditions. I won’t go into the whole ugly disempowering quagmire as I fear that might send me back to a tearful rageful place. I will say that I was able to put the situation into a more tolerable perspective within an hour of the event and carry on with my day. What’s more, I haven’t let it wreck my entire week. It’s definitely a low grade worrier and energy sapper and yet that feels so much better than totally giving into the doom gloom despair hatred and bitterness.

I am taking the steps to enter an appeal even though the insurance rep told me to do so was “futile.” Because after all futile is just a word ~ no greater in meaning than “hope.”

The purple hair comes into play as a product if you will of my medical condition, which causes unbearable vertigo when I lie down. And since my hair doesn’t naturally grow shades of purple and black, I go into a colorist to work her magic every 4-6 weeks. Since I cannot lie down to have my hair shampoo’ed, the Color Artiste Extradordinaire slaps color on my hair, wraps strands in foil and then straps a plastic shower cap like thing on my head and sends me on my way to wash out the excess dye in the standing up privacy of my own shower.

Sounds semi-simple enough, right?
Well, throw in the fact that the temps have been well below 0 Farenheit for some time now in this Corner of the Frozen Winter Earth and one can see that some anxiousness might begin to creep in when faced with opening the inside door to go to the outside world. OMG! My head might actually freeze. For realz.

It didn’t.
Thank goodness.

But I did end up ripping out chunks of hair trying to remove the foils that the Color Artiste thoughtfully made travel ready, meaning extra tightly folded so none would be lost in transport. Can you say Ouch! and Ouch, again! I did, my friend, I did. Along with a few other words that I won’t mention here. But a word is just a word, right?

I am relieved that I made it through my work week intact. I am grate-full that the Universe and all of my Guardian Helpers were there helping me along my path and I am appreciative of myself that I accepted the proffered assistance. All in all an okay week made even livelier by sporting bright new shiny purple hair.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea of creating time in a box. My post today includes additional notes I jotted down in my personal journal to help me toward creating my very own time in a box ~

On Joy the Baker’s blog, she posted about her time in a capsule project that she and a friend undertook. They each placed several mementos in a box with attached notes about the item and then wrapped the box and tied it with twine to be opened 7 years in the future. I like this idea. And have been thinking about it for a couple of days.

What is keeping me from creating my time in a box? For it is clear that something is preventing me from doing so. I get excited; feel the excitement viscerally and then… nothing. I put on the brakes. Get stuck. Glued in place. Paralysis sets in.

A very familiar process that has been repeated multiple times in multiple ways throughout my life but with the same result ~ a stymied creative spirit, a damming of creative juices and subsequently a pervasive depressed soul.

So what can I do that can move me toward action, if only a baby step or two?

Time Box Items

1. A lock of my purple hair to remind me that even in my 50’s I still have a sense of stylish fun;

2. A copy of my paystub so I can remember where I was working in 2011;

3. A photograph of my living room or a portion thereof to help me remember where I called home;

4. A photograph of my art supplies on my long birch art table to help me remember that I was an artist even when I was not producing any tangible pieces;

5. My adoptive Mama’s salt shaker, the clear glass one with blue paint circles and metal cap to remind me that this was the year in which I made a major major change in my diet and went super low sodium;

6. A self taken photograph of me so I can see how I have changed in the ensuing 7 years;

7. A photograph of me with my daughter, the grandkiddos, and the rest of my clan to keep safe in a box for 7 years even though I cannot guarantee their safety in the world outside.

So here is proof of artistic life.
One baby step at a time.

June 2019
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