Category Archives: Fantastic ideas
I am not an expert in happy.
I know cranky. I know sad. I know dark and twisty.
Don’t get me wrong. I also know laughter, I also know smiles, I also know hugs and kisses.
But I am just not an expert in happy. I can recall memories where I recognized being so very happy and where shit started feeling right, and then it seemed that the happy all evaporated so very quickly.
The past few days, I noticed more than ever how all that negativity affects my body, affects my interactions with others, affects my life. Reintroducing an exercise routine has lifted a mood that was extremely dark and twisty this past winter, and now I notice how down and out I come off to others both on- and off-line.
Realizing that you have spent the vast majority of almost 36 years on the opposite side of happiness could be depressing. Someone might take a look at what my life looks like at the present, what it has looked like the past couple years, and say, no wonder you have been depressed.
The clouds are lifting, and I am choosing to be optimistic, even though life is still unsettled and uncertain. Things are going to get good, things that will bring happiness. I am not afraid to believe it, I am not afraid that things will collapse like they always have.
I do not have to be an expert in happy, but I do need to laugh more, smile more, give and receive more hugs and kisses.
(And when I start feeling like crap and turn pessimistic, I will force myself to read this post over and over until I start to feel the clouds lift again.)
It is okay to say no. Sometimes it is much easier to say “no freaking way” than to say “yes, please!”.
Tough decisions have been much more common the past couple of years. Decisions about health, decisions about the cats, decisions about facing the future alone.
Last week, I was faced with one of those rare easy decisions.
So easy, I wondered if I did not quite cover all the bases. I shuffled through all the other decisions already made for the future. I consulted a few others who saw both sides of the story. In the end, I still knew what was best for me and for the other parties involved.
I needed this to be easy. I want to move ahead towards future plans, instead of taking a detour down a well-worn path. I wanted to say “no”.
So I did.
(How empowering one little word can be.)
I stopped believing in making New Year’s resolutions awhile back.
Hopes and dreams and intentions are ever present at the beginning of each year, sure. Especially as I begin 2012.
Resolution? Something about that word holds me back, creating a feeling of setting myself up for failure.
A few things would please me:
- Reading another 40 books this year like I did in 2011. (It might be more difficult, I picked some long and wordy classics to tackle this year.)
- Playing fantasy football next season. (People tell me I might be good at this based on weekly picks and constant Twitter commentary during the season.)
- Completing a Flickr 365 (wait, leap year!, 366) project. (Bought that DSLR last May and have not taken nearly enough photos with it.)
- Maintaining weight and A1C at a level that makes me (and my endocrinologist) happy. This entails more exercise and more carb counting than I did in the last couple months of 2011, but not a huge undertaking.
Most of all, though, I want to acknowledge that happiness is finding its way to me. Yeah, 2011 ended sadly for me after an uplift felt throughout December. It is, however, so difficult to look longingly at the stuff that sucks when there is so much promise for the good stuff to find me this year.
Everything thought to be old will be new again in 2012.
Reclaiming a name and relocating to the original time zone.
Both of those will take time and effort to execute, the first dominating the early part of the year and the second taking up much of the later part.
What does relocation mean to someone with multiple chronic health conditions? It means more than searching for a new job, a new place to live, and moving. It means added emotional and physical stress from all that job searching, apartment hunting, not to mention packing boxes and setting up utilities.
It means leaving behind a team of spectacular health care professionals who have carried me through the past several years… and finding new ones who must fill big shoes.
It is overwhelming enough to make me want to stay right where I am.
Where I am is not in a good place. Deep down, I know that.
Being closer to family, being closer to friends? That is a better place to heal from all the mess of the past couple years, despite the small support system I do have here. So all the scary stuff about moving several hundred miles and finding new doctors? All the stress will be worth it, if at the end of 2012, I find myself in a good place.
…and that kind of creeps me out.
Happy Holidays to all…and a very Merry New Year, too!
Hectic is the word to describe life right now. Without a calendar and task lists and spreadsheets, I am a little lost lamb.
Totally prepared to go see the endocrinologist next week, I went ahead with blood work this weekend as prescribed last time around. Only when I got home, I looked at the calendar and realized I had rescheduled the appointment (for the second time) to the end of January.
Never fear, the office sent the results to be discussed in clinic along with the usual physical checks of the feet and thyroid. Cholesterol numbers look better, and A1C is holding steady at 5.9%.
For a few moments tonight (much thanks to the iCal reminder), I did stop and smell the…hair product?
A lone flower still alive with color while others around it have become wiltered and dried…
…leads me to thoughts of what the flower garden will look like in the spring, with everything in bloom once again.
…leads me to hope of where I will be in the spring, a few steps closer to feeling settled into a new life.
(This started with The Pioneer Woman, but I found it through Mama Kat and her weekly writing prompts.)
I am thirty-five years old and have not done the following:
- Visit Disney World.
- Watch the movie Titanic.
- Work retail.
- Seen a ballet performance other than The Nutcracker.
- Visit New Orleans.
- Read any of the Twilight series or watch any of the movies.
- Pierce any part of my body, including ears.
- Sleep in a sleeping bag in a tent under the stars.
- Read Ayn Rand.
- Attend a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field.
- Use a Wii.
- Visit London.
- Possess a driver’s license.
- Attend an official viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Cross-country skiing.
- Enjoyed prior visits to Las Vegas.
- Been arrested or cited for anything, in spite of plenty of underage drinking in a bar.
- Visit Alaska.
- Eat Baked Alaska.
- Hike Mt. Sanitas in Boulder.
- Toss aside my spirit of ’76 elephant to the trash or donation bin.
Here’s the thing.
I am a flipper.
If the iPod is set on random while I am exercising and a song not fitting my mood at that very moment comes on, I will flip and flip and flip until I find one that does. Even with 3,000 songs on the darn device, I need specific types of songs during specific parts of my workout.
I know what you are thinking, why not set up playlists?
One of these days I need to stop being lazy and do that, especially with this set of songs key to any awesome workout lasting approximately 35 minutes:
- Killing Me Softly With His Song – The Fugees
- Lightning Crashes – Live
- The Distance – Cake
- Hymn – Edguy
- It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
- New York Groove – KISS
- Little Red Corvette – Prince
- Sleeping Sun – Nightwish
If it is a longer workout towards 50 minutes, I might add in:
- Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac (before “Hymn”)
- Punk Rock Girl – Dead Milkmen (before “New York Groove”)
- Waiting for the End – Linkin Park (before “Sleeping Sun”)
So, what’s on your workout playlist?
Welcome to the “Wordless Wednesday” edition of Patients for a Moment.
Sometimes pictures tell much more than words, and all of this edition’s participants showed the impact of their chronic condition(s) through powerful photographs.
Selena at Oh My Aches and Pains! used free stock photos to demonstrate “A Few of My Least Favorite Things“, which are a result of her multiple chronic conditions (including fibromyalgia, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C, and dysautonomia).
Kat at Join the Club! shows what she brought home from the pharmacy over the course of the year to treat her well-controlled allergic asthma in Wordless Wednesday 8/17. On top of that, she deals with a severe latex allergy, dyspraxia, and PCOS.
Diana at Somebody Heal Me chose to display her “My Chronic Life in Pictures” in a slideshow, detailing life both inside and outside multiple chronic conditions (chronic intractable migraines, occipital neuralgia, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and depression).
Another slide show detailing how she truly lives with multiple chronic conditions, with both happy and frustrating moments, comes from Kelly at Fly With Hope. “Chronically Living” depicts her life in spite of migraines, Meniere’s disease, fibromyalgia, IBS, asthma, food and environmental allergies, and anxiety.
Kitty at My CFS is “sick of the sight of Brian Molko’s beautiful made-up face” after spending too much time in bed lately with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Happy at Just My Life shows off the walker her family decorated, as well as her faithful canine companion in “My ME/CFS in Pictures“.
Every wonder if someone with diabetes actually fills a sharps container? Scott comes close now and then with type 1 diabetes.
A fibromyalgia flare can throw a twist in a blog carnival submission, as Jenni at ChronicBabe describes in a couple of telling photos in “(Slightly) Wordless (Not Quite) Wednesday: Jenni Has a Flare-up“.
Finally, Phylor will be hosting the next edition of Patients for a Moment, but for now she shows “the faces of [chronic] pain“.
(EDIT 8/27: Dana at I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidexterous! came up with an amazing pictorial detailing her life with multiple chronic conditions, but due to an e-mail mishap, I inadvertently left her entry out – sorry again, Dana!!)