Wednesday, October 31, 2012
In early September, one of my teams offered sparkpoints for changing our sparkpage to reflect a back to school theme, and more for changing our profile picture.
I managed to do all of that, but switched my picture back when no one attempted to figure out which kid I was in the 4th grade class pic.
Besides, the picture of me playing the harp has a lot of meaning for me. I had learned to play the summer before my cancer diagnosis when I was in such pain, I'd lie o my bed with a smaller harp on top of me and play. It seemed to help me cope with the pain.
And in the summer, I started playing the harp in the picture as a calming sleep inducer during the SP sleep challenge.
So, the harp is important to me.
Then, it seems that there is a rash of people I know completely remaking themselves on SP: their profile pictures, spark page, AND their user name.
I don't know what is prompting that, but for me, I visited fullplatediet.org today. They have developed what they are calling a "game" for people following their diet. I guess they are working toward having something like Spark People.
I do like the way the game awards points for activities relevant to your goals and there are ways to have your goals fit you, as opposed to making your goals fit them. I should think about this some more, but that was my impression today. One thing they led me through was thinking about my user name, and why I would pick it.
So, instead of decluttering the entrance to my studio, I waxed creative with my profile name. I came up with BraveLute. This name is inspired by my 3 favorite harpists.
The BRAVE part of the name comes from Deborah Henson-Conant, a fierce electric harpist:
And even more phenomenal:
And when I watch these girls playing music from my favorite set of books and movies, I imagine being one of the elves dancing in rings.
So, if I were going to remake myself, I'd take a fierce elfin name because when I'm done with the healthy weight loss, I'd like to look like one of these women, and be able to play like them, too.
Now, if I could find a pic of an elf playing a harp, I'd do it.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I received a notice that one of my teams has a new member. I visited Jae_Hennington's SP page to get to know her. I found her SP Page information about her to be very interesting. She talks about life's mountain and must really be worrying about getting old because she referred to how much she hated it several times.
Interesting thoughts about the "Mountain of Life." I have always compared my life journey to a journey west, kind of like the pioneers. Always one more mountain to climb, a new vista at the top, the unknown on the other side. At times struggling for a foothold, at times lazily crossing the flatlands, though possibly a little boring. I looked at the valleys as the down times when times were difficult like grandmother or grandfather or dad's death or my cancer and its return. I looked at the whole journey as an exciting undertaking with risks, and always a sense of expectancy to find out what would happen next and lots of opportunities to help others along the way.
I even had groups of students at school and church do timelines of their life, with time on a horizontal middle line. Then dots above and below the line with absolutely wonder events way above the line and absolutely horrible events toward the bottom. So teenagers might put graduation or getting their driver's license near the top, or breaking up with a boyfriend near the bottom. They then connected the dots showing mountains and valleys.
Jae talks about how time is flying now that she is older. Perhaps that little bundle she is holding is responsible for all of this worry about time left.
For me, sometimes Mondays came around a little too quickly, but I've always looked at my life that I was just one day older, every day. Most times when someone asks my age, I have to do the math or I tell them when I was born and make them do the subtracting. Sometimes in the valleys time seemed to drag too long. Like waiting to finish radiation treatments. Like waiting to lose the desired weight. Now there's something that seemed to happen faster that the speed of light--putting on the pounds while I was taking steroids. My head was spinning. Every Monday I'd go for chemotherapy. Scales first which always registered 1-2 more pounds added. Then the steroid added to the mix to help my body handle the effects of chemotherapy. 70 pounds later, I finally said ENOUGH!! Let's see if I can do this without the steroid.
But I do understand my body not being able to do what it used to do. I was blaming that on all the radiation and chemotherapy. But I think I need to blame it on not taking care of myself, not eating properly. Thinking that I was invincible. I smoked before we knew how horrific its effects were, and had a difficult time stopping once we DID understand the dangers, even with the prescription for nicorette gum and chomping that for a whole year.
I definitely ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I'm still waiting to see how much of that I can blame on the food manufacturers like I blame my smoking and subsequent addiction on the cigarette manufacturers who knew exactly what they were doing.
Well, I'm eating healthy whole foods, being active, losing weight, following doctor's orders, asking questions, searching for answers, and continue to be a child of the 60's. I've even planted a fall garden with LOTS of salad greens, for the first time in my life. Now, I believe harvesting my first salad will be a mountaintop experience.
I am going to work hard to keep on moving and thinking and remembering and contributing and loving. My age has no bearing on those things. I used to equate memory loss with old age. But my middle school students couldn't remember what day it was. We understood each other, even though there was about 3 generations separating us.
How do you look at aging and your life's journey?
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I saw a young friend today at the checkout. I haven't seen her in a while. Her son was along in the cart and I heard all about everyone he has (like siblings, a mom, a grandma). His mom asked me how I was doing because rumor has it that I had died.
I told her to put the rumor to rest because I feel better than I have in ten years. I was so startled by her comment that I didn't tell her about my stellar PET scan report I had just received at the oncologist this morning.
I have so much to be thankful for:
I have no cancer anywhere,
I have been able to retire,
I'm losing weight with the help of Spark People,
my doctors have "fixed" all the cronic ailments that I thought were going to plague me because of the long term chemotherapy
The place in NC where I can go now for extended periods since I'm not tied to the doctors in Florida as tightly, long enough so that people wonder if I died.
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