Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Have been battling an upper respiratory infection...again. I hate to be a "johnny one note," but with the CFIDS, this is a recurrent theme I simply have to live with. It has taught me to just keep plugging and to refuse to allow discouragement to overwhelm me, regardless. Some days, I just have to spend in bed and be grateful that I have a bed to curl up in! I haven't made much progress in the diet/fitness realm, but I am proud of my accomplishment in the perseverence/contentment arena.
On another note, I did get my paintings done...all except one, finished an article for publication, and did an interview with a regional magazine, so life is by no means bleak...I'll take accomplishment in whatever flavor I can find it! (Chocolate is preferable!)
My old Alma Mater came up with an incredible win in the NCAA basketball tournament Monday night...thought I'd develop ulcers and heart failure before that 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers to send the game into overtime! My son (the one who coaches hockey @ Kansas) and I were on the phone long distance back and forth during the whole game...sports, particularly K. U. sports, is the language he speaks most passionately, so I've learned to speak same...another area for gratitude...to be able to share something with him. What is "weight loss" compared to the treasure of this relationship??!! I'm not giving up on my own goals, mind you, but I'm learning not to miss out on joy in other areas...it makes the struggle less wearing all around. Cheers, gang!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I've been battling fatigue recently, trying to pace myself so that I don't have to cut back on the 3x/wk. exercise routine I have going...and painting like a fiend in order to get ready for a deadline showing coming up in a couple of weeks. Drawing and painting is hard work for me because I have to turn off the left brain analytical part of me and just operate on right brain eye-hand coordination...it's not something I've done so consistently in my life that it is a "native language". But I operate back and forth between writing and image making, and they are often two different ways of thinking. Anyway, I'm learning to battle my fear of screwing things up and not getting them "perfect", but am forcing myself to just "do it" and go with the results. "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to do what must be done in spite of the fear." Ooooh, that is a hard one to live out!
(The painting here is not one of my recent ones...did it a number of years ago, so it isn't even necessarily typical of my work except perhaps for mood and color, which is a bit washed out in this upload.)
Friday, March 07, 2008
It's spitting snow over the Ouachita River as I write in front of my window. I have no other pressing obligations today other than to do my own "work", so I am trying to wrap my mind around the idea that I am actually free to accomplish something. Oh, joy!!!
I was thinking this a.m....if evolution means that a species survives by adapting itself to the realities with which it must live, eventually transcending them and perhaps even reshaping them, and passing on to posterity its acquired genetic strengths, intellectual insights, technological innovations, etc., why are we, in this "enlightened age", plagued with epidemic obesity and the resurgence of disease processes once thought to be eradicated, such as polio, small pox, and bubonic plague, and why do we lack the missing "links" in the evolutionary chain but retain the original progenitor species such as protozoa, apes, etc.? I am not a scientist...just musing.
The whole idea of "intelligent design" seems more rational to me...i.e., a "Creator" who has made the incredible spectrum of diversity throughout the time/space continuum with a view to shaping the cognitive human species through the process of struggle, questing, and faith. We certainly have to take responsibility for messing up our own planet and food supply so that we breathe polluted air, live on poisoned land, and eat synthetic food. We seem to think we're so smart and have our history all figured out, but we get fatter and weaker, more jammed together on the earth, more suspicious of each other, and more tired and in debt however fast we spin our wheels. This "God", having given us our world and our wits, and...if Christianity is to be credited...Himself, in the form of the God/man, Jesus, apparently refuses to manipulate us and force Himself on us, but while continuing to "call out" to His creation, still allows us the freedom to seek and find...or not. Nevermind that there are a lot of hyperactive pushy "believers" in multiple religious persuasions abounding. God may be more patient with them than their fellows are...just as He seems to be patient, if saddened, with our trashing ourselves and our habitat. We are perhaps being treated like "grown up children" who have moved out of the nest and have to be given the right to believe or not believe what this "parent/God" says is so.
Meanwhile, I'm grateful that today I had the strength to do 20 minutes of cardio on my Nordic Track (TM) and have been able to be consistent at around that level for two months now. (Some days, I can do a bit more, but so far, the CFIDS makes me regret it for days following, so I am thankful for consistency at the moment.) I had the food to fix a nutritious breakfast, the time and strength to stand in my kitchen and fix it, and I feel the "aliveness" that comes when my mind works well enough (I think!) to ask questions. Today, I am being allowed to work on my goals without interference, and in the work there is joy from the belief that as I work, there will eventually be realization and fulfillment. It is a good day.
Later: Had to come back and add a few thoughts. Today's motivational e-mail was appropriate in light of what happened just as I was finishing the foregoing paragraph. The fire alarms sounded throughout my apartment building and the entire building was evacuated into the freezing snowy drizzle while the fire department determined that an electrical fire had broken out in the maintenance shop on the first floor. We were all allowed to return "home" after a couple of hours, but my planned day of writing was effectively short circuited. I had cooking and household chores that needed to be attended to while I still had the strength to stand and walk and do them. So...
I just read the following:
"Do your dreams seem far away? Does the distance between you and the finish line deflate your motivation? Often we forget that goals and dreams are not achieved overnight, but rather in a series of small steps. Progress towards your goals should also be counted as victorious! Stop looking at the end result to bring you the greatest joy. Instead, celebrate the ways in which your life is gravitating towards that desired result. Nothing is guaranteed in life, so make the most of each day and persevere. Remember that the small things in life build up to the bigger ones."
This is to remind me that my life just has to be lived at a slower pace than that of most people, and that I must learn to take with gratitude the tiniest forward progresses...the exercise I've been able to do, the nourishing diet I'm able to eat, the fact that the building did not burn down with my computer and all my work! (and my warm bed!) I live to fight another day. Not everyone is so blessed.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This bloody scale will not relent!!! I have seen some encouraging shifting and redefinition of the muscle/fat balance around the mid-section, but the pounds are clinging with "Gorilla Glue"! Aargh, grafflesnarf, gltzsplk, *%@*&, etc.!!! Words fail me. I have to say, though, that I could zip up my size 14 jeans this a.m....I think they are not true 14's, though, since the 16's I had on yesterday were not at all "loose." Still, I hadn't been able to get into them before, so maybe...??
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The morning's cold grey rain has given way to dazzling sun splashing silver all along the river below my window. The day may prove redeemable yet! I've done a bit of writing, washed my hair, organized laundry, and cooked for tonight...plus...
Each February, the gerontological studies program out at the university sends a group of students to several "elderly" housing sites around the area to facilitate their understanding of what can and should be done to address the needs of the low income elderly population. (Let's see...that would include...hmm...me...) My apartment is a "regular" on the field trip because of the "creative" way I've "utilized and decorated" my little 520 square foot world! (so says the director of the program who brings this group of bright and eager young faces each spring...) Today was the day; and we have two other apartments in my building on the tour...both friends of mine...one a retired concert pianist and music teacher, the other, a friend who swears she and I were separated at birth because of our mutual artistic and intellectual interests. (Next year, we will include the friend from my last blog entry who just moved into the building...a former antiques dealer and estate appraiser...we're classing up the place, one person at a time!!!) We all have health and economic distress in common as well. But life isn't about the dollars nestled in our bank accounts...though I'd truly love to have more in mine! I'm so honored that these kids seem to enjoy the "creativity" we "seniors" have to offer.
A. C.'s place (the pianist) looks like a combination of a London flat and the interior of a Romany Gypsy wagon. He's installed ceiling height Doric columns (found in a roadside ditch!), wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookcases, (built entirely of salvaged materials and painted to provide uniformity), an antique German carved armoire and day bed, a collection of blue and white china, his music books, and walls lined with his own paintings and prints. Barb's place is somewhere between New York town house and French country cottage with her needlepoint pillows and chair covers, her hand painted furniture, books, and artwork, and her unerring eye for classic design. And me, well I'm too ecclectic to fit anywhere precisely...let's just say I have more books, hand made stuff, and art supplies than is truly sane, and it has to be organized to the 1/2 inch in order for me to be able to live with it!
Barb, Sheila, and I are having an impromptu dinner tonight to celebrate surviving another day in this world...You can tell we really need a lot of urging to party!! Barb is bringing roasted chicken and fresh tomato salsa. I'm supplying chunky guacamole, hummus, tortilla chips, and wine. "She" is bringing herself since she's had pneumonia and pleurisy...probably from the stress of the move, etc. We will have a "girl's night out" on my big banker's table that comprises my desk, easel, sewing surface, and dining table all at the same time. Meanwhile, I hear this sunshine is a brief interlude. We are slated for nasty storms tonight, so I guess we will hunker in and watch lightning slash the river front...I hope it doesn't decide to make a more personal acquaintance with any of us! Better go get that laundry finished...Later!
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