Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Human life is a jumble. Happy things. Sad things. Exciting things. Boring things. Pleasant emotions, and unpleasant ones.
Yesterday while joyously anticipating my son's return, I heard from his cousin, his dad's niece. Her mom is not doing well. This is the sister in law I've written about before, the one I run for, who has been robbed of so much of her life by ALS. She has contracted pneumonia. And they made the decision to stop feeding her by tube. She still gets water (kidneys are still working), and meds, of course.
But it is only a matter of time. I went over to spend a few moments, just standing there holding her hand, talking of little, encouraging her to rest. I did share that my son's out of harms way and on the way home. Her gaze would wander to the photograph of her own son, who passed away almost two years ago now.
Having read some of the near death literature, I wondered whether she could now see and commune with him... she seems quite at peace. She can still hear us, but now even her breathing is mechanically assisted. She can squeeze hands a little bit.
And what struck me yesterday is that despite all the disease has done to her body... she is still a beautiful woman. Love brings out beauty, you see. This photo is from a younger time, of course, but I can still see this woman.
At one a.m. or thereabouts I got the boots Stateside phone call. In about a week, I'll get my mom hugs. I'm praying also for hers, from a daughter before, from a son at her destination.
Life can be sad even while it is happy... but it is precious in all its moments. Take care of yourself today... so you will be there for your loved ones to share these moments.
Life is good. Spark on.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Wasn't that a movie title with mice in it? Go Disney!
Anyway, a threesome of rescuers showed up at my door yesterday afternoon. Becky (Kaligirl) and "the Pointer Sisters", Rose and Liz, two absolutely adorable German Shorthair Pointers. Liz was cool with my holding her leash while we tramped out in the January normal temperatures (no snow, thank goodness), for 4.34 miles, according to RunKeeper. We went down and beside the nearby lake, past the dog run (very exciting for the canine ladies).
It was just what the doctor ordered: activity and conversation, catching up with a friend on the good things that are happening in our lives... can't wait to hear the next chapter of hers, which involves some planning and preparing for years ahead. As for mine, just getting out there walking reminds me of what I most want out of all this: good health and being ABLE to keep on walking for many years to come.
I feel VERY fortunate to be surrounded (virtually) by Spark friends and family who truly do want to see me weather the storms of the phases and come out healthy and strong. They do not have unrealistic expectations of perfection in me... and if I remind myself NOT to, and remind myself over and over again if need be of what I REALLY want in life (to live healthy, as best I can), I shall get there.
Alongside all of YOU.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I have been in this position many times in the past. Where I have some huge goal set for myself and suddenly, I hit a wall, burn out, and start down a completely self-undermining (and sometimes self-destructive) path instead of going for the goal.
What's up with that? This is the scariest part of the cycle of motivation:
1. Phase one - active rebellion.
2. Phase two - patiently waiting for motivation to kick in.
3. Phase three, highly motivated, actively working.
4. Phase four, success and flying high, living easy and loving it.
5. Phase five, burnout starting, but still on auto pilot.
6. and something snaps, and it's back into phase one.
The trick of the cycle is to make phase one last as short a time as possible and relax into making phase two be a calm and hopeful time, rather than a self-flaggulating time of punishment/blame talk at oneself.
Another trick of the cycle is to short circuit from phase five back to phase four, by proper "gentle" self-care, and addressing whatever fears and anxieties, illnesses, or injuries, doubts or desires are driving the burnout.
I'm somewhere in phase 5 or 1... I start climbing back from 1 to 5, but then drift back to 1... and I'm trying to figure out whether I need to let go of a goal (I only have one right now), or whether I can do something that still leaves that goal in the realm of possibility without throwing myself completely off the cliff of phase one!
The problem with public goals is that it makes for a very public failure... and it's almost as though I'm trying to derail myself so I have an excuse for that failure... and I really, really don't want to go there. Sometimes success is at the bottom of giving myself permission to fail.
Just some thoughts I'm pondering as I'm frustrated with waiting for son's return and only getting through part of each day "on track" (he didn't get any further on the journey yesterday at all). Now I'm going to shut up, and try to spark a better day.
Because no matter what phase I'm in, whether I can see it in the moment or not... life is good, and worth living WELL.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Thanks to DogLady13... lightening up is a good thing.
A - Available or Married: Divorced and UNAVAILABLE.
B - Book: Just finished Trader of Secrets by Steve Martini. Soon to start "A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson.
C - Cake or Pie? Pie - custard or pumpkin, especially.
D - Drink of Choice: You know I love my flavored coffee!
E - Essential Item: internet connection
F - Favorite Color: green
G - Game to Play or Watch: basketball
H - Hometown: Lincoln, NE
I - Indulgence: candles
J - Job: team lead of small group of programmers
K - Kids and Names: One kid, son... sorry, don't do names except my own
L - Life is incomplete without: contact
M - Music Group or Singer: ABBA (yes, my son is laughing)
N - Number of Siblings: 1 brother, 3 sisters
O - Oranges or Apples? yes
P - Phobias/ Fears - snakes
Q - Favorite Quote: Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. - Helen Keller
R - Reason to smile: breathing
S - Season: Summer
T - Tattoos: Son has some, I have none.
U - Unknown fact about me? Not that I know of.
V - Vegetable you love: brussels sprouts
W - Worst habit: giving out TMI?
X - X-rays? Tools.
Y - Your favorite food: steel cut oats
Z - Zodiac? Chinese dragon
Friday, January 18, 2013
I actually like the simple status "is". Some days that's the only status that one can manage. Show up.
Oh, by the way, "Hi, my name is Barb, and I am a compulsive overeater." That's a truth, a reality. This week, I'm not even going to call me recovering, because I've been close to and over the edge.
When the folks in OA talk about how we're insane when we're not abstinent? It's not a joke. It really is a form of insanity. It is where I go into this rebellious state, but not even entirely that, it's the state of "I don't care!" It's the state of questioning all the goals and desires that I hold dear. It's the state of "why try?"
And it can come back so quickly. Doesn't matter how long one's been "in recovery". And you don't want to talk to anyone about it, because you're ashamed that it's happening to YOU!
The way out of insanity is pulling out those goals and aims and getting real with yourself... "Who am I? What do I want? Why am I here (what is my purpose)?" It all comes back to that little center of the universe...
At its root, the rebellion, the don't care, is a turning away from the Higher Power in one's life. It's a false sense of SELF-reliance. To get back to sanity requires talking with a Higher Power and asking for the willingness... the ability will follow once the willingness is there.
So, today, that's all I'm asking. Just for today. The willingness.
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