Gluten Free Sliced Sausage & Jalapeno Pizza from Domino’s (Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge)

Gluten Free Sliced Sausage & Jalapeno Pizza from Domino's (Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge)

Taken with my iPhone 5S, edited in Instagram using Earlybird filter with frame, and focus. My husband insisted on carryout and I happily complied. (I must confess, my 17 year-old had to help me with Instagram.) Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge. Week 5: Editing and Processing (Food Photography)

Ancora Imparo

Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo (even at the age of 87) were said to have used the phrase “ancora imparo” often.  The Italian phrase means “I am still learning.”  When I think of such remarkable men, I consider myself in good company, as I too am still learning.  

At the age of 34, I earned a bachelor’s degree.  At 43, I sang at an open mic night for the first time (at the Bluebird Cafe).  At 45, I learned how to ride a motorcycle, I became a certified Zumba instructor, and I began blogging.  At 48, I ran my first 5K.  I’ve learned lots of things before and since, but I am happy to say that the older I get, the more eager I am to learn new things.

I think when we quit learning, we begin stagnating and dying.  And I find myself wondering, “What will I be learning when I am 87?” 

Kitchen Garden

My son set up a raised bed for me the other day. Since we have once again switched seasons (from spring back to winter), he is waiting to set out the plants until the chance of freezing temperatures is gone. It seems we have had crazier than usual weather this year… 79 degrees one day and snow the next. Yesterday I went out in short sleeves during the day and a sweatshirt in the evening. Today I pulled out my winter coat again. (My garden may remain in my kitchen a bit longer.)

Kitchen Garden
Spearmint, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Buttercrisp Lettuce, Red Lettuce, Flat Italian Parsley, and Broccoli… all awaiting their place in the sun.

The Power of Prayer

Holding another person in prayer has a profound effect on me.  I have been holding someone in prayer today as part of an intentional spiritual exercise.  As this person crosses my mind throughout the day, I envision him with his prayers already answered.  In return, this same person is praying for me.  Knowing this is comforting.  As we are intentionally praying for each other, I am reminded that I am not alone in my struggles.    

 

 

 

God, grant me t…

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer, adopted by Twelve Step programs, has been a source of comfort and strength for me.  On this Wisdom Wednesday, I pray serenity will be mine and yours.

The Dark Side

When someone sees me and says, “You’re getting around so well!” I must confess that, although I know they are celebrating my progress, there is a part of me that gets angry.  I generally smile, and say “thanks,” but I am often thinking about the price that getting around costs me.  It is painful and exhausting.

I used to tell myself that I was selfish for feeling this way.  Then my counselor told me that part of why my anxiety has become so powerful is because I am not allowing myself to simply feel what I am feeling without judging myself, hence my decision to be more “transparent” here.

Every morning I wake up and struggle to get out of bed.  I attend physical therapy 3 days a week.  Some of those days I am in a lot of pain before I get there.  Other days, the pain is a result of the therapy.  If I feel good and my pain is minimal, more pain will come later as a result of doing too much (which might be as little as a trip to the grocery store).

As I read my writing, I realize it seems I am ungrateful for my ability to walk.  Then I feel guilty, and the cycle begins.  But my purpose for writing this is to be honest, so I have to admit that I am pissed.

I am pissed that the Color Run is this weekend, and I cannot participate.  I am pissed because I used to walk or run for an hour every morning and I cannot do that either.  I am pissed because I have a trampoline that I can’t use.  I am pissed because it hurts to walk for more than a few minutes.  I’m pissed because the people in my arthritis H20 class are 20 to 30 years older than I am and can kick my butt.  I’m pissed because I can’t ride my bicycle, much less my motorcycle.  And I’m pissed because I’m pissed.

I have always been able to see the bright side of things.  I certainly see the bright side here as well, but the dark side is impossible to ignore.  Yes, I can walk, but my hips won’t rotate correctly, so my hips, legs, and back hurt.  Yes, I can get around, but I can’t Zumba or do any of the other fun physical activities I love so much.  Yes, I survived, but there are constant reminders of the trauma and I wear many of them.

Enlightened (Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge)

Enlightened (Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge)

Taken with my iPhone 5S. Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge. Week 4: Challenger’s Choice – Objects.
My teenage son bought this for me a couple of years ago. It is one of my prized possessions. I suppose it’s a bit ironic that I asked for a bust of Buddha for Christmas. My son picked it out himself. I particularly like the distressed look of the glaze.

Under the Wire

I am just getting around to my post today, and it is 11:21 P.M.  I don’t like putting things off until the last minute, but I am getting it done nonetheless.  I have not been able to get myself back into a routine, so I am flying by the seat of my pants most of the time.  This is very disconcerting for someone who used to be up at 4:00 A.M. so I could exercise for an hour and meditate before work.  Now I am lucky if I get both of these done on any given day.

The important thing today is that I kept my commitment to write.

Blogging and Mental Health

I’ve tried to keep my blog posts as positive as I possibly can since my accident back in November.  Unfortunately, the denial of my own fears and anxieties has only allowed them to incubate.  So it is likely I will posting some more transparent posts, at least for the next week.  I have been tasked with recording what I am actually thinking and feeling.  While I won’t do all of that here, I will be processing those thoughts and feelings so they will likely come out in my writing.

Part of the reason I blog in the first place is because it is therapeutic.  I respect and admire other bloggers who bare their souls on the page.  I feel their brutal honesty is as helpful to others as it is for themselves.  So as I embark on my journey into the belly of the beast, I am reminded of a couple of bloggers whose writings have been helpful to me.

When I first came back to blogging, I stumbled across SchizoIncognito.com.  The tagline, “the incoherent ramblings of a mentally ill writer and blogger” is witty.  I assure you the blogger who refers to himself as “the Schizo” does anything but incoherently ramble.  He is open, honest, and gives voice to those, like himself, who struggle with mental illness.  He gives me the courage to say out loud that I am a person who struggles with anxiety and Acute Stress Disorder, and who is facing a possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis.

More recently, I happened upon teddylee’sblog.  Teddy talks openly about abuse and it’s effects.  He openly processes his childhood out in blogosphere, for the whole world to read.  He speaks plainly and truthfully.  I cannot help but admire his bravery.  In spite of his childhood experiences, and seemingly rough exterior, he has a sweet spirit that comes through in his writing.  He gives me hope that I can let go of past experiences that haunt me.  He also reminds me that those past experiences have helped shape who I have become… and I am okay with that (I actually like who I am now).

So this week, as I begin to record those thoughts and feelings that I would much prefer to avoid, please forgive me in advance if some of it oozes out onto my blog.  Better yet, I hope someone out there will find it beneficial, just as I have found the two blogs mentioned here to be.