Friday, July 29, 2011

Beginnings, Endings, Beginnings...


So here it is - 100 out of 100. Goal? Met. Do I feel healthier? Yes, I suppose I do. Am I fifty pounds thinner? Alas... not so much. I am not sure being 'thinner' was ever my goal but I do feel like I have come through a difficult year stronger and more sure of myself. So I count the first 100 blogs a 'win'. People have told me they have enjoyed reading it and that means a lot to me, but really, the thing that makes me most happy is how much I have enjoyed writing it. I am glad that people read and respond to what I write, but the willingness to write and process what it means to me to be healthy has been incredible. It took me about one year to write 100 blogs... I started Aug. 16 2010. I'm both anxious and excited about the upcoming year and what's ahead in my life, in this blog and in the new one I am starting (more about that in a bit)...

I've decided to make a top five list of my favorite blog posts from the 100. Perhaps in the comments you can list some of your favorite? Then? Let's talk about the future :).

5. The blog where I realize I like myself: even though I feel like my life has gotten more complicated lately, I realize this understanding of who I am is still my center.

4. My second blog post about feeling like the little lunch boxes I was using wasn't enough food: it was really eye opening to me.

3. My thoughts on 'home': although people didn't leave comments on my blog, they left a lot of comments on my facebook page. This idea of what 'home' means to me and to others really touched a lot of people. I never know what topics I write about will mean something to others... I was really surprised about this one, but pleasantly so.

2. My letter to my goddaughter:
I loved this entry, I loved writing it and remember what it was like when I learned Santa wasn't real...

1.  My very first blog:  I was so nervous and worried no one would want to read it. And I would run out of things to say... clearly neither of those things happened, but I like the enthusiasm and humor of the first blog post.

Now? What's next. First, I plan on continuing this blog. I will likely start it back up full time in September. In August, I will be writing in a new blog called Open Road: Open Heart -
This will be the story of what my best friend, her two kids, her cousin and I do on our big "ROAD TRIP" this summer. This trip is especially important because it is time together we may not have again.

Some people have asked me if they can 'donate' to the trip this summer. At first I balked at the idea, but as the expenses for all of us to go, plus gas and wanting to go to the parks and and and add up, I realized if people wanted to feel part of the party, I should put away my pride and create a link. If you'd like to donate? Wonderful. If you can't and just want to donate prayers and even ideas, you can leave them on the new blog.

It has been a wonderful journey for the first 100 entries. I'm looking very much forward to the next 100. Much love to all of you!



Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Storms

I'm sitting here waiting for my ride up to the lake to see my dad. There is an extreme summer storm happening. Full on lightning, thunder, pouring down rain.

I love Ohio summer storms. On the radar? This one is *red* it is that heavy and strong. The lightning flashes through the house and the thunder shakes the windows. It's a sexy storm. *smile*

We'll see how well the video loads. 

I don't know if you can see it, but there is actual hail in the video and photo.

Already the storm is almost over. Serious but brief. It's amazing how some things in life are also serious but brief. It's mostly been a good day today... minus a few rough moments. :). It was C's last day of radiation that was really good. (happy dance)

Mads and I made crock pot lasagna. C said she wanted Mads to create a cookbook of recipes she can make for her and her dad and brother. So Mads has a 3ring binder full of paper for her to write down recipes and keep together. Crock Pot Lasagna is the first one she wrote in her new book.  It was fun, and   cool because I never write these things down I can ask her when I get old how I made things! *hahaaha* The lasagna turned out awesome and now she can make it herself. :) 

Recipe and photo... :)

Another good moment was enjoying breakfast with a high school friend that I haven't seen in 25 years. It was really lovely, unfair that she looks the same and I have aged, but hey... ;). I think what I got out of our conversation is that we have both grown up in such a strong way and that the storms I experienced in high school? Were the same storms everyone else went through. We were all in our uncomfortable, unsure, awkward space thinking we were hanging out there alone. I see the students in my high school today doing their own struggling and I see the eternalness of the tempest that is ages 12 - 19. I have a lot of empathy for myself when I was that age. And honestly, I'm really sorry I missed my 25th reunion. As anxious as perhaps I might have been going? I am going to do my best to manage to make it to the 30th.  As Traci said,  "We're all adults now, right?"   :)

So as the storm fades and that storm-colored yellow/gray sky starts to clear a bit, I find myself oddly calm. The furiousness of the storm has been a mini emotional release. I'm meeting Mads, her brother and her dad at Great Wolf Lodge next week. I'm looking forward to playing in the water and getting out from the heat. Because like the weather, things hit the boiling point today and having vented the steam, I'm looking forward to the calm and the visit with my dad.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Come and Gone and Come...

It was good to be home for the three days I was there. My cat got over her stoney hello and purred happily, (until I left again), I got to connect with my support network there and I went to work to finish up a few things before I left for Ohio. I love my home. It is airy, and quiet. I get centered there. I am lucky to live where I do.

Mexico was amazing. My batteries were recharged and I regained my sense of delight and joy.

Ohio? Has been an adventure so far. The first day I arrived, C had just returned from the hospital. She was sick, unable to keep down food, everyone was in a state of chaos and I... quickly lost the centered feeling I had when I left to arrive here. I don't know why I didn't make the connection that C has been in the hospital for almost 2 months. She is weak, tired and on a lot of medication. Her personality is still as strong as ever, and as she gets better and better we have more and more conversations, but she is exhausted. And she is struggling to manage just the simple things. And I? Had no idea of the situation I was walking in to. I had no idea what it meant that she had two pulmonary embollisms in her lungs (two blood clots in her lungs). She's been in pain, she's recovering from hip surgery and the radiation is knocking her out. The main thing I find myself doing, is just loving her. Everything is secondary.

I have been accused of not liking it when things are unsettled. I've written a journal about it here, and my issues haven't really changed a whole lot. However, I am realizing that feeling uncomfortable also has to do with feeling like I have little or no control in my life. That is a big part of what is going on with me right now.

I feel so out of control. Each day I feel like I get my footing more solid, but it's solidly on beach sand. A wave comes, washes away the footprint and I start over again fresh. I am learning what she needs and what she doesn't need. I know better how to navigate her family. I know how to navigate her mom. I see how to connect with the kids and we have all been enjoying our time together. Her husband and I have had some time to reconnect as well.  I have all these plans in place. I have plans for my plans in case they don't work out. I have plans for my plans for my plans. I am a planning machine.

Yesterday, I was talking to my sister. I told her, I'd like to get a Yurt. I have wanted one for about 15 years; I think it would be a sanctuary in my life. I have been studying them, reading about them for ages. Anyhow, when I told my sister, she immediately started asking me about cost and practicality. I had to tell her to stop (which I don't do very often). One of the things that makes me who I am, is my need to dream. And when I dream? I tend to dream big. I need right now to dream about things that I feel are in my control. I want to be able to dream about having a yurt. I want to contemplate it. I want to design it. I want to think about how it will fit in the yard of my house and what it will take to build one. I want to have all kinds of dreams about it. For some, dreaming impractically must seem pointless. For me it is the best mental health exercise I know.

Sadly, for many of the people I love and have loved, my dreaming has ended up being a source of frustration. When I start to dream, I dream with passion. I dream with conviction. Even though it is just a dream and I know it might very well not happen, I have to have the space to explore it. I want to think I'll be able to do it. Like my big plans to go to India and Africa as a treat for myself when I turn 45. I plot and plan it all the time. Will I do it? Who knows, but I want to sit and dream about it and plan it.

And what I need when I am in that mode? Is for someone to dream with me, not tell me why I can't do it. And I think that is hard for the people I love. Because the devotion I exhibit is hard to deny. My enthusiasm is infectious. But then, when I change my mind, or move on to my next dream people get left behind. They get upset and angry. And I feel terrible. I don't know how to fix it when I move on to my next 'dream' and they are still left behind in my last dream. I often make my dreams happen, but I am generally not attached to how to make them happen. And sometimes I realize it is going to take some time for those dreams to happen. And I send them off to work while I move on in my mind to something else. But the people who are invested in my dreaming... they don't move on. And they get upset that I am not still on the bandwagon. Or worse they think THEY have to do something about my dream. They think THEY have to find the money to buy property on Orcas Island. Or a small summer home by the water or or or. My ex especially freaked out. To the point where he told me not to share that sort of thing with him anymore. I was absolutely crushed. If I can't share my dreams? What is the point? The person I love I want to be able to laugh and dream with.

I suppose it must make people think I am flakey and unreliable. I'm not. I'm at my bff's house helping her and her family. I am reliable. I can be counted on. But when I am in dream mode? I just want to be in dream mode... and what good is a dream if I can't share it? I try to take a certain responsibility for my dreams... But I know sometimes, they get away from me and become something else entirely.

This RV trip? Might be one of my dreams. It might not happen. C is really sick right now. I know if we had planned it for July? It for sure wouldn't happen. However, I am still enjoying dreaming about it. We keep talking about it. Madalyn has informed me she wants to go to the Wizard of Oz museum in Kansas. *grin* That made me smile. I have an alternate plan. If C can't go, I'm taking Madalyn and her brother with me and we're going to drive to Seattle on a different route. There will be some sort of a trip this summer. I have no idea what it will look like. But it will happen.

Maybe that is why I dream. Because dreaming brings things into life. Will my trip go the way I think it is going to go? Who knows. Do I particularly care? No. Because I know it will happen and we'll have a good time together, no matter how things emerge from our collective dreaming. We are all fluid right now, and as difficult is that generally is for me? I am learning to make peace with the uncomfortable feeling of dreaming on shifting sand.



Monday, July 04, 2011

Dolphin Days 

I don't know how swimming with dolphins has anything to do with being healthy, as is the intent of this blog, but I'm going to chalk it up to mental health and go from there.

I swam with dolphins today. It was something I have wanted to do my whole life. It was wonderful.. and? I want to say magical.. except... yeah. I'd be lying. They were incredible, and the two dolphins I swam with didn't seem to be miserable or unhappy.

Not gonna lie, the dolphins were way cuter than I was. *laughter*. Clearly they understand photogenic.

In the end? I am glad I went, although I am still not sure how I feel about dolphins in captivity. I like the idea that on many cruise ships and in the Bahamas, you have an 'ocean' pen where the dolphins swim freely. They choose to allow you to swim with them, then they can leave when they are done. It seems more... free that way. The irony of swimming with captive dolphins on the 4th of July has not escaped me.

Do we, as a species have the right to domesticate animals? We domesticated the wolf, the horse, the cat (or as a wonderful friend once said to me, when we were domesticated by the cats)... is that such a horrible thing? To have domesticated dolphins?

What I know? Is that the dolphins were beautiful. They were loving and gracious to us humans that swam around them. I rode one, got pushed by my feet around the water with one, petted them... connected a little with them, but it is true about their eyes. Their eyes say so much... They are incredibly intelligent creatures. I hope someday, when we look back on our treatment of animals, we don't cringe at what we thought we knew...

 And find out, we didn't know anything at all.