Decisive Action

Life presents challenges and I stumble to keep up. Chronic illness continues to form the backdrop of my life, so it becomes the baseline for any actions I take. Ric and I made a commitment to our health and our community this year, and that means that I have been more physically active than usual. Since my envelope – capacity for energy – has not increased, I am called to make decisions.

Taking a break over Christmas was part of that process. Still, the emails continue to pile up and the number of unread posts becomes insurmountable. I am seeking a solution that simplifies my life once again. Here is what I’ve decided:

  • Posting less. For now, I am trying to post only once per day, alternating blogs (I have two). Longterm, I would like to achieve a device-free day.
  • Selective reading. Some of you wow me with your prolific creativity, and I try to follow and encourage, but it has become too much. In order to spread my attention across the blogging community, I will limit myself to one or two posts from a single source.
  • Scheduling posts in advance. I love the prompts, as witnessed by my weekly challenge. Keeping up with them all, however, just adds to my current stress. I will participate when possible, but preference will be given to pre-scheduling posts. It’s like buying a bit of security.

This forum for connecting means so much and I want to continue to grow my relationships. Would love to hear how you juggle it all.

Thanks to all who participated this week. I missed your unique insights. Nice to be back.

Eugi’s Causerie
I Write Her
Reena Saxena
Stuff and what if…
one letter UP
Zebra’s Child
bushboys world

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

Choosing Life

Buying time –
resetting the dial,
deviating from the norm…

a healing place,

here we go again,
600 miles from home,
recharging batteries…

this might have been
an un-lived life.

(My challenge this week is to make poetry from previous post titles.  For this one, I chose to select only the titles that related to our recent journey.)

Resetting the Dial

At fifty-nine, I felt quite certain that I knew myself, that I had accomplished, defined and established.  It seemed that illness had dictated a framework within which my remaining time would unfold.   I had become a non-entity in my former career life, a ghost to many friends.  My children mourned the loss of their vibrant mother and settled into lowered expectations.  My husband took up a new role. Life, like a river, flowed around me while I stood still.

Black and white houses
fade into winter’s landscape –
humble surrender.

Life, however, has no intention of letting us settle.  It drives us through the darkness to find new light, and in the depths of our despair, my husband and I reached out to possibility and gambled on a risk.  We sold our house, and bought a home on wheels, and we set off into the unknown: reset the dial from ailing seniors to snow-capped adventurers.  In that single act of defiant deviation, like throwing open the doors of a jail cell, we found rejuvenation.

As light in darkness
transforms mundanity, so
too am I salvaged –
revelation turning back
the icy pallor of winter.

(Written for this week’s challenge: deviation.  We come together with family  to celebrate an early Christmas this weekend and then mid-week will hit the road for another chapter in our rambling life.)

And the Winner Is…

WindowsWhat I didn’t tell you in my last post is that we put an offer on Option #1 immediately after viewing it.  It has everything we want and more.  We had driven to this community and looked at houses before, but they sell fast, so when we found out this one was sold conditional on the purchasers selling their own home, we asked to view it.

Hard to tell, though, which way people will go.  Put in this position ourselves, we would waive the condition and leap – but that’s us.

“There were competing offers at the time,”  the realtor warns us.  “They fought for this house.”

So we let it go and set our hopes on the lake, knowing that Option #2 would serve if nothing else did.

“When did you know that this wasn’t for us?” Ric asked me on the drive home from the lake.  “I knew right away.  Too many hidden costs. I felt like I was being taken for a ride.”

treesnhouseI hadn’t known.  I was looking for a solution that would compensate for losing the first house.  We stopped for dinner in the second town, and then drove around the neighbourhood, orienting ourselves.

Option #2 it would be.  Budget wise, this was the best choice.

“I like that the backyard is private,” I stated.  We’d picked out the unit we wanted.  Tomorrow if the sales office was open, we’d make an offer.

“Maybe we should wait?”  I dared to suggest.  “Maybe another house will come up in the town we want.”

“No.  We need to take care of this now.”

We lingered over our morning beverages, he on his screen, me on mine.  Then, just after noon, he decided to cut the grass, while I decided it was a good day to clean the motor home.  At 2:15, his phone rang.  I answered.

“How did you like the Bluffs?” the realtor asked.

StMary'shome“Well…it was interesting,” I answered, trying to be tactful.  I elaborated on costs, size, facilitates, lack of maintenance.

“Good thing it’s not a problem for you then,” she said and my breath froze on the intake.  “The house is yours!  Drop by the office tomorrow and we’ll firm up the paperwork.”

We take possession August 1st.  In the meantime, we’ve got some work to do.


Pain Fog

The hockey game blares from the front of the bus with a confidence I am not feeling.

Yesterday, I had two cracked and very infected teeth extracted, and my jaw is in intense pain.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the dentist told me.  Apparently, I had clenched so hard that I split my back molars in half.

Gritting my teeth, I’m discovering, is what I do in response to pain, especially when it settles in face as fibromyalgia is known to do.  I’ll need a night guard.

treesnhouseWe went to visit our financial advisor at the bank, followed by our accountant, and it looks like buying a house now is the best option.  So, the search has suddenly turned real. We’ll be spending the long weekend house shopping.

Right now, I am lying in a darkened room, praying for restorative sleep (a rarity with my disease) and affirming to myself that we will find the perfect place for our needs and all will be well.

I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  Even forming a sentence tonight is painful. So, I won’t linger here too long.

“We’ve been through a lot,” I told Ric earlier; “and what we’ve learned is that we are adaptable.  Wherever we decide to live, it will work, because we’ll make it work.”

This much I know is true.

treeshadowI can sense worry, like shadows, creeping in around me, but I am too tired to give it a voice tonight.  Fatigue sets all my senses on overdrive, and every noise, smell, or ray of light feels invasive.

I turn on my mattress heater, pull the blankets around me, and ask Ric to turn down the game.

Worry can wait till tomorrow.






Dental Decisions

“Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight,” the woman told me on the phone.

“They are going to put me out,” I tell my daughter, “I’ll need someone to drive me and be with me the rest of the day.”

“It’s only a tooth, Mom!” says my eight-month-pregnant middle child.  “I’m happy to stay with you, but really?”

I flashback to childhood visits to the dentist, the room going dark and a voice telling me to push against his arm until I regain consciousness.  That dentist refused to treat me after a while.  I have been squeamish since.

“I hate dental work!”  I tell her, but she has a point.

“How long will it take?” I ask the dental surgeon who is about to extract a molar, crown and all.

“Likely half an hour.  Whether you are sedated or not is your choice.  Should you choose to be, we’ll insert an IV and get you started, otherwise we’ll do a local anesthetic.  You will hear the banging and feel the pressure.” th

Give me the drugs! I want to say, and then I think of my husband awaiting a triple bypass, and my daughter about to give birth, and how much I will inconvenience everyone if I opt for the sedation.

“I’ll give it a go with local freezing,” I vow.

“Are you sure?”  The nurse looks surprised.  What does she know that I don’t?

“Yes!  Well, no, I’d like to try.”

“You can stop us at any time and we can start an IV,” the doctor reassures me.

No, I’m in, I tell myself, and try to move my awareness away from the room and onto something else.  I say a prayer for my husband, for my child and the child she is carrying, and as the dentist starts to push and pull on the obstinate tooth, I create an affirmation:

th-3It’s okay to let go.  I willingly let go.  I am now able to release those things I’ve clung to that no longer serve me.  I am ready to be free of the poison in my life.  I let go.

The tooth did let go of course, and after a short drilling intrusion to break the remainder up into smaller pieces, it was out.  A couple of stitches, a mouth full of gauze and I was good to go.

No problem!

“Imagine that I thought about full anesthetic,” I marvel to my daughter.

“You were very brave, Mom!”

I made the right choice – better to suffer thirty minutes of discomfort than to put someone out for a whole day.

Now, what can I eat…..  th-2