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Showing posts from September, 2019

Year Four, Day 204: The Music That Flows Through My Fingers

I am having a good day.  In spite of the weather.  I woke up to bitter cold, pouring rain. It was like we transitioned from summer to winter overnight!

But I am an expert at commuting in inclement weather. I layered, put on my rubber boots, packed my church shoes and covered my book bag in a plastic garbage bag.  I felt quite accomplished as I headed out into the dreary morning. 

I arrived at the bus stop about 7:00 a.m. I had a 9 minute wait for my first bus.  I noticed that my spirits were high. That is generally the case when the weather is poor.  I figured out years ago that I like to be above the weather.  When the skies are blue and the temperature is mild, I am not always experiencing a sunny disposition. 

I enjoy a rainy day.  As I waited for the bus, I noticed a young man shivering. He had dirty clothes and tattered sneakers. He was carrying a large garbage bag.  He was moaning and complaining about the cold to anyone within earshot.  I nodded at him.

Then another young man ap…

Year Four, Day 203: Shallow Optimism and The Superhero of Mass Transit

I am feeling rather balanced today.

I have the feeling that I am tipping precariously lower at times. But then I use one of my positive thinking affirmations and I feel myself balance right out! I've included breathing. With each affirmation, I breathe in deeply.  It helps.

I often start the day with Qi Gong breathing exercises right before my hooping, but then I tend to forget about breathing the rest of the day.

I took myself out for lunch today. After watching my granddaughter this morning, I actually have the rest of the day off. Next week is the beginning of fall term. My life will get much busier. I often seem to do better emotionally when I am busy. Especially if my health is good and I am well rested.

At lunch, I pulled out my Kindle and read my affirmation of the day.  Which is from the book A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel.  Today's affirmation had to do with letting go, not trying to control everything, and having…

Year Four, Day 202: Depth

This is my positive thought for the week: “Watch your thoughts,
they become your words;
watch your words,
they become your actions;
watch your actions,
they become your habits;
watch your habits,
they become your
watch your character,
it becomes your destiny.”
~Lao Tzu

Today I am feeling more balanced.  I am feeling a pull to sink, but every time a negative thought enters my mind, I counter it with my positive thought for the week (above).  I have heard this quote before, but as I told my daughter, it is not enough to hear ideas once.  A profound idea needs to be heard, memorized, meditated on and then taken to a deeper level.
I am a fan of depth.
I need to add something to the above quote:
“Watch your thoughts, (you do not need to follow your thoughts)
they become your words;
watch your words,
they become your actions;
watch your actions,
they become your habits;
watch your habits,
they become your
watch your character,
it becomes your destiny.”

Year Four, Day 201: Who Needs Red Bull?

After my little epiphany/rant/break down (or whatever you want to call it) yesterday afternoon, my mood improved exponentially!

In fact, I feel like I trigger a manic event.  After talking to my therapist, I told myself that I was just feeling good, feeling empowered, feeling like "kicking butt and taking names", as my ex-husband so eloquently phrased it.  He also used to tell me I was addicted to feeling bad about myself when I bragged about not being controlled by addictions.

I kept a watchful eye on my mood. Especially since I had a staff meeting last night.  It actually served me well. I am not fond of meetings. Of any kind.  I get irritable and restless, thinking about all the things I could be doing rather than listen to people ramble on and on and on...

I'm sure some of you have experienced the dreaded  meeting.

In years past, at the music center where I teach piano, we would have one staff meeting a year. Right before the beginning of the school year. We'd co…

Year Four, Day 200: I've Had It!

I am fed up! I've had it up to HERE with negativity. I am fed up! Fed up with feeling sorry for myself and wasting my life! If I could, I would fire my pathetic self and hire a new me!

A tougher, stronger, more resilient, more positive me!

One that says "Bite me!" to depression, fear and anxiety. The me who us going to choose lifting weights, running, hard work and discipline over meds. The me who going to stop taking herself so dang seriously and have a beer and a good laugh once in awhile!

Obviously something clicked today.  After my counseling appointment. I wasn't expressing myself well to my therapist.  I felt like I was almost trying to convince him I was mentally ill.

He wasn't convinced.

I finally asked him if he thought I should take meds.

I told me no.

Honestly, I think I should have traded chairs with him today. He seemed like he was having a difficult day.  Patients lined up back to back, with hardly a break.  His patient before me seemed like she was…

Year Four, Day 199: Peaks and Valleys/PHJ

Today is a very good day.  My daughter looked at me from the kitchen as she was making her coffee.  I was laughing.  She cocked one eyebrow up and me.

"I'm having a good day", I explained. "I'm probably about a 7".

"You're an 8!", she said knowingly.

We've been tracking my moods again. She told me she is generally about a 5 in the morning before coffee. Afterwards, a 6 or 7.  She rarely changes.

Me?  I was about up high on the mountain Saturday. About a 9.  Yesterday, I was on the edge of the abyss. About a 2. But I fought really hard. Because I didn't want to dampen the spirits of anyone at my grand niece's party.  By the end of the party, I was about a 5.  Being around family is something I avoid when I'm low. But their presence usually brings me back up. Whether they know I am low or not. It usually is best not to say anything.

Except for my daughter. She knows.  She can tell my number just looking at my face!

Bless her heart.

My m…

Year Four, Day 198: The Abyss

I made up a little song I used to sing to my granddaughter when she was a wee baby.  "Up so high, down so low, out so wide. Give yourself a hug like a ladybug!"

I would stretch her little arms up, down, out and then hug her when I said ladybug. It made her squeal with delight.

That song came back to me today. As I am trying to pull myself up from the abyss.

I was up so high yesterday.  It is only logical that I would crash.  I am not going to even attempt to figure out why. Dwelling on it makes it worse.

Plus, I have another family gathering to go to this afternoon. My great niece's 1st birthday! She is an adorable little girl. Just started to walk. And most pleased with herself

Actually typing about her is bringing a smile to my face. Being less self involved may be the best treatment for my depression yet! And oddly enough, immersing myself in the novel I am currently reading (The Plague by Albert Camus!) helps immensely!

I will have to tell you more tomorrow. I just wa…

Year Four, Day 197: A Super Good Day! (With Update)

Here I am again! Alive, and still kicking!

Actually, today I am having a super good day!  I have been having a lot of those lately!

First of all, I woke up and stepped on the bathroom scale. I did a whoop and a holler and a happy dance! My daughter came running with concern. She thought perhaps I had slipped and fallen.

Nope. But another pound of fat has fallen away!

I have officially lost 15 pounds since I have been following the intermittent fasting way of life!


I weigh 180. At my heaviest, I was over 240 lbs! Not sure exactly because I avoided the scale in My BBW days.

My original goal weight was 139.  My daughter says she needs to lose 15 pounds. Her goal weight is also 139. I think my daughter is highly competitive with me. She said 139 is too skinny for me!  She said I should make a goal of 165. Then work on toning up at that weight and make a new goal if I am still too heavy.

So we both have to lose 15 pounds. And I think I am also competitive. So we are having a contes…

Year Four, Day 196: The Plague

  “Sometimes at midnight, in the great silence of the sleep bound town, the doctor turned on his radio before going to bed for the few hours' sleep he allowed himself. And from the ends of the earth, across thousands of miles of land and sea, kindly, well-meaning speakers tried to voice their fellow-feeling, and indeed did so, but at the same time proved the utter incapacity of every man truly to share in the suffering that he cannot see. "Oran! Oran!" In vain the call rang over oceans, in vain Rieux listened hopefully; always the tide of eloquence began to flow, bringing home still more the unbridgeable gulf that lay between Grand and the speaker. "Oran, we're with you!" they called emotionally. But not, the doctor told himself, to love or to die together-- and that's the only way...”
― Albert Camus, The Plague

I am blogging daily again. Yay!

O.K., it's only been since yesterday, but I am all for small victories!

Today …

Year Four, Day 195: Diagnosis

I apologize for my absence.  No excuse, really. Just busy with life.  Trying to stay afloat.  Will there ever be a point in my life where I am not merely treading water?

I told my therapist this week that I have one really good day a month.  The rest of the days are peaks and valleys: Down to the bottom of the abyss and clawing my way back up. 

The one good day is refreshing. I feel truly free. I can breathe and experience the moment.

We all have our struggles in life, don't we? I have been following the twitter war of the Carters since yesterday. I was struck with how many celebrities are diagnoses with mental illness, succumb to drug addiction. Some sadly commit suicide.

Obviously, money can't buy happiness.

After I told my therapist about my one good day, he asked me what brings me joy.  I was stumped. I told him, of course my family, especially my granddaughter. And when I am in the midst of music - performing, practicing, or teaching, I rise above the abyss.  And I read …

Year Four, Day 194: Grateful for You

I had a big bowl of shrimp pho for lunch today. It hit the spot. My sinuses cleared, my spirits lifted.

Nothing like pho for comfort, pho sure!

I was needing extra comfort. Today was a difficult day.  My heart is aching. I was asked to play the piano for a sweet older couple. They are members in the church where I have been playing piano and organ for the past month.

I woke up feeling better than usual.  Possibly because I had a plan.  My plan is to eat whole foods, and stay from gluten, fried foods, processed food and sugar during my eating window.

I had a lovely walk to the bus stop. I had plenty of time for coffee and two ham, cheddar and pepper sous vide egg bites at Starbucks.  I tried the cold brew coffee for the first time with my signature splash of whole cream and two shots of sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup.

It was lovely!  It was nice to have time to sip and ponder, study the Bible and pray. And still plenty of time to walk to the church and warm up before rehearsal.

I was …

Year Four, Day 193: Bread, I Will Miss You!

Today was a heavy mood swing day. I had my weekly breakfast with my mom. Bright and early at 6:15 a.m. I don't think even the chickens were up that early!

And speaking of chickens, I decided not to eat my breakfast until later. I just sipped black coffee.

I ate my breakfast at 9:00 a.m. with my granddaughter. The above photo is of my lunch yesterday: Tuna salad on pumpernickel, rice with kale and grapes.  I usually eat healthy at home. But when I am on the road teaching, I have been making bad choices.  I think they have caught up to me!

Today was the straw that broke the camel's back. Poor camel!

Even though it felt right to hold off on eating my breakfast until later, my mood did not feel right. My mother noticed. We had a chat.  It occurred to me that the inhaler that has all but zapped my chronic cough and asthma symptoms might be contributing to my anxiety and depression.  It is, after all, inhaled steroids.

I did a bit of internet research and then emailed my pharmacist…

Year Four, Day 192: A Lunchtime Visitor, Driving Hungry and Thirsting for Change

 "I beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way in the answer..."
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (From Driving Hungry: A Memoir by Layne Mosler)

I am feeling the need to make more changes.  Not one for being stagnant or content.

I am beginning a new book today.  Driving Hungry: A Memoir by Layne Mosler.  It is a lovely book so far.  Layne Mosler, the author begins with a trip to Buenos Aries to find her true calling. She had dreamt of owning a restaurant. She goes to Bueos Aires to be a food writer. But in the process, discovers the tango.  That's as …

Year Four, Day 191: To Be!

I am happy. I don't recall saying that too often in my life!

But I had a wonderful first session with my counselor.

After we filled out the expected pile of paperwork, he sat back in his chair and asked me what I would like to talk about.

I was prepared. I actually had a mini panic attack before our session.  Something to do with "What if my counselor hates me"? Or something irrational like that. I did some breathing and walking and talked myself out of that mindset, thankfully!

I told him that I have been in counseling before. Where we have explored my past, painful emotions and events. Much tears.  Some medication.

I'm sure it had it's place. But I no longer wanted to dwell in the past. I would like to focus on positive ways to bring more joy in my life and have more meaningful relationships with family and friends.

And learn how to take constructive criticism.

Oh yeah, and learn how to survive meetings.

He asked me about the meeting thing. He took a few notes…