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Showing posts from October, 2019

Year Four, Day 216: Peaceful, Flowing Spirt

I am feeling so much better today than yesterday.

Our grandmas had it right when they told us to rest and drink plenty of fluids when we felt under the weather.

I did just that. And today I feel a tad bit higher than the weather. And that is saying a lot! It is another gorgeous fall day. It is quite chilly, but no wind. The skies are clear and blue. The trees that have hung on to their leaves are displaying them in brilliant color of orange, yellow and red.

I love bright colors. That is probably why I am having so much fun knitting "healing socks".

I gave my daughter a pair yesterday. Bright yellow, black and white in bulky yarn. She cocked one eyebrow as she looked at them. But when she put them on she smiled. "They are very soothing", she said. "It's almost like they are massaging my feet!"

I agree. There is something almost magical about my healing socks. Hence the name. I look forward every day to coming home and putting on my bright, bulky socks.…

Year Four, Day 215: Healing Socks and Fun

I did not hoop today. I am having a low day.  I am o.k.  Just tired and achy.  I should have hooped.

I watched my granddaughter in the morning as usual and then instead of heading to the gym, I took a nap.  I find naps to be the most therapeutic thing I can do for myself.

Sometimes I just need time off from life. When I was younger, much younger, I would take what my mother called a "mental health day". I'll have to ask her about that sometime.  Because, I think this has been invaluable to me.

And when I say time off from life, I now mean no internet.  Very little interaction with others. Just quite, me time.  A lot of sleep, tea, maybe a book or a movie.

I have a whole bag of DVD's I just rented from the library. I plan on heading home and crawling under the covers again.

My therapist told me I need to have more fun.  I looked at him blankly. He laughed.

But I think he is right!

At this point, I cannot go any deeper. I need a cup of hot, herbal tea.  My healing sock…

Year Four, Day 214: A Man Named "Joy", Reformation Sunday, and a Lovely Fall Day!

After my last post, I met a man named "Joy". His given name was very long. He showed it to me on a legal paper.  It appeared to be Indian. Prandath something. He told me most people called him "Joy".

He had been sitting at the computer terminal beside me as I blogged. When I got up to leave, he whispered, "Madam, can you help me please?" He had a very sweet, musical voice.  He seemed to be in his early 30's.  He was holding a packet of papers.

I turned around and nodded. He said he was new in town and would be taking custody of his son.  But he was temporarily homeless. He asked if I knew where the men's shelter was downtown. I had heard of it, I told him. But it was nearly 8:00 p.m. From my last experience helping a homeless woman in crisis, I had learned that shelters in Vancouver close early in the evening.

I looked up the shelter he mentioned on my phone. It said it closed at 7:00 p.m. and reopened in the morning. I tried calling. No answer.

I …

Year Four, Day 213: St. Zita Here. The Stage Can Wait!

Today was a perfect fall day! The temperature was mild, and the leaves on the trees are such vibrant colors.  As I sat on the bus to Portland earlier, I told myself to be present in the moment. Because if I blink, it will be winter and the trees will have shed all of their leaves!

I must apologize, yet again for my absence. Not sure if anyone follows this blog daily, but my intention was to blog every day. Life does get ahead of me at times, but when I am not blogging, I feel like something is missing.

I tend to have so many thoughts swirling around in my head at any given moment, that sitting down and putting them into words that actually makes sense is extremely therapeutic for me.

Since I last posted, I've had some revelations and imminent life changes.

First, the revelations.

As you probably have surmised, I am a highly sensitive person. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life.  I tend to worry.  And get overwhelmed.

Recently I was trying to pray about all t…

Year Four, Day 212: The Lone Wolf - More to Follow

I long to sit here and catch you up on my life, but alas, I am heading to teach a class.  I was told at my last therapy session that I had "The Lone Wolf" personality. I very much like this description.  I am noting it here and will follow up when I have more time.

He also told me to "Breathe more, talk less". 

So I am breathing.  Working on the talking less. Perhaps he should have also said to think less!

This blog in itself is a source of therapy for me. It allows me to remove the words from my brain and examine them. But no time for that now!

Duty calls! And the sun in shining!

Happy Friday!

Talk soon, I promise!



Year Four, Day 211: Blink of an Eye. My Father

"In the blink of an eye everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may not have that chance again." Zig Ziglar
Saturday morning I was on my way to teach piano in Portland. Just stepped off the bus to grab my morning Starbucks. My phone rang. I saw my mother's name pop up on caller ID: "Gma" (for grandma.  I really should change it to "GG". She is a great grandma now!)
My heart paused in midbeat. I know my mother well. She does not usually call Saturday mornings. She knows I am getting ready to teach class.
So I answered. Her voice at first sounded pleasant. But I waited. Soon I heard a catch in her voice. It sounded like she was about to cry. She apologized. Said she was fine, just emotional. She was in her truck about to follow the ambulance to the hospital.
"Your father collapsed at the urgent care clinic this morning", she told me in a choked up voice. "He had a horrible cough. The advice nurse told me …

Year Four, Day 210: Comparing Faces

This is going to be a short post. I am on my way to teach a student and then to choir practice.  It is a lovely fall day. Clear and sunny, but with a bitter chill.  I have no reason to feel low today. But I do. But mostly low energy.  I am not feeling particularly stressed out about anything.

All this work on myself is paying off. I am keeping my head above water, and keeping my priorities in mind.  I am praying and knitting Happy Socks.  I am practicing piano, hooping and eating healthier (within my "window"). I am reading positive, inspiring books. My newest is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength, by Amy Newmark; forward by Fran Drescher

An odd thing, though with my new hair color and cut. People are telling me I look younger. And they mean it as a compliment. But I realize I had started getting used to the idea that I was "older", as in eligible for a senior discount. A grandma with…

Year Four, Day 209: It's Color Time!

I had to do it. I was just not ready to be so gray! And for someone who struggles with depression, my world can be gray enough.

It's color time!

Actually, it was my daughter who suggested it. The color, that is. Then I suggested she trim it up a bit.

And here I am. Back in red and loving it! I feel lighter and younger! 

I am considering this to be a reward for all my hard work losing weight. 

I'm still fasting, but I need to work a bit on cleaning up the diet, yet again.  I'm in cheeseburger mode this week. I get busy, I turn to fast food.  And cheeseburgers are my food of choice.  Sometimes I order them without the bun and put them on rice cakes.  But the last few days, I've just inhaled them. Bun and all.  I need to get some more veggies and fruit in my life. But my eating window has closed for the day. 

Tomorrow, a salad!

This is a life long struggle.  But at least I have a system.  No matter what I eat, I close that window by about 3:00 p.m. every day.

I'm stil…

Year Four, Day 208: Happy Socks, Tales from Lyft and the Missing Music in My Life

I have completed one sock of my first pair of Happy Socks!  That's my name for them anyway.  They are slipper socks, knitted on a round loom.  Meant to be worn at home, when feeling cozy is of the utmost important. Hey, cozy is always high on my list! 

I dubbed them "Happy Socks" because I am making them colorful, and praying for the person who will be wearing them. I feel happy just looking at them!

I also completed the novel, The President Is Missing, by James Patterson and Bill Clinton.

I was thoroughly entertained by this book!  Granted, it was not extremely deep. And the writing, well it was not extremely, literary.  But it was great fun! I felt like I was inside of Bill Clinton's head.

After I read it, I looked at a few reviews online. And I was even more entertained! In fact, I was reading the reviews while riding the bus home the other night. I laughed so hard I snorted. I was getting odd looks from the other passengers! It was this one from "The New Yo…

Year Four, Day 207: Shooting at Smith Tower. And a Marine Escort

Do I really need to be concerned about my own mental health when the world around me has gone mad?

I just received breaking news that there is an active shooter at Smith Tower in downtown Vancouver. 

Smith Tower. An apartment complex for retired citizens in the small downtown area of Vancouver. About 2 blocks from where I catch the #105 I-5 Express to Portland several days a week.

Smith Tower holds many memories for me and my family. As a child, I spent several hours a week there from a very young age. Our family visited a dear friend, who my brother and I called "Aunt Mame".  We came by, usually on a Sunday afternoon and visited in her apartment. She had a small piano, that my dad and I took turns playing. She never failed to bestow on my younger brother and I a goody bag - which was a brown paper sack filled with crackers, candy, cereal, etc.

My mother and Mame talked about current events, family and friends. Smith Tower was a bright spot in my childhood. As was Mame.  She…

Year Four, Day 206: Happy Socks and a New Motto

Just a brief check-in today. I'm heading over to see my son and his girlfriend and help them organize baby supplies!

Yay!   Let the nesting begin!

Thankfully I was able to get up before my granddaughter and do a little hooping. I really need the exercise to get my head on straight.

I habe a new knitting project: "happy socks". I will post pictures in another blog.

Still working on the positive thinking. It is an uphill battle at times.

Today's positive thought is:

"When difficult times arise, remind yourself that life will go back to normal, even it it's a new normal. Whatever you are experiencing will eventually pass..." (A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel; October 2nd)

This reminds me of my mother's saying, which she heard from someone else. One of those "they say" which she is so fond of reciting.  :)  
"This too in time shall pass"
Apparently it is an ancient Persian saying. An…

Year Four, Day 205: Three Months IF and Another Fall

Sunday was apparently the coldest September day in Portland, Oregon since 1934.  So I wasn't imagining it! 

A woman at a convenience store said exactly what I had been thinking: "We went from summer straight into winter!"

We did indeed!

Today is the first day of October. I have officially been intermittent fasting for 3 months!

I stepped on the scale this morning and did a whoop and a happy dance. Another pound bites the dust!

I have so far lost 16 pounds!  This is my most successful eating plan ever. I suppose I will have to keep it!

My positive thought for today comes from the book, A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel:
"Allow room for pause. We live in the world of constant activity that leaves us feeling overcharged. But there is so much power in Stillness. What would happen if you slowed down? Would the world around you feel different? Try it. Slow down. Breathe in. Look outward. See inward. Exhale. Repeat as oft…