“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
-M. Scott Peck
If you know me, you know one of my greatest dreams is to finish a book. I say finish, because I've started several of them. Three or four chapters in, I always get stuck stop.
"It's the wrong topic," I think.
"I should write when I have something more interesting to say."
"Not sure I have the energy for this."
"I'm not as good as so and so..."
True. All true.
Still, November is National Novel Writing Month. And, it would be great to accomplish something that isn't related to sickness, showering, or spider four-suit solitaire.
So, I just gave myself a deadline and signed up for thirty days and nights of literary abandon.
(Ie: I committed to writing a 50,000 word (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30).
Seriously, don't laugh.
Altered Today: Reason to put pants on, new goal/game
PS Want to join me? Don't be intimidated. It's about quantity not quality. The goal is to silence your inner critic and write, write, write. Through the outpouring, hopefully, something magical will happen.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Kathy is out of town and it has been 245 days since I last blogged for my wife, but don't worry... I'm going to keep it business as usual in here.
Sing it with me now..."If there's something strange in your neighborhood..."
Ask the cats and dog and they will tell you: "Something strange is going on." Kathy has been away from home five of the past six days and the animals are acting a little bit weird.
At the "Shock & Denial" phase, she trots from room to room with her ears perked up and her nose sampling the air at regular intervals. "Where is Mom?"
When she progresses through anger and frustration to "depression and detachment," she lingers a little bit longer than most charts suggest is reasonable.
Our daily walk outside begins the "Dialogue and Bargaining" phase and dovetails nicely into dinner time which brings us triumphantly to "Acceptance."
And then, just like some cruel Greek tragedy, the cycle begins again and the sun rises over an empty recliner chair.
The cats' behavior is something else entirely. Cats, by their very nature, are very indifferent to our comings and goings outside of mealtime. For the cats, curling up in the corner of the room isn't a sign of depression, its a sign of normalcy.
But Finster and Meeno don't usually curl up in the same space at the same time (and if they do, it isn't for any significant/observable length of time). Of course, there are exceptions, but those are occassions born out of neccesity.
One of the few documented incidents of Meeno & Finster snuggling... begrudgingly.
When I walked into the living room last night, Betsy was in her asleep usual spot in front of the couch and Meeno and Finster were laying in the very center of the room with their paws tucked in... nose to nose. They looked like furry black and white potatoes. They NEVER do that. Very. Strange.
You'll have to take my word for it because unfortunately, I don't have photographic proof. As soon as I ran to grab my camera, the two snugglers parted ways thus preserving their carefully crafted deniability.
Kathy, if you're reading this, we miss you. It's weird being without you.
<3 Angel, Betsy, Meeno, and Finster.
Altered Today: The myth of Meeno & Finster
EDITORIAL NOTE: Kathy is out of town and it has been 243 days since I last blogged for my wife, but don't worry... I'm going to keep it business as usual in here.
When I first agreed to take over the onerous task of blogging in my wife's stead, I had visions of crafting posts from our cats' point of view (or less interestingly, from the dog's). After having survived the first blog takeover, I figured that it would be a piece of cake regardless of my approach. Second verse, same as the first! Maybe I could cut and paste! The possibilities were endless easy.
But then, as I kissed my wife goodbye, she dropped the bomb. "...don't forget to post, THREE DAYS in a row... and try... to make it.... Lyme related."
What a drag. I so don't want to write about Lyme.
I'm tired of it, aren't you? I know that my wife is. Endless conversations about symptoms and causes, insurance and doctors, opinions and speculation, fears and hopes... and the DRAMA, oh man.... the delicious and endless supply of drama from friends and family and internet strangers and SPOUSES.
And the poop. There's always the poop.
If I'm tired of it, she MUST be tired of it. That's why I'm glad that Kathy is letting her friends take her to a beach house for a few days. I don't even worry that she'll be taken care of, THAT'S how good her friends are.
So here I am, running a Lyme Blog and continuing the conversation with all of her readers. I hope that she can rest easy.
Kathy's last words to me (a joke) as I buckled her into her seabelt:
"If I get swept out to sea, know that you were a good husband and that I love you."
I never take her seriously when she says stuff like that. I know that she's being playful... but at the same time, I know that if those were her true last words, she would approve all the same. That's my wife: multi-dimensional. <3
Kathy, If you get swept out to sea, know that you were a good wife and that I loved you too... and please be sure to drown every last one of those miserable S###HEAD bugs!
Kathy won't be answering for the next few days (becuase she is on vacation), but I will. So here's a question if you're feeling playful: If you were about to be swept out to sea, what would YOUR last words be?
Altered Today: How this blog gets produced, Cut-n-Paste, Famous last words
My first pic -- A Small Light
"Share a photo every day for a year." That's the goal of the 365 Project. Users sign up, take a snap, then share the shots with family and friends...creating a visual on line diary. At first, I was reluctant to join. After all, I blog daily. Isn't that enough??? Still, my desire for perspective trumped my fear of overwhelm. Besides...what else am I going to do? It's not like I'm out running marathons.
I like the idea of documenting the journey...in words, pictures, or otherwise. Just having this new goal makes me look at my environment differently. Before yesterday, I never appreciated the bathroom night light or my red light switch. Kind of pretty, don't you think???
Wanna play along??? To create your own 365 Project, go here. If you do, let me know. I'd love to see the world through your eyes.
Altered Today: Self expression
Sick Kathy = Gollum Healthy Kathy = Smeagol
At least that's the case, according to my husband (If you haven't seen Lord of the Rings, get a brief primer here).
The remark wasn't meant as an insult. He said it after I made a comment this morning.
Me (in Smeagol-like fashion): We thinks we can do more than we can (upon having to rest after wiping out the dog's crate).
Him (being playful): Stupid Trixie Lymes, we hates them we do.
For a while, we joked and back and forth.
Smeagol: "But we likes the pizzas, yes our precious!"
Gollum: "NO!... WE can't HAVE the pizza, NOBODY can have the pizza."
And on and on it went.
In reality, it's not that far off. I am often conflicted between the two sides of me.
On a good day: We can walks. We getting better. We are.
On a bad day: We dying. We tortured. We can't go on.
Let's hope these new meds do their thing (free, free...let Smeagol go FREEEEEEE!!!!).
Altered Today: Dosing, Party Provisions. Hope you can make it Saturday. Would love to see you.
If you asked my husband what annoys him most about me,
one of his top complaints would definitely be my chewing.
Him (as I bite into an apple): You're soooo LOUD!
Me (totally confused): I'm not LOUD. Apples are crunchy.
For 8 years, we've had this exchange over many a food item:
apples, potato chips, corn chips, carrots, etc.
Honestly, I've never understood it.
It's not like I smack my lips or reveal my cud to the masses.
I just bite things...crunchy things.
Aren't crunchy things supposed to have a little ooomph to them?
Today, though, I totally got it.
There we are,
in the movie theater,
eating our smuggled almonds, apples, cheese, and popcorn.
Him: You're so LOUD!!!
Me: How am I supposed to do it?
Him: Let me show you (see video below).
Oh my word.
I am LOUD!!!
Don't tell him though.
I'm still having fun pretending not to notice.
Altered Today: Awareness of eating like a goat.
On Easter Eve, several years ago, something interesting happened. My husband and I, returning late from a trip, spotted a pink footed, shadowy figure as it jumped out onto the sidewalk.
In amazement, we watched the little guy check both ways before crossing the road. Once on the other side, he padded from shrub to shrub, stopping to peer into the leaves... he seemed to be looking for something.
"What is he doing?!?!?" we laughed, as he continued his late-night mission.
"It seems like he's searching... maybe looking for food??" That's when it hit us: We were witnessing the first appearance of a lesser-known holiday character, the yin to the Easter Bunny's yang... we had discovered The Easter Possum!
EP (as we now call him), like his close relative the Virginia Possum, is a scavenger. While the Easter Bunny hides treats for children to find in Easter Egg Hunts, the Easter Possum follows behind collecting leftovers so no hard boiled egg or chocolate bunny gets wasted.
The "sighting" started a tradition of annual visits--starting with a bag of "trash" on my porch the next morning.
"That's weird," I said...thinking my husband forgot something. As I moved closer, I could see--this was no ordinary pile of garbage. It was a present--lovingly (though messily) wrapped--in a Hefty Cinch Sack.
Inside, I found an odd assortment of things: Easter Grass, eggs, bologna gum, and candy--all marred by tiny chew marks throughout the products and the packaging.
Honestly....Can you imagine anything cuter????
Since then, EP's been back several times: sometimes leaving jelly beans; sometimes leaving Milk Duds; always leaving love and laughter.
Since I'm not eating sugar these days, I didn't expect he'd make an appearance this year. But silly me...that big rat is nothing if not resourceful.
Look what I found when I got up this morning...
Of course, I can't eat all of it (dried fruits are a no-no). But honestly, two thumbs up for effort. My favorite part was the note....
Altered Today: Tradition, smiles, love for EP
Tags: Adventure, Best Husband in the World, Breaking Tradition, Celebrating When You Are Sick, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Illness, Easter, Easter Laugh, Easter Possum Sighting, Fibromyalgia, Healthy Easter, Healthy Easter Basket, How to Enjoy the Holidays, How to Love Someone with Chronic Illness, Lupus, Lyme, Recovering, Recovery, Sugar Free Easter, Tradition, Undiagnosed
At one time or another, we all see images hidden in everyday objects.
There was this sighting of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich...
This angry face in the heart of a pepper...
And, now, my contribution. A face that's mysteriously appeared on my nail since coming down with we think might be Lyme Disease.
It's on my middle finger. Coincidence????
Altered Today: Documenting some of the world's great unsolved mysteries. Hoping this finger can pull in as much as a grilled cheese sandwich.
Tags: Fingernails with Lyme, Giving Lyme the Finger, Hidden Meanings in Everyday Objects, Jesus Toast and Other Strange Sightings, Lyme Disease, Miraculous Sightings in Everyday Objects, Sick from Lyme, Undiagnosed
Ducks at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Living near the happiest place on earth has its advantages. Within 1/2 hour, I can step inside Cinderella's castle, visit elephants in Africa, or lose myself among throngs of tourists, pretending I am on vacation.
During healthier times, I'd go there weekly; darting from park to park, weaving from boat to bus to car, seeking only my next big adventure with my husband. We've seen a lot of magic on those grounds: bushes brought to life, lights dancing in the trees, and, of course, Hidden Mickey's.
Of everything we've enjoyed, our favorite times were those spent with animals: The cuttlefish that inked us; the deer we found at the Fort Wilderness Campground; the Spoonbills we discovered watching over their nest.
Today, feeling well enough for a drive and some outdoor relaxation, we headed toward the mouse and found a soft spot to lie...just south of napping zebra. Between the hot tub and the pool's edge, I captured these thoughts, just as two ducks settled in for a bath.
I'm relaxed today
Pain surprisingly absent
that allows me to smile
It is good to be out in the sun
good to be out in public
among the white tourists
and brown, speckled birds
with no distinction
between a hot tub
and a swimming pool,
do not bother me
Enveloped by din
I slip out of hiding
into the chill
of the open blue water
Two ducks drop by
Altered Today: Enjoying the moment. Taking a break from being sick.
Tags: A Break from Chronic Illness, A Poem from My Happier Self, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Ducks in the pool, Favorite things at Disney, Fibromyalgia, Florida Sun, Lyme Disease, My favorite times, Vacation from Illness