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30-Day Project: March failure/April potential

30-day Project

March was almost a complete failure. I tried to be conscious of what I was eating and how it made me feel, but I didn’t really write it down. Ever. If the point was to be more aware, then yay! If it was to actually write shit down, not so much. But, can’t dwell on failure forever!

April will complete one year of these 30-day Projects. I was thinking I’d go out with something big, but I’m more realistic than that. April is also CampNaNoWriMo, and I will be participating this year again and using it for the 30-day Project.

What I like about CampNaNo is that I get to set the amount I want to write, unlike NaNoWriMo, which is 50,000 words to “win.” I’ve set a nice low number of 10,000 words for this April. I *should* be able to do that. I won’t be giving myself daily goals, but rather that over the course of April, I hit that 10,000 words.

The decision to write to publish instead of just for fun ended up paralyzing me. I felt like if I couldn’t get out a perfect draft the first time around then I was a crappy writer and I shouldn’t even bother. I don’t know if it’s perfectionism or impostor syndrome or WHAT that makes me have those kinds of crazy thoughts. They’re unhealthy though.

I’m guessing that almost no one has a perfect draft the first time around, even people who plan when they write. For people who just sort of go with whatever comes into their heads (like I do), it would have to be nearly impossible. You have no idea where the story is going to go so you can’t possibly know what you’d be missing, what detail that seemed insignificant is now huge or what seemed so big that became so small.

I’m using April and CampNaNo to change how I think about my writing and just go back to having fun. I can usually get the core story out that way. I can go back and edit/change/add as I need to so that the story becomes a fully rounded entity.

Fingers crossed that this gets me away from my self-destructive ways!

Stand in the Light and Let Your Human Power Shine

retro heart

Mr. Lyndsy and I love watching The Voice. I don’t know if it’s the blind audition that sucked me in, but it’s just different than other shows like it. Last season was the first I’d ever seen of it and it brought us Jordan Smith. That man has the voice of an angel. His talent is absolutely insane. We finally got his new album and were jamming the other day on the way to the mall.

“Stand in the Light” came on and I was immediately taken. Goosebumps on my arms and head. The chorus is just so important to me.

This is who I am inside
This is who I am, I’m not going to hide
Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far
To stand in the light and be seen as we are
So stand in the light and be seen as we are

My first response was sadness. I’m so fortunate in my life that I get to be who I am and people love and support me for it. I’ve got tattoos, piercings, sickness I can’t control which occasionally includes a total crying breakdown. My raunchy sense of humor and vulgar mouth have found homes with many friends. I have outlets for my creative goals and willing victims when I want to try something new spiritually.

The idea that there are people who feel like they can’t be themselves makes me incredibly sad. We should all get to be who we are. We’re all uniquely built and that uniqueness is needed by the Universe. That’s a beautiful thing.

The other thing that occurred to me is how incredibly talented I am not when it comes to singing. I always expect that dogs and cats will howl along when I sing. It hasn’t happened yet, but I feel like it’s just a matter of time. Jordan Smith’s talent is unquestionable and nothing short of amazing.

I believe we all have an amazing talent. When it’s not something easily recognized because of what society prizes, I think we lose sight of it. That leaves us feeling depressed and like we don’t have value. That’s simply not true.

Great capacity for kindness is a talent. Having scores of empathy. Being great at math and science. All of these things matter and we need all of it.

So if you feel like you don’t have something, know you do. It may require a step back and away from the norms we’ve come to accept, but it’s there. I promise. If you don’t believe me, reach out. I’ll help you find it.

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Jar of Good Choices

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about how much she was enjoying her daughter’s imaginative play. Her daughter had selected a doctor doll as her prize after filling a container with marbles because she made good choices.

This got me thinking. *I* could use a jar of good choices. I may not be a kid anymore, but being an adult doesn’t mean I make good choices. My high blood sugar readings, stomachaches, and dwindling bank account certainly suggest that I often make poor choices.

So I decided to make myself a Jar of Good Choices. The added bonus was that I finally used the Silhouette Portrait my mom got me for Christmas… in 2014.

Jar of Good Choices

For me, good choices will revolve around things like choosing to cook instead of ordering fast food for delivery (it’s the worst thing ever that I can do that here), selecting water to drink instead of soda, delaying buying things that I don’t really need but just want to make sure I do actually want them, going for walks, etc.

I need to find marbles or something I can put in the jar and determine what my reward plan will be. I know that there’s a video game I want that’s kind of expensive (LEGO Dimensions), books that I don’t want to buy but want to read, more Jamberry wraps.

I’m not sure whether I should feel ridiculous about doing this, but whatever. I think the assumptions about what adults should be like are ridiculous. The fact that most video game systems are built around achievements or trophies tells us that adults still like to get rewards for shit they do. This isn’t that different.

I now have my jar. Now to find the first marble to put in. You know, for making the jar in the first place…

Random Thoughts: When Idols Become Human

lightbulb

I finished “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green yesterday. Since I’m so late to the game on the book I doubt I’ll be spoiling anything for anyone by saying that the main character is disappointed when she meets the author of the book by which she lives her life.

It got me thinking about Mr. Lyndsy telling me he met one of his football (read: soccer) idols and was incredibly disappointed by the encounter.

I have often thought that there were certain people I’d never want to meet, lest they ruin my image of them. It’s usually actors/actresses I find hilarious. I don’t want to find out that they’re just really good actors and not funny at all. Or that they’re phenomenal douchebags.

But, what dawned on me yesterday is that it’s actually a good thing that we see them as imperfect and human. We set them apart and look at what they do as something we can’t achieve. The reality is that we can achieve it. It’s only when we see them as human that we understand that.

So, Benedict Cumberbatch, let me know when you want to hang out, I’ll make it happen.

Health Update – Progress on my back!

I went in to see the foot surgeon yesterday and spent five hours (yes, FIVE) at the clinic yesterday between waiting to be seen and waiting for a referral form and prescription. Good thing is that I think it may have been worth it.

The point of the appointment was to look at the MRI I had done at the end of February to make sure there wasn’t any nerve impingement that was causing the pain in my leg. I didn’t think there would be, but it’s good to make sure. I also wanted to see if we could figure out what’s causing my continued low back pain.

I was shocked to see that I still have trace bulges at the L4-S1. I figured once they did the fusion that wouldn’t be an issue anymore. The surgeon didn’t seem concerned since a lot of people live with trace bulges.

That may be true for most people, but for someone like me, with a congenitally narrow spinal canal, it’s not great to have anything that pushes in. Especially since across from where the discs are, I have some inflammation. Overall, this contributes to a pushing in on the nerve roots.

Because I do have continued pain, the orthopedic surgeon referred me to another doctor who specializes in the spine. That appointment is set for mid-April. Hopefully he and I can come up with a pain plan. He may want me to go back to physical therapy, which would be great. It did help before. I’ve also had epidural steroid injections (those didn’t help though and I ended up feeling weird the next day).

In order to deal with the nerve pain in my leg (since we know it’s not radicular pain from my back, the foot doctor gave me a 30-day prescription for Lyrica. I don’t know if I was just wiped out yesterday or if it was the Lyrica, but I had one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in a while. I’ve read some great things about Lyrica, so I hope I feel the effects too!

April should be a good month for health progress – I start shockwave treatments and the spine doc should be able to help. I also head back to the endocrinologist. Maybe he’ll finally address my fatigue.

 

The Shoulds

A big struggle in my life right now is dealing with The Shoulds. I’m over it for the most part in certain areas – that I should talk like a lady, that I should have a certain body type – but there are bigger areas that I can’t shake it. Like when it comes to working.

I’ve obviously got some struggles with my health. Sometimes things are okay (not great, but okay) for a while and then BAM! I get hit with a big ass 2×4 and I’m down and out for a while. I have to be particular about how I use my time. Sometimes I can’t tell until it’s too late that something is going to steal all of my spoons.

The problem is that I have student loans. All those fancy letters weren’t cheap. When Mr. Lyndsy and I were getting to know each other, I told him that was my debt and that he wouldn’t ever be responsible for it. But here we are now. My health is such that I feel pretty gross a lot of the time. I work, but it’s not paying the loans. I can’t work in a traditional setting here because I wouldn’t have the protections I would back home. Even if I managed to not get fired for all the time I’d have to take off or because I can’t make it in before 10am, I wouldn’t be able to do anything EXCEPT work. My life would be look like this: Struggle to get up, get to work, work, go home, pass out.

Which brings me to my real issue: Do I have the right to have a life or should I force myself to work even if that’s all I could do? We live here to save money and saving would be severely hampered by me not working. If I were in the US, I probably would have already filed a claim for social security disability, and I don’t say that lightly. Because I don’t live in the US, I can’t do that, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

There’s a voice inside my head, I’ll call it MOM, that is yelling at me and saying, “Of course you should work! It is your responsibility to pay those loans. Your husband does not pay those for you! So what if you can do nothing else? Life is about sacrifice! And, are you really THAT sick?”

And then there’s another voice, quieter though, that says, “But how is that living? Is it even worth being around if that’s all you do?”

Then I end up in a downward spiral because I know that my body would suffer tremendously if I tried to work like I would need to in order to pay my loans. They work longer hours here and many jobs are 6 days per week. More than once I’ve thought something along the lines of, “If you can’t work, you shouldn’t be anymore. Do something about that.” Then I have to work to pull myself out of that dark place.

It makes me sad that I feel like my life doesn’t have value unless I’m sacrificing everything to work. Is that really an American value? Work at all costs? You have no value unless you work?

I didn’t ask for any of it. I don’t think my current conditions are my fault, I don’t think I did anything to cause them. I think my mom blames me for the diabetes, but science doesn’t exactly support her on that. I also don’t think I gave myself an autoimmune thyroid condition either (and I’m pretty sure this is what causes the crushing fatigue and brain fog that make my life hard). The neurosurgeon who did the spinal fusion surgery looked at my MRIs and said I was born with a bad back. (Back issues are what the vast majority of social security disability claims are for.)

And yet, I feel like I have to push myself anyway. I buy into the idea that I’m not THAT badly off, so I need to push myself to work. It can’t hurt my body that much, can it?

Shockwave Treatment: Commencing April 5

I finally got into the doctor to see about getting rid of the pain in my achilles tendon. (I made this appointment in early January.) Since I’ve been weight-bearing  after the surgery, I’ve had pain in my achilles. I thought I tweaked it (and I may have) but the surgeon said that the lengthening he did could cause pain and inflammation. So he referred me to another doctor for treatment. The real issue is that it affects my gait, which probably causing hip pain from time to time. I’ve got a vacation coming up that will involve a lot of walking, so I need to get as healthy as possible!

I totally love the doctor. Because my tendon transfer was so unusual and because of my tattoos (lots of doctors apparently watched the surgery), I’m pretty memorable there. There were two doctors there and they were both really nice. The one I was referred to discovered that I actually have a lot of pain in the ball of my foot and created a foam support to help with that until I get firmer shoes.

He was very cautious in promising results from the treatment, but said that it does help a lot of people. I may not get a 100% reduction in pain. I told him I would take anything at this point.

From what I gather this will be a multiple-session event. The only downside is the traffic getting to the office. I just hope I can get some relief and start walking more normally. As a bonus, I get to go shoe shopping!

Personal Mission Statement: In Progress

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m doing with my life (I feel like I’ve even written that sentence before on this blog). I’m not sure that all this thinking is productive though. It doesn’t seem to have any kind of end result. Without that end result, it’s hard to take action. It would be nice to act and live purposefully.

Stephen Covey’s book “How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement” was available on Kindle Unlimited. I think I read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” but even if I didn’t finish it, the guy seems to know what he’s talking about.

The book is fairly short but gives plenty of guidance on what a personal mission statement should include and urges you to include the four important areas of life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – in the statement so the no area of life is left lacking.

When I bought the book I assumed that I would have a good idea of what my personal mission statement was. Covey says you should take weeks, if not months, to develop your statement. I laughed. Until I read more.  Turns out I was wrong. I started spelling it out in my head, but faltered. Quickly.

My initial thought was pretty shallow and I couldn’t see crafting what is supposed to be a timeless statement around what I had in my head. That life would have been unfulfilling. As I read more, I was able to add some things to it, but it’s still not quite right. It’s not a life-long statement.

I’m going to spend some time thinking about this, taking notes as I think of them. Hopefully over the next few weeks or months I’ll be able to develop something I can live by.

Do you ave a personal mission statement? Are you interested in creating one?