This blog post is about ways to make life a bit easier when you are living with chronic illness. The goal is for these to be practical tips that can help all different kinds of “Spoonies,” or Chronic Illness Warriors. And for these tips to be free or at least affordable!
Hello and Happy New Year!
I know we are all glad that the unnamed last year is behind us. But I also know that just because the clocks and calendars have changed that doesn’t mean that the proverbial puzzle pieces will suddenly fall into place. Along the same theme, this fact means that we don’t ever have to wait for a new year, month, week, or day. We can choose change at any moment.
This quote that I recently came across helped my perspective greatly:
“Don’t stress so much about settling on a path for 2017. The division of time into years is a human invention, and the fact is every moment of every day is another opportunity for resolution and growth. So when the fireworks fly, relax and enjoy the moment. The rest will come to you.
- Beau Taplin
Know this: I am all for new beginnings. However, our calendar was created by us, by humans. That’s why it’s flawed. (Flawed: always 365 days, except not. Because every 4 years we have 366 days- an uneven calendar. We couldn’t separate time evenly.)
Yet! We have something even better!
We, in all its glory, have…days. Days! They happen one at a time. And they are clearly very real because we turn in a circle and the sun “sets” and “rises.” This means something very important for us: we never need to a new calendar to make changes. (Especially since the typical “New Year resolutions” don’t tend to last long.) We don’t even need a new month or to start over on Monday.
We were given the immense blessing of a simple thing that we call a day.
And no, tomorrow isn’t always kinder than today. But we can be. We can choose to be kinder as every new morning approaches. Whether our day begins while it is still dark or whether we let the sunbeams shine across our face and wake us up then, in that moment, as we slide from a subconscious state to being conscious of ourselves and of the world around us, we are handed a choice. A choice to be kind. And who does that start with? Ourselves – we have to be kind to ourselves. And honest. Don’t get me wrong; kindness does not mean we let ourselves be entitled or allow ourselves to be selfish. Our kindness needs to come with honesty.
Go through life armed with kindness and honesty and you will find ways to make the world a better place simply by being yourself.
And that makes for a pretty good life, I would say.
To be uniquely you. And to impact the world by doing so.
So instead of saying Happy New Year, I will say to you: Happy New Day! (Whatever day you choose that to be.)
A week and a half away!! Check out this sneak peek video!
Today is the last day of August. Which means tomorrow is September 1st. Which means the day after that is Friday, September 2nd. Which means I have two weeks until the art show.
This is where I start screaming.
But really. As exciting as everything is, it is also very stressful to get so much art work and planning and organization done for the show.
Plus, earlier today I shattered one of my sculptures. I mean SHATTERED. Glass and polyurethane everywhere. And I was barefoot.
Sometimes art does not go the way you want it to go. Sometimes you have to take a break and do something else for a little bit. Run an errand. Take a drive. Meditate. (I seriously had to stay calm. Not an easy thing to do.)
To top everything off, I've stopped sleeping. Well, not completely, but pretty much.
Not sleeping is exhausting. Seriously.
So I apologize for not writing as regularly this month as I should have. But know that you guys have been on my mind and heart and I've wanted to write, but just not really been able to put everything into words. And I don't mean to complain about everything. That's not what this blog post is about. I just wanted to be honest about where things are. And doing an event like this one is hard! But hopefully worth it.
Yes, there is still so much to do, but I am determined. Everything will get done. There is a schedule and I am adhering to it so far.
I am excited to meet some of you at the show in just two and a half weeks now. There will be so much to see and do and be apart of. I truly cannot wait for you guys to see everything. So many people have been so helpful.
I was just on the phone with a friend and I realized that it was in the middle of September a year ago that I came up with the idea for this show. I don't remember the exact day, but for all I know, the date of the show could be the exact one year anniversary of the idea. Regardless, it's pretty cool to have it happen in the span of one year. People told me that it could not be done, that I was aiming too high. But there is a God who had another plan. Planets practically aligned for some of these things to happen. If only I had the time to tell the whole story. But maybe I will : )
Thank you for journeying along with me and I cannot wait to see you at the show!
That is the questions I keep asking myself. I am tired everyday, no matter how much I sleep. And it is dragging me down and down. I am not even sure how to put it into words. But even as I write this, my fingers drag and my eyelids are heavy, asking to just close for a bit and sleep. That little bit of sleep would turn into hours though.
I am not sure what to do with chronic fatigue. There is no simple answer and I feel like I am in a pit, digging and digging trying to find my way out, only to find myself further down in the hole.
Of course, there are questions I ask myself after the why's continue to roll around in my head. How are you going to complete an art show? How are you going to survive this point in your life? What if it never gets any better? What if it gets worse?
The post I wrote last week about Self-Care was mostly for myself, but I am still struggling with the idea of truly taking care of myself. I often wonder what the point is and why I should even bother.
This post today is not about an answer; it's just about honesty. Chronic fatigue is real and a horrible struggle. Your brain is fuzzy and you can't remember what you did that morning. One day, I had to ask my mom in the afternoon if we had talked that morning, literally like 3 hours earlier because I couldn't remember.
I am trying to figure out what I am going to do about this. All I have come up with is that I need to set up a regular sleeping schedule, cut back on gluten, and be walking regularly. But even that sounds like a mountain to climb in order to accomplish those things. Mental illness can really beat the motivation out of you.
Sadly, this is part of life and sometimes we have to learn to deal with the struggles that life deals us.
Today, I am writing a post about a particular person who has impacted my life so much.
To one of my best friends, Steph.
It is her birthday today and I wanted to celebrate her in a special way. So this post is to you, my dear.
Thank you for being the person who knew when to drive me to the hospital when I needed help the most.
Thank you for being a pillar of strength.
Thank you for just being you.
Let me tell you about this woman. She fights the same demons that I do, as far as mental health goes. I'm pretty sure our demons get together every so often and have tea together. But no matter how hard they fight against us, she is fighting for herself and for our friendship. She fights for me and do my best to do the same for her.
This amazing person is who is helping me manage my art show, as far as personal stuff goes, and is helping to manage me, which I know cannot be easy. She asks for nothing in return for helping me. She merely wants to see my dreams fulfilled and is ready to do what it takes to get there.
Any time I get overly emotional, she is there to bring me back from the ledge. She is patient and trusting. And I trust her with my spirit.
I hope to help her accomplish her dreams as well and see her flourish and have a fulfilled life, beyond what she could imagine.
We share in a Dr. Pepper addiction. And it is all too often that we meet up and one of us has brought two drinks, so that we each have our own.
Throughout my journey in our friendship, she has always encouraged me to be exactly who I am and never shunned me for being different or weird. (Except for that time I told her that I hated bacon. Yeah, she got a little bit upset about that. But now she realizes that means there's more for her, so she feels better about it.)
I am so excited to see what God does with your life and where he takes you and the dreams you get to see come to fruition in your life.
I love you very much. Have the most magnificent of days.
I've probably spent more time looking out this window than doing anything else. The leaves in full bloom, trees arching over the tops of the glass, glistening water reflecting on the rooftop in the deepest night. In the winter, the trees turn bare and leave reflections on my bedroom floor as the sun descends. Throughout it all I've spent many hours simply sitting on my bed, in awe of simple beauty and light.
Many people may think that dreams are sprung from intense reflection or drudging work, but oh so many of my dreams erupted from this window, these trees, this glass, that water. Simplicity may seem like our greatest enemy, but it's my dearest friend.
Simplicity brought my walls bare and caused me to find a way to adorn them.
Simplicity caused me to stay enclosed in a color palette and focus on shade rather than color.
Simplicity decided to take hold of my work and bring out the natural details that all too often go unnoticed from our busy human eye.
When people stare deeply into my sketches, entranced by details, all I see is simplicity. I see each stroke, all alike, all in uniform. They see detail, but I see simplicity.
Would you like to know how the mind of the artist works? It takes the littlest of things and attempts to expand its beauty. The artist aims to take the glimmers of beauty she finds, and magnify their impact, so every commonplace person can see.
I've said before that an artist's main job is to make intangible emotions, tangible: real. And that's what I'm doing. As I stare out that window, clearing my head, calming my soul; I'm finding the emotion, identifying its imagery, and dreaming up a way to bring it to reality.
Never begin to think that you're purpose or dreams are too simple, for it is out of simple things that beauty and greatness grow.