Monday, May 30, 2016

Pain and Healing

As I was cleaning and decluttering my craft space I came across a folder I made...well maybe 2-3 years ago. It was a pain folder.  At that time I was having such horrible piriformis pain, in my right hip.  It was so bad I didn't want to walk or stand anywhere.  I had to time my errands and activity.  I tried everything I could think of or read online, ice, heat, massage, stretching, strengthening, herbal remedies and anti-inflammatory medication.  But nothing seemed to work.  I remember that at the end of the day I would just collapse in bed and cry, it just hurt.  It was such an inconvenience for everyone as I couldn't stand in one place for longer than 5 minutes and after standing, walking only helped for a few minutes more then that became painful.  I went from walking 2-4 miles a few times a week, to not walking at all except for what was necessary, the grocery store, errands etc.

It was really getting me down at some point.  I wondered if it would ever get any better.  So I sat down one day and made this folder.

On the inside I journaled all across the folder, top to bottom, then turned it over and wrote bottom to top and then across the folder sideways.  I just wrote down every negative thing I was associating with this pain: what it felt like, how it made me feel about myself, everything I couldn't do that I wanted to, how I felt the pain impacted my family, how much I hated living in this chronic pain.  Then I cut out pictures from magazines that represented the pain, and me and my feeling while dealing with the pain.  I painted and adorned those pages.  Then I added a pocket to hold a poem I found about pain.

On the outside I journaled everything positive.  Everything I wanted to do when I was pain free, how it would feel, how *I* would feel.  All my hopes about the outcome.  What I would be able to do with family and friends, my goals, my dreams, my expectations, as I knew I would find a way out of this.  Then I also did the same with the outside, painting over my journaling, adding pictures from magazines.  And I set this folder aside.

I finally found an answer, although it took the better part of a year to figure it out.  And now I am pain free, well except for the normal aches and pains, but that chronic debilitating pain it gone.  So this folder showed up again.  And a couple of days later we had friends over and a fire in our outside firepit, and I burned this folder along with a couple of letters waiting to be burned.  I am grateful for the experience, relieved it is over, and that I am stronger and more capable now.

Great way to heal is to get things out on paper if you ever need to express yourself or are having a difficult period. It is sort of cathartic to get it out on paper and highly recommended to help in any healing process, physical or emotional.  Try it the next time you are going through a tough time. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Birthday Cake: Friday Photo

This is a cooperative blogging post, to see Nancy's Friday Photo visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mom's Voice

A friend of mine lost her mom recently, and she commented on social media about her mother's voice on voicemail, and all the comments that followed were from people who also saved voicemail from their loved ones.  I just broke down in tears, not graceful tears that you dab from the corner of your eye. But the blubbering, messy, puffy-eyed tears, need a towel kind of tears.  I am so envious.  I wish I could hear my mother's voice.  It has been so long I can't remember her voice.  I would give almost anything to hear her voice again, just one time.  I can hear her laugh but her voice is just out of reach.

She is so lucky to have that to hang onto.  I know she isn't feeling lucky right now, but I know this amazing and powerful woman and I know she will work through all these feelings in her own time.  She will come out the other side of this, changed but strong.  She will have to figure out how to live in a world without her mom, just as many of us have already done.  But she will, I know this.  And in time she will be so grateful she has that voicemail to hear once in a while, when she needs just that little extra boost.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Miracle Morning Update

So I have been participating in the Miracle Morning for over a month now.  If you haven't read the book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), the premise is that there are things you should be doing daily, in the morning that will improve your life, help you to live a level 10 life.  Those things include, time in silence, writing/journaling, reading, exercise, saying affirmations, and visualization.

I actually have been exercising regularly anyway, although not in the morning generally.  I meditate, but not really on a regular basis.  I also journal daily and read quite a bit, although I probably don't read daily.  I have never visualized my day or my life before.  I do set goals and track habits and tasks that help me reach my goals.  I don't really say affirmations either.  Not that there aren't affirmation and sayings that I like, but I don't repeat affirmations to myself or aloud on a daily basis.

So, I know if you are wondering if my life changed dramatically.  Well, no not really.  I am a pretty positive person, and I do set goals and work toward goals and dreams.  But doing all of this stuff in the morning has not made anything fall into place, it hasn't suddenly motivated me to do more, be more.  I have had no epiphany, no awakening, no sudden burst of energy to tackle the day by just doing these things consistently every day, every morning.

I do still get up around 5:30 every morning, I have been doing that for years.  And I do like some activity in the morning, so I think I will keep doing my yoga in the morning, followed up by a Curves workout (generally around 10:00 AM).  I like sitting in silence after my yoga, so I am keeping that one.  And I have enjoyed reading consistently every morning, so I think I will keep the reading and journaling as well.  So this will be MY miracle, silence, reading, journaling.  Because I enjoy them.  And the rest can go. I am not saying you should not try your own Miracle Morning experiment.  I have met some wonderful people who were also giving the Miracle Morning a try.  Many of them have found life affirming benefits.  So give it a try if you are curious.  I hope you find just what you are looking for!

Hmmm I see now it was guaranteed to transform my life, says so right in the title.  Wonder if I can get my money back.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

GSC 2016 Update

OK so over a month later and things are going great.  I have gotten rid of so much STUFF.  It feels great. Things feel like they have a place. But I am not finished, I have one BIG project left and a couple of small things. The BIG project is all my craft stuff, too much and too disorganized.  I am excited to dive in, purge and reorganize.  That will just make things so much easier.

But I am not touching Jackson's stuff or the boys either.  The boys are actually pretty neat and keep their things organized in their rooms for the most part.  Jackson on the other hand....oh yea.  This is something I struggle with.  Not that I want to clean, purge or organize his stuff.  I accepted LONG ago that he really likes to hang onto things.  And, for the most part, I am OK with that. I just wish I didn't have to look at it daily. I think that it is his stuff, he knows I would help if he wanted it. Our bedroom is just as much his space as it is mine.  Most of it is organized and very much zen like for me.  I have my altar space, my bedside stand that is clean and organized.  But every day I have to look at this:

Ugghhh!, Yes he leaves his closet door open, I did not open it for the picture.  He tosses his things and clothes everywhere, well not everywhere, but in that corner.  It makes me feel unsettled to look at it.  The door to the bedroom is just to the left in the photo, and there is a dresser to the right.  I know many of you feel my pain, and others probably do not see what I mean.  Whew, not sure how to get used to this, or find a way to change it or hide it from my view, that does not impact his way of living in the space in a negative way.  If anyone has a ideas please comment, I would love to hear what you have done in your own home.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hawksbill Hike...Mother's Day Update

Mother's Day was good this year.  Twice I started crying, but for the most part I just enjoyed the day with my family.  We did hike Hawksbill, which was amazing.  The drive there we passed a couple of cemeteries, hard not to think about my own mother and all that she is missing, and me missing her.  But while hiking and picnicking at the top, how can you feel anything but grounded to this magnificent earth and at the same time feel like you have wings and can fly. Amazing views, I mean truly incredible.  There were a few other people hiking as well, but not many.  It was a great few hours getting away.

And in the evening, just sitting and watch something on TV with my family, I broke down crying again. Not sure at what, but it almost felt like I HAD to cry it out, so I did, and was done with it.  I just had to sit with those feelings for just a moment.  I feel like it was a release, and then by Monday morning I really felt like a weight was lifted off my heart.  Things felt right and normal again.  I may just need to get used to these feelings.  You would think that after 20 years of not having my mother on Mother's Day, I would learn to live in this world without her.  But it doesn't seem to get easier on these special days.  I celebrate her and share the joy that I found in her and at the same time miss her so deeply, miss talking to her, miss hugging her, miss that my boys will never know what it is like to have grandparents.  So many things.

I do love being a mother, I wish I could have been a mother and a daughter at the same time, but that isn't how my life worked out.  I had a beautiful Mother's Day and really feel like I am moving in the right directions with this celebration.  I hope to look back on these posts as the years pass and change my plans to make this day even more special for me.  But for now, it was what it was and I am happy, and life is just so good.  I, of course, took pictures to share.  You will agree, the view is breathtaking!

Lunch, of course, was the fabulous Mountain Burrito!

My view for lunch.

And these were my Mother's Day flowers.  Jackson picked them up at the farmer's market, just perfect.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Antelope Canyon-Friday Photo

 More pics from our trip.  Antelope Canyon.

 This is a cooperative blogging post.  To see Nancy's Friday Photo post visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mother's Day

Sunday night I was sitting on the couch just thinking.  Thinking about how on edge I was feeling, like I was balancing on a cliff and any movement would push me off. Then it hit me....Mother's Day is coming up.  I remember feeling this way last year.  So I looked up my blog post from last year.  Last year it hit me after Mother's Day, so this is improvement right?!  I am recognizing these feelings earlier.  Last year I promised myself that this year would be different, so that is my goal.  I am going to change the traditions surrounding Mother's Day for me.  I am going to make it different so I can enjoy being a mother and not be so sad and edgy about not having MY mother here.  I want this to be a special day, something more.

So my first thought is to celebrate my own mother.  This year I am writing her a letter.  This is something I used to do when she first died, I wrote to her every day, wrote down all those things I would be telling her on the phone, sharing my days with her.  I am in the process of writing that letter now but it will probably be a bit longer.  Sheesh there is so much to share, so much I want to tell her, so much she has missed, so much I need to say.  So far, it has been cathartic.  I think I have felt every emotion there is to feel, in writing this letter.  I think this will be good for me.  I didn't want to write this letter ON Mother's Day, I want that to be a day for me, a wonderful, happy day so I can create memories and celebrate being a mother.  So I am writing it early, before Mother's Day.  

I would encourage this for anyone that has lost a mother or a child, and is having a difficult time around Mother's Day.  Write to your loved one/s.  Let them know how you feel (the happy and the sad) what they have missed (the good and the bad).  Just pour out your heart to them.  

My boys have already asked what I want for Mother's Day and at first I had told them what I would like them to make me (they are so crafty).  But I am changing my mind.  They always wait until the last minute and then I end up spending Mother's Day pretty much alone, as they are working on my gift.  So this year I want to hike, take a picnic and go out somewhere hiking.  We have such great times hiking, joking, laughing, talking.  And then maybe out to dinner.  I know, Mother's Day dinner, restaurants will probably be packed, we shall see.  Maybe a movie or a game, something together.  That will be fun and different.  

I am creating my own tradition for Mother's Day this year and it will be awesome.  I will celebrate the mother I have lost, and celebrate the mother that I am.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day, and make it a special day for you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lactation Rooms at Airports

I just read a post on facebook about a bill that would require clean, safe, lactation rooms at airports for nursing/pumping moms.  I didn't want to comment there and hijack the thread but I have mixed feelings about this.

I just wonder about the ramifications.  I breastfed both of my boys at various ages, in airports, and on airplanes, with no problems at all.  I do recognize that I was not shy about that.  When my kids needed/wanted to nurse, I didn't even give it a thought, I just nursed.  I know that other moms might be more sensitive about breastfeeding in public than I.

But when special rooms are created for this purpose alone, are we further stigmatizing breastfeeding as a "not normal" situation?  Are we taking it further out of the public view, placing it behind closed doors and giving the impression that breastfeeding belongs there?  That it should be private and not seen?  I would hate to see that happen.  For those opposed to public breastfeeding, would this give them one more bullet to shun it back to the back room.  I mean after all "airports have special rooms for that".  Like it is meant to be there.

Another concern of mine is that if there is a room provided for breastfeeding, will it become mandatory to breastfeed "only" in that room?  So if some mom decides to feed her child at the gate, waiting for boarding, will an airline employee stop them and insist they go to the lactation room?  I mean it is provided just for that purpose.  So mom's wouldn't be able to feed their child on demand, might miss a flight if they choose to nurse.  Some airports are HUGE, and providing one lactation room might be pointless.  Can you see where I am going with this.

I am honestly not opposed to a lactation room as such. I feel that moms that want that kind of privacy for themselves or for nursing babies/toddlers that are distracted easily, should have it.  And for those who feel they need to go somewhere private to nurse, it is a great option.  But will there be ramifications that we haven't thought of yet?  I don't know the answers, but it will be interesting to follow.