Sunrise

Sunrise, dawn of a new day and the opportunity for endless pleasures.

I woke up in so much pain that it hurt to even roll over to crawl out of bed.  The first thought was “oh man, this is going to be one of those days” but luckily for me another thought popped into my head squashing that one and it was the voice of my hubby saying to me last night “I put the hot tub on for you”.  Ahhhhh, relief was in sight.  I nudged him and asked him if he could take off the top for me and of course he responded with “sure baby”.  I have one good, good man by my side.  He wandered back in the house and told me it was at 102.  This made me very happy.

I grabbed a towel, and snuck out their in my birthday suit (lucky for me none of my neighbors windows are able to look into our backyard and we have no neighbors at all to the rear of us).  I slipped into that water and into pure bliss.  Is there anything better than submerging yourself in a perfectly warm pool of water?  Well yes there is because my day got even better.  The sun was just rising so I got to watch the colors emerge through our big ol’ Oak tree painting the sky in soft pink and gold, just beautiful.  And then the piece de resistance, my hubby brought me a cup of hot sweet tea.  Now I’m thinking to myself that life is good, really good and aren’t I lucky to have such a loving and caring hubby, to be able to get to enjoy the sunrise and listen to the world as it comes awake.  As my soul awakens the pain recedes some and I think what a great day this is going to be.

After I got out I headed into the shower to wash off the chlorine and enjoy a little more heat and the whole time I’m in their the kittens are just having a great time right outside the shower doors chasing each other, attacking their own images in the bathroom mirror, and basically getting into mischief with my makeup brushes, the cords we have around the sinks, etc.  It was quite fun to watch them.  And then in their exuberance they chased each other in to the toilet room and up onto the toilet itself and oops in they went.  I had forgotten to put the lid back down.  I burst out laughing and luckily they managed to catch themselves before they completely went in so it was only the tips of their tails and a little bit of their hind legs that got wet, but boy if you could have seen the expressions on their face of pure annoyance you’d have been laughing with me.

As I stood there towelling off I reflected that I hadn’t even been up an hour and yet I’d already enjoyed so many simple pleasures.  Isn’t that what life is all about after all, I know it is for me.

CAUTION … Public Displays of Affection up Ahead

Truly, deep down into the uttermost reaches of my being, I am not a PDA type person.  Must have been all that good christian upbringing my Grandma raised me, and all my friends, up on but in her mind everything was pretty black and white with nary any grey in sight.  For instance, you don’t kiss every boy you meet, and the ones you want to kiss you make wait a long while until you know deep down that they’re deserving of such an honor.  She also was fond of saying you don’t give compliments out like candy unless they are duly warranted.  Me, I like to give compliments even if it’s something as simple as “That outfit really fits you well and lends a little oomph to who you are today.”  This could be said to a complete stranger or someone I’ve known a while but my point is that they may not have been duly warranted, but that doesn’t negate that it is my truth and it makes me feel good to say it, and hopefully makes them feel good to have it acknowledged.  Grandma would say some things – well actually most of them when it comes to physical displays, are best left to one’s own imagination and no one else’s.  Have to say I agree with that one 100%.  And I guess you could say over time her little phrases became embedded in me and a part of who I am even to this day and morphed into what I believe for the most part.

Larry and I to are on two different end of the spectrum when it comes to PDA’s.  I’m okay with hugs – hugs of hello or goodbye, all-encompassing “I’m so sorry” hugs, or simply you’re the best type of hugs.  But when it goes beyond that it puts me off.  I feel on display and embarrassed, which in turn makes me prickly and not cooperative at all.  Larry on the other hand he’s all for PDA’s, any where, any time, for any reason.  If he loves you, or likes you, feels you need to be lifted up in spirit, he is your man.  Arms outstretched, lips at the ready, a quick wink… whatever it takes he’s going supply it if it will make your day a better one and in return make his a better one.  I get that part of it, I do and would like to be able to give that freely as well but I just can’t at this stage of my life.

Even giving kudos’ to family and friends when they’ve helped me is difficult.  Not in the sense of telling them directly, but in doing it over say Facebook for all the world to see.  I feel like those are personal moments, shared with whomever was present at the time, and the words and gestures of appreciation, or comfort, or whatever don’t need to go beyond that.  Don’t ask me what the basis for this behavior is because I don’t have an answer, it’s just how I feel.  If I had to guess I’d say a part of it for me is I’ve always liked to be the Wizard behind the curtain like in Oz.  I got to make all the magic happen and allow the wonder to flow out freely to all who chose to enjoy it and didn’t need or want the kudos’ of this magnificent thing they’d just been a part of.  Even in my old life, my working life, I would create fun and interesting off-site meetings, working my tail off to get my company the best rates for travel, rooms, food and beverages not to name the number of personal hours I may put in coming up with and then creating those special little personal touches that make any trip, and especially a work trip, so memorable.  One example may be tracking down the best chef and location in the Napa Valley and having all of us cook dinner together under this renowned chef to make us feel more like a family than just co-workers.  Or putting together welcome baskets which each individuals favorite things so that they would feel like they weren’t so far from home – could be a favorite tea, a certain magazine or book type that they like to read, or a favorite soap.  Whatever it was, the joy for me was assembling something I knew they’d get pleasure out of.

Now having said all that I’m going to shout out my PDA’s today.  To my favorite girlie – Jessica, who lent me a car so my hubby could take my truck up to beer camp for the weekend.  Not only did she loan me the car, but gave me breaks here and there with Joey and my Mom and I really appreciate those impromptu gifts from the heart.  And of course I can’t forget her gift of motivation – she actually got me up off my behind by helping me organize my laundry room (it’s still a work in progress), and vacuuming while me and the kiddo’s picked up toys, papers, clothes, etc.  Between her and I we almost got my household caught up on the piles of laundry that always seem to get away from me.

And to my favorite man – my hubby, I want to say thanks for staying in touch while you were away on your special annual retreat.  Just hearing your voice brings me peace, well maybe not peace when it’s a 2:00 AM drunk rambling – I mean it is beer camp after all, but this year you done good keeping us tethered together during appropriate hours.  I also appreciate that you made it home fairly early on a Sunday morning and stepped in and pickup up where I had left off.  Continuing with the laundry, and cooking all of us that fabulously healthy fish dinner.  I really needed that, and to just have those couple of hours to myself after the last couple of crazy weeks and you delivered.  I love you.

So I guess I can do some PDS’s within reason, and if it makes my hubby happy then I guess I can do the occasional kiss in public (no tongue Larry so don’t get any ideas), because some public displays of affection are appropriate.

Beautiful Blogger… yep that’s me

 

I have been nominated by Stacie at http://staciegh.wordpress.com who writes a beautiful blog called Dancing in the Rain.   Her blog always gives me a new perspective and lifts me up and usually brings a smile to my face.  She has made me realize that it’s not just my own family and friends that read my blog but there are others out there who do to.  It also opens up a whole new world of possibilities for making friends from all over the world which I find so exciting and one more benefit of putting my writing out there.  Thank you Stacie, your nomination really touched my heart and I hope we can become friends from this point forward.
 
 Here are the rules for The Beautiful Blogger Award:
 
1) Write a little something about the Beautiful Blogger who nominated you with the award.  See above.  And don’t forget to go and check out their blog too.

2) Share 7 things about yourself.

  • I’m a certified massage therapist.  Though my FM has really limited what I’m capable of doing in this field.  I hope one day to recover enough to get back to doing it as I worked with a lot of battered women.
  • I love to laugh.
  • I would love to write a children’s book and to have more of my poetry published.
  • I used to train dogs for a living and still help friends out with their pups.
  • I absolutely love chocolate and hot tea.  If I had those two things on a daily basis I would have to consider that day a good one regardless of my pain level.
  • I love being a mom and an older one at that (I had Joey at the age of 41) and would love to adopt a little sister for him and us as a family.
  • I love to bike ride with my son, taking my service dog Hoss along for a run, and having great conversations with my little guy during the journey.

3) Nominate another write who’s blog you really love.

4) List blogs that you enjoy and/or have nominated for an award.

All of these blogs are absolutely wonderful and really lift me up most days so please take a moment and go check them out.  A lot of them have to do with FM but in a fun and positive way, motherhood, or creativity.

Thank You Stacie for nominating me.  It means the world to me and has encouraged me to keep on writing.

Lucky Me

Yesterday was a hard day for me as I had practically no energy and was aching all over, but I didn’t have time for self-care since I had to get Joey to his dental appointment, then on to school, and needed to get some grocery shopping done.  We made the dental appointment – no sugar bugs so we were both really happy and I was extremely proud of how well he worked both with the dental technician and his doctor Miss Jenny, but I decided to blow off school as he’d only have gotten in 1 1/2 hours and it would have meant more running around on my part.  So off he, my service dog Hoss, and I went to the grocery store.  $81.00 later I had a basket full of fresh veggies and fruits and a few staples and we were off to home.  By the time I got done unloading the car and putting everything away I felt like I just wanted to lay down and die but you can’t do that when you have an almost 5-year-old and a 74-year-old mother that you have to take care of.  Joey was easy for lunch since he’d begged for a pizza Lunchable at the store and I quickly whipped up some eggs for my mom along with some honeydew melon.  And by the way, that honeydew melon was the sweetest thing I think I’ve ever tasted; it turned out to be one of my simple pleasures of the day.

While they were eating their lunches I decided to lay down for a little bit.  When Joey was done he crawled up on the bed with me and asked, “Mom do you need a nap?” and I responded that I did.  He said big boys like him didn’t take naps anymore but he could stay in bed with me and watch cartoons on the computer while I had an afternoon nap.  He was so earnest in his statement that it made me almost cry.  He watched cartoons and I got to rest for about an hour.

When we crawled out of my big ol’ comfy bed I told him he had to do school work since he’d missed school that day and he got so excited which made me happy that he was so enthused.  I got out my pre-K school bin and we worked for about an hour.  He did tracing of diagonal lines, circles, squares as well as counting the number of each that he was tracing.  Then we went on to ABC flashcards, which I now realize we need to be doing much more often, and went through them tracing the letter with his finger and saying them out loud.  Then I had him pull out all the letters for his nickname JOEY and spell it out in the correct order.  He was excellent at this last task and I was so proud.  When this was completed I had him trace his proper name six times and he did it nearly perfect on 5 out of 6 times.

I feel so lucky to have a child who loves learning and approaches it with enthusiasm, and to have a child who somewhat understands that Mommy has good and bad days and takes them in stride.  All I can say is “I LOVE me some Joey”.

The best things aren’t things, but moments

I came across this quote by Eckhart Tolle and it just resonated with me.

“Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” …

I find as I age this is more and more true for me.  When I was in my 20’s I felt like I had to compete at work, at home, with my friends regardless of the cost.  I might have had material wealth with the best vehicle, the hippest clothes, etc. but inside where it counted I was empty.  Now in my 40’s, dealing with my FM, I’ve come to realize that none of those things really matter.  Health matters.  Family matters.  Moments matter.  And with this realization comes the reward because I know in my heart that I am so blessed.  I have the love of my family.  The joy of raising one energetic, bright, lovely little boy.  The ability to settle into quite time and take in the beauty of nature around me.  The simplest things bring me pleasure – like my first cup of tea in the morning, cuddling with my son after he crawls into bed with me each morning, carefree car rides with just my hubby where we get to hold hands and talk (and the ironic part is that most of these rides take place on the way to and from errands).  Yes I am rich in all the ways that matter.
When I was diagnosed with FM back in 2001 I thought my life was over and in a way it was because I could no longer do things as I had – usually at a fast pace.  FM forced me to slow down with turned out to be a gift in its own way.  I now can’t do those long hikes into the woods but I can park close to the forest and walk a ways in and as I do I have the time to really notice the dew on the grass, the evolution of colors as Fall rolls in, the quiet that can only be had when you get out of civilization.  I can’t ride 8 or 10 miles on my bike but I can tool around the neighborhood with Joey, seeing our community through his eyes, noticing dogs along the way or birds, which houses have kids out front, and who can go fasted down the straight stretches.  Let’s be honest, he usually beats me but there is joy in that too because it makes him so happy.  I can’t have a perfectly tidy house but hey I hate housework so I don’t mind giving up on that ideal as a result of my FM.  I guess what I’m saying is it’s all in your perspective.  I’d rather give up all the material things in exchange for those moments with the ones I love the most, my family and my friends – to me that is what makes me rich in life.

30 Things or more

30 things.

I came across this and while it’s not exactly my story, it’s very similar. I wish everyone understood the toll Fibromyalgia takes on a person and on their family. It’s hard, really hard and yet under it all, under all that pain is hope and the desire to see and acknowledge all the simple pleasures I’ve been blessed to have. My sons laughter, my husband’s love, supportive friends who try to get “it” even if they don’t really understand it, and family in general lifting me up and getting me out of my funks. Being able to watch the sun rise as I let my body come awake and stretch out all the kinks that have accumulated while I’ve been still. The sweet taste of cinnamon toast and a hot cup of tea. The ability to ride a bike still even if only for short distances and to see my Joey’s face light up when I ask him if he wants to go for a ride with me. The joys at seeing him accomplish his goals like riding without training wheels. Watching him and Larry do the “swing” in the back yard like a carnival ride, laughter ringing out from all of our bellies. The way Hoss seems to know when I need soothing and the way he lays his head very gently on my leg and lets me just stroke and stroke his head and the way he talks to me in his own dog way.

 

I’d ask all of you to read 30 Things, take it in and know how those 30 things affect me, and Larry, Joey and Mom. Take note, it means a lot to me just for you to be aware, to understand that while I may look okay and am putting on a brave front inside I may be aflame with pain and have no energy. That I may have to cancel on our plans at the last second because I’m just not up to doing anything. That I hurt on a daily basis. That my house may be messy but I’d rather spend my energy playing with my son. Take note, please.

 

Friends are the Chosen Family

I am so fortunate to have the wonderful friends that I have and the best part is that they feel more like family than friends.  Since I’ve been off my game with this danged sprained ankle or whatever it is my friends have blessed me with unconditional help.  Jessica has been driving Joey to school for me, and even took me out for a spin yesterday just to get me out of the house for a while and JoAnna has been picking him up for me each afternoon.  Without their help we’d have been in big trouble.  Either Larry would have had to take some unpaid leave from work or we’d have had to call in help from Grammi and Pop Pop and I’d hate for them to have to drive into town just to run him to and from school, especially with them having so much on their plate already with trying to get their house in order to put it on the market.

Plus his teachers have been so nice.  Yesterday while I was waiting in the car for Jessica while she signed Joey into school his teacher, Miss Pat, came out to the car to ask how I was doing and to let me know that they were praying for my speedy recovery.  Plus she offered to get the parent brigade going if we needed for some meals – I thanked her but told her it wasn’t necessary since Larry has really taken hold of the reigns at home, cooking and cleaning and just taking really good care of me.  Between all of them I’ve really been able to rest and recuperate and that is the greatest gift of all.

I feel really lucky that this fall didn’t send me into a FM flare-up.  Usually when something like this happens, or I get a cold or flu, it usually triggers one and then I’m not only dealing with the injury but more chronic pain than usual.  As you can imagine this takes a toll on everyone.  Already Joey has been out of sorts since I fell, it seems like when I’m down he’s hit hardest, followed shortly by Larry.  This time around Mom has also been a champ, not putting pressure on me to take her here and there or being to picky about her meals.  That too has been a blessing.

I always question why these things happen to me, I mean don’t I already have enough on my plate to deal with with the Fibromyalgia and the Depression not to mention the migraines and eye issues from my Psuedo Tumor Cerebri, so why do I have to twist my ankle, or fall, or get cold after cold but then I think on the flip side look at the love and support I have, the friends to lift me up and make me laugh, the family that shows me unconditional love, and my hubby and son who always seem to know when I need a hug or a cuddle.  I think the love that they all give me in so many ways lightens my pain and makes my heart feel full with it.  I really am one lucky, lucky lady.