Sunday, January 21, 2018

1/22/18—Repairing My Heart

The view from my hospital room. This looks east toward my home.
When I was well enough, I got up, looked north and could see the
Washington Monument. This is how birds view the world.
It was cool to see them so large in my window, with
all the cares of the rest of my world so small.

This is my first post of 2018. Regular readers will know that this is the first time I've skipped so many weeks—and the longest we've been without an original post—since I began this blog 7 years ago. Fortunately, I have a good excuse. 

Since the year began, I have had three ambulance rides, made two visits to the ER, spent four days in the hospital, had five additional doctor appointments, got two CT scans, sat for three EKGs, received multiple new medications (and a CPAP), have had fluid back up into my lungs twice, and have been stuck by too many needles in my arms and hands to count. Before the month is over, I will have at least two more doctor appointments, including a procedure involving having an echo device shoved down my throat. Then, in February, surgery is likely. 

So it had been a busy month. Turns out I have a problem with my heart...both literally and figuratively. 

Before anyone breaks into tears on my behalf, let me say a few things. First, as heart problems go, it's not horrific. I have a bad valve that is causing atrial fibrillation (afib) and making fluid back up into my lungs. The valve may be able to be repaired by minimally invasive surgery or I may need a replacement requiring open heart surgery. This is practically considered "routine", even "common", and not as big a threat to my life as a heart attack or other form of heart failure would be. I am on meds to hopefully prevent recurrence and the risk of stroke. My outlook is bright.

Second, I prayed to my mother to help me find a solution to my shortness of breath and physical limitation issues. Within hours of that, I was in the hospital. And so this was the answer to my prayers. It was something I purposely manifested (though I didn't ask for it to happen so traumatically. I'll have to adjust my prayers in the future to accommodate more gentle means...haha.) With as upsetting and scary as this has been for me, I have never lost sight of it being a blessing. I am, at times, overwhelmed with gratitude.

Third, in many ways, I feel better than I have in five years. I won't beat a dead horse, except for to say, if your doctor tells you to go to a sleep study for sleep apnea, do it. I have resisted for many years. I mean, who wants to wear a mask to bed, amirite? Well, guess what? The mask is comfortable...even air-conditioned, so it's not hot in there. I slept all through the night the second night I used it. And within days I was noticing marked improvement in my breath and energy issues. All of this occurred in the week I was in the hospital and could be due to countless factors. But certainly avoiding the CPAP exacerbated, and perhaps even caused, my issue. (I have always had a bad valve, but I believe having severe sleep apnea for years is what caused it to fail at my age. I also believe it is a large part of why I have been suffering from breath and exhaustion issues for five years.) So choose your health over your stubbornness and vanity issues. </lecture>

Fourth, it's true what they say—you find out who people are by the way they respond when you're sick. And the good news here is that I was surrounded by people who cared and didn't even know it. First and foremost is my brother Robert, to whom I have given a hard time more than once recently. But he and his amazing partner rushed to my side in the ER. He got me home from the hospital. And the two of them have been to my house twice—once to clear out my hoarder's (aka junk/storage) room and the second time to clear the clutter from my kitchen so I can enjoy one of my favorite hobbies again. Both of these issues have been weighing on me for quite some time. And they were happy and generous enough to take that weight off my shoulders. 

But it goes beyond them. There is the sister I never talk to who has texted me constantly since this happened. She is a nurse, so she has insight and advice to share. And her son, whose recent wedding I did not attend, is a doctor and suggested a test for the hospital to give me that made a huge difference in my care. There's my sister-in-law who visited me twice in the hospital. And my other brother who walked out of my life years ago, who has shown concern and is printing me a functional heart valve (for fun) on his 3-D printer. 

Then there are the friends who have been checking in with me regularly, including one who mysteriously reappeared in my life a couple of months ago, only to be extremely supportive throughout this. There is another friend, who is giving up a day of her life to drive a couple hours each way to accompany me for my procedure. There is the neighbor across the street who took care of my dogs at the last minute and picked me up from the ER the second time I went. There are also the clients who have been flexible, allowing me to push deadlines a day or two because of my situation. 

And then there are my dogs, who have been traumatized twice this month. Mystic is very attuned to me physically, so she knows when my blood pressure is rising and comes over to be near me and comfort me. And Kizzie has broken character, becoming extremely protective of me (to the point of not allowing the EMTs to approach me, unfortunately. But it just shows how much I mean to him in his old age.) And Magick Moonbeam, who gave me a kiss on the lips when I got home from the hospital. That NEVER happens, but she did it special to show me she loved me. 

I hope I'm not forgetting anyone or anything. But the point of all of that is that I've been extremely humbled. And I've seen where my prickly side...the walls I've built around my heart...have contributed to the degradation of what lies inside. My life is forever changed, not just from the physical failure of my heart, but from the spiritual and social failure of it as well. Every aspect of my heart is due for repair in 2018. And I'm learning who—and what—is important enough to focus on moving forward. 

I can't express how fortunate I feel right now. Not just for the people in my life, but also for the second chance I'm getting. While I'm not out walking my dogs yet (partially out of fear) I am able to do more around my home than in years...most days, that is. Not for nuthin', one of my meds makes sweet taste way too sweet for me now, so I've cut back on that addiction. From hospital food to changing my choices, I'm also dropping some weight. And the "panic" and severity around my breathlessness is all but gone (aka, I no longer gasp for air after walking across my house or getting out to my car.) I still have quite a way to go, but for the first time in years, the end is coming into sight.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12/25/17—Living Through The Eyes of God

I have nothing cheery or inspirational to add for this Christmastime post, so I'm sharing a fitting one from last January. 

So let me tell you about the book I'm (slowly) writing. I won't share the title quite yet, but it's a sort of how-to be all spiritual and personal growth-y and shit. If you have missed the previous 1200 posts I've made on this page, let's just say that I'm into that kind of stuff. 

It's funny, because in my early research as to competing books and e-courses and whatnot, I've come across a lot of stuff that focused the pursuit of spirituality on burning incense and doing ceremonies. Don't get me wrong, I love those things and think they have their place in spirituality. But they are not spirituality.

To define what I think spirituality is, I use a comparison to religion. I see religion as what you learn about God* from scripture and what religious leaders tell you about him. And I see spirituality as what you learn about God from forging a personal relationship with him. 

That takes more than a smudge stick and moon phase. It takes all kinds of uncomfortable things like forgiveness. Letting go. Trust. Personal responsibility. Compassion. In many ways, the path of spirituality mirrors a path of personal growth. Your knowledge and understanding of God/Allah/Buddha/Universe/Source will always be limited until you understand, exhibit and embrace the things they represent. And you have to experience and embody those things in yourself—at least once—in order to truly understand. You can't just imagine your way through it. You have to become a different, albeit still imperfect, person.

Until you love fully, without condition, and open your heart to the "worst" and "least" of humanity, then God's love is just a concept you *think* you know. You don't know the surrender and trust—the courage—it takes to open your heart in such a way. You don't understand how far one's grace must reach or deep one's grace can go. And you know nothing of the peace and blessings that come from releasing all fears and loving at that level...from a place of oneness with all things. Until you learn to live life through God's eyes, his voice will be reaching you through a filter of fear, ego and separation. You will still know him. But if you want to know him better, you have to be better.

Of course, we'll never fully reach the end of any of our spiritual lessons. Or if there's one that we're particularly good at, like maybe compassion, we won't be as amazing at all of them. And I believe that no matter how far you go in your quest to become a living, breathing compassion machine, there's always going to be something that challenges the size of your heart. That said, in the pursuit of these lessons you'll get glimpses of reality through the eyes and heart of God. And you will begin to know him in ways no scripture can teach.

So far I've written much of the introduction to the book, including my full story of how I went from being an atheist to someone who won't shut up about this stuff...haha.  And I'm about 90% through the first chapter on self-awareness, something I consider the absolute bedrock of everyone's spiritual path. How can you truly forgive another if you can't honestly access the part of you that needs forgiveness and understands personal responsibility? How can you have integrity if you can't see your actions (and their repercussions) from a place of objectivity and honesty?

I struggle from time to time wondering if a book like this is needed, and if I'm the person to write it. But then I look and see there really isn't much written on the topics I'm addressing....not under one cover at least. And I see what things like ego issues and a lack of self-awareness can do in the hands of the wrong people. I look around me and observe myself and others fearing and holding on instead of trusting and letting go. And I get emails and comments from people who I have helped through my writing somewhere along the way. So maybe a book like this is needed and maybe I am the one to write it. 

It's hard for me to believe I'm needed or that I'm the answer to anything important. I will probably write a whole series of blogs about that when I have the courage and will to go there...haha. But I'm beginning to believe it's true. And, frankly, this is my plan for my later 50s through the end of my life, so if I don't make it happen, I'm kind of screwed. Fortunately, I have at least one well-connected angel-on-earth who is willing and eager to help me bring it to fruition.

There has never been a better time to move toward God—or if you don't believe in any version of God, toward the concept of love—than now. If I can help people get through their stuck places or misunderstandings (forgiveness, for example, is widely misunderstood, imo) then I'm using this wonderful passion for writing and spirituality to its highest good. I hope you'll all join me on that journey.

*I struggled over this word for a long time. So I'll say this. My belief and perspective is that everything that most everyone considers to be their higher power is the same energy or entity seen through many different eyes and by many different names. The one that resonates more closely with me is "the Universe". The word that resonates more closely with human beings in general is "God". Feel free to substitute your word for "God" as you read along.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

12/18/17—Looking Below And To The Left Of Jupiter

Classic Post...

Last night there was a meteor shower. And all the shooting stars reminded me of a powerful lesson.

I went outside around 1am, my StarWalk application in tow, and checked to make sure I knew where to look in the sky. StarWalk had the meteors shooting just to the left of Jupiter and a bit lower in the sky. This was a good thing and bad thing. The good thing is that my view is relatively clear in that region of the sky. The bad thing is that, while only a half moon, the moon was very bright last night and positioned beneath Jupiter when I was out there. Ideally, you want a darker sky. 

Anyway, I got myself all comfy and glanced casually out where I was supposed to look. I didn't want the shooting stars to think I was desperate or needy or anything. There were supposed to be as many as 50 per hour, so I thought it was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. But after about 15 minutes, I saw nothing. 

So then I decided to stare squarely at a point in the eastern sky, unblinking, as long as I could. Still nothing. By now, about a half hour has passed. I tend to see stuff in the corner of my eye, so I think I might have seen something, but there was nothing conclusive. So then I figured that maybe the moon was just too bright and they were too close to where the moon was in my field of vision to be seen. So I laid back and looked at all the stars directly overhead. It was a beautiful sight. 

Within seconds of laying my head back, however, I saw the most spectacular shooting star make a long, lingering arch across the sky. No doubt about it. I saw one! But before I was done making my wish, I saw another! Then another!

Seems that all that time, I had been looking in the wrong part of the sky. I had limited myself to what I knew—or thought I knew—about the Geminids meteor shower and I invested fully in that knowledge. But that knowledge turned out to be fruitless. I didn't see a shooting star until I put aside what I knew and looked at the sky from another perspective. 

We see this all the time, don't we? We even do it ourselves. We're so sure of something—so invested in our perspective being right—that we see it as the only way. But looking at things from another perspective doesn't have to mean you're wrong. It just means you're broadening your view of something. And as long as you hold on tightly to what you "know", you may be cheating yourself out of something quite special. 

Just to apply it to a situation, there's a lot of talk about racism and police violence going on these days. Among the things people "know" are a) the details of every police interaction that resulted in the death of a black man that has happened recently, as if they had witnessed it themselves, b) how black men should respond appropriately when confronted by the police, c) whether or not racism exists, and d) whether or not white privilege exists. 

Some of the things I see when I look at these debates is that there is definitely a dialogue that needs to happen and voices that need to be heard on this topic. For a large part of my life, I have felt the tension...the elephant in the room that we don't really talk about. Everyone has been quiet so as not to stir up crap and upset whatever balance has existed since the late 60s and early 70s when discussion of race were topmost in peoples' minds. For the most part, we all got back to a comfortable place, but clearly, it wasn't that comfortable. Or balanced. Or we wouldn't be back to where we were in the early 70s. Or in the early 90s with Rodney King. What I see is that we have these discussions, we don't agree, we don't make much progress, then we all get quiet again. And both sides go back to the way they were before, neither side seeing their role in the continued tension. 

What I also see is a bunch of white people in various stages of "not understanding" why all this is happening. We say things like "when the police approach you, just say yes sir and no sir and be polite." Or we say, "there is no racism in this country. There is no white privilege." Or we insist there's not a trace of racism within us or anyone we care about. When we say these things, it's like we're looking directly below and to the left of Jupiter in an attempt to see the shooting stars. Because we're only seeing things from the perspective we know and the perspective we know is that of a white person. 

And that is why we never solve things. That is why every 20 years or so streets break out in riots and the country talks about racism and white privilege. Admittedly, I see way more people "getting it" these days. But it works both ways. For every white person looking below and to the left of Jupiter, there's a black person in this debate doing the exact same thing. Then there a whole bunch of people in the middle showing some understanding for what it's like to be a policeman and some for what it's like to be a black person in this country. 

IMO, we've come a long way in my lifetime in regard to this, but still have far to go. But that's my view as a white woman. I can't possibly speak for black people. No matter how hard I try to understand the perspective of a black person, I will always be lacking, because I've never had to live it. And, again, the reverse is also true. 

I didn't write all this to start a debate, though it might. I wrote it to illustrate how we tend to keep to a particular part of the sky when it comes to race relations, politics, squabbles with friends...pretty much everything in life. We invest in a perspective and ride it for a lifetime. Then we wonder why certain things never change. How can they if we're not willing to broaden our view?

The truest thing I know about life is that none of us holds the truth about anything. We hold just one piece of the truth, a piece viewed from our unique viewpoint. But staring at and knowing and being certain about your part of the cosmos doesn't mean you understand the cosmos. The next time you're sure of something, remember that the magic comes not from being certain, but from opening yourself up to a part of the sky you never thought to look at. That's where the streaks of new enlightenment can be found, arching their way across the sky. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

12/11/17—Talking to the Birds

This week I have two (three?) stories to tell. 

The first is that, while sitting on the front porch with Kizzie Friday, I saw a small flock of four birds. Their flight seemed erratic. They were circling the area over and over, as if frantically searching for something they'd lost. Even in their circles, they were zagging and zigging. And as I listened for why I was being shown these birds, it occurred to me that I've been feeling like them for a while.

I feel like I've lost my way and have been frantically searching for ways to my spirituality, my health, my path. And I feel like I've been going in circles for years and not moving forward. 

Of course, that's not true. I've moved forward in many ways. But it's almost like I've got part of me anchored to the ground. Or like I'm stuck in some endless Groundhog Day cycle like those birds. 

The second story is that on Saturday we received the first snow of the season. Now, I love cold and I love snow, so I sat outside getting snowed on for over an hour. (I sit under the eaves, so I'm mostly protected.) 

I'm sure I must have seen this before, but I don't remember when. But the snowflakes were so perfectly snowflaky! They weren't big and wet. They weren't little balls. They didn't fall and instantly melt. Instead, each flake was perfectly distingushable, all the way down to the intricate designs. That is an actual photo above. And not only that, but my aging fuzzy eyes could see them clear as a bell on my lap. 

It was magical.

I also noticed when I was out there that, as long as I'm not moving around, I feel perfectly healthy. I'm still having problems with breathlessness, despite being able to breathe clearly and deeply at rest. It's just when I move. And there are better days and worse days. So I just take a lot of breaks. Tonight, unloading the dishwasher wore me out, so I rested for a minute and then went back to rinse dishes and load them. It's like that. It makes life really hard. I'm going to see a specialist soon. 

Anyway, it has been years since I felt healthy. I mean, in my mind I only focus on the worry and exhaustion and what to do about it. But while I was sitting out there realizing I feel perfectly healthy if I'm not moving, I decided to just really enjoy that moment of feeling healthy. "Right now, I feel healthy." I have no idea why it never occurred to me before. Probably because I am so fixated on how bad I feel most of the time. I don't give gratitude or attention to those moments of feeling "right", even though it's only circumstantial. My internal script is that I feel bad all the time. And, to the extent that internal scripts create our realities, I switched things up today. 

While I was out there, and this might be the third story, I saw that flock of four birds again, doing their frantic flight. I only saw them for a moment, but this time it struck me how the flock, though moving erratically, stayed in perfect formation. And it just all seemed to be a metaphor for life. Their ability to stay in formation despite what looked like a chaotic flight path is similar to how we move with the universe. We have that same kind of communication thing that allows us to account for small, random changes in the way of life and continue forward, effortlessly zigging with the zigs and zagging with the zags. 

And it also made me think of my own "flock", whether that's me and my three dogs flying like that or me and my friends. We all seem to encounter similar zigs and zags that we're connected by. And that's how we move through life together, in small groups, bound by our shared energies and moving in tandem with that. Until we don't, I guess. Then we create a new flock. Which is something I addressed in my last post, which I somehow didn't make live last week. 

So with these insights and the peace that came, frankly, at the end of an emotional week for me, it occurs to me that maybe the birds on Friday weren't bringing me a message as much as opening a door for me to find my way back where I belong. And, after sitting outside for a long time today and not seeing them, maybe they finally found their way back to where they belong, too.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

12/4/17—Looking Forward To The Holidays

From the Illuminated Tarot.
Ooops! I thought I scheduled this to automatically post last week, but I didn't. So you get a bonus. One today, one tomorrow...

I've always been kind of meh about the holiday season. I try to get into it, but never really get my jingle on. 

I probably won't even put up a tree this year, nor will I go to the problem of wrapping the dog's presents. I also usually wrap the gifts I give myself and put them under the tree, but this year I got two awesome things and I'm unable to wait for them. It seems my holiday efforts are waning. 

But what's nice this year is that, over the next week or two, I will see the people who matter to me, and we will exchange warm tidings and I will have gratitude for that time. 

It hasn't always been that way for me. Some years I'm too frazzled to appreciate those exchanges. Some years it has been about material things. Some years I was hoping for warm exchanges from the wrong people. Some years I was too depressed. Some years I wasn't feeling gracious. Something has always gotten in the way of me truly getting into the warmth of the season. Maybe it was me getting in the way. 

But over the past year or two I have made new decisions about who and what I'll value in my life moving forward. It's not the people and things I once valued. And because of that, this year and this season have brought me more gratitude for the sentient beings in my a heart opening of sorts. I feel safe around all the sentient beings in my life.

And, of course, I'm saying sentient beings because the dogs are included in there with my friends. I have always had an open heart around them and gratitude for them, but there's a subtle shift that I can detect. I'm awed by their love more than usual. And instead of wanting to lay tight up against me, they want to lay on top of me lately. The dogs, that is. Not my friends. 

So, anyway, I didn't know what to write about until I chose the card above, and it illustrates my point. Family and celebration are no longer what I always thought it would be. It's not made up of people who share my genes as much as it is made up of people who share my heart and my way of being in this world. If they happen to have my genes, then ok. But I want the people in my life to be capable of sharing back just as genuinely. 

So maybe that's the third awesome gift I got myself for Christmas and opened early. It is a gift to know who and what matters in your life, even if it doesn't fit a mold you were born into or one society deems acceptable. I have always been drawn to dogs and introspective, deep folks. But I have wanted other things, not because I was drawn to them, but because I think I should. It's a gift to finally be free of all my should.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

11/27/17—Ending The Silence

It was just over a year ago that I wrote about my experience with sexual assault, harassment and inappropriate behavior coming from men.

Back then, it was after that Access Hollywood tape where Trump bragged about grabbing women by their sexual organs. To the shock of many, that was all brushed aside and a sexual assaulter became president of our country. It felt like nothing would ever change for women. 

When I wrote about my own experiences, I said I was lucky as far as women go, and I am. Having worked for myself for over 20 years, I don't have to put up with harassment in the workplace. I don't ride public transportation where the ass grabbers and upskirters hang out. I'm just not in the sitations where it is most likely to happen. So why, I ask, have I been bawling like a baby the last couple of weeks as story after story unfolded about prominent abusers and harrassers—and everyone FINALLY believed the victims!?

This past week or two, I feel like I was channeling the collective of women, as finally we were being heard and believed. I could feel the vindication of every piggish move ever made. I did an informal survey to see how many women had had a man place his hands over their breasts as if to grab a joke, like Al Franken did. Every woman I asked said it had happened to them. I also asked how many women had NOT been inappropriately touched by a man in the past, and only one woman could say she's never been touched. For the first time in my life, I thought we might be able to change and heal. It never occurred to me this day would come.

My mom was part of that generation of women who changed the career prospects of women today. When I was born, mothers did not work outside the home. My mother fought with my dad for the right to start a career. And when she got there, I'd hear snippts about the chauvenists she worked with and the piggish ways they would treat her. It was all part of working in a man's world. And women were not just expexted to be at least as competent, but they also had to do it while navigating a gauntlet of grabby hands, lewd comments and subversion. Did they put up with it without making clear how they felt? Yes. But did they have any choice if they wanted to earn a living? No, they did not.

It got better over time, and it eventually settled into an acceptable degree of harrassment—more than any woman deserves, but less than men wanted to do, seeing as how they were constrained by law. And, of course, it varied depending on the man. Not all men are pigs.

I've mentioned before that when my doctor called me a hypochondriac, I became afraid to bring problems to my doctor, even though I got a new one. And it stood between me and my health. Well, that's what women have learned to do. Men wanted to call us complainers or incapable of working in a man's world, so we learned not to complain. It's an ugly manipulation that men have been using on women since the beginning of time...and also that white men have been using on blacks. So marginalized communities have to work twice as hard and put up with way more BS to even be considered equal. It is, I'm sorry to say, the way white men have controlled and dominated throughout time. Intimidation. Manipulation. Marginalization. 

Again, it got better over time. Not all men are like that. But there is a core that is very much in power right now that has always feared the rise of women and black men because it means they have to be good enough for once. It means they have to hold themselves to the same impeccable standards they have held us to. And they haven't had a lot of practice doing that. They've been skating by, creating successes, maneuvering failures and basically not progressing because progress would mean losing their footing. Their leadership over eras has done—and continues to do—society a disservice. They have always led from fear.

So when, in the midst of this entitled white man's world, a victory comes out for the oppressed, it's an amazing thing. Since this past summer, monuments made by racists to intimidate blacks have come toppling down. And men have begun to see the systematic degradation they've perpetrated upon women for years—stuff we just bore as the price of moving forward and tried to keep from holding us back. I would say that stuff no longer bothered me. Like a person with Stockholm Syndrome, you just accept it as "the way". But it has impacted me and every marginalized human alive. It is done, after all, to keep us marginalized. And it has worked.

There is a card in the tarot called The Tower. You get it when the foundation you are currently standing on is no longer stable enough to support you moving forward. It's interesting to see how unstable the conservative white males are who have risen to power by building on a foundation of marginalization and intimidation. The foundation they are standing upon is crumbling. They have no legislative or social successes. They are the most reviled leadership our nation has ever known. And a dizzying number of them are being either investigated for crimes or revealed as hypocrites and abusers. 

As women, and as people wanting to evolve with the times, what started as our massive disappointment last November is nonetheless turning into a win of sorts. I have noticed men in social threads saying, "my god, I had no idea women were being put through this." Or "I had no idea those monuments were erected to intimidate blacks." Whether they are being honest with themselves or not about that is in question. But there is a new awareness. 

And when I mentioned that I had been crying tears of vindication and PTSD lately, women would say "crying never solved anything." I disagree. In fact, "crying never solved anything" is more of that attitude of "suck it up, Felicia, and just keep moving" that men and doctors and employers have been using on us forever. We don't get to complain. We don't get to be vindicated and affirmed. We don't get to release and heal. And I call BS on all of that. We shouldn't have to deny our feelings and to stop being women to succeed in this world. Men are allowed their tempers...their emotions. We deserve to have ours. 

In the 60s, we called the privilege of having men harrass us and undermine in the home and workplace "women's liberation." We were finally able to dream like a man dreams...just so long as we didn't dream too big. Like becoming president. Because then they will lie, cheat, collude and steal to shut you down. 

That's not liberation. Liberation is being held to the same standards as men. It's being free of harrassment. It's being allowed to dream the same as white men have. 

And it's so ironic that our vindication would come from a group of men who aren't even self-aware or honest enough with themselves to acknowledge what they've been doing all these centuries...millennia. All their efforts to hold on to their power and oppression seemed to pay off when the poster boy of bullying, oppression and sexual assault was elected president. But be careful what you ask for, I guess. They got what they wanted and it is leading straight to their undoing...straight to their eventual extinction. Maybe all those years of women sucking it up in silence have finally paid off.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

11/20/17—Fearing to Dream

Last week, Sunday came and went without a new post from me. It was the first time in seven years. I didn't even notice until the next day. 

That says a couple of things. One is that it has been harder and harder for me to write every week because I have only been subsisting for a couple of years. I haven't really been living. And also because I haven't felt like writing, but have been forcing myself to do it anyway, so as not to break the discipline. So there's an issue there.

I'm not going to write one of my epic posts today. But I will say that someone said something to me that I have really been contemplating lately, and that is relevant to this post. He said that there was a time when his own health was bad and he changed his diet, etc. and got better "to the point," he said, "that I found myself able to dream again."

It hit me right between the eyes. I haven't found myself able to dream for a very long time. I still haven't found the proper treatment for my asthma yet. So when they change my dosage or something, I feel better for a few months. Then a slow, gradual drop off happens without me noticing, until I'm miserable. Then I think it's allergies or a phase for a month or two. Then I finally realize I haven't felt well in a really long time. Then I go to the doctor. Like I'm doing this week. 

Rationally, I'm free to dream at any given moment. It's not like a person can't make that choice at any time. But I don't feel safe making it until I can move forward physically...until that part is finally taken care of. It's hard to dream and move toward a dream when just breathing is hard. I do need to be more proactive about things like adjusting medication and speaking up. But part of me can't move past feeling defeated right now. 

I'd have a lot of great ideas for someone else about this, I'm sure. But right now, I'm struggling. And I've been struggling a long time. I mean parts of my life are great. Work is going well. I have some supportive friends. And it's my favorite time of the year...cold enough for my babies to want to snuggle with me all the time. So it's not like I'm miserable. I'm just in neutral and having a hard time getting into gear. 

So that's what I have to say this week. Are you dreaming right now? Or are you afraid, too? 

I hope not to skip another week without you at least having something to read, but I might. Who knows? I don't want to force myself to the point I start hating it, you know? But I'm pretty sure that when I start feeling well enough to start dreaming again, you'll be the first to know. Then you'l probably wonder how to shut me back up again. :D