“May I be easily able to let whatever needs to go, go.
And may whatever wants to come
be radiantly and joyously born.”
~ Tosha Silver
“The purpose of our lives
Is to give birth to the best
Which is within us.”
~ Marianne Williamson
“Every morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most.”
You might be able to tell from the the quotes….Today is my birthday! I hope you have a wonder filled day, and have a grand un-birthday. (unless of course it is your birthday too, in that case, I hope your celebration is grand!)
Image is “Silly Goose” a silly doodle by me. It’s one of those doodles that comes from a stray mark on a page in my drawing journal. Try it, make a swoop on the page and let it be the start of a doodle. You can even make it silly. 😉
My friend Kim Johnson over at I Tripped Over a Stone, got together with Karen Anderson and wrote a book to help others find how they can LIVE with fibromyalgia. They know that with fibromyalgia every day can feel like you are fighting shadows.
With over 50 years of combined experience with fibromyalgia Kim and Karen understand that it doesn’t just affect you physically, it affects you mentally and emotionally as well.
In The Shadow Boxers…, you will find Kim and Karen’s personal stories from first symptoms to the present. They prompt you to make your own plan, write down your own ideas, and figure out how to really live your life with fibromyalgia!
The journal features
Definitions, with room for you to write your own definition or experience. For example, they give the definition for a Fibromyalgia Flare, then you are given room to journal what a fibromyalgia flare means to you. You could write it out, tell of your experience with a fibro flare, draw a picture showing what it means to you….it’s your journal, you get to decide what’s best for you.
The Seven Areas of Positive Change. Discover “seven areas of you life that will respond to positive choices you make”. Kim and Karen discuss these areas and prompt you to journal about each area. You could tell how you will incorporate a change in your life, how you have already changed aspects of your life…, again, it’s your journal. You get to decide how it works best for you.
Questions and Answers. This section contains questions from the fibromyalgia community. There are sample answers given, then you are given the chance to answer these questions for yourself.
Dear Fibromyalgia. Write your personal letter to Fibromyalgia.
Six Healthy Habits to Develop for Fibromyalgia Syndrome. These habits are explored individually, and you will find your own way to develop each habit.
Your Story. At the end you are encouraged to continue to write your own story. This is your journey, your story, your illness, who better to write your story?
Let me sum up by saying, I love this book! I love the how it’s interactive. I already journal, but my journals are simply thoughts of the day and such. This journal gives me prompts to think about. It gives me guidance. It challenges me to think about things I might otherwise have overlooked. This journal helps me find my way as I navigate through this illness. I now have my own story.
To enter to win a copy of The Shadow Boxers... simply leave a comment telling why you’d like to win. Contest closes at midnight EST on September 20th. The winner will be notified by email. (make sure the email you comment with is the email to you would like to be notified) The winner will be announced on Friday, September 22nd.
During my last post I told how I planned to do some journal posts during the month of January. I planned on these being open and honest reviews of my days, then I realized I wasn’t totally honest while writing my last journal entry. I talked about the good things, the things I accomplished that day, but I glossed over the fact that I had a vertigo attack. I just slightly mentioned it, instead of saying how horrible it was. How it stopped me dead in my tracks. How I was stuck in a chair for over 2 hours not being able to focus on anything and being so upset that the day was ruined. (as you know now I decided to risk things and go out anyway, very unlike what I normally do, normally I stick very close to home after having a vertigo attack, but I was determined) During the attack I was scared. It is a very tough thing to deal with. After the attack, I’was exhausted and had to rest for a while before I could do anything else. Everything I did I pushed through. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good day, it did turn out to be a very good day. I simply glossed over the rough parts when I was journaling about it.
Well, day before yesterday was a good day. Yesterday I paid for it, but I couldn’t give in and just rest all day, I had my yearly physical I had to go to. I ached all over and just wanted to stay in bed all day, but I had to go to the doctor and have her poke me a bit and talk about my blood work. I hate going for my physical, often they find something else wrong, who wants to go find out something else is wrong? This time I didn’t find out anything else is wrong. Yay. My cholesterol is still high. The good cholesterol is in good shape, but the bad and total are not in good shape and my triglycerides are too high, as usual. We discussed my diet. First she told me that I’ve lost weight. SIX pounds! Woot! Yes I’m being sarcastic. She was trying to be supportive, but really, 6 pounds in a year, is not good. (She had no idea I’d been trying to lose around 40lbs the whole year.) So we discussed how I could get my weight down and my cholesterol in better shape. I have a friend who has been on the Ketogenic diet for a while, so I asked about that before she suggested anything and she said it was a good diet for what I need. She said it is good for people who have to be more sedentary. The Ketogenic diet is very low in carbs and high in fat. This is very different than I am used to eating. I don’t go crazy with carbs usually, so I don’t think that is going to be too big of an issue, however increasing the fat is going to be odd. It’s just so counterintuitive to what I’ve always done. As soon as I can wrap my head around this and all the sweets from the holidays are out of the house, I’ll start the diet. wish me luck.
Today I’m still achey. I’ve had a migraine all day. I had an appointment with my therapist this morning. That’s going well, I think. Some days I wonder why I’m spending so much money to just sit in there and talk, am I really that hard up for friends? By that I mean that on some days I feel like all we talk about is stuff you’d talk about with your girlfriend. Like, I found out who cuts her hair….now my hair finally has a good cut! But if I think about it, most everything we talk about comes around to something that could benefit me in the long run. So it’s all good.
On the way home today we stopped off to buy more yarn. Yes, I’m really enjoying my Knifty Knitter, so much so I think I’m going to finish my first scarf in a week….or less. I’m thrilled that when I’m all achey and feel cruddy I can still sit and “knit”. I feel productive. I’ve always wanted to make baby blankets for charity, now I might be able to do that. I’m looking into it.
Right now everything is taking much longer than it should. But that’s normal for me. Right now I’m going on 2 hours for writing this post, and I know it will go longer. I keep wording things wrong, can’t think of words, can’t spell, or I simply get stuck. At this moment I hurt too much to think and I don’t want to try any more….it’s just too hard.
It’s very unfortunate that cannibus is illegal in most states. I’ve used it to help me in the past, but it is illegal in my state. I’ve tried cannibus infused coconut oil to help with the pain and sleep, it is amazing for that. I’ve used it via a vape pen during a vertigo attack and it stopped me from throwing up and slowed the vertigo. What I wouldn’t give for it to be legal. I’m having a hard time recently with vertigo and pain, it just makes me think about this more and more.
I think that’s all for my journal entry today. I didn’t mention that I had a vertigo attack yesterday and a small one today, but if I mentioned every one we would be talking about vertigo a lot. However, I think I should mention it every time during these journal entries to bring attention to how often I really do have vertigo.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years Eve celebration!!
Tomorrow in my mother’s birthday. It’s always a bittersweet day for me. I celebrate the day of her birth, but I’m sad she is no longer with us to celebrate. It’s always an emotional way to start the year.
I just got an email from The Mighty, they are starting challenges to promote self-care. The first 30-day challenge is to journal. I thought, what better way to keep me posting and keep my creative juices flowing? I may not post every day, this is not that kind of challenge, I do not feel pressured to post every day, it’s just a challenge to get you started journaling, but I plan on posting often during the month of January. Most of these won’t be my normal post, these are going to be journal entries. You will be able to step in my life for a month and see what Wendy is up to. You may get very, very bored, but you may find out a few things about me that you never knew. You may also find out how I deal with some of my trials, or how I don’t deal with them. You might find out just how long it takes me to do things. Some days, you might find out that I don’t do much of anything. I think all of this will be good, for me, and hopefully for you and this blog. I have a lot of new followers who don’t know a lot about me, this is a great opportunity for them to find out all about ME. 🙂
It’s not quite January yet, but I thought I’d write about my day today, it was much more eventful than my normal day.
We had planned to go to Ikea today to get hubby a desk, he is in dire need of one. I’m very tired of seeing his computer on the dining room table. Unfortunately, when he looked at his coupon he found it expired and he didn’t want to spend that much money right now. Truthfully, I’m not sure he’s completely decided that’s the desk he wants.
I have to admit this put my entire day off game. I was really looking forward to going out to Ikea and walking around that big store and getting some exercise. It’s always a bit of a scare doing something like that, but after being closed up in the house so much, it is a thrill for me to be able to do anything out of the house. Even if I might pay for it later. Needless to say, I was upset, so we decided we needed to go somewhere. We decided to go to the mall. I have a gift certificate, what better time to use it? Well today was the day that everyone decided to use their gift certificates, or take presents back, or shop after Christmas sales, or something, because there were NO parking places at the mall. I couldn’t see fighting all the people, and me with my walker, no way.
We decided to go by the library. I had a book on hold and thought we’d pick it up. We were waiting because I have another book coming from another library, but it was something to do! It made me happy, and Stuart found 2 books, that made him happy too!
After the library, I admitted I still had some energy and wanted to walk. We discussed going to the park, then I asked if we would be driving close to Michaels, because I knew hubby needed glue for models. We were driving right by there so we decided to check and see if maybe we could get in there. It was great, there’s a handicapped space on the side and 3 were open! Bam! right by the door. We were in. And it really wasn’t that crowded once we were inside. We decided to just browse. I’ve been looking for something I can do with my hands. I used to like doing cross stitch when I was younger, but what do you do with that kind of stuff when you are finished with it? I have a lot of paintings that I have no where to put now. Anyone want a painting? So, I’ve been thinking about crochet, but I’m not very good at it, I just can’t keep my tension correct. I have this Knifty Knitter thing that is pretty cool. It’s a tool you use to knit with. You aren’t really knitting in the traditional sense, but it looks neat when you are finished. I decided to work on that again and bought some yarn. Unfortunately, when I got home I found the yarn is too thin, I’ll have to get thicker yarn for this to look right. After that I’ll be making things left and right. hahaha Working with yarn is good for tactile sensations and fine motor skills.
I also got a book called Zendoodle. I love this kind of drawing. (please I don’t want a debate about Zentangles here) So far, I’ve doodled just a little, but I know I’m going to be doodling more. I used to do this a lot, it’s very calming, and it is good for my spacial relations.
I took Valium today when we left as a precaution to try to prevent me from having vertigo. I’ve been having it a lot recently. When we got home today, I started playing with the yarn, and shortly thereafter, the vertigo started. I didn’t get much done today after that. It wasn’t a violent bout of vertigo, but it was certainly not slow. I felt sick, but luckily I didn’t throw up.
The vertigo has been starting and stopping over and over for the rest of the evening.
That was my day today. Hubby took the week off work. I think this is a dumb time to take off work, but I didn’t think about that when he asked me about thinking this week off. There are just way too many other people off work doing things, there’s too much traffic, too many people. You can’t do anything. And we couldn’t take a trip. Heck, who wants to take a trip around Christmas, unless you are visiting family, it’s too crowded.
I’d rather stay home and enjoy the last days of my Christmas tree.
Tomorrow I’ll pay for today a bit. I’ll need to take it slow because I did so much, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I had fun, and that’s important. Oh, tomorrow I have my yearly physical, so much for totally resting.
He talks a lot about keeping a journal and how to maximize your journal as a mindfulness tool.
There was one suggestion that he made that I thought would help me to not only recognize when I’m being mindful, but also help me to actually be more mindful.
My mindfulness journal includes – 3 Mindful Things Each Day. Each day I try to write down 3 times during the day that I noticed I was being mindful. This hasn’t just made me note times I’ve been mindful, but it encourages me to be more mindful. I’ll be doing something and think, “whoa, take your time and really notice what you are doing, you can note this in your journal later.” It brings to the surface that I need to be more mindful. It also helps when I feel I haven’t been very mindful when I can think back over my day and realize, wow, I have been mindful today. I can increase the number of mindful things journal about if I want, but I’m trying to always note at least 3.
I’ll give you a quick example of one. I was sitting in the car waiting for Stuart to come out of the store and I started to reach for my phone to keep me company, instead I thought; “this is a great mindful opportunity”. So I started to really notice all the things around me. I felt the breeze has it caressed my skin. I saw it was slightly blowing a sign in the window and making it wave a little, I noticed the reflections in the glass and how the colors change in the reflection from what they look in real life. I noticed a little bug crawling across the windshield, and watched him on his journey. I felt the suns warmth, and closed my eyes to really feel the atmosphere around me. I took note of how my body felt pressed against the seat…. I tried hard not to think about what we would be doing next, I wanted to just be there in that moment as it was.
You can see what I mean, I tried my best to be right there in that moment, instead of distracting myself with my phone. Because I’m writing these moments down, it makes me remember to do such things more often. Hopefully, being mindful will become more second nature.
I’ve kept a gratitude journal for a long time. I write down 3 things I’m grateful for each day. this is a practice I suggest everyone take the time to do. It really helps us put in perspective that we have something to be grateful for every day, even on days we don’t feel like it. (some days when I’m having a really hard day I will realize how grateful I am for running water, having food every day, having a safe place to live…. We can always find things to be grateful for, we just need to remember it.
Do you keep a journal? Is it specific like mine, or do you wir