Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Photo truths




It just takes a single photo challenge to remind a person how chronically ill they are. This week, I have been seeing everyone share and challenge each other to take photos of every day life, with no people or explanation. I love anything that is a photo challenge and gladly started. Took a picture of the coffee table in front of me. Next day, took a photo of my puppy sitting on my leg. Next day took a picture of the pillow that I was laying down on. 


Next day, as I still was unable to move very much, I took a picture of the curtains behind me. And then it hit me, this is my life. Each photo I took showed a facet of my life being disabled.  This photo challenge illuminated the life that I live when I am in a severe flare. I have been unable to do much for a month now. The chronic pain in my joints from crohn's arthritis and fibro have made it impossible to move. The pain itself has made it impossible to think coherently. I have felt like I am in this constant webbing that I am forever trying to pull off just so that I can see clearly. The pain in my body makes me move like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz, only there is no wizard that will give me pain free movement.

It's during these days where I find it damn near impossible to be creative. However, when the days become weeks and the weeks become months I start hungering for different ways to spark some creativity. In the end, I am glad I decided to do the photo challenge, even if it did highlight a hard truth of my chronically ill life.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tick tock goes the clock.

“Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to.”
― Lao Tzu

Oh how true this is. I could sit here and give you a thousand excuses as to why this blog has not been updated since 2015, but the truth is I didn't want to. I felt no pull to work on this blog. Yet, I have missed writing because writing provides me a sort of respite.

I graduated from college at the end of 2015. Balancing a chronic illness with going back to college at the age of too damn old was no small feat. Truly, I felt exhausted. I disconnected from doing much of anything except focusing on my chronic illness. I entered into a terrible, no good flare in both the crohn's disease, arthralgias and the fibromyalgia. I found that I am now having heart issues, uncontrolled diabetes, degenerative foot issues that make walking one hell of an adventure, and I am also showing signs of borderline kidney disease. Phewww. Even typing this was tiring. Fatigue is a daily occurrence. I am finding that I am dragging myself through each day. There are days where I go from the bed to the sofa, and back to bed. On the rare days I am able to get out, I soak up the sun to only find there is a heavy price to be paid for having a rare good day. A price I am more than happy to pay for just a moment in the sun.

In my fantasy world, I would graduate from college and suddenly a miracle would occur. I would become healthy or at the very least stabilized and I would be able to go back to work. This didn't happen. In the back of my mind, this tiny fantasy still exists. I want to go back to work and be a champion for social justice issues. Where did I put that magic wand?

But until that magical day, time can be used differently and creatively for social justice while tending to my health. I do in fact have time, lots of it. The first step is to go back to blogging my chronic adventures. I would like to engage more with my camera and my art supplies. I need to finish projects that I have started. I am working on becoming certified as a creative grief practitioner, and collaborating with a dear friend on a project that is close to both of our hearts.

Tick tock goes the clock.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

3 days and it hurts.

It has surprised me how grief has reared its ugly head once again as we prepare to send our daughter off to college. This hurts...it hurts bad. No one ever told me how much this was going to hurt. For 17 years, I have raised her and loved her and always knew where she was and in three days, it just ends. She will be starting her new life in Colorado. It will be an exciting journey, filled with new possibilities. But as a mom, I am at a loss as to what this means. I am grieving the ending of a long chapter and I have no idea yet how this next chapter will go. It has yet to be written.

This I know- I am going to miss her. I am going to miss her so deeply. Abby came into our lives and was a miracle. After losing three children to miscarriage, Abby was the one we were not sure we would be able to keep. She was the happiest baby I have ever seen. She brought much laughter into our lives. As parents, we could not be prouder of her. She has worked so hard and has earned this amazing opportunity.

Yet, how proud I am does not change how much I am going to miss her, or how sad it makes me that she is going so far away to college. Just like after Nora died, people are saying things that just don't make sense, nor validate me. Things like "you'll be fine" "be proud" "give her wings" "you raised her right, let her go" "don't cry in front of her" "look how clean your house will be" "now you have time for you" All of which leaves me wanting to scream, not feel supported, and wanting to hide away from everyone. Why must we as a society try to hide our feelings and cover up how we feel?  This makes zero sense.

Abby knows I am crying. She knows how much we will miss her. I am not going to hide my tears so Abby doesn't see. Abby also knows how incredibly proud we are. Being sad she is leaving is normal. I know I raised her right, and gave her "wings" but that doesn't make this any easier. She will be far away. I will not be able to hug her for a couple of months. Having her in my house for 17 years, and then suddenly not having her here to hug is odd and feels awful. This sucks. There is no delicate way to put it. This really sucks.

Moving her will suck. Her empty bedroom. Her empty bed. Not hearing her sing every song on the radio. Not hearing her slam upstairs because she is angry. Not seeing her hug her puppies so tightly they want to run away.  Not seeing her with her chickens. Not being able to hug her. Not hearing about her day. Not going shopping for homecoming or prom dresses. Always having Abby around to not having Abby around at all is going to be hard.

Yes, I will figure it out, but I don't need to be told that. Yes, she needs to be independent and this is a necessary step, still doesn't make it any easier. What I need is a hug, or a kind word. I need to someone to just listen and allow me to cry and be sad.

And for those of you with young children, hold on tight. Childhood goes fast, faster than you can even imagine. And then you are moving your child across country to a new place, with new faces. And it sucks. You will never hear me say differently. This part of parenthood makes you long for the temper tantrums and the slamming doors. As proud as you are of your child, this part definitely hurts. and I am refuse to pretend otherwise.

This hurts and I am crying.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Isolated in the midst of constant connections

On the heels of being sick, I discovered how isolated I am. As a society, we have come to rely on the posting of woes on social media and the expectation of people commenting and liking. Gone are the days of people checking in on other people. Gone are the days of bringing chicken soup to a neighbor, or even picking up the phone to remind someone they are loved. Though I am sure it is far from the truth, it certainly feels as if it is a much more lonely world. 

My latest flare had me severely sick and unable to leave the house. I did not care to post on Facebook and just stayed in bed, binge watching television with my daughter. I really do not feel as if anyone missed me or cared. No one called. No one emailed. Though extremely selfish, I guess I felt that no one really cared, or even realized I was not on any social media. After two weeks of being sick and hearing crickets, I made a decision. I deactivated my Facebook account. 

It has been weird to leave Facebook. My daughter and son questioned me on how I will survive without obtaining the news and memes, and latest viral videos. My daughter asked how I will stay in touch with people. I find it odd that Facebook almost seems like a life requirement. Admittedly, in the last year, my Facebook has felt less like a joy, and more like a place filled with hate, racism, bashing, and mocking. I am not sure I am missing it all that much.

I am not sure how life will be without the ability to connect so easily. Friendships will more than likely be lost. I am not sure why I am not reaching out. I guess I want people to miss me which is entirely selfish. Maybe with all this free time, I need to reevaluate myself. And that is okay.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mother Henna Heart Swap


It is once again time for another beautiful heArt swap with Mother Henna. Life has been a little crazy for me and my family, so I opted to go the photography route. One of my loves (besides my incredible hubby, three children, two dogs, one turtle, and  5 chickens) is taking photos of Mother Nature. I find myself always in awe of her beautiful gifts. This photograph is of a bleeding heart that was just perfect for capturing. I applied some artistic editing and really love the finished product. 

From my heArt to yours...


Reconnecting

I recently completed a heart swap through Mother Henna and wanted to come on here to share. When I pulled up the blog, I saw the date of May 2012, I was in shock. When did it become 2014??

So many things have happened since May. Life has moved quickly along and I have missed a few beats. I do not do art as much as I would like to. I realize this needs to change. I need to make time to be creative...to throw paint on a canvas...to photograph Mother Nature's beautiful canvas...I need art. Art gives me purpose. It gives me an outlet for expression. 

As February quickly pushes January out of the way, I need to reconnect with the canvas and the camera. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lights out, Art on

So much has happened and this week has been crazy. I am trying to figure out how to coexist with many people in my life, with situations that keep happening, with my grief, with my disease and with stressors that just keep jumping in.

My son is graduation this week and all hell has broken loose. Then the  power company knocked on the door informing me that the power would be out for a little while and the entire next day. Of course, my inside voice was screaming so loudly that I can't believe he didn't hear it. I kept worrying, worrying over so much.

Then I took a deep breath. The next day, as promised, the power was out bright and early. Since I have been disabled for almost two years now, I tend to watch so much tv. I sat on the sofa and just stared. That wasn't fun.  I picked up a book and started reading but it wasn't satisfying me. I got my walker and started pacing around the house.

Ended up in the art room....my inner art freak escaped and it was okay. I finished art swaps that I was working on, a canvas for my daughter, started a canvas for a fundraiser, worked on my Book of Days journal, made some painted papers and sketched some faces for my 29 day face challenge. By the end of the day, I was stained in ink and paints. I realized part way through the day that no power meant no water so my hands had no hope. But it was okay and I loved it. I just sat and did art all day mixed with resting and it was incredible.