my handsome French love in silhouette
I’ve been wanting to learn how to knit socks for years. I’ve always had trouble with the heel and I’ve tried following many a pattern off and on but was never able to figure it out.
I admit I’m not one that learns easily from a book when it comes to knitting or crocheting. I’m much better if someone shows me and then the lightbulb goes off.
Since having three rounds of chemo it’s difficult for me to understand things, so trying to learn again how to do the dreaded heel in socks is even more exasperating.
However in the last couple of months I’ve been wanting to push myself a little in strengthening the ole noggin.
Granted reading books and news is an on going daily routine even if I forget half of what I read or get a bit confused by it all.
(I’ve also been pushing myself with books that once would have been fine for me to read but now requires heavy concentration
and keeping my dictionary app at the ready but I’ll save that story for another post).
However I thought in the spirit of trying to exercise my brain
(and in the hopes of getting it to what once was) I decide to try my hand yet again at knitting socks.
I was able to find a very easy step by step pattern online that also included pictures. I’m happy to say that I’ve finished my first pair of socks!
I’m very happy with myself and I understand this may seem like a trivial thing (certainly not like reading Ulysses) yet for me,
it was a small step in overcoming a long held intimidation of sock knitting and a small step in hopefully trying to get my brain working better.
My hope is that the more I push myself, even slightly, it will grow stronger.
Today finds me feeling better then I have been, both mentally and physically. I’ve been getting over being sick yet again and I gotta tell you.. I was feeling last night that it’s really starting to get old and feeling pretty down. However this morning’s beautiful skies put me right again.
I woke up just before the sun was starting to rise so I was lucky to be able to witness the most amazing show mother nature had put on for this Thursday.
First the sky was full of slate gray clouds that looked as if they were boiling and ready to spill over. I witnessed this as I let me dogs out and immediately grabbed my camera and went out and did my best to try to immortalize it.
It was a beautiful site to behold. After a couple of minutes I went back in and for the time it took for me to make a cup of coffee and sit down at my computer, (which I’m lucky enough faces this beautiful sky that is over the Kennebec River) the sky had changed yet again. The slate clouds transformed into more relaxed blues and pinks from the rising sun.
As I watched this happening I noticed to my left a glow in the woods that reminding me of burning trees when in fact it was the rising dawn casting the most luscious reds mixed with warm yellows and oranges. They looked liked they were ablaze. The image here really doesn’t do it justice but hopefully you get the gist.
But as I sit and and write, I think about it, maybe it’s best not to capture it perfectly, for if we could, then we might lose our wonder and awe at being able to witness such beauty.
Needless to say, seeing the magical transformations in the skies this morning allowed me to shift my thoughts and my emotions to a better place. I will hopefully remember these skies though out the day and know that when I do they will take me to that place of awe and gratitude that has been restored thankfully once again.
~ peace ~
“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
I can’t express how much everyone’s comments have meant to me on my “that thing we have” post. I am humbled and oh so very grateful to read such moving and inspirational words of love. They have brought tears to my eyes and new meaning to my heart.
While it was upsetting at first to start losing my hair I have come to accept it pretty quickly. I will be getting it cut shorter this week to take some control of it and to make the transition easier for when I do lose it all. Also to be honest I am shedding now more then my two dogs and it’s a bit tiresome to be always plucking hairs from everywhere.
So here I am today after having some meaningful conversations with my sister and my beautiful daughter Hayley. I feel like I have a new lease on life.. can you believe it. This is how I am now looking at having cancer. It has woken me up to see that maybe I need to slow down after being so busy and taking care of so many things for oh so many years. I’ve thought I’ve been taking care of myself but maybe just on the outside. Yes.. some on the inside but not enough.
I was feeling pretty lousy last week because I had all this free time I thought I had no focus and no purpose any more. I realized after chatting with the above said loves of my life that maybe the focus should be me. I have no option but to take it easy and not always be doing something. I don’t have to feel guilty about just being in the here and now all the time. Event he finances I’m feeling less stressed about because somehow I am hoping they will get taken care of. Of course I will help it along the way as best I can but.. if I really take care of myself then hopefully it will all fall into place.
Taking care of myself will mean actually learning to like myself. I mean really like myself and honor who I am. Even as I write this it feels uncomfortable and a little egotistical to say but.. as those beautiful comments pointed out I have some qualities that I don’t value as much as other people do and I really need to. I need to learn what is truly important even if it means losing my hair, shutting off the cable due to finances, losing some other things that I thought made me who I am. Cancer is making me strip away the facade of who I think I am and if I take the opportunity, forcing me to look within myself and as my sister said ask myself “who am I” and this is not to be defined by what my job is or that I have a house, things etc.. but who am I in this world, how does my spirit fit in in the cosmic/spiritual way of things.
Cancer is not something I would wish on anyone, including myself , however, maybe there can be lessons learned from having it and therefore by having it making it work for me rather then against me. I know I will still have bad days, I know when I get my hair cut short I will cry ( and I know this is ok), I know when it is completely gone I will be sad, I know there may be other more serious hurdles ahead of me. I have to believe that there will be a better me for me coming out of this. I need to see what you all see because frankly I don’t. I want to love myself as much as you all do.. and cancer is giving me this opportunity.
While I am grateful to everyone for their love during this time, I am also learning to be thankful for this very humbling situation I now find myself in and I will not take it lightly. I will be using this time to allow myself to discover who I really am, even if you all know it.. I need to now know it and more importantly believe it.
~ peace ~
You know your still in Maine when it’s April and one week it can be 75 degrees and two weeks later it snows.. the great thing is we know it won’t last. In fact even as I write this (granted it’s taken me almost 2 hours total) the snow shown on these buds are now gone. I have to admit I was happy to see some more snow and thankful it is now melted.
This has been a long, hard week. I’m starting to have a hard time with not working and having all this free time. Feeling a bit useless and unproductive. It is so not me to sit around most of the day but that is the reality of my life as of late. The fatigue is daunting. It comes on at times without any notice.. and consumes me. Then there is the dizziness and feeling of vertigo that comes along with it, again out of nowhere. I have to admit it is a struggle to find some blessings among the realities of the week. However, finding the blessings, even elusive as they can seemingly be is what makes these realities bearable.
Realities: My body not working as good as I would like it to. For months before I was diagnosed I was having pain and fatigue, just wasn’t sure what it was. Now of course I know, however knowing doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. In fact I know it may get worse before it gets better and the worse could be for months more yet.
Blessings: Learning to try to not worry about the things I can’t control and control the things I can. Last night I was reading this magazine called Cure Today which is my first foray into the reading world of cancer. I just read my second issue and I have to say it has been a relief to read what is in it. It talks about all aspects of cancer as well as bringing other some non conventional methods of trying to deal with the emotional and physical effects from cancer. The line above about control was mentioned in an article I was reading and it made me realize that this is what I need to work on and learn how to do. Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, which as of late is a lot. I need to focus on what I can do and should be thankful to still be able to do. That includes taking the moments when I’m feeling ok to take photos, edit them even if it’s only one at a time. Make blog posts such as this again, only a moment or two at a time but at least it can be done and really.. what is the rush.. there isn’t. It really was a blessing to read what I did. Made me realize I need to be easier on myself.
Realities: Along with financial difficulties I’ve been having and will have in the future I also have been having some depression. I need to be honest and say that while it is worse then before I’m not having any horrible thoughts, please don’t worry about that. Its just that I’m still trying to process all this new news. Yesterday was 4 weeks to the day since my diagnosis and I’m still processing and now trying to live day to day with it. That includes trying to plan my financial situation as best I can and try to prop myself up with a positive attitude but sometimes.. it’s just too much.
Blessings: Just when I’m feeling really bad about said finances and my mental health is low I get another email, notes, call etc with words of encouragement or just a one liner to say hello. I was given this beautiful quilt pictured here by a friend of mine who’s sister made it for me when my friend told her about me. She’s is amazing, she made it in a few days!! Then she, the sister brought it to her workplace and has people sew in a piece of thread and knot it all the while saying a prayer for me. Then my friend whom I also work with brought it to the poison center and had them to the same thing. I can’t express how special this quilt is to me, made for me by someone I don’t know and with prayers sewn in by people who don’t know me and people who do know me. I keep it on the couch and it is always on me.. reminding me of how very blessed I am and even when I am feeling alone I really am not. All I have to do is look down and see all these thoughtfully tied knots.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.. thank you again for all the well wishes and comments. You have know idea how much they mean to me. Even if at times I am unable to express my gratitude due to being sick know that I am.
~ peace ~
I mentioned in yesterday’s post about starting a Realities and Blessings weekly post.. here it is.. and I got this wonderful idea from Miss Maegan and you can see her latest post on this here..
Realities : I’m finding it very odd and a bit surreal to not work and thereby have a set schedule. I have a few doctor’s appt’s here and there but overall I have a lot of free time on my hands. I try to find things to do and because I’ve been not feeling well those things are done slowly so that does take up some time. I also never know what day it is which really throws me off. Sometimes I feel like life is passing me by.
Blessings: Having a set schedule is something we all need but since I don’t have one I’m trying to find the blessing in this and to my surprise what I’m finding is that I’m less stressed out. I can take my time to do really anything. When I go out to do an errand I have no rush to be back. My time if totally mine and if something doesn’t get finished before I leave for the errand I still have that afternoon or the next day or the day after that to do it. Even more then ever I am truly living in the moment.
Realities: I don’t really have people that I go out with much or even talk to much.. I’ve always been a solitary person and I love my time alone with me. I find I really need it.
Blessings: I’m so amazed at how many people have emailed, called, wrote etc that I haven’t talked to in years. I am truly blessed to know so many people who even tho I didn’t keep in active contact before with now are keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.
Realities: The pain.. it’s there and it sucks. It keeps me up at night if I don’t take enough pain meds and is with me all day to keep reminding of what is going on inside my body.
Blessing: I have to say this is a hard one to find a blessing in. However, the blessing really is that even tho I’m up at night at times and some days am on the couch, at least I don’t have to go to work and I have people around me who will help me if I need it. While it doesn’t take away the pain it makes it more tolerable.
There.. I did my first weekly Realities and Blessings post.. thank you to Maegan who gave me the idea quite a while ago. I just now finally felt up to doing it and I tell ya.. it sure does help. I always have to see the positive in something and I will continue to do so fighting Lymphoma.
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend 🙂
~ peace ~
“The sun sliced through the windshield, sealing me in light. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth on my eyelids. Sunlight traveled a long distance to reach this planet; an infinitesimal portion of that sunlight was enough to warm my eyelids. I was moved. That something as insignificant as an eyelid had its place in the workings on the universe, that the cosmic order did not overlook this momentary fact.”
The soup in the photo above was my lunch today.. and represents the gratitude portion of my post today. My mother volunteers at a local church here in Hallowell. My mother had mentioned to the woman she works that I wasn’t feeling well. When the woman came to pick up my mother this morning, to bring her to the church she dropped off this delicious homemade chicken soup for me. My gratitude is for this kind act and I am deeply appreciative.. thank you Helene 🙂
The giving portion today has been a little difficult as I’ve had a lot of things going on today and didn’t get out at all. I was busy editing the last of the wedding photographs and dealing with some personal issues that came up over the last few days. So.. my giving today will be prayers. They go to to people for different reasons.. the first is to Hayley whom I was supposed to be seeing at the end of the week which would be the first time in two months I would see her. Well she is sick.. her roommate has the flu and was sent home for a week a couple of days ago and now Hayley herself is sick and quarantined to her room for one week. So.. I will not be able to go down to visit nor will my sister and her kids as they were going to as well. To Hayley I am thinking of you and giving you my healing thoughts and prayers.
The other giving thought is to someone who is close to me and all I will say is you are in my prayers as well for reasons of which you know..
The leaf in the photo represents my thoughts being taken and passed along to you both..
I was reading a magazine while at work this past weekend (I go to the local library and check a bunch out to bring with me on my weekends at work) and read a story that talked about a project called “29 days of giving”. Every day for 29 days it was recommend to give something to someone, whether your know them or not. It doesn’t have to be bought, it can be good thoughts sent out. It could be a smile to a stranger, helping someone carrying bags if there arms are full, letting someone cross the street or make a turn, giving what you can to a local charity. The point is to give something to someone however small every day. The trick is to do it and let go of it, don’t think of how they will interpret it or what you will get in return from it. This idea follows what I’ve always believed.. doing something for someone or giving something whatever that may be shouldn’t come with an expected response. I feel you should just give to give. With no conditions on it. Kinda of of like Karma.. in the story the woman gave things and in turn she found she was also given things that she never would have expected.
In the story she did it and wrote it in a journal. I thought I would do it and somehow document it via images. Not sure it can be down to the tee but even if I send out a thought or prayer I will try to use an image and accompany with with what I gave. Alot of other people who have done similar projects do them for 365 days.. which is a bit daunting to me.. I will try 29 and see how that goes. I can always tack on another 29 at the end.
I also want to try to do a gratitude project as well.. same manner as what I would do for the giving. Will try to do it daily but there will be some days I won’t be able to do to work constraints but I will do my best on both of these projects which should keep my creativity flowing this winter as the snow flies.