Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Blue Skies?


image courtesy of jplenio, pixabay. Licensed by pixabay.

Skies in central Kentucky have been pretty gray and are getting me down. And yet, I feel as if blue skies might finally be showing up. My dental work looks to be at an end until April (praise Jesus), some things in my life now appear under control (not that any of us has anything under control, you understand), and I'm singing again with a renewed interest in the local classical group. Last night's first rehearsal for the April 5 concert went well, and I love the music: Mozart, Bach, Purcell, etc., all the old stuff. (Sight-reading Mozart I don't love quite as much, I admit.) 

But it's been a tough winter. They've all been tough since we moved here, each for different reasons. This year, my winter depression has increased, and I suspect the climate is to blame. I miss the cold but bright days of Massachusetts. Believe it or not, New England is generally sunnier than central KY. I've just about had it with the insufferably constant gray skies. Not having traveled in many months isn't helping, of course. Fond memories of Destin remain.

But all is not terrible. A reason to celebrate always seems nearby. I'm making art with acrylics, which feels wonderful (TG the husband goes away on Fri afternoons so I have some glorious alone time to make art!), I'm working on projects around the house--including planning the 2019 garden--I'm exercising, and friends and church provide an invisible safety net I can feel supporting me when things go badly. Feeling supported is something I relish, because much of my life, I felt little to no support.

Chores that have needed doing for one, two, even three years are slowly being dealt with. Expenses are being tracked and brought under control. Budgets aren't far behind. It's a lot of work, but the work is necessary and pleasing. On top of that, I'm decluttering, I'm cooking good food, I'm volunteering and making a difference, and Kitty seems back on an even keel after a nasty crisis at the end of last week.

All in all, everything is improving. Last fall/the holiday period were rough, with medication problems and other snafus, but as I move further into winter, I can feel the days lengthening. It reminds me that spring isn't too far off, so I need to prepare before the good weather and sunshine catch me by surprise.

My favorite season is certainly not winter, though I enjoy a New England one complete with alternating sunshine and snow (as opposed to rain, rain, rain here in KY). I need sunlight like I need oxygen and hate taking antidepressants because they are simply no substitute for the real thing. At the moment, I can't travel to sunny areas, so the trapped feeling comes and goes. But if we had some real snow followed by some bright sunshine, I'd not feel half as bad. Cross-country skiing...

I cannot wait for the end of February. That's when I'm finally able to phase off the drugs and enjoy the lengthening days. Then, March arrives, and it's time to plant the cold weather crops, and summer is on its way. Life turns up the volume at that point.

But I admit it's nice to hibernate a bit in front of a heater, reading a good novel or bingeing on old TV shows (I'm almost through season 2 of "ER", one of my old favorites).

Do you have a favorite season? I'd love to hear what it is.

Do you plan to grow a garden this year? If so, are you trying anything new?

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The Unbearable Heaviness of Anxiety

Image courtesy of geralt, pixabay. Creative Commons licensed.

Tough times today. I have some major dental work scheduled this p.m. that is freaking me out. Dental work beyond a cleaning/x-rays is my biggest phobia. I have yet to find a dental practice that is as compassionate as the one I had in Massachusetts (God bless you, Dr. Poras), but until I find one, there's nitrous oxide and speaking up about things that bother me (like forbidding novocaine shot into my jaw joint rather than in the gums around the tooth, because jaw injections cause lingering pain that lasts for 8 weeks--NOPE, not dealing with that!).

The reasons for my anxiety lie in my youth, and are not important here. Suffice it to say that I need a lot of support today. I have a friend who volunteered to go with me to Lex, but I've decided to go alone and just have the gas. It worked for my recent root canal, which had me wild with agitation. And I know I alone am the best soother of me when things are rough. Call it an unexpected positive derived from learning to cope with a shitty, abusive childhood.

My serenity is seriously compromised today. I might go someplace afterwards for a snack/meal/drink because I'll be released around 5 PM and won't be able to deal with rush hour traffic in Lex. I'll need space. TG someone is home with my Kitty because she has not been well lately.

I generally take a shower before I go see any health provider. Not today. That's how wired up I am. Sorry, dudes. Hopefully I am not too stanky.

I know it will all be okay later, but for now--please drop a good thought or a prayer for me.

This is why I've never read the book/seen the movie "Marathon Man." Tortured in a dental chair? Oh, HELL, no. RL is bad enough.



Tuesday, January 08, 2019

New Year, New Focus

Image courtesy of geralt on pixabay. Creative Commons licensed.
It's been a while since I was here. Life got in the way--multiple dental problems, medical procedures, and general busyness. (Nothing serious is wrong, BTW.) I'll try to do better when it comes to keeping up the blog.

I have decided that visual art rather than words is the best way for me to express my creativity for now. While I might write the occasional piece for my own enjoyment, there is no money to be made in that space any more, not with Amazon's policies/KDP (which I refuse to participate in because it enriches no one but Amazon--it's a race to the bottom). I'd still write except for the fact that my regular publisher has gone out of business. She, too, cannot make money in the current environment.

I don't like the way our country's economic future looks. But that's another blog post for another time.

As for the visual art I plan to turn out, it will involve decorating useful things in fun and funky ways. I think there will be an Etsy shop in my future. I'll let you know. Need any fun small furniture items? I will ship all across the USA.

In more mundane matters, I'm slowly clearing out clutter and revamping my living space. So far, so good. I've begun exercising on an almost-daily basis again, running yesterday for the first time in weeks. I want my life back, and I am slowly reclaiming it. Not to mention I have to start training for the National Senior Games (June).

I've also spent time thinking about what I REALLY want to do this year. I am fortunate to have the luxury of a lot of free time at the moment. How do I want to spend it? What (and with whom) do I want to engage in/with?

I'm leaving huge chunks of time unscheduled each week. I haven't had a lot of free time on a regular basis since 2013. Even if my butt stays planted in the greater Berea area, it's good to know I will have a lot of thinking and dreaming time.

But I DO hope to engage in more traveling in 2019. Maybe I'll come see you!

What are your hopes/dreams/resolutions for the new year? I'd love to know.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Happy the Shoes

My photo. A stack of used-up walking and running shoes early in my athletic transformation.
No, this post is not about athletics or running. It's about donations.

I woke up way too early this morning, but dozed a little after 5 am, only to have the phrase, "Happy the shoes" echo in my head. I suppose it's because I donated four pairs of running shoes yesterday at DSW Shoes in Lexington to Soles 4 Souls, a charity I especially like. S4S takes gently-used (or new) shoes of all types, not just athletic shoes, and gives them to people who need them. As they say, a good pair of shoes can change a person's life--preventing disease and other health problems, keeping them warm, making it possible to go to school or work, and helping them feel better about themselves. (Please, the shoes must be in good condition if you are thinking of donating--my running shoes are used up for running after 500 miles or so, but still have plenty of other life in them and look okay. I run through about three pairs a year, and I can't keep them all for walking and other uses. So I donate the best ones.)

Anyway, I lay there, thinking how strange the phrase was and what it might mean. Are the shoes happy? Are the people who receive the shoes happy? Are the people who work at the charity happy? I haven't decided yet which is the right question to ask, or what any of the answers are.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

And I'm Back

My photo.

How did it get to be nearly a month since my last blog post? Well....

  • Work
  • Bad tooth
  • Other health concerns (not serious)
  • Other chores--fall is busy when you have a house and garden
In fact, fall has come and nearly gone by now. We've had more than one frost here.

I'm starting a new phase of my life. I'm taking a break from contract writing and plan to improve my mental health, which is in a state of disrepair. Going forward, I'll concentrate on fiction writing and nonfiction articles about personal finance when it comes to work. But I'm going to make a lot of time for other activities. I need to. I have to keep too many plates spinning at once, and they had begun hitting the ground and crashing.

One of the first things I'll do is participate in NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. While I do so, I'll remember my friend Glenn, who often took part but, even when he didn't, supplied much encouragement to other writers. God bless Glenn, wherever he is now in the wider life, as we like to say in my church. I miss you, you cranky not-so-old bastard.

More will appear soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Away

Sandestin Beach at evening. Photo courtesy of family
After the Senior Games, I took care of neglected things for a couple of days, then headed to Sandestin, FL, for time with my grandson and family. What a wonderful trip! Travel, going away, and just spending time by myself in airports (and writing) all help clear my head.

I came back home with realizations that my life needed to change. I have issues I need to deal with. Therefore, I gave notice at my job. It had to happen. Because it's an open-ended contract, I might ask to come back sometime next year, as I am leaving on good terms. But for now, I need to get my head together, as we used to say around 1970 or so.

For now, it's finish out the work I've committed to, then it will be time to take care of some long-neglected parts of me. I will also write things I want to write and have been stifling for three years. Once I see how I can do writing other material (and whether I can make some money at it), I'll decide on my next steps.

I'll probably never have the money to own at place at this location, but I can rent a place and go back to visit. That I will do. Maybe even with family again! I sure hope so.

One view of the immediate neighborhood. Photo courtesy of family.



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Senior Games

I'm heading out tomorrow to see family and take a 3-day Florida vacation. Today is busy, but I wanted to post how I did at the Kentucky Senior Games, which were Sunday, Sep 16. If you've already seen this information, feel free to skip this post.

I ended up with 5 golds, 5 silvers, and one bronze. Some of those medals are qualified with, "Kentucky gold," etc., meaning I didn't take first place overall, just among KY participants. Which means, in cases like the javelin where I was dead last but was the only one competing from KY, I got a gold medal. So the medals are not a big deal to me.

What matters is that  I qualified in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m race walk, shot put, javelin, discus, high jump, and long jump for the National Senior Games next June. I'm especially excited about my 100m race, where I had the fun of actually beating someone (LOL) and turned in my best time ever--23.62 sec, or around 9.5 mph (I was second). The 200m makes me even happier--54.64 sec, or a little less than 8.5 mph. I have never done either distance that fast before. None of the rest of my results are all that exciting, but the 100m and 200m make me feel proud.

So, it was a great day where I also had a lot of fun and enjoyed talking with like-minded women my age and older. Tropical Depression Florence stayed away--only a few sprinkles of rain and it wasn't unbearably hot. I won't train all this week, just do normal exercise and enjoy the moment!

Yesterday was a rest day, so today I run myself ragged, metaphorically speaking, to get ready for my trip. See you on the other side!