Um…what was I saying?

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Good morning, friends. I woke up to sunshine and a stack of birthday greetings, so I’m currently fortifying my brain and bones with coffee and preparing to meet myself at age 70 before the day’s over. It feels odd to own that milestone, but my primary emotion is thankfulness – I’ve outlived my mother by three years now, and I like not dying yet, so here we go…

Kim’s playing PickleBall for a couple of hours in NoLaw, and when he’s home and showered we’ll walk through the alley to The Roost so I can have potato pancakes like my mom made. This evening will be dinner at Basil Leaf, with serious fasting between the two birthday meals. Some industrial-strength healing is in order as well – over the weekend Kim narrowly missed getting slammed by a bronchial event, and yesterday I picked up where he left off. It’s been years, I have no idea how many, since I’ve had a cold or flu, but this thing is trying to kick my butt. Razor-blade throat, cough that won’t quit, head full of gack. My stubborn intention is to feed it, drown it in good coffee, sleep it off this afternoon, and otherwise ignore it to every extent possible.

I have projects to finish and about a million books to read, so Job One is to stick around and do life right. There are people to meet, family to embrace, music to cry over, beauty to fully appreciate, and love to hand out like candy, so I hope I get to stay here with all y’all a good long while.

Experience is worth everything and I happily own the lessons it’s taught me – I’m genuinely liking this part of life from 65 to whatevs. Things have kind of smushed together by now and squeezed out the excess baggage, so I mostly deal with only what really matters, and that works super nice.

Hey, I’m feeling better already. An excellent week to all, and come talk to me. ūüíč

 

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but listen…

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Break-time…

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weekends feel dif’rent

even for retired kiddos

neutral is the gear

JSmith 07/29/2017

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I don’t hate them anymore…

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time for a nap now

new thing from an old life gone

makes the day go right

JSmith 05/19/2017

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How bad is your OCD?

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Over¬†the years together¬†Kimmers and I have gradually realized that we’re both assorted shades of OCD. His shows up, fortunately, as a desire for neat and clean so we’ve saved serious coin by declining to engage the services of a Professional Domestic Engineer since his Mom-&-U.S.Navy Training rendered him¬†eminently qualified. He also prefers being alone in his kitchen while he works his magic according to nose and feel. It isn’t¬†nice to interfere with¬†the Zen, not to mention that it would be¬†foolish, so staying out of the way¬†and maintaining partial radio silence is no sacrifice on my part. I read yesterday that “he who feeds us is our personal god.” I’ll buy that, especially since Kim’s an entirely benevolent one and those are hard to find.

My OCDness is sort of what it¬†looks like – oddness. Odd Cranial Disarray. That’s me up there with too many things taking up space in my brain, sorting priorities, trying to stockpile enough spoons for whatever’s ahead. When it all gets to be a little much I start asking myself what needs to go, either for a while or for good. This month it was my long-term addiction to Facebook, something that felt¬†unbreakable until now. In a bold effort to rescue myself from the slough of despond over politics, which is to say daily life, I shut the door cold turkey on February 1 and the only thing I miss is comments from my real friends there. If I go back¬†when March blows in it will be with a far less engaged mindset. No rush.

The most obvious clue that I’m at least a little OCD is that whatever toy grabs my interest and attention gets¬†the “You’re my favorite thing in the world” treatment until the shiny¬†wears off. Disclaimer: The preceding statement does not apply to people I love – distractions only.

First obsession I remember was learning embroidery from my grandma, making quilts with her, making my own clothes, and then in my little old lady days falling victim to the counted cross-stitch fever that took the civilized world by storm. It was fun, expensive, and I got good at it, but alas, in the end too much work for the eyes and neck muscles, so bye-bye trunkload of fabric, floss, and patterns, hope your next mistress isn’t so fickle.

Having grown too young at that point for needlework I got my first computer and the world was new again. It turned all that industrial-strength bookkeeping on the farm into a sweet walk in the pasture, and it was chock full of games, including an elaborate DOS setup that taxed all my brain cells even as it entertained. Then…years later, when I was even younger, social media burst onto the scene in all its primal glory and began its scorched-earth march to the sea, incinerating all in its path. And hasn’t it been a barrel of laughs, boys and girls? Still is, some days, and I’ll wander back soon, to touch base if nothing else.

I have fond memories of the adorbs farming app in the early days – I lived that silly game, fretted when my crops failed because I was, incredibly, away from the computer when they ripened, took pride in arranging everything just so. One day it dawned on me that I was exerting a godlike control unavailable to me as an actual farm wife and I quietly left it to the birds and bunnies. Then came Candy Crush, the game that ate my soul.

In my current iteration as an adolescent I’m bouncing from one fill-the-blocks app to another, working an endless selection of online jigsaw puzzles and crosswords, dabbling with Twitter, and still ending up with plenty of focused hours¬†to write. Shocking how time-devouring Facebook alone is if you think you have to see every.single.thing that passes through your feed.

I started out to say something here but it got lost in the spaghetti, so let’s do this – if you have reason to think that you, too, may be eligible for the OCD Club, raise your hand, introduce yourself, and let’s have a meeting.

 

 

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“You’re faking it…”*

 

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Thursday was amazing – from morning ’til night I stayed busy with stuff people all over the civilized world do every day and never think twice about. Rolled out of bed at 8:00, had some coffee, got dressed, slapped a cap on my wild head, and strolled¬†over to the barbershop, a distance of half a block plus an alley. After all that dedication on my part, my girl Shelby wasn’t in yet, so I turned myself right around and trekked¬†back home.

Took a shower and spent the morning writing at my computer. After Kim got home from PickleBall we had lunch at Five Guys, went to Target where only he went in, stopped at the dry cleaners, Kim again, and he dropped me off for my haircut, after which I walked the block and an alley home again. Played on my computer a while, did a load of laundry, policed some clutter. Around 3:00 we went south again to Cielito Lindo, which sits that one alley I mentioned short of the barbershop, for Margaritas, chips & salsa, and forbidden queso. We were home and entertaining each other on our own balcony by 5:00, and asleep early, as in by 9:30pm.

That was a big ol’ mess of trivia and why in the everloving did I bother sharing it, you ask? Only because, since no good deed (or day) goes unpunished I woke up at 3am in full-on fibro meltdown. To expound¬†on the symptoms would turn¬†this into a whine, just know that I paid big for the best day I’ve had in quite a while, and that this is the sort of price extracted from anyone out there with an autoimmune disfunction who’s bold enough to enjoy what’s in front of them once in a while. You can say I overdid it, but if you read back through and pick out the action words you can see that it was well-paced and carefully done and didn’t amount to all that much. At no time did pain tell me to sit down and shut up, so I rambled around in the sunshine behaving like a real person just for shits & giggles. The 3am message was “Hey, girl,” sounding nothing at all¬†like Ryan Gosling, “you thought that regular stuff was for you. Haha, so sorry.”

The good news, because who can’t¬†always use¬†some, is that Friday was the only lost day this time, down from an average three. Tells me we’re on the right track with Ken & The Lymph Nodes, and that makes me happy.

The reason I’m taking the time to blog about this is that the thinly-veiled scorn that ends up out there on the backs of people who can scarcely spare the energy to deal with it is grating and I hurt on their behalf. Whatever people might say about me is none of my business, but ignorant digs at friends and family don’t go unnoticed, so I choose to fly my educator flag occasionally.

It’s all so simple – if you haven’t experienced or been diagnosed with an illness that for some reason annoys you in others then you don’t have a platform, so this is not your circus, it’s okay to wander off and take care a’ bidness, maybe contribute to the greater good through kindness or tolerance, something like that. Fibromyalgia is an invisible disease that affects 100% of the body, so you can feel really good about¬†cutting people slack, in fact that’s your mission today should you choose to accept it.

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*Don’t read past this point unless you’re in the mood¬†for naked¬†truth…

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#saturdaymorning #notwhining #Fibromyalgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep peace in your soul …

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self-care is hard-learned

after all options used up

rest has to happen

JSmith 02/15/2016

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Just get through it…

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days informed by pain

must be survived in one piece

life takes a back seat

JSmith 02/11/2016

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Namast√©…

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clear out the cobwebs

brain engages as it will

worth the good effort

JSmith 02/09/2016

#ShePersisted

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Facts of Life

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move it or lose it

the experts are not kidding

leaves not to return

JSmith 02/04/2017

 

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Today’s drama on As the Eye Turns …

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March — it’s what time DOES. ¬†Snow fell all day yesterday and the ground is white, but spring is, even as we speak, gathering up little robins and crocii and dandelions, wheee, and it will all be showing up here any minute now!

The passage of time is so very relative, and that effect seems to be accentuated when your brain is on the fritz. ¬†The day of the initial biopsy my surgeon said, “If it’s malignant we’ll do an excision, and if necessary a skin graft ….. you’ll come back in five to six weeks, we’ll remove the¬†stitches, and you should be good to go.” ¬†Crap, what did I know from what he actually said, I don’t hear for¬†beans!

The day before my six-week check-up we figured out that I’d misunderstood parts of the process, but it was not yet clear just how delusional I was. ¬†And then the appointment took all of ten¬†minutes, not counting iPad time in the waiting room. ¬†I’m not complaining,¬†let the record show, my doctor and his assistants are lovely people who excel at what they do and I adore them. ¬†But it was quickly apparent that no stitch-release stuff would be happening at that present time. ¬†Ninety-degree turn in the Expectations Hallway.

THE GOOD NEWS:¬† The graft site is healing beautifully and we’re right on schedule (the correct one). After the¬†next¬†six weeks there’s an appointment to see how much longer¬†the graft needs to cure. ¬†I was indeed self-deluded, but now I know and all is well. Most important, this is neither fatal nor permanent. And life goes on.

So it’s at least a year-long process to reach total healing — I have friends who will deal with health issues for life. ¬†One lost an eye at age two …¬†and I’m whining about stitches holding an eyelid down for a few months.

NOTE TO SELF: ¬†You are not allowed, for the duration, to apologize for looking demented, not to anybody, even if you happen to bump into¬†President Obama on Mass Street next week. ¬†{Sorry, deal’s off for the president.} ¬†But you’ll get to walk away from this at some point, maybe even by summer, and that’s almost not even fair. ¬†Your friends who’ve had to actually give up body parts are hoping nobody notices, too, and they don’t get a pass, so own your I’ve-been-drunk-for-a-week eye and live your life.

So yeah, “March¬†is the month that God designed to show those who don’t drink what a hangover is like.” ¬†–Garrison Keillor

ENJOY!

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Feels like a HumpDay …

4:00pm. ¬†Good news and bad news so far today. ¬†Rewind to …

10:45am. ¬†Kim returns¬†from his annual cardiology exam/report full of great news — the sonogram shows no sign of muscle damage, his blood pressure read 116/63 in the office, and he is, in clinical terms, healthy as a horse. ¬†Everybody hugs and does the happy dance and the house feels warm, and safer than it did at 9:45¬†before his doctor¬†said to him “You should be around for a very long time.”

11:45am. ¬†My surgeon’s assistant calls to remind me about tomorrow morning’s appointment, which I think¬†is¬†for finishing the graft and freeing¬†my eyelid again but is simply a check-up, at which time Dr. Khan will determine how much longer the graft has to “bake.” I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.

11:46am.  A meltdown may or may not take place, after which Kim takes me to Hog Wild BBQ for a loaded baked potato bigger than my head.  Carb therapy.

2:00pm to present. ¬†Lying prone in a darkened room¬†does wonders for temporary insanity, and by darkened room I mean Facebook and WordPress. ¬†By *lying prone* I mean I’ve intentionally flat-lined for a while, and by *temporary insanity* I mean batshit crazy.

4:15pm. ¬†It’s all¬†good news, of course. ¬†A delay in ditching an irritant does not a tragedy make, the graft looks like it’s healing perfectly, and my well-worn face has not been further marred —¬†the scar is going to fade¬†beautifully¬†and who really cares!

Staying cozy tonight with Kim and Madison and feeling grateful.  Another HumpDay conquered.

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It’s like life …


… you just jump in somewhere.

I fell asleep last night thinking “Two more dayszZzzzz.” ¬†Yes, kids, this Thursday morning the finish work on the skin graft will happen and the stitches at the inner and outer corners of my eye will be released and life will go on. ¬†Just like that. ¬†Moment of silence, please, while I pay homage to the preceding two months that passed in spite of me. ¬†Thank you.

So … as I was saying, anything can derail us from writing. ¬†It’s a challenge for me to stay focused on the best day, and because I’m a pansy-ass I have to say that the past sixty days or so, taken in their entirety, will not¬†make¬†my “best” list. ¬† Parts of them were excellent, of course¬†… but I digress.

The eye thing is turning out to be a bit of a watershed event (one in¬†a continuing series) in ways I’m still figuring out. ¬†At first it was the teensiest bit scary, and then it was painful, and then it was, and still is, just a nuisance. ¬†It knocked me off my writing rocker, but lonnng since¬†I could see in stereo again I’ve just hung around down here on the floor hoping nobody would notice. ¬†The horse waits …

My dearest, sweetest, most wonderful, funniest, very possibly smartest WordPress/Facebook/Real True Friend Cristy Carrington Lewis triple-dog challenged¬†me to a write-off, first poster wins. ¬†This is me posting but I hope she wins, she’s so precious. ¬†Go say hello at¬†http://paltrymeanderings.com. ¬†She answers to Miss Snarky Pants and she writes a “Humor Blog for Horrible People.” ¬†I ‚̧ԳŹ her.

Here’s to you, darling girl. ¬†Much success as you travel through the blogosphere, and not only in besting silver-haired adolescent seniors (my truth is safe with you, no?) … but in making your mark, of course.

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Yes. Most emphatically still here.

Anyone between 40 and 65+ gets this — once it starts you’ll do everything cheap and painless to make it stop. ¬†And by it¬†of course I mean aging. ¬†I squandered¬†at least 25 years’-worth of primo brain cells cursing every line, gray hair, and¬†extra¬†pound — “STOP! ¬†STOP IT!! ¬†STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!!! ¬†GIVE ME SOME TIME TO MENTALLY PREPARE!! ¬†{Interweave creative language of your choosing.}”

Over the years it’s inexplicably¬†gotten more challenging to match up the two realities: ¬†I don’t feel any older in my psyche, I’m in fact regressing and there are those who own evidence to prove it, but my exterior road map is¬†relentlessly becoming more detailed, my once-blonde/brown/henna-ish hair¬†has at long last come out of the closet as its own true amazing silver, and my late-life-acquired supplemental mass is stubborn and sneaky so I’ve decided to own it for warmth, comfort, and familiarity.

The rush in all of this is that it doesn’t feel like I’m giving up. ¬†I only have to adapt to the kindergartener¬†around my waist¬†until winter’s over — it’s cruelly cold outside — and then I’m thinking I’ll work on it again. ¬†Or … you know …..¬†just possibly¬†not, really, not in any stressed-out sort of way. ¬†Because even though my lines and veins are more visible now, I’ve survived to a point¬†where this body’s¬†pretty freaking okay for its years and experiences. ¬†And I’m in love with my shiny silver hair that Shelby at the barbershop cuts for $10+tip and gives it¬†a life of¬†its own so that I might have 99 problems but my hair isn’t ever one of them. ¬†(If I wanted to pull senior rank on her she’d cut it for $5 and probably say about her¬†tip “Oh honey, that’s fine, go buy a coffee or something.” ¬†But WTF, are you kidding?! ¬†Baby Jesus, don’t¬†ever let me¬†get THAT kind of old!) ¬†So anyway how truly awful could it be to haul around more pounds than my body was designed for? ¬†Oh, wait … right … wasn’t taking the whole Life & Death thing into account. ¬†So … you know … erroneous THERE, but …

Well, so I’m going with two out of three unless or until I can change, but meanwhile that tiresome head-voice has gone strangely silent. ¬†After all those years of fighting my body … okay, it was a half-hearted effort at best … she and I are¬†starting to feel like real friends. ¬†Not like, hey I forgive you for being such a biotch and embarrassing me … just … hey … no forgivey-stuff required, I’m you and you’re me and we like each other fine and this feels good. ¬†And wow, hey, look at all the options that just opened up!

“Having work done” was¬†never part of my bucket list, and after having my face sliced and stitched up last month I can tell you that there’s no way I’d do it voluntarily just because things weren’t close enough to perfect. ¬†The twelve women in the slideshow linked here are some of my best role models — I hope you’ll revel in their happy¬†stories!

http://www.purpleclover.com/entertainment/3543-12-stars-say-no-to-plastic-surgery/

I love this woman like Kanye loves Kanye!

JamieLee

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Really? Are you kidding me?

See the post before this one? ¬†Okay … GUESS. WHAT. DAY. IT. IS!! ¬†Yes. ¬†Again.

So it may or may not have been a somewhat challenging week in which whimpering, bitching, and one hugh-jass¬†meltdown happened. ¬†Pretty sure there was an afternoon where somebody cried for two or three hours and totally freaked out her husband and fluffy little¬†dog. ¬†The upside is that the eye — the sumbish¬†in our story — actually felt better afterward, so there’s that.

The days have slipped by and the weather outside has gone from cold to warm to cold again. ¬†We’re hibernating … but ready to be sociable. ¬†Not today so much, because it’s snowy and wet and feels like 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and what you hear me saying is that unless you’re coming to our house we won’t be seeing you yet, because the fireplace is just too nice, and Maddie and I are snuggled¬†at my desk with the divine little radiant heater Kim got us today, the same Kim who’s adorably zoned out “watching” TV … ¬†and we’re just not leaving, you can’t make us leave.

It’s gray here, and cold. ¬†I’m glad that never lasts. ¬†Grass and leaves and sunshine always feel slow coming back, just like health and well-being, but it all gets here, and mostly on time.

Coming back. ¬†Might even be back again tomorrow …

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