Both of these photos are from 2010. I love how the pomegranate almost looks like some sort of (alien?) brain. I can't remember for sure but I think I took this one with an old phone I had.
This is lagniappe: In my reading, I am learning about how my taking care of my health today is like giving a gift to my future self. I really like that thought and it helps me to stay on track.
(This is my contribution to week seven of the 52 Photos Project. Go check it out, there are lots of pretty crimson things.)
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
I am often all too willing to allow my own tender new growth to be plucked out from the roots by relatively neutral outside sources.
Such was the case this morning when I thought one of my health related phone apps wasn't working right and I thought I was not getting the results I wanted after eating better and exercising for a month.
I drove to work telling myself not to let those apparent setbacks trip me up (“don't let defeat trip you”—listen to your own words, girl), keep on doing what you're doing and trust the process. By the time I arrived, my phone app was working correctly and had received the information and I googled to find out my disappointing results were not as bad as I'd thought.
Sometimes all it takes is a little straight talk from myself to my myself! So—another crisis averted (meaning, mostly, that I did not attack the vending machine and eat all the chocolate candy I could afford)!
Saturday, June 01, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
We see this sight every time we make our drive to the country. And since we go after work on Friday, the light is gorgeous when we pass. This photo does not do the scene justice! I notice it every single time and I have been saying that I'd like to stop and take a few photos of the sight. A couple of weekends ago, my husband pulled off to the side of the road and I got out and took pictures. Technically speaking, this is not a "spot on" photo. The highlights are blown out a bit. But I still like it and I can pretend I blew out the highlights on purpose!
I'd said something similar to this to a friend in email one day and it was suggested the words would do well in a "thang" and I immediately decided I'd like to use this photo. What I did was to make the photo reflect itself and combined that into one photo. I like the way it turned out. You may not be able to see the detail as well in this web-sized version but to me, it looks like there are a couple of faces in the photo. In looking at it, I realized that I had not made the ends of the photo reflect that I'd intended to.
This is what I intended to do originally, to join the lighter ends. But I liked the way the trees came together in the original version so I kept it. I'm waiting for inspiration to come for this photo. In the meantime, I like it as it is. It almost looks like a set of pincers coming together, doesn't it?
Actually, I have a version in the works with a Jung quote on it but I am not sure that is what I want to use for this photo so I am keeping it under wraps for now.
Uncommon shapes, that's the theme for week six of the 52 Photos Project.
Monday, May 27, 2013
I've been thinking about that a lot lately, how we never really "arrive," how we "learn" some lessons over and over in life. One of my biggest downfalls is that I think I have to have everything in order before I tackle actually living. It is not so, people! I have to live right here, right now, where I am, or I will have wasted my life.
Begin the work, the task, whatever it is, and know you may work on it your entire life, or you may complete the task only to be faced with other tasks. Such is life, I suppose.
Several weeks ago, I very casually began (or restarted) the task of moving toward better physical health. I signed up for "myfitnesspal" and "sparkpeople." I have been walking almost every day, I've been taking my medicines as prescribed (not skipping my night doses, not pouting because I have to take meds) and I have been tracking everything I eat. I installed the apps on my phone which makes it very easy to enter all the information. I've lost some weight. I'm not sure how much because I did not have a scale when I started and I just guessed my weight based on my last doctor visit. I am now within one or two pounds of where I was in November of 2011 after I had my cancer surgery*. But I still have more to lose. I've almost been doing this long enough that the experts would say I have established the habit. I am not so sure. In some ways, it is a big fat mind game, and I keep having to tell myself that just because I might not being doing the task perfectly, it doesn't mean I should quit altogether.
I checked out a book from the library (twice, I'm going to order a copy for myself) that has been very helpful to me. It's called "The Healthiest You: Take Charge of Your Brain to Change Your Life," by Kelly Traver. It's a 12 week program where you make small changes over the course of time. Of course, I have not followed her suggestions! I am still reading through the book. She does an excellent job of explaining things in terms so that one can make the connection between bad eating habits and poor health. I was planning on reading the book cover to cover and then going back and implementing her various tasks through the 12 weeks. As it turned out, I signed myself up on those websites and began recording my food intake and exercising. So I have begun. And I hope I continue!
Perhaps the "gardening theory" I spoke of earlier will work for me in my pursuit of better health--the good habits I am planting will soon (eventually) overtake the bad habits if I just keep on working on them.
(*A story of varying perspectives about my weight loss before and after the colon cancer surgery: When I went to visit the surgeon for the first time, I was a tad bit proud of my recent weight loss of about 20 pounds. However, I still was overweight. So when the surgeon mentioned the problem of having to go through "some fat" I was just a little bit insulted at first thought! But I realized he was right and it IS a problem.
I was visiting with an old friend the other night whose youngest daughter had to have surgery for Chron's disease. She'd had her surgery done here in town and couldn't remember the surgeon's name. She told the story of how the doctor who recommended the surgery told her daughter the surgeon would LOVE operating on her because she was thin!
I realized then that she was probable talking about my surgeon so I named my surgeon to my friend and she said "yeah, that's him!" So I was mad all over again at my surgeon for daring to mention the obvious to me!
In spite of that, I liked him a lot and he did a great job. He is known around here as the Colon King. He served in the military and worked around big military jets which impacted his hearing. So you have to sort of talk loud about your business. That part was not so much fun, yelling out in a hospital room where you know they can hear you all through the halls, "YEAH, DOC, MY BOWELS MOVED TODAY. IT WAS GREAT AND EVERYTHING WORKED JUST FINE!")
Two last things and I will hush--My oncologist told me the biggest factor that would cause the cancer to come back is a high fat diet. I read on the internet that not enough oncologists tell their patients that regular exercise is a huge help in causing cancers not to come back. I am trying to work on both of those factors. I can't control these things (and I do not necessarily spend a lot of time fretting about it coming back) but I can do some things to help improve my odds.
Actually, I have one other thing to say about this current pursuit of better health. I have a friend at work who has done an awful lot of work on her health and fitness. It's been very inspiring to watch her and to see the results of the changes she has made. I won't name her here, but she knows who she is and I just want to say, "thank you very much, friend, for the inspiration and the courageous example you have been." I just might add a few years to my life, thanks to you!
Saturday, May 25, 2013
I've seen this quote several places in the last week, with people passing it on from Rick Warren's Facebook page.
In 2011, I was inducted into two tribes, neither of which I wanted to be in. The first was the Cancer Tribe in November, the second was the Bereaved Parent Tribe in December. And, well, a year later I was also inducted into the One Year Cancer Free Tribe, which I wanted to belong to and for which I am very grateful.
These things change your life. And you learn things about how to comfort others, things you might never have learned any other way. But it's a high price to pay for the privilege of learning.
It takes a special kind of person, a hardy person, to be able to "show up and shut up" and, I would add, sit with, a person in such deep pain, in that place where there are often so many unanswered questions.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
(and a story of grief and gratitude, of joy and sorrow)
3X3X365 that talked about honoring death and grief (it's the middle photo and story). When she wrote about the grave being covered by fake green grass carpet, she triggered a memory for me of my son's burial.
The cemetery is about an hour and a half away from where the funeral services were held. Several of his friends stopped to eat at a home where they all often hung out together. They thought they had plenty of time. But they were a little late arriving, and some of them were pallbearers. Because the friends were late and we took a little longer than planned, the grave digger people could not wait for us to all clear out before they lowered the casket. They had another burial at another cemetery to attend to. So there I was, still sitting in my front row seat, the grieving mother with what was left of her family. I watched carefully as they lowered the casket in the ground and then shoveled the dirt back in over the casket. Somehow, watching that ritual was strangely comforting to me.
I did not know until I read the blog post story today about honoring death and grief that I am so grateful his friends were a little late so that circumstances transpired such that I could sit and breathe my final goodbyes to my son's body.
Joy and sorrow, they are never far apart.