Right Here, Right Now

2015 January 30
by Jenny

as you are.’ says the universe.
‘after…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘before…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘when…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘how…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘why…’ you answer.
‘because
you are happening now.
right now.
right at this moment
and
your happening
is beautiful.
the thing that both keeps me
alive
and
brings me to my knees.
you don’t even know how
breathtaking you
are.
as you are.’ says the universe
through tears.

–as you are | you are the prayer

by Nayyirah Waheed

Sometimes I get really stuck in my head, and tell myself that I can’t post anything here until I’ve crafted a beautiful, literary masterpiece (whatever that even means), which, as you can imagine, sort of stifles the creative flow and the joy I find in writing.

So when this poem arrived in my inbox, I decided to use it as a sign to just take the plunge and share a few messy, unpolished glimpses of what’s been going on around here lately.

read more…

And A Writer Is Born

2015 January 23
by Jenny

I’ve been decluttering a lot lately, and I happened upon a few of my earliest pieces as a writer-probably circa 1983.

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Today’s Moment Of Grace

2015 January 14
by Jenny

Amid the fatigue, pain flare-up, and mood cycling, a tiny glimpse of color and clear sky.

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Same Old

2015 January 7
by Jenny

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January, much like August, is not a very good month for me.

I feel dull and grey inside, bored with everything, and convinced that there is nothing new left to experience.

But sometimes, when I least expect it, a cracks forms in the grey and a tiny surprise peeks through.

Man-They Really Weren’t Kidding About That Whole, “Be Careful What You Wish For Thing”

2014 December 9
by Jenny

Because one day you might walk into your kitchen feeling cranky about cooking, and when your husband asks you what you want to make for dinner, declare, “I want the food fairy to bring us something to eat”, to which your husband might callously reply that, “there is no such thing as a food fairy”, and then unsuspectingly turn on the burner of your stove that is occasionally taken over by the gods of fire and destruction, causing an extremely ominous POOF! to echo throughout the kitchen and leaving an unresponsive appliance in its wake, at which point you look at each other and and ask, “Chinese?”, so that in an odd way the food fairy does save you from having to cook that evening, but with the consequence that Santa has to spend part of his dedicated Christmas budget on a new oven.

So let this be a lesson to you. Be careful what you say: the food fairy works in mysterious ways.

Featured Friday

2014 December 5
by Jenny

I just have a quick links to pass along today, as fibro has risen up to smite me for all the energy I expended over the holiday, because it TOTALLY SUCKS like that.

It’s an episode of the podcast, “Explore Your Enthusiasm” by Tara Swiger called “How to survive the holidays as an introvert”. But the things she talks about apply equally as well for someone suffering from chronic pain and illness. She gives a lot of practical ideas for how to navigate stressful situations gracefully while taking good care of yourself, as well as ideas for how to help yourself recover.

Extra Bonus Links:

OK, I lied. I just remembered 2 funny Thanksgiving-related items I wanted to pass along.

1. As a (self) certified Crazy Cat Lady, I love these “17 Cat Reations For Every Thanksgiving Situation“.

2. For the second Thanksgiving in a row, the website Buzzfeed asked the employees in its London office to correctly label a map of all 50 United States (confession: I’m not sure I could actually do that). Make sure you’re not drinking anything near whatever electronic device you’re reading this on.

Have a great weekend!

 

Thanksgiving Roundup

2014 December 4
by Jenny

So we’ve all made it through Thanksgiving and into the beginning of the Yuletide season, and for that I think we should all give ourselves a huge round of applause. Or raise our face off of the carpet and moan softly, depending on how much last week took out of us.

I’ve decided that I can sum up my Thanksgiving in the following way:

75% fun
15% such awful migraines and fibro pain that it felt as though the right side of my face was
attempting to secede from the rest of my body
10% wanting to stab people in the face

So, I’m declaring the weekend a success.

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of parts of my personality that get triggered by traveling and holidays. For example, I’m really a homebody, plus I have my environment all set up to support me in taking care of myself, so I get anxious and fussy when I’m not at home, surrounded by all my
stuff.

Or there’s the fact that I spend so much time in my head. So I’ve usually built up a lot of mental
and creative energy around a couple of projects, and it’s hard for me to transition from an internal focus to an external one.

And then there’s my Hermit. Until my husband gets home from work I spend all my days alone, in
blessed silence. My Hermit needs the time alone, and my nervous system needs the quiet. Since part
of fibromyalgia is extreme sensitivity to sensory input, it’s extremely difficult for me to be
around other people for an extended period of time without ending up in pain.

Fortunately I am old enough and skilled enough now to recognize when I’m getting cranky and out of whack, so I was able to take responsibility for myself and my behavior and take a
timeout whenever I needed one.

We did have a lot of fun last weekend, so to give you a glimpse of our particular brand of holiday spirit, I’ve selected some of the best snippets of conversation to share here with you.

-When discussing a friend who has a tendency to make things up embellish her stories stray from the facts:

“It’s not that she makes things up; I just can’t always verify the data.”

-To justify the fact that my husband and I had just trashed my brother and sister-in-law’s bedroom while playing hide and go seek with their 3-year old daughter:

“When you see how it looks, just remember that every moment we spent destroying things was a moment that you got to sit, talk with grownups, and rest.”

-After my husband turned on his iPod to provide us with music for the trip home:

Me: “What IS that?”

My husband: “Korn.”

Me: “It sounds like hate set to music.”

If You’re Looking For A Chance To Be An Angel

2014 December 1
by Jenny

Two years ago, my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their second child. Apparently he couldn’t wait to get here though, because he was born at 27 weeks,  weighing only 1 lb. 14 oz.

It was touch and go for a long time, but he is feisty and tenacious, and after 2 months in the NICU he was able to come home 2 days after Christmas.

Last month our micro-preemie turned 2 years old, and if you look at him today you would never guess that he’s ever been anything but a completely healthy little boy.

To thank and honor all the health care professionals who helped keep my little nephew alive, and to pay forward all the love and support they received during those 2 months, this holiday season my sister-in-law is raising money to buy 100 teddy bears to donate to local pediatric units.

The campaign only needs $180 more to be fully funded, so I decided to post about it here, in case anyone else has been touched by experiences with preemies and/or the NICU.

If you’d to learn more about the campaign, you can go here for more information or to donate.

Many blessings as we begin this holiday season together.

Like A a Well-Oiled Machine

2014 November 28
by Jenny

My sister-in-law’s birthday always falls during the week of Thanksgiving, so once we’ve finished with Turkey Day we shift gears into birthday celebration mode.

We’re honoring her with a special dinner tonight, and various family have been assigned different tasks to assist with its preparation.

My husband and father-in-law were dispatched to purchase salad ingredients, but the latter was concerned that the birthday girl would not be involved in any of the decisions.

“Shouldn’t she be choosing what she wants?”, he asked?

“No”, replied my husband. “She’s outsourced the decisions to me, and the funding to you.”

Sometimes Produce Is Tricky

2014 November 26
by Jenny

My Husband (upon discussion of this week’s grocery list): “The next time you put avocados on the list, I’m going to buy one and then light a dollar bill on fire. Because that’s the same as buying two.”