Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Eyes ache to see sky
or anything green beyond
these cagey white walls.
And just like that January 2015 is nearly over. Time passes so quickly. Just a few weeks ago I was cranky about Christmas. How is it when you are a child there is so much time in the world and as an adult there seems never enough?
I am felled by the second virus in two months. I have been lucky the last few years and rewarded for my proactive efforts to enjoy a modicum of health. Though I have a litany of chronic illnesses I have managed to keep them mostly at bay. The human body can be such a delicate burden. And such a dichotomy. All those opposites.
Healthy or not healthy. Ill or not ill. Hot or cold. Sore or not sore. Pleasure or pain. Hungry or not hungry. Awake or asleep. Aware or not aware. Able or not able. Strong or weak. Movement or stillness. Ease or dis-ease. Clean or dirty.
What about the in-betweens? Could there be a spectrum which includes the extremes of the opposites? Of course. Sometimes you are so comfortable: the temperature is just right, you are neither too hot nor too cold, the body is experiencing no pain, nothing is weighing on your mind at the moment or perhaps you have achieved a creative flow, and you could even be in good company (whatever that looks like for you) experiencing some mild pleasure.
My old body carries constant illness, chronic illness. I know many people out there who are the same. Usually nobody knows we have chronics. We manage our chronics just fine until something stresses the system a little too much and then BAM! The system is down. I go from relative health to ill, from able to not able, in the course of a few hours. And because of the chronics it takes me longer to get going again. The aging process complicates the whole mess by slowing the healing process. Resting is really important and not given nearly enough credit. Until the body becomes sore from resting. Interesting cycle.
I am my health care provider (read: I’m the one who takes care of me 24/7/365) so I am hypervigilant and hypersensitive to my illnesses. An odd compulsion that happens to me when I am sick, especially if I am running a fever, is wanting to cut my hair. I’ve had waist length hair for most of my life; it’s thinning after all these years and the dark auburn is whitening somewhat, but it has a little natural wave it’s developed since the days of my straight-haired youth. No, I don’t imagine visiting the hairdresser and having it cut into the latest cute hairstyle. I want to take a pair of scissors and cut great hanks of it as close to my scalp as possible until it is all gone. Weird, right? I know I am ill when I have this thought. I do not really want to cut my hair so, because it bothers me, I shampoo my hair and as soon as it dries, I pin it up close to my scalp. I don’t know why this helps but it is the method I have arrived at for now.
I imagine for some people this may be a perfectly normal average thought for them, people who are used to cutting their hair all the time or people who like to try different hairstyles. That’s just not me; I have so many other hard and complicated things in my life my hair has to be simple and easy and work for me. Long hair does that for me knowing I don’t have to face a blow-dryer and curling iron to be presentable.
Figuring out how to eat when ill is another thing altogether. I’m not the best eater in the first place because of the chronics, but add a virus and all bets are off. I’ve had to learn how to keep a few basics in the cupboard, fridge, and freezer that work for me: chicken noodle soup, a variety of teas, certain low salt rice crackers, yogurt, fish, fresh eggs, dill pickles, garlic, salsa, Chinese hot mustard, horseradish, popsicles.
Viruses, I’ve found, can sometimes be burned out with a tactical heat assault. I have a sensitive stomach to complicate matters, and a little bit of most of the heat sources go a long way; good thing it doesn’t take much. A scrambled egg with a touch of salsa, tuna on toast with a dill pickle, or a piece of broiled fish with seafood sauce made of ketchup and horseradish and lemon are a few of the items I am able to eat when sick. Hot tea with cream.
I have no need for “fortification”, I just need a few calories to keep going. When all else fails, popsicles can be magic. True, most of the calories come from sugar if you use a commercial brand. At this point you need any calorie you can get in and keep down. If it has a real nutrient so much the better; sometimes it just can’t be tolerated by the tongue or the throat or the stomach. Popsicles to the rescue. No guilt popsicles. Because you are ill. Nobody should have to feel guilt over food choices anyway but that’s another essay.
I spend these few days of late January contemplating how fast the days went for the first month of this year, and how many days it is taking to get back to functional good health. The saying goes whatever you do the first 30 days of the year you will do all year. I strive to make sure it’s not true of illness in my life this year. At least the bulk of the month was spent in good health. I will maintain my good habits of movement and healthful foods, of searching for a little sun to skin exposure, of writing and truthing, and of life long learning to keep what mind I have. And I will keep my waist length hair. I like it.
Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – everybody needs a little wild untamed spot in their yard, one day blackberries may rule the world; soft green moss in the green grass lawn shows the subtle difference between the greens; the many shapes of moss: green ducks in a row moss, sea green humpback whale moss, a brown branch lilac neck embraced by an emerald green necklace moss; pale sage green curly lichens and delicate green mosses sporting russet sporophyte plumes.
Currently Reading – Anna Karenina (1878, fiction) by Leo Tolstoy; Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability (2012, psychology) by Mark Samuel; Mr Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers (2002, biography) by Ed Sikov. Yes, concurrently.
Join me in reading this year’s Sassy Kas Winter Classic choice, Anna Karenina, especially if you haven’t read it before. Enjoy a different time and place in literature.
This week I have been grateful for:
- My bed.
- Clean linens.
- Hot showers.
- Clean warm towels.
- Clean warm nightgowns.
- A temperate mild January in Oregon.
- Warmish refreshing fresh air through open windows and doors.
- Oregon winter sunshine.
- My little private yard.
- A warm house.
- Easily digestible healthful food choices.
- Simple food.
- The earth and its abundance.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch