All About That Bass

Today I’m really really busy with an appointment to talk to a doctor about my thyroid and my thyroid medications. So I’m leaving you with one of my favorite groups “Postmodern Jukebox” with one of my favorite songs–

 

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To sleep, perchance to dream

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My body has its own science experiments.

It seems that when it is time for bed, my mind races. Sometimes I will read a little before bed to get my mind thinking other thoughts so I have more control when I finally fall asleep.

Sometimes that doesn’t work and I get pulled into the story until I have to read to the end.

Yes, that happened on Saturday evening. When I finished the last of the story, it was 6 a.m. in the morning. I had read through the night. I don’t do that too often because I am aware of what happens to me when I don’t get seven to eight hours of sleep at night.

I was amazed that I was able to take the dog on a walk with a minimum of stumbling and falling. I didn’t get much done yesterday though. I would nod off at the most inopportune times. Last night I went to bed early.

So I have been comparing yesterday morning with this morning. I don’t have any more energy after a full nights sleep than I did with no sleep. I am more aware of the little aches that come with aging.

It’s been interesting to me at the change of attitude toward sleep by the medical community in the last twenty or so years. When I was a child, we knew small children needed a lot of sleep, but adults didn’t require as much.

Nowadays we are finding out what happens to adults who don’t get enough sleep. Their bodies don’t repair as fast. Plus adults who don’t sleep are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Sleep is essential for our health.

The short term is that the less sleep you get, the more cognitive glitches you can have during the day.

I do have strategies for those sleepless nights. One of my big ones after meditation is melatonin. For some reason as we age we have less of this hormone. It helps us get to sleep. I am wary of sleeping pills because of the “sleepwalking” effect. I don’t need to add that to my list of disabilities.

One of the big benefits of sleep is that my emotions are calmer and I am more rational throughout the day.

When I think of sleep, I think of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

“To die, to sleep – 
To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come…”

 

 

Deadlines and coloring outside the lines

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When I sit here and type about my last few days, it sounds like whining in my ears. I finally took Foxy, chihuahua-terrier mix, to the vet for her rabies and parvo shot. She is slumping around, which tells me that she’s not feel good.

I’ve been slumping around too. My heartbeat has been going wild lately. I’m pretty sure my thyroid medication is too high. So I’m doing a lot of quiet music and meditation, which means that my writing has suffered the last few days. I’ll be talking to a doctor on Monday about reducing the meds or even changing them. We’ll see.

I’m still on track with my deadline though. It looks like “Hero of Corsindor” has about 10,000 words to go. I wrote this one several years ago, but this year I wanted to do a good edit and sew up any holes in the plot. There were several. It was the first book I had written and my writing has changed a lot since then.

It’s been interesting to see the changes. When I first wrote this book I was excited that I had finally finished a full sized novel. The first time was the hardest in my opinion because I didn’t know I could do it.

Plus I take some online classes every few years to keep learning. This writing business takes a lot of my time and attention. I am always learning new things about story-telling. Yes, talent is nice to have if you want to tell stories, but skills are even more important to develop.

To be honest, I’m not good at coloring in the lines. It could be I’m just not good at seeing the things other people see. Other people can’t see what I can see so it is a trade-off.

I started writing for myself. I just couldn’t find what I wanted to read. Now I’m wondering if others like what I have written. So when someone tells me they are having fun with some character, something inside my chest releases.

I think I feel happy.

 

 

Repost Oct 23, 2017: The sounds of words

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From Pixabay

My first love is sound.

My second love is poetry.

If I sit in the square of any city in any world and allow my ears to unfocus I can hear rhythms and music. I have done this in Johannesburg and Misawa. I have listened to the sounds of Ramstein. Each have their own rhythms and sounds.

So to me language is just sound. When I have to put sound to meaning then there can be a problem, especially when I have to be attentive. That takes energy.

To me, poetry is one step from sound. My English professor would tell me that poetry was the essence of meaning and that every word should be distilled for maximum impact. It is true that poetry must be pared down until the meaning is clear, but it is not poetry if the sound is not right.

I have written formal poetry with formal rhythms and I have also written free verse. In my experience, even free verse has its own consistent internal rhythm. So poetry needs sound and rhythm.

If it sounds like a music, then you would be right. In my small world every poem is a small sound. It might be why I like to write sonnets, which means a little poem or if you go to the Latin root it means a little sound.

When I switched to stories, I had to learn how to write again. Those little pieces of poetry that I loved so much sometimes had to be cut because they were not a part of the story. I had to learn characters and how those characters interacted with others.

Other people would sit in the squares and make up stories about the people around them. I was listening to sound. I had to switch my thinking. I admit that I told stories to my brothers at bedtime. They were stories I had read and sometimes I would change the story just a bit so that young boys would enjoy them. But until fifteen years ago, I had not written stories. I had written poetry, memoirs, and essays.

It has been a challenge. Sometimes I wonder if I am writing interesting stories. Then I talk to other writers and authors and find out that deep dark secret. Most of us think we are frauds.

We don’t know if we are writing well. In my case, I write and hope someone else will enjoy my books. If not, I would write anyway because even though I believe I can quit anytime like an addict, I can’t. If I didn’t write stories, I would write poetry. If I didn’t write, I would dream.

This is my manifesto. I have lived adventure. I have explored Northern Japan, Panama, and Germany. If I could still travel, then I would. I would probably not write though and would feel emptiness and restlessness.

I was born to be a poet. I have made myself a writer.

Connection error

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The last few days have been quite stressful. It seems like little things upset me, but a lot of little things like I sent off for paws to put on my little dog’s feet. I specifically ordered small. I received the size for a large dog. Of course it wouldn’t fit. I didn’t try.

So I thought I’d recover by taking the item to the pet store. I had bought it on their website. Well, well, well. They won’t take back items that are sold on the website.

So I am out six dollars, time wasted, and I’m annoyed at that particular pet store. Now if this was one example of the last few days, I would just shake it off. No, it happened over and over. It happened when I tried to get a different cellphone plan , when I tried to use a certain bidding website, and when I tried to get medications.

Plus I spent hours in line and on the phone. The longer I waited– the higher the stress became.

Now you might say that I need to learn how to manage my stress. That no one has a stress-free day. Personally I think that is BS. If you’all will do your jobs, it would make my job easier.

Finally something went right yesterday after several hours on chat and the phone. I’m thanking all my online friends for sending jokes. It kept me from the brink. I’m hoping this is a turn-around.

On the other hand, I am practicing breathing meditation. It at least calmed me down a couple of points. I tried to supplant thoughts of anger to thoughts of calm. It does work.

Do you know the one major factor in my stress? It is the answering service phone trees where you talk to a robot voice for ten to fifteen minutes, trying to get to a customer service representative. Yea… you think it helps the bottom line. I’m telling you that it just makes customers find another company after they deal with you.

I do like customer service representatives who know their job and know how to fix my problems. It’s a bonus if they can make me happy enough to thank them. So real world here– If I am calling you, there is a problem and I am not happy.

So the last few days it was connection errors all around.

 

It’s a good day for shining your shoes

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I’ve wondered if the so-called Monday blues was only because I come from a culture that works hard Monday through Friday and then plays hard on Saturday and Sunday.

I get that “I don’t want to work.” I really do. I started my first job outside of my family when I had just turned sixteen. I was a cashier at a steak restaurant. It was the fanciest one in our town. I worked the counter for a few months and then the owner taught me how to count back money. The hours were late, but I have to admit that I enjoyed that job. I also had to get out of my extreme introversion. I was grateful that there was a script of how I should talk to the customer.

Yes, the owner wasn’t leaving anything to chance. He told us what to say. i think he took a particular interest in me because he saw I was smart, young, pretty and had a great memory. How times have changed. My brain has really dropped since chemo and immuno therapy.

The reason I left that job is that my mother decided to quit. If she quit, then both my sister and I had to quit too. I think my sister bussed tables. To be fair, it was over forty years ago.

I was a farm girl before that. Taking care of animals is an every day thing. So before I went to work outside the farm, I hadn’t understood the “Monday blues.”

Its easy for my emotions to slide into the blues category. With a mind like mine on prescriptions, I can get into these loops and ruts that can take me down. I have a few tricks for that though.

  1. I take a nap. Sometimes I start to slide because I am overtired.
  2. I eat something. Sometimes I start to slide because I am hungry.
  3. I take vitamins. With being on immuno suppressants for years, my body doesn’t break down vitamins very well in food. Vit E, Vit D3, and Vit B2 are essential for me.
  4. I take a break and  walk.

So it is food, exercise, and sleep that are the main ingredients for helping me get out of that slide. Plus when I loop because everything is going to shit around me, I use the app “Calm” for a brain break.

But my biggest weapon against the blues is music, especially Peggy Lee’s It’s a Good Day as I am walking the dog. I think this was one of my grandfather’s favorite songs.

On another note, I am sharing a link to Stephanie Osborn’s Alpha and Omega first book in her Division One series. Reading is another way I get out of the blues.

Happy Reading.

What is the Present?

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I have always been a future-oriented person. I make goals.

I do know that a lot of my anxiety comes from when I make a misstep or when I can’t reach those goals.

Also when I was making most of those goals, I was in my teens and early twenties. I thought I’d be dead before I reached fifty.

Well I almost reached that one at 41. But because I had this feeling that I wouldn’t last the long term, I had always had this feeling that I needed to pack as much life into my remaining minutes and seconds as possible.

I did get a new lease on life at 41. It wasn’t the life I had before because I didn’t have the energy to really live. What the disease did to me was to take away my future. I had a future planned out where my late-hubby and I would buy an RV and spend the last of our days driving through each of the continental US States.

Up to 41, I had been able to make a goal and accomplish it. I even earned my degree at forty. Life couldn’t be better.

It is a hard switch to go from no future to staying in the present. It is still one of the hardest things I have ever done was to realize that all of my minutes and seconds are numbered. My future is filled with cancer and dialysis. If I think of the horror show ahead, I will falter. I can’t.

I have been lucky. I have a fellow traveler in my quest for the present. My sweet Foxy doesn’t live in the future and doesn’t dwell in the past. She is here and now. When we walk, we feel the breeze and the sun’s rays.

She wags her tail the entire time we are walking. Her joy fills me with happiness. She is my mentor in this new path I travel.