Keepin On.

So. It’s been an up and down week. Breakups are no fun, my Grandma had a mild stroke, and Monty has terrible, terrible gas. He keeps crop dusting the living room and it’s my fault because I gave him a few bites of cheese and crackers earlier and he is lactose intolerant. I really, really need to stop doing that.

The good news is my grandma is stable and doing much better. If you’re reading this Grandma, I’m pledging here on the world-wide web that I’ll be in Colorado in July- You have my word! Get the playing cards ready, I’m ready for two player spades.

Today has been one of those days where my head is all over the place and my thoughts start going in circles and at times they start to consume me. I find myself wanting to turn it off, or cut it off, but it’s my head, my I can’t. I just have to keep it under control. The day started out rough because I woke up from a nightmare around 9:30 this morning and was stuck in the haze of it for quite a while after. Two faceless men had kidnapped me and I was being held hostage in a 3rd story apartment. One man left to go get something from downstairs and the other man was looking at something “bad” on a computer and was distracted. I went to the window and opened it and I saw there was a tall tree outside of it and I knew I could escape. I checked to make sure the guy at the computer was still distracted and he was, but when I looked back out the window the other guy was climbing up the tree, toward the open window. I pretended I was just letting the wind hit my face and I knew I would be stuck with the kidnappers and never escape. What a fun little dream! I have high anxiety/grim outcome dreams all the time. But some of them stick with me for hours after I wake up, like this one did, so it made for a murky morning.

Some days, like today, my emotions change from hour to hour. First I’ll feel like everything will be fine. Then out of nowhere I will feel anxiety about things in the past or fear about what my future holds. I’ve been living quite a transient lifestyle since last January, honestly not knowing what state I’ll be in next or who’s couch I’ll be crashing on or what state my health will be in. I think I’m mastering the art “Being a good houseguest.” Maybe that’s another book I’ll write. It’s a highly underestimated job.  All of my hosts have had different things that they’re very particular about. Estee likes the couch cushions in a very specific arrangement and does not take well to crumbs on the surfaces of things. Nick doesn’t like shoes left at the doorway or anyone in the kitchen while he cooks. Amelie needs complete darkness and silence in order to fall asleep and my mom will never let me paint my fingernails anywhere but the bathroom. (Just to name a few.) Anyway, I think half of the challenge has been to stay present to wherever I am and stay stable. I need to get used to not knowing exactly where my life is going. There are a lot of unknowns at this juncture. A lot. And I need to be OK with that.

But it’s easy to slip out of the present. It happens fast, without me even realizing it. I find myself looking back at things and regretting how I handled situations. I start playing things out the way I wished they would have happened. I think about what I could have done better and then that I should have done better. Then I feel regret or guilt about things that didn’t turn out right. Then I worry about how my actions affect other people. Then I wonder if it’s possible to change people and if it is possible then is it our job to do that? Then I question if I’m doing anything right. Then. I. Stop. Because this is the exact type of thinking that does absolutely no good. The past is the past. It happened a certain way because that’s how it needed to happen. The only thing that can come from it is growth. I guess this is called learning and if I had any advice to God it would be, do you have to make the lesson plans so painful? JEESH. But apparently, this is what I need to go through. When I close my eyes, quiet my thoughts and concentrate on my breath, I know that everything will be fine. It really will. And sometimes I have to do this 100 times a day. Maybe the more I do it the better I’ll become!

The thing about this illness is that emotional and mental stress are just as much triggers as are physical exertion. Yesterday I walked around the yard with Monty and then became really weak and felt like I could faint. We came inside and I spent the rest of the night in bed and most of today. It’s a strange feeling when I get that, it’s a “heaviness”, like I”m walking around with a wet blanket cloaked over me. Luckily, I have been given time to rest. I know it is a real gift that I am able to do that right now. The other things that have been helping me are 1. Friends to ground me when I start to feel overwhelmed. 2. Happy music and singing really loud in my kitchen. 3. The Golden Girls. 4. Fudgesickles 5. Drawing Lines. I don’t know why, but sometimes a good way for me to quiet my mind is to draw more lines. As you can see, I had a lot of quieting to do.

The Real House Wives of Little Rock, Arkansas
This Is All I Did Today


Peanut Butter
If By Yes You Mean No, Then Yes

All of these are for sale for $1 or best offer plus shipping and handling. Gift wrapping available but I’m a pretty shitty gift wrapper. Anyway, it’s been a shaky week, but I survived. Tomorrow I’m going to visit my family in Miami and that means I get to hang out with my niece Olive. There are three things that raise my spirits basically immediately; babies, puppies, and tropical flavored starbursts. At least I’ll get two of those things tomorrow. Until next time.

Health, Happiness, Keep On Keepin On.

10 thoughts on “Keepin On.

  1. OH how you make me laugh! i love your lines, but even more i love the NAMES of your lines. :-) And i am so with you on that talking-to-God-about-lesson-plans! Dang.

    i get those “sticky” dreams too. They seem worse when my symptoms are yelling at me. i wonder if that isn’t a part of the sleep dysfunction that comes with our disorders. Good plan, learning how to calm your mind, and about to remain present.


  2. I love the Peanut Butter one and If By Yes You Mean No, Then Yes. My hands have a slight tremor, and it’s worse when I need them still – like for writing or drawing – so purchasing your artwork would be better. Peanut Butter reminds me of when my family would vacation at my grandparents in Missouri. They lived next to a lake (they owned a quarter of it – who owns a quarter of a lake?!) I remember when I was very young and not knowing how to swim, I’d sit next to the lake, facing the tall grass lining the shore and being mesmerized by the waving strands of grass in the wind. It calmed me immensely. I haven’t thought of that in ages.


  3. i really like “If By Yes You Mean No, Then Yes”, but it makes me dizzy. so i would like to buy “This Is All I Did Today”. would you take paypal? i’m totally serious, by the way- i’d love to have a piece of your wisdom to remind me of all the other pieces- but in a place where i could see it on a daily basis… if your blog is like mine, i’m assuming you can see my email address, so if you send me the info, i will honestly get back to you about buying the pic. who needs writing when you can be an artist, right? ;) really, i love your blog and i love your spirit! and i can’t wait to tell my friends the story behind “This Is All I Did Today”… keep on keepin’ on indeed :) -julie


  4. I’m a stay at home artist and have been in a creative rut lately from some loss I’ve suffered this year, so today I will line draw with colored pencils! *stands with hands on hips with chest out* And frame it to remind me of the cry I had (the good kind) after reading your 5th paragraph “But it’s easy…”
    I get stuck in my head and have felt exactly like that for quite awhile. You summed it up in a paragraph the size of my palm and let me release some of my guilt and scaredy-catness. Thanks. And I hope you feel better. I really do. Your time is definately coming. :)


  5. Your line “if I had any advice to God it would be, do you have to make the lesson plans so painful? JEESH” made me think of quote by C. S. Lewis: “Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”

    As always, your blog is a nice piece of my day. God bless. <3


  6. I am predicting that with your writing talent, “Being a good houseguest 101” will be (not would be) a bestseller.


  7. You should check out ‘The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook’. I just started it and like it already! It teaches how to be mindful or aware of everthing in the moment and stay away from needless stress worrying about the past or future :)


  8. I like your artwork — you’ve redefined “line drawing.”

    For someone who doesn’t move a lot, you get around more than most people I know. :) I find travel exhausting.

    You really get to know people when you live with them. You made me start thinking about all my weird idiosyncrasies. We all have them. I’m sure your observations would make a really funny book — write it!


  9. I hope that your trip is just wonderful… I’m a loud singer and a drawer, too. And knitting soothes the pain for me, concentrating on something other than anxiety and fatigue and pain. Enjoy your weekend!


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