One Thing, Once a Day.

I love getting late birthday presents in the mail. Wait, I love getting mail period. For one thing, I think the art of letter writing is becoming extinct, so it’s always pretty special to get something written in one of a kind hand-writing, written just for you. Dear Mary… Anyway, late birthday presents are like those blooper scenes they show during the credits of a movie you liked. Just when you thought it was over–bam! My brother Nick and his wife Estee sent me two new shirts and a skirt and a necklace with a hand-written card, the best! And my sister brought me shopping at Nordstrom. Her and Keegan have kind of adopted me as their 28-year-old child. Keegan even sent me to my room yesterday. I also unpacked my suitcase at their house two weeks ago, the first time I’ve really not lived out of my suitcase since February. All my siblings are like extra parents, each pitching in to help in their own ways and I am really thankful for that. It’s easy for me to forget that my situation could be a lot worse. They have all encouraged me to visit them, and that is a real gift. Anyway, I love shopping and I love new clothes, but it has turned into such a silly thing for me to love, mostly because I never wear normal clothes anymore. I never really go anywhere and I hardly see people besides Monty and my family. My uniform has evolved into leggings and t-shirts–every guys fantasy.

Last week and all weekend was a sick week. Like a sick day, but you know, times 7. I once wrote that I was the mayor of Migraine City, but I am upgrading myself this week to Governor because my head is super angry about something and apparently wants the world to know. Here’s your shot head, let it all out! Every day I keep telling myself I will get dressed in my new clothes and I will go somewhere and I’ll do my hair and makeup and look like someone who has her shit together. But, that has yet to happen. “Tomorrow” I tell myself. Then the song from Annie starts playing in my mind and I bet my bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun, and I will go out in it! Since I’m in Cali, there is always sun, but when you have a migraine, it feels like if you were to go outside under that bright sun you’d start melting like the witch from the Wizard of Oz. Anyway, the migraine cycle continues, but why am I talking about migraine cycles? I’m even boring myself.

When I’m in the throes of a sick week, I can start to get down. And also start to go stir crazy. So there are a few things I do and a few things I don’t do. Maybe most importantly, I do not watch TV during the day. There is just something undeniably sad about daytime television, and sunlight coming in through the blinds..maybe reflecting off the TV screen? Yuck. The only time I don’t find a sunlights’ reflection on a TV screen depressing is on the weekends when we’re watching football. Exceptions to every rule.

First, I keep a book on hand and I read. I swear it’s like I’ve discovered the joy of reading only last age 27. Pretty ridiculous since I discovered the joy of writing at around age 9. I feel like I’m catching up on all the years that I began books and never finished them. I always associated reading a book with homework, something I had to do. It never felt like I had a choice in the matter. As soon as book reports became part of my schooling in 6th grade, it became my goal to see how little of the book I could read and how high a grade on the report I could get. Unfortunately, I work really well under pressure–so the night before it was due I’d skim through the book, find the important parts, and write a flowery report. I almost always received A’s on them. I was actually proud of myself for being able to complete the work this way! What an idiot. Anyway, now that I have really experienced what getting lost in a book is like, I feel like I have years of catching up to do. So that’s partly what I’m doing. Especially because it’s not sad at all to read while sunlight is coming through the window. In fact it’s the most fun to go outside and read. Monty and I had been going to the park daily, but I crashed mid-week and we haven’t been back yet. Anyway, right now I’m reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. A true story about a woman who lost her way and decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by herself, with no experience. Truthfully, it’s a little difficult to read because she is in a lot of physical and emotional pain so far, and I like reading to carry me away from real life, so in that light it’s not been as fun to read as Gone Girl but I’m just about 1/3 in, so I’ll see how the next 50 pages go.

The second thing I do is create something. It can be anything from a four line poem to a line drawing. The goal is not to create a masterpiece work of art. The goal is to let your soul do some talking. Sometimes what you make will be crappy and sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. But the thing is, now no matter how sick or worthless I felt today or the fact that I never got dressed in real clothes, at least when someone asks me what I did today I can say “I wrote a poem,” or “I drew a picture of a stupid cat.” So now today was not a complete waste. Here are some simple rhyming poems.

*I am tired
But do not sleep
I am sad
But do not weep
I close my eyes
And count to 10
If I still feel it
I’ll do it again
Until the clouds part
And the dark clears
I’ll think of my loves
And not of my fears.

*In the corners of my mind
In the absence of a dime
I think about home
In a house that isn’t mine.

*At night I roam
through consciousness alone
Would I have chosen this
If I would have known!

*At least at the end of day
Where I never got dressed
I can say I wrote a poem
And that’s something I guess.

Normally I hate rhyming poems, and I don’t necessarily love these. But, they’re what came out. So I let them. Because that’s what my soul had to say today, and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or bad. It’s the fear of making something good or bad that is dangerous. Once I let that fear go, I kind of free myself. The worst that can happen is you write a shitty poem or you draw a shitty picture. Certainly there are worse things! Either way, you’ve got something to look back on or laugh at or talk about, and you weren’t completely at the mercy of illness.


I drew the above drawing a few days ago. It turned out to be one of my favorites…drawn on a sick day where I never got dressed. It started with a very simple shape; a leaf. Then I repeated the pattern and this is what turned up. I had no idea what I was sitting down to draw that day, but it’s another example of letting your soul speak. Or stillness speak. I just know that when I designate time to letting things come through me, I am usually surprised. I end up creating something I never could have thought of myself. It’s strange, the way sometimes your dreams can be insanely more creative or smarter than you are in real life. I guess it’s the subconscious at work. This one is titled “I Don’t Normally Look Like This” and is for sale for $10.

Anyway, that’s been the last 7 days. Fingers crossed that tomorrow is migraine free and filled with more energy and I get to wear some happy clothes and run errands like humans do. If not, well then…it’s back to the drawing board.

Health, Happiness, One Thing a Day.

9 thoughts on “One Thing, Once a Day.

  1. I was a journalism major in college and I’ve LOVED reading ever since I was little — but stopped picking up books to read for fun for about 10years. I’m trying to get back into it now. I love books but I can’t seem to commit myself to any (talk about issues). I just picked up Gone Girl yesterday and I’m hooked.
    Hang in there dear, glad to see you’re doing okay.


  2. Happy belated Birthday! I have another site you can check out called Swapbot. I joined for a few months and it’s so fun…they have different categories of little themed care packages. The admin of the one you pick will pair you with a partner to swap awesome snail mail. I’m also sending some happy rainbow healing energy out into the Universe for ya! Hope your migraines subside soon. If you get a chance watch the docu called ‘The Secret’…might be right up your alley. Keep up the art and poems!!! :)


  3. I am so like you in the fact that I have a lot of medical problems and am on a ton of medications. It’s hard for me to get through a day without pain and spend a lot of time sitting on my couch watching TV. I have, however, made a decision to walk up to the office where the mail boxes are every day to get the mail. I just recently moved and not all my mail is making it to me and I have to see what I get every day so I can call people and let them know that I didn’t get this or that.
    I watch TV a lot but I also read a lot. I have a Nook and my niece told me that Barnes and Noble has free books that I can get for it. Some are stupid but most in the categories that I like are pretty good. Of course they want you to buy the next book in a series but I don’t have the money to do that all the time. I do put the books I want to get on my wishlist on the B&N website so when I get a gift card or have extra money at the beginning of the month when I get paid I’ll get one or two.
    You are an inspiration in how you deal with what your going through. I wish you all the luck in the world and feel for you having to deal with the pain that your dealing with this early in your life. I’m 51 and these pain issues I’ve developed have only come up in the past few years. They seem to be getting worse fast and I am not sure how I’m going to deal with them. Keep letting us know what’s going on with you. I love to read your blog.


  4. Hey Mary, I love reading your blog entries :) If you are into zombies (random I know! I just finished a fantastic book called “Area 187 – Almost Hell” –! Talk about getting lost in a book!! I could NOT put it down! I’m not even big into zombies and had only read World War Z as far as zombie books go. Plus it’s pretty cheap, I think it’s like 5.99 on amazon for yhe kindle edition or I can loan you mine.

    Anyway, you have a great goal with doing one thing a day. I suffer from depression, severe anxiety, and ADHD AND I’m in school at 29 to become a Vet Tech so it’s rare for me to be able to actually accomplish and finish things too. Starting projects is no problem but with my ADHD there is noooo follow through lol Books don’t follow that rule though, and once I lose myself in a book that’s where I want to stay.

    Keep your head up (or down, under the covers & away from the light – that’s what always triggers my migraines) and keep on keepin on :)


  5. Thankyou, I really needed to hear this at the moment, that it’s OK to just achieve one small thing some days. I have had a lousy week, where the most I have achieved is to work through some old magazines and throw them out. But sometimes I guess that is enough, there is always tomorrow to do something more :)

    I hope your migraines go away soon


    1. I hope you feel better, and your last poem made my day. It is day for 3 for more of not showering because this dumb fibro girl went roller skating and can barely move now! But you know what, it was totally worth it to see my 6 year olds face while roller skating. This might be a stupid thing to ask, but have you gotten your eyes checked lately? Just wondering since you are reading so much and now governor now of migraine town. Feel better!


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