Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wise inactivity

Stuck in a vow.  A recent post from a friend about how hard it is for her to write, no matter what she does to ease her circumstance, made me wonder whether writing fiction is really what she wants to do.  We speak of "getting in a rut."  Someone has said a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out.  That's what happens when we make a major life choice and decide that this is IT!  This will be my life from now on.  I vow to succeed in this. But you can't know what it's like and what you're like until you try.  This is similar to the procrastination problem; people think they have a problem with procrastination.  But my own experience is that if I'm putting something off, I have my reasons, and they need to be looked at. 

This has nothing at all to do with my life right now.  A couple of years ago I gave up my commitments and vows one painful thing after another, and I still haven't been well enough for long enough to get going again.  

Right now all the energy I have goes to minimizing my pain, and otherwise keeping myself as healthy as possible, which involves complex things like managing my GI system, and remembering to take Tussin for the chest congestion that never leaves after the cold this year.  

And relaxing.  Shingles is not just about excruciating pain.  It is a virus that can also cause other symptoms, including fatigue.  Last night, left to myself, I slept twelve hours - !!!

This morning I turned to a book that helps me relax with all this, How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard.  It was a useful short chapter about being wise in our actions, and how being wise sometimes mean choosing to do nothing.

A friend suggested icing the rash, and that turned out to be helpful.  The pain is at a place right now where anything touching ever so lightly hurts.  Anything, a soft cotton t-shirt.  So I am trying something another friend told me about, wearing minimal clothing around the house.  This is not sexy when you are 69.

My neighbor Cindy has been talking to me about a collage class she is taking.  We thought about getting together to do collage, but I tire too easily, so she and her daughter Lauren came over bringing me materials and inspiration from their collages.  We're hoping I can come with them to the next class.  Getting out a little and around other energies is very good for me.  So is artistic inspiration.  

Another friend and I talked about an author he admires, and that got me to reading The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier.  It's very good, deep characterization, a beautiful command of the language, so you read slowly and really put your attention into it - you have to be a creative reader.  I read some paragraphs twice, because they are so good, and think about them and why they're so good.  

And today made it to church all dressed up in purple earrings Laurie made.  Yes, I wore other clothes too.  Hey, it's cold outside. . . . And the way to get this posted is to just go ahead and do it without a photo, must get ready to watch Downton Abbey.  Love to all.


  1. Sounds good Dalai Grandma! Do what you gotta!


  2. Hello Aj
    Thank you for the male-form support.

  3. thank god it's not sexy. Sexy is so tedious.

    Okay, that was a crappy joke, but the first thing I thought was that you might as well just take the damn clothing off! Is there ANY kind of lotion you can put on it? Well, google it karen....

    maybe a Lidoderm patch? (

    Do you think acupuncture would do ANYTHING, Jeanne?

  4. "And today made it to church all dressed up in purple earrings Laurie made. Yes, I wore other clothes too." Bwahahahahah!

  5. Hi Karen -
    I am doing acupunk twice a week for the pain, and I feel sure it helps. And it helps everything, overall flow, depression.
    I finally got lidocaine cream from my dr. for it, and it is a blessing. But you only use it a few times a day and then it seems to itch. Then I use a simple skin cream like Cuticura or something, but a generic. Actually, people do just walk around the house naked with this. But naked really looks stupid with tennis shoes. And you can't lean back in a chair, think about it. I prop a pillow so my shoulder wings are leaning on that. Thanks for caring enough to suggest things.