Masked or not, life is beautiful and full of wonder

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I am reading some of Carlos Castaneda’s writing and loving it.  I hope you enjoy all his quotes.

“The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.” -― Carlos Castaneda  

This past weekend a young friend, 23 year old, was again visiting my sister and I for the weekend.  I think I mentioned her here before.  She is from Brazil and she came to the US right at the beginning of the quarantine.  She is leaving at the end of July so she hasn’t really seen much of New York.

On Friday night I was contemplating where to take her on Saturday and Sunday.  

I called Foxwoods casino and asked if they would give me a free room for Saturday night.  They said yes.  At one point I was going to the casino many times a year.  At that time the slots were very kind to me and I to them.  They gave me a lot and I made sure to leave it all behind 🙂   I had rooms, concerts, massages, etc, everything comped.  Even though I now go only once a year, if that, Foxwoods still gives me free rooms.

“To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle.” ― Carlos Castaneda

We left at 1pm on Saturday and drove 2 hours to Foxwoods in Connecticut.  Before getting to our final destination we stopped by another casino, Mohegan Sun, which is located 15 minutes before the Foxwoods.

I wanted my friend to see how different the 2 casinos are, but I also wanted her to see Krispy Kreme donuts being made.  I haven’t had donuts in years.  I don’t like the donuts at Dunkin Donuts, so I only have it when I go to Krispy Kreme, and they are hard to find around here. I had a hot one right off of the fryer and it was divine!  After the donuts we had burgers from Bobby Flay’s burger place.  My friend is vegetarian so she had a grilled cheese.

“You have little time left, and none of it for crap. A fine state. I would say that the best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”― Carlos Castaneda

After that we went to Foxwoods to check in.  The room was okay, nothing special.  After checking the room out we went to the casino floor and played the slots a little.  Later we had some flat breads at Stone Creek Brewery.  Also good.

The next morning we got up early and had Starbucks for breakfast.  We wanted either Einstein Bagels or Panera Bread but they were both still closed.  There weren’t very many restaurants open.

Because we wanted my friend to try Dippin’ Dots ice cream we had to wait until the ice cream store opened at 11.  We passed the time by playing some slot machines. 🙂 no money was made but it was so much fun trying.

“Think about it: what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.” ― Carlos Castaneda

After the ice cream we went to Mystic, CT.  It is such an awesome little town on the water.  I wanted to meet a friend that lives near by for lunch at some outdoor spot with water views.  The wait time for those tables were too long at all the restaurants so we settled for just sitting outside with no view.  We had lunch at an Italian Restaurant called Anthony J’s.  We had prosecco and all was delicious.  

After that my friend Mary graciously took us around our city of Westerly, Rhode Island.  She knows all the secret spots and hidden ways that lead to the ocean.  oh, the ocean… the ocean was so amazing!  The sound, the smell, the energy, it is so re-energizing and reinvigorating. We just wanted to stay there watching.

“In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions.” -― Carlos Castaneda

In my town we also have water, but it is the sound, calm water with no waves.  It doesn’t compare to the beauty and might of the ocean.  

We stopped by the Watch Hill neighborhood, where Taylor Swift has her summer home. Of course, taking a picture with the house on the background was a hit with my young friend.  Her house is on the picture below.

“The hardest thing in the world is for a warrior to let others be.” ― Carlos Castaneda

On the way back we stopped by Dalton’s house. He lives in Black Rock in CT.  I wrote about him here.    https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2013/07/22/my-crazy-friend-dalton/ He graciously made us barbecued sirloin steak and this huge salad with all kinds of stuff in it.

We got home at 10 pm exhausted but so happy for this great weekend of different views, tastes and company.

Before you scold me, I promise you that we were as safe as possible.  Masks while indoors and often outdoors.  At the slot machines we also had gloves on, and we used hand sanitizing every 5 minutes.  Still I realize that we are putting ourselves at risk every time we leave our apartment, but at this point I honestly just want to get out.  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ― Carlos Castaneda

On another news, tonight I am taking my sister out to dinner and I invited G., who quickly jumped at the chance of meeting her.  He also made me agree to meet him for dinner again tomorrow just the 2 of us.

If he had his way we would go dinner every night.  I want slow and steady instead of crash and burn.

“Nobody knows who I am or what I do. Not even I.”― Carlos Castaneda

I am still on a wait and see mode.  I am giving him a chance but also proceeding cautiously. I am in no hurry.

“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow, you must not stay with it under any circumstances.”― Carlos Castaneda

ps.  I will make more of an effort of taking more pictures.  Writing this post made me realize I should have more pictures and less words.  As they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words.

 

Meant to be or not meant to be? That is the question!

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“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” ― William Faulkner

Last night I went on a date with someone I dated 15 years ago!  yes, 15!!

I was exchanging messages with a man on Match.  When he gave me his number and I Googled it was linked to an address.  The moment I saw the building where he lives it all clicked. I had been there! I think he cooked me dinner once.  I was shocked that I had forgotten his face, and everything else about him.

He was a personal trainer at a gym that I worked out at 15 years ago.  He was friends with my trainer and that is how we met and started hanging out together.  I vaguely remember going to his apartment and also going to dinner with him as part of a group.

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”
― Gautama Buddha

When I realized that we knew each other, I immediately messaged him and told him. The moment I mentioned NY Sports Club it all came back to him.  I called my old trainer to see if they had kept in touch.  They had not, so I got them reconnected again.

He mentioned that he liked me and wanted to keep seeing me and get serious but I didn’t want to.  So eventually he let it go.  I have been trying to remember why I didn’t want to continue seeing him.   I know I must have had a good reason but who knows.

At that point I was fresh out of a 20 year relationship with my first boyfriend, so I probably didn’t want a relationship with anybody for no specific reason.

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”― Pascal Mercier

But later on a memory came to me of going to a bar in his town, White Plains.  We each had a drink and when the bill came we each paid separably.   I remember not feeling good about the situation, driving to meet him in another town and then having to pay for my own drink.   

I actually said that to him last night.  He swears it was not him. I don’t know if it was him for sure.  It could easily have been somebody else.  That is also not the end of the world.

I also probably offered to pay for my own drink at that time.  There was a time that I always offered then would be upset if they guy accepted.   I no longer offer.  That is too much like entrapment and game playing.  I am happy to see that I grew out of that.

“When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.”― Stephen King

At any rate, we had a nice dinner at the Mexican Restaurant near my home. For anyone curious about it.  New Rochelle entered phase IV of the reopening.  We can actually eat indoors at a restaurant but only at 50% capacity.  Last night there were only 2 tables occupied the entire evening.  I think it was because it was raining like cats and dogs, but it could have been because people are being cautious, as they should, and as I try but I still wanting to go out and do life as best and safe as I can.

It was fun catching up and remembering one of the best times in my life.  I was in shape, free, life seem at my disposal.  Wait, still is!! I am so blessed to realize that.

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”― Jane Austen

He is 48 years old, handsome, in shape of course, being that he is a personal trainer, hard worker,  all around a good guy it seems.  He must have said at least 20 times how beautiful I am.  I am not joking. Among many other compliments.

Is there such a thing as too many compliments?  I am ambivalent about that.

He wants to get back to where we left off.  It would be a nice story of reconnecting after so many years, but I am thinking too much too soon.  Something is giving me pause and I am listening to that something.

Perhaps what is giving me pause is the fact that I had struggled with living in the past and revisiting some not so healthy relationship, and I am now feeling triumphant about not being in touch with those guys that kept dragging me back. I talked about them here: https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2019/05/09/eliminating-the-distractions/

I am all about making new mistakes. But am I overthinking this?  Here is a perfectly good guy and I want to run away.

What changed?  He? me? the situation?

“The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.”― Alan Moore

He wanted to go out to dinner tonight again, or tomorrow, or the day after, whenever I can.  I always feel overwhelmed when someone likes me too much.  I kept telling him last night: Patience is a virtue!

He said that he had messaged me on Match in the past but I had ignored him.  I don’t remember that.  I try to be polite and reply to everyone even to just say no. There is the fact that I normally stay away from personal trainers thinking that they only want models as girlfriends. 

So I will see him again but not sure I want to embark in a relationship. And if I am not sure then the answer should be no. 

“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”― Gabriel García Márquez

 

another day in online dating paradise

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“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.”― Euripides

The date that was canceled on June 26, was going to happen on July 3rd.  Key word: was.  I wanted to keep an open mind and give the guy a chance but in the end my instincts were right.  He was not worth the energy.

On the day we were supposed to meet he said he wanted to bring his guitar and serenade me in my apartment after dinner.  He is a part time wedding singer.  When I said that the idea was nice and we could do it in the future he became a whiny 3 year old going on and on on why we couldn’t do it that night and how he was such a good guy.  

Good guys wait, and don’t force situations or get annoyed when they hear a no.

He said I was very distrustful. I said it was not a matter of trust since I don’t even know him. It is a matter of safety.  In the end I stopped trying to explain my view and just said:  “You don’t have to understand, you have to respect how I feel.  Since you can’t, let’s forget about it.”

He called a couple more times trying to convince me to go through with the date and with the guitar playing.  Too late, I was done.  Trying to convince me of something when my mind is already made up just makes me more annoyed.

In the end I just didn’t answer the phone anymore.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners” ― Laurence Sterne

On Saturday I finally went on my first date since I have been back on Match.  While this person didn’t really give me a lot of hope I thought he would be a nice guy and we would have a nice time.

I did have a nice time because I can make the best of almost anything.  He was kind and came bearing gifts: Hot sauce and dark chocolate.  He owns a food distributor.

He was shorter, fatter and older than it was on his profile.  Nothing wrong with short, fat and old.  I just have a problem with false advertisement.  He was also more unavailable than I expected.  This one is my fault.  When I looked at his profile again it did say he was separated.  I missed that.  But even if I had seen that, I never expect someone to be living in the basement of the family home for the past 12 years while fighting over the house.  

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein

He has been waiting 12 years for his wife to decide what she wants. Among all that he mentioned, he said he doesn’t own a TV because the wife doesn’t want a TV in the house.   No matter how handsome, tall, young, slim and awesome someone is, there is no way that I can respect  or be with that complacent and spineless. 

Even though I mostly felt sorry for him, I also got a bit annoyed that he expect women to be okay with that situation.  He said that the women of Match have a lot of expectations regarding relationships. 

I said that I could only speak for myself and my only expectation was that someone looked like his pictures and was available to be in a relationship.   At which point he went back to telling me that he has been available for over 12 years and that he will force the wife to sell the house… I don’t think that even he was buying that.

My advice to him, he didn’t ask but I volunteered, was: “get your life untangled first before you add another person to that dynamic.”

 He said that the right woman will understand.  I am not her! After dinner I wished him luck and we parted as friends.

I also said to him to forget about the house and embrace freedom.  At this point he went back to talking about the grand plans he has for his business.  It seems he will continue fooling himself.

“There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’

If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble.”
― Sam Keen

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Intermittent fasting: yea or nay?

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First a disclaimer: I am not advocating intermittent fasting or any kind of diet or even weight loss. I don’t believe in fad diets, but in listening to your body.  Please consult your doctor and do your own research. Only you know what your body needs.  I am only sharing what I chose to do to cope with the quarantine and not gain any extra weight.

Love your body and be kind to your body no matter what. It is a temple!  And also a playground!

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”― Dan Millman

***

When I was having my floors done I had the brilliant idea of dismantling my elliptical machine and throwing it away. It was bulky and not working that great.  My intention was to get a smaller one after the new flooring was installed.  However, my floor, as I have mentioned before, remains unfinished. 

Before the quarantine, without the elliptical, I wasn’t exercising much but still was taking walks and a trip to the gym every now and then.  My hip and clavicle issues prevent me from really doing the exercises I like, such as Zumba and heavy weightlifting.

With Planet Fitness closed, as well as the gym in my building, all I have been doing are some stretches. I know I can and I should be doing more, but have yet to get into an exercise routine.   

“So be gentle with yourself; show yourself the same kindness and patience you might show a young child – the child you once were. If you won’t be your own friend, who will be? If, when playing an opponent, you are also opposing yourself, you will be outnumbered.” ― Dan Millman

When we were forced to stay at home I knew that it could be disastrous to my sister and I.  We both love carbs and sugar.  Adjustments were in order.  Taking my sister’s advice (she has been doing it for awhile) I embarked on the intermittent fasting. The way we do it, we try to stop eating as early as we can the night before, normally around 7pm and then only eat again the next day after 11am.  We fast for 16 hours or more.

I always believed that I had to eat something very early as soon as I woke up to get my metabolism going, so my body wouldn’t think I was starving myself and shut down. I had to reevaluate my thinking.  There is a whole debate and science behind eating and not eating breakfast.  I am not getting into that here. 

To me what is important are the foods I choose when I am eating.  With less hours to eat I eventually ate less, which led to losing 15 pounds. My goal was not to gain, so I am over the moon.  

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”― Dan Millman

In the beginning it was a struggle. I was so addicted to my daily morning meal of bread and butter.  I am one of those people that wake up starving.  I am not sure it is really hunger or just the routine of eating in the morning.  By now I am mostly used to it, but still there are some very hard days.  

Unfortunately now my fasting has been called into question.  Should I be rethinking the fasting because of the dizziness? I am feeling much better but every day I have my moments of feeling out of focus and wobbly.  It is normally when I lift head, and every night when I lay down.  I am really almost 100% better but still feeling out of focus has me worried.

The other day my boss, Jeff, said to me:  “Dr. Jeff is ordering you to go back to your breakfast of bread and butter. You are starving yourself, that is why you are dizzy.” 

My friend that is a Naturopathic doctor said: “Intermittent fasting is great but it is not for everyone.  It may not be for you.”  He wants me to do different allergies tests.

“It’s better to make a mistake with the full force of your being than to timidly avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit. Responsibility means recognizing both pleasure and price, action and consequence, then making a choice.”― Dan Millman

I have been doing the fasting since late March and it was only in June that the vertigo symptoms started.  Plus I have had vertigo a couple of times before in 2019.  I want to believe that it is not the cause and just a coincidence.

I am a fan of the fasting because I don’t have to deprive myself of anything I like.  I still have my bread and butter but now normally on weekends, and sometimes I will have for lunch or dinner if I really want it.

Intermittent fasting makes me feel more in control (there goes that word that I have a love-hate relationship with).  It taught me that it is okay to feel hungry.  Actually I am learning what is to feel hungry.  Since I have fewer hours to eat I am making better choices.

I will be having a physical this month, so I will discuss it with my doctor.  But for now I am sticking to it.  It was the jump start I needed to get my mind and body reconnected.

Have any of you tried intermittent fasting?  What is your experience?

If you have any recommendation of a good, yet, small elliptical machine please let me know. 

“Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.”― Dan Millman

 

 

Don’t just…, excel at it!

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This week zoomed by.  It was a blur.  Phase III started on Tuesday in New Rochelle.  Restaurants are now open for indoor seating at 50% capacity. Some restaurants put tables on the sidewalk and I love that.

On Sunday I had my first meal at a restaurant.  My sister and I were spending the day with a friend.  We went to Chat 19 in Larchmont because they have outdoor seating.

We had a great time, and great food.  After that we went to the Larchmont Manor Park, shown on the picture above. It was a beautiful day.  It felt freeing.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”― Thich Nhat Hanh

****

Last night, Friday I met a friend/business acquaintance for an afternoon drink/early dinner.  I showed her my neighborhood and we chose to sit outside at a Colombian Restaurant.  My sister met us there after she finished work.

We had passionfruit mojitos and empanadas and skirt steak, among other things.  All delicious.  We were sitting there talking and people watching for over 4 hours.  I also learned a lot about her life here and back in Australia where she is originally from.  I knew very little of her up to last night.  It is wonderful to understand the reasons why someone does what they do, or live the way they live.

“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?
We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”― Haruki Murakami

Tonight I will have my first date from Match.com.  I just realized that he is only 39 years old, and I am not.  I have thought about canceling but I don’t think there is any harm in meeting him and making a new friend.

He seems so nice and thoughtful.  He is driving over 1 hours from NJ to come to my neighborhood to take me to dinner.  He chose a nice restaurant with a back patio that looks great.  

I will go with an open mind, and don’t let the age influence me.

UPDATE: Right as I was about to post this I received a text from my date saying he had to postpone it for next week.  He said had to stay near his laptop because of some work crisis. He also added: “The only other option would be for you to come here”

I don’t know if this is true or not, or if he is just being lazy trying to have me drive to him instead of him driving to me. Whatever it is, it just feels lame to me.  I will definitely not be going to him.  My gut tells me that a date next week doesn’t seem likely.

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.”― Mark Z. Danielewski,

So it seems life is getting back to normal, or I should say new normal.  Will the new normal be better than the old normal?

As I wrote that I paused to reflect.  Do I want everything to go back to normal?  Yes and no!  I guess this is the perfect time for me to reflect on the changes that I want to make and keep in my life.  What I want my new normal to look like?  For starters I want to have a better work-life balance. 

What a wasted opportunity life would be if we as a humanity didn’t learn anything in the last 4 months? Time to reflect in our own lives and see where we can improve to benefit ourselves and our neighbors.

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

It is now or never again

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“When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

I decided to get back on the horse. And by horse I mean online dating.  I just signed up for it again.  I felt that I was getting too complacent, too comfortable in my oneness.  It feels that if I don’t just do it right now I will never get back to it.

Even though I always enjoyed speaking to new people and going on dates, lately every time I thought of joining I would think of it as a chore and would go off do something else.  So today I made a point of signing up before I gave up on it forever.  I am once again a member of Match.com.

I have never given up on the idea of love.  I just have been passive about it.  Instead of actively looking for it, I was just sitting back and letting it find me. It didn’t!

“It is impossible to exist without passion”― Søren Kierkegaard

That approach, or should I say non-approach, wasn’t really working.  I am not a person that sits and waits.  I go out there and get the job done…or die trying.  I rather take the initiative, be aggressive and know that I am doing my part and having a hand in my destiny.

The Bible says: God helps those that help themselves.

Paulo Coelho says: When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Rumi says: what you seek is also seeking you.

So I want God, Paulo Coelho, Rumi and the entire Universe to know that I am actively doing my part.  I want the Universe to know that I am still here and still wanting and still trying to find love.

Winning or losing I want to feel that at least I am part of the game. I don’t want to be just a spectator.

“Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.”― Søren Kierkegaard

I don’t need a man but I want one.  I miss the intimacy.  I miss the flirting.  I miss the idea of having common goals and working together to achieve them.  I want to believe that it will happen, actually I firmly believe that it will happen.  It is only a matter of time.  I can’t hurry love, as the song below says.

I also have never given up on the idea of the fairy-tale. But my version of fairy tale doesn’t involve princes in shining armors and white horses, just has men that pays their bills on time and showers daily.  Is that too much to ask?

I feared that if I waited any longer I would just give up the idea of online dating all-together.  I had fun before and I still believe in it.  Or perhaps I just want an excuse to get out of the house.

Stay tuned for all the dating adventures to come.  Fingers crossed.

“It’s quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it you don’t do it.”― Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

My handiwork and the flirty older man

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“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ― Alan Watts

On Saturday I had to go into work to meet a couple of contractors, one to deal with some computer issues and one to measure the curtains.

They both showed on time and did what they needed to do.  Actually, the tech guy came, did his job and left.   The curtain guy seemed to want to stick around.

The curtain installer came to remeasure the rolling shades I am ordering for the office. He measured them, explained to me why I needed to go with the original measurements and kept talking.  I walked him to the door and he didn’t seem to want to leave.

“All right,” Roland said. “Rudeness is forgivable, Blaine; so I was taught in my youth, and the clay has dried in the shapes left by the artist’s hand. But I was also taught that stupidity is not.” ― Stephen King, The Waste Lands

It reminded of being in Brazil.  When guests leave your home in Brazil you normally escort them to the door and talk for awhile being they get into the car and leave.  Sometimes one stays another hour at door talking before the guests finally leaves. And you have to make sure to wait till the car is leaving, wave good bye and then go back inside.  It is considered rude to go inside before the car leaves.

Anyway, the curtain guy is a nice older man but I think that he was mistaking my friendliness for interest.  I think he was trying to flirt with me.  I definitely didn’t want to give him the wrong impression by being too nice, but at the same time I am incapable of being rude.  He thinks I am married and I made sure not to correct him.   

Finally I said I had to get back to my work in the kitchen, which I did; and he left.  

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ” ― William James

I have been in this new office working alone and already I could see droplets of coffee on the wall behind the sink and coffeemaker so I decided I needed to have a back-splash installed before the employees came back to work.

I was going to use real tiles and make it lively and fun but I decided that at this point I just don’t have the time to dedicated to that.  I just need to get the office ready for when everyone start returning in next few weeks.  In the end I just went with the easy, fast and cheap route: peel and stick tiles.

“Why is patience so important?”
“Because it makes us pay attention.” ― Paulo Coelho

I have no patience to follow directions, but realized once again that I should have done so.  There were the instructions that came on the package, there were detailed reviews with additional instructions and also YouTube videos with additional tips, but I disregarded them all and did it my way.  

While I wish I had paid more attention to the instructions I am very happy with the result.  The imperfections are small and I don’t think anyone will notice them if I don’t point them out.  Next time I will follow directions, but for my tiny office kitchen this is perfect!

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” ― Michelangelo Buonarroti

The dizziness is speaking, I better listen

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I was almost 100% better when all of a sudden some of the dizziness came back.  Now I know for sure that it is somehow related to stress.  Wednesday was a day beyond stressful, and the dizziness came back immediately.  Now I experience it sporadically throughout the day. 

I didn’t return to the doctor today as it was scheduled.  I didn’t see the point of going back to an ENT when he didn’t find anything wrong the first time.  If anything I rather go to a neurologist.  But for now my plan of action is to work on how to better deal with stress. 

I will write more about it on the next post as I am short on time and I want to make sure I am get enough sleep.  For now I will leave you with a beautiful prayer. 

My Lord, help me to tell the truth in front of strong people
and not to lie to obtain the applause of the weak ones.
If you give me fortune, do not take away my reasoning.
If you give me success, do not take away my humility.
If you give me humility, do not take away my dignity.
Always help me to see the other side of the coin.
Don’t let me blame others of betrayal just because they don’t think just as I do.
God, teach me to love people as I love myself and to judge me as I judge others.
Please, don’t let me be proud if I succeed, or fall in despair if I fail.
Rather remind me that failure is the experience that precedes triumph.
Teach me that forgiveness is a sign of strength and revenge is a sign of weakness.
If you take success from me, give me encouragement to learn from failure.
If I ever offend people, give me courage to apologize to them.
If people offend me, give me the ability to forgive them.
Lord, if I ever forget you please forgive me and never forget me.

― Mahatma Gandhi

50% damaged, but 100% blessed and amazing

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“Peace begins
When expectation ends.”
― Sri Chinmoy, Perfection and Transcendence

It is always the same story for me when it comes to doctor visits.  I am always so hopeful before I go, and then so disappointed in the end.   

I expect to get answers and a proposed plan of action, but normally end up with just maybes. I expect validation of my feelings and symptoms, and end up feeling like it was all in my mind or the issue so minor that it was all a waste of time.  

“He wondered, with some annoyance, whether he would finally learn what he wanted to know, or if he would have in the end to content himself with what he already knew. He felt that, at his age, patience was ceasing to be a virtue and was becoming a luxury he could less and less afford.”― Romain Gary,  The Roots of Heaven

On Friday I went to an ENT to talk about my vertigo symptoms.  Conveniently for me there is one right in my office building. 

I was given an hearing test and then saw the doctor.  According to the doctor I have some, very minor hearing loss on the right ear.  Nothing to worry about it and nothing to do about it, as there is no nerve damage. It is not related to the dizziness that I have been feeling either.

I explained that even though I am still wobbly in the mornings I am 90% better by now.  Still I would like to discover the cause of it.  He said that this is the type of situation that is very hard to diagnose.  Guessing game here we go. 

Last time I had vertigo, about a year ago, my primary doctor instructed me to take allergy pills.  According to him the cause is often nasal congestion, even though I didn’t feel congested at all and don’t fee it now.

“The most exquisite pleasure in the practice of medicine comes from nudging a layman in the direction of terror, then bringing him back to safety again.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

This time I took allergy pills a couple of times and also motion sickness medication.  They seemed to help a little. 

The doctor said he would try something.  He lowered the table while I sitting up straight, then he pushed me back really fast.  It was uncomfortable but okay.  Had that been done on prior days I would probably pass out from the dizziness.

He said that because I had taken the medications they were probably suppressing the symptoms. I mentioned that I had only taken it a couple of times and the last time it was a day ago, but he said that still would interfere.    

He asked me not to take any more medication and return in one week. I asked:  “Should I still come back if by then I have no more symptoms? The symptoms are almost all gone by now.”

He said he still wants to see me anyway.  I said okay, but now that I think about it, what is the point? I am not sure I will go back if there aren’t any symptoms.  I don’t see the point.

“The doctor arrived towards dinnertime and said, of course, that although recurring phenomena might well elicit apprehension, nonetheless there was, strictly speaking, no positive indication, yet since neither was there any contraindication, it might, on the one hand, be supposed, but on the other hand it might also be supposed. And it was therefore necessary to stay in bed, and although I don’t like prescribing, nevertheless take this and stay in bed.”― Leo Tolstoy,  The Devil

Today, Sunday, I feel 95% better. We shall see how I feel by Friday when I have the follow up appointment.

I understand that I am not being  realistic in my expectations every time I see a doctor.  He is only human and not a miracle worker.

Moving on from this topic, I have one curiosity.  Is everyone more prone to have physical issues on one side of their body versus the other? All my problems are on my right side.  Is that because I am right handed and perhaps use and overuse more my right side?

These are my issues:

  • Right wrist.  I was developing carpal tunnel on my right wrist.  I now use the mouse on the left hand and all is fine.
  • Right hip. I have bursitis, arthritis and a tiny tear on my right hip.  I got used to living with the pain.
  • Right clavicle.  I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) on my right clavicle.
  • Right eye.  Every now and then I have a sharp pain in the back of the right eye accompanied with some redness. I have a check up every year by a specialist and he says it is nothing.
  • Right ear.  And now I have been told that I have a minor hearing loss on the right ear.

Is there a spiritual meaning to that? I think there is a spiritual meaning to everything, so perhaps someone can enlighten me.  Why is my right side crying for attention and help?

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Gosh, I made myself sound so physically damaged 😦 Still I feel like I am only 25 years old.  That is, when the room is not spinning.

 

 

 

Wobbling my way through the day

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Pachira Aquatica (money tree)-legend has it that it brings wealth. I bought for the new office.

“The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.”
― 
G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare

Thank you everyone for the get-well-soon wishes.  I am feeling much better now.  I still wake up wobbly.  It takes awhile to get going, but by the afternoon I am feeling more steady on my feet.

On the day when this vertigo crisis started I woke up with a long list of things to do.  Most of it had to do with getting my new office up and running.

All of a sudden, all the deadlines, the reports I had to hand in, the calls I had to make, all the deliveries I had to meet, it all took a back seat to me just being able to stand up.

In the afternoon I walked to the office, with some steps wobblier than others.  Next time I see people not steady on their feet I will never again assume that they are drunk or on drugs.  They could be afflicted with vertigo, like me, or some other condition that affects their balance.

“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.” – Shaun Hick

Not feeling well puts everything in perspective.

Humbling. Getting sick and not feeling well is humbling.  The world hasn’t stopped.  All is moving as it should. I am meaningless.  It does show me that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I am no longer the one that can get it all done.

How can I continue to be wonder woman if I can’t even stand up and walk straight?

Vulnerable. I am not invincible.  No one is. Having my body not respond as I want and expect is scary. Is wobbly my new normal? Feeling ill makes me look at being healthy in a different light. Being healthy is a necessity, not a luxury.

Liberating. All of a sudden I am free from all that NEEDED to be done and all I WANTED to get done.  There is nothing more important in the world then getting well and feeling better.  All rest will have to wait.

Control and Acceptance. Feeling ill reinforces the idea that I, as a human being, am not in control of anything.  The only thing that I can possibly try to control is my actions and reactions.  I accept my powerlessness at this moment.  I accept I am not 100%.

Reflection. Feeling ill and unable to do anything other than just lay there looking up at the ceiling is the perfect time for reflection. To reflect about the world and my role in it. To reflect about the lessons, as I am sure there are many being taught me now.  I can’t miss them.

Planning. It is also a perfect time for planning.  Because, of course, any time I don’t feel well, the first thing I dream of doing when I am better is conquering the world. Don’t you? I have this overwhelming feeling that I wasted precious healthy time.  That I didn’t do enough or as much as I should have. Therefore it gives me a renewed sense of purpose and urgency.

Gratitude.  Waking up every morning is a blessing and waking up healthier is even more so.  Not only the next day is not a guarantee, that we will be feeling well the next day is a gamble also.  I am being taught to appreciate every single moment and get busy living and doing all I can while I can.

I am grateful for the vertigo for slowing me down for awhile so I can come back with a faster gear and new resolve.

“I didn’t expect to recover from my second operation but since I did, I consider that I’m living on borrowed time. Every day that dawns is a gift to me and I take it in that way. I accept it gratefully without looking beyond it. I completely forget my physical suffering and all the unpleasantness of my present condition and I think only of the joy of seeing the sun rise once more and of being able to work a little bit, even under difficult conditions.”
― 
Henri Matisse