Monthly Archives: May 2014

Distractions, procrastination, and releasing my past

Nothing kills a writer’s drive like unfinished projects.

“I’ll just tidy the kitchen…”

“I’ll just read one more chapter…”

“I really ought to sort my sock drawer…”

It’s ironic because whatever you’re writing is an unfinished project but we tend to shuffle that to the bottom of our list of priorities.  What exactly are we avoiding?  Why are we so easily distracted?  I can’t speak for everyone but find once I actually get started, I’m fine.  But if there is something sitting undone, I have a hard time focusing.  The time spent avoiding the unfinished project while sitting there struggling to write adds up quickly and soon you find that it would have been easier just to do the thing you’d been avoiding, so you can get back to what you really want to do.  Write.

Almost two weeks ago, I received some disturbing news about someone I used to know.  The details don’t matter, but what does is how it affected me.  I suddenly decided that I was going to get my life in order and I was going to start in the basement.  Not the figurative “basement of my subconscious”, but the actual basement of my home.  It is a project that has sat undone and really nagging me for far too long.  I asked myself why and realized that I just didn’t want to deal with my past.  It was upsetting and scary and emotional and draining and and and and…

As it turns out, once I started it wasn’t all that bad.  I had what turned out to be over 20 cans of paint sitting there, some of which had been there for years.  I have been meaning to take it somewhere to be recycled but kept thinking it was “too big a project” to deal with.  It took all of an hour to load it in my car and take it in.  An hour.  But it was such a huge weight lifted that I can’t believe I put it off for so long.

Not Jackson Pollock

 

Boxes and bags of “stuff” that I just didn’t want to deal with.  Completely random things, like a piece of molding from my van, which I haven’t had for four years.  I didn’t even realize it still sitting under the stairs and had to stare at it for a couple of minutes to even figure out what it was and where it came from.  I even discovered a few surprises, like a beautiful “doorway” wall hanging that I bought years ago and forgot I had.

Doorway

 I love this !

 My toolbox was far too small and was also broken, so it couldn’t be closed.  Into the bin it went and I bought myself a new one that is not only larger but actually fits everything.  The bonus is that it’s blue, which is my favourite colour and has absolutely nothing to do with it’s function but makes me happy all the same.

New Toolbox

I was merciless and very honest.  No more “this might come in handy someday” or “I should probably keep that”.  I did find myself saying “What the heck is THAT?” and “Where did THIS come from?” quite a bit.  Part of the way though, I had this lightbulb moment.  I was the one in charge.  It is MY home, MY space, and no one else had any say in how this was going to be done.  That one seemingly small shift in my perspective set me free.  Anything that I wasn’t using, didn’t like, didn’t want, or never wanted in the first place but was guilted into taking was either tossed, given away, or donated.

It took about a week.  When all was said and done, I dragged 7 giant garbage bags of junk to the curb, took all the paint to the recycling depot, and a carload of stuff to a charity garage sale.  The energy in the house seems lighter and now I actually go down there just to look around.  There is so much space that my Whippet runs laps!  It hasn’t been that empty since before I moved in and I intend to keep it that way.  Now that I’m on a roll, I think I’ll tackle the office.

Is there anything you’ve been putting off?  What do you think is keeping you from getting started?

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Coming out of the Fibro Closet

It’s been quiet here on the Bliggity Blog.  I’m sorry for that.  You may notice that I have a tendency to disappear from time to time.  I don’t like to talk about it for a myriad of reasons but now seems like as good a time as any.

I am affected by Fibromyalgia.  I don’t like to say I “have” it, for to state that you possess something is sending a message to the Universe that you want to keep it.  It has already been in my life for far too long.Fibro Fact

I don’t like to talk about it because I know the stigma associated with it.  I am ashamed to admit that I was among those who believe that Fibro is a load of BS.  Imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed and realized that the reason I never felt “well” and was tired all the time was because of Fibro, along with its buddies Chronic Fatigue, Costochondritis, and Restless Leg Syndrome.  What’s that?  No cure?  Oh joy!

Let me be absolutely clear.  I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  I am a 45 yr old woman who is affected with Fibro and made the decision to heal myself because I wasn’t satisfied with the options available to me through traditional medicine.  What works for me may not work for someone else.  But is does work for me and that’s what matters.

This has been an awakening.  A hard lesson in compassion and self-reliance.  I soon learned that traditional medicine simply tosses pharmaceuticals at you and tells you that you just have to become accustomed to your symptoms.  Make adjustments.  That you can most likely look forward to being on disability and that there isn’t anything else they can do for you.  I am grateful that I am stubborn because I wasn’t about to buy into that belief.

I am also grateful to have found Dr. Steve Marsden – a Naturopathic physician.  He was the first person in the medical field to truly listen and the first to validate my symptoms.  More importantly, he told me not to focus on the “label” but on how we were going to work together to enable me to heal.  While it is a chronic condition with no cure, he felt very confident that I could manage my symptoms, which would enable me to have as normal a life as possible.

Gentle Hugs

He started me on a specialized blend of herbs and advised me to meditate in order to raise my Ch’i (life force).  I learned that my emotional state had an impact on my symptoms, so I became very aware of my surroundings, as well as the people I interacted with, music I listened to, films I watched.  Anything that lowers my vibration will cause me to feel unwell.  I gave up caffeine and instantly noticed a huge difference in how I felt.  I paid attention to what I ate and how it affected me, making adjustments as I went along.  I am not perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But I am no longer in the dark, wondering why I feel like crap and not knowing what to do about it.

Through my research, I discovered that most people affected by Fibro also have a magnesium deficiency.  So I take Magnesium Citrate twice a day.  I also learned that there are benefits to Infrared Sauna, so I have incorporated that into my routine.  Yoga, meditation, naps when you need them, working with crystals, and allowing yourself to have days where you just don’t feel well are also part of the formula.

So the reason you haven’t heard much from me in the last couple of weeks is because I had a flareup and it’s taking a bit longer than I anticipated to get back on track.  To be honest, it started with all the excitement of “The Last Unicorn” screening.  You see, even positive stress has an impact so I have to be aware of that and keep myself from getting overly excited/emotional.  I learned a mantra from Dr. Wayne Dyer that also helped.  “I am healthy.  I am well.  I am pain free.  I am fibro free.  I am costo free.  I am healing.”  Whenever the pain sets in, this is an easy way to change focus and it usually subsides within a few minutes.  It never completely goes away but it becomes manageable.

I am sharing this with you not for sympathy, but in order to promote understanding and awareness.  Just because someone doesn’t “look” sick, doesn’t mean their illness isn’t real. Just because you don’t understand what they are going through does not give you the right to negate what they are experiencing.  I am guilty of this myself so I can understand the mindset.  We often fear what we don’t understand and Fibro is a very misunderstood condition.

Even just having one person in your corner who “gets” it (or at least tries to) makes a world of difference.  It is my goal to be doing even better this time next year and to be able to share all the things I have been able to do and experience, thanks to my healing.

Fibro Awareness

 

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Welcome to my Healing Room

I was not feeling well this weekend, so I did not attempt a reading.  Instead, I’ll start the week off with this post about my Healing Room.  

It must be Spring because I have this overwhelming urge to clean, organize, and de-clutter.  I live in a three bedroom house and find that, although the extra space is fantastic and I am extremely grateful to have it, I seem to collect a lot of clutter.  Not sure where it comes from or how it finds me.

I recently decided that I needed to get back into the habit of meditating, listening to more music, and tackling my “Must Read” shelf.  After wandering around the house and making some mental notes of things I wanted to change as well as stuff that I was DEFINITELY getting rid of ASAP, I decided to clear out and transform the spare room.

Healing Room - before and after

Here is the “Before and After” photo.  Believe it or not, I accomplished all this in just two evenings.  I may regret hauling that furniture around tomorrow, but it’s done and I love it!

 

Here is the little altar I put together.  Himalayan salt lamps are not only beautiful, but they really make a space cozy.  I have 10 of them throughout the house and am probably going to get a few more.

Healing Room - altar

 

Next up is the seating area.  I have been crocheting since I was about 15 and this is the first blanket I ever made myself.  The little table is one of two that my grandmother gave me.  She lives in Ontario, I live in Alberta.  I went out to help her move into a condo and she let me bring back a few things.  The tables fold down and I put them in my suitcase.  Yep.  I wanted them that badly.

 Healing Room - seating area

 

Three of my favourite things!  Books, music, and candles.  That is my TBR pile, which doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller in spite of the fact it’s now May.  Hmmm…

Healing Room - books n music

Just for fun, here is my bowl of tumbled crystals.  The bowl was given to me by my grandmother, who got it from her mother and I managed to get it home from Ontario without breaking it.  Slap my virtual palm, Bloggie Peeps!  I absolutely love the shape and it’s the perfect size.  These aren’t all of my stones, just the ones I am not using at the moment.

 Healing Room - bowl of tumbles

The best part about this little project is that it didn’t cost me a dime!  I already had everything I needed for this space.  Some of it was in other rooms of the house, some was in the basement collecting dust.  It’s amazing to me what you can do when you decide you don’t need to spend any money or get any more “stuff”.  Now, to tackle the basement…

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The day I geeked out and cried in front of Peter S Beagle

My sister sent me a message on Facebook that amounted to a lot of SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and OMG! OMG! OMG!

As it turns out, Peter S Beagle is doing a HUGE tour for the new 2K digital print of “The Last Unicorn”!  I have no idea how my sister and I missed seeing this when it was released because I know we would have lost our collective noodles over it.  So this was the first opportunity we’ve had to see it in the theatre.

Last Unicorn 2014

So needless to say, it took me all of 30 seconds to decide that we were going.  I called my Mom on the off chance she might like to join us and soon the Thompson girls were planning a day on the town.  The show was on Saturday, so I went down to the theatre on Tuesday to get our tickets.  Big mistake.  Tuesday is date night and the lineups were HUGE.  So I came back on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of confusion on behalf of the nice lady who was helping me.  First of all, she didn’t know about the event.  Second, she said that Mr. Beagle wouldn’t be in attendance because our city was too small.  I was disappointed but that wasn’t going to stop me.

The nice lady was wrong!  We arrived at the theatre, turned the corner and THERE HE WAS!  Signing autographs and chatting with excited fans.  We perused the table, spoke to his manager and found out that he always stays until everyone has had an opportunity to meet him.  On one occasion in particular, he stayed until 2 am!  So we decided to purchase our books and chat with him after the show was over.

He had a fantastic Q&A before the show.  My hand shot up in the air.  I was focused and determined to find out how “The Last Unicorn” was born.  Where was he when inspiration struck?  What was the first thing he wrote?  Where did the characters come from?  My turn came and I proudly told him I was also a writer, that his work inspired me, and then I started crying like a total dork (and like a true Canadian, I apologized).  Thankfully, when he found out I was a writer he eagerly asked me to come see him after the show so we could chat.

During the Q&A we found out that Mr. Beagle and George RR Martin (author of the Game of Thrones series) teamed up to raise funds for theatres that were upgrading their technology.  Artwork depicting King Haggard on the Iron Throne, autographed by both authors was available for purchase.

They held doorprize draws and I geeked out again when my number was called.  I won a copy of “We Never Talk About My Brother”, which I am really looking forward to reading.  A friend who found out about the event was the lucky winner of one of the autographed prints of King Haggard and gave it to me, which I promptly geeked out over.  I was geeking out left, right, and center.  I slept most of the next day in order to recover.  Not kidding.

April 29 003

Seeing “The Last Unicorn” in the theatre was amazing!  The colours were so vivid!  I noticed things that, even after watching it countless times, I never saw before (although I did miss the one thing that we were told to look for – I won’t spoil it for you).  After the credits rolled, we all filed out to the lobby and stood in line at the table.  I re-introduced myself to Mr. Beagle and we spoke for quite a while.  He’s so kind, humble, and genuine, taking the time to chat with everyone for as long as they are interested.  He is not shy about admitting his surprise that “The Last Unicorn” has withstood the test of time, gaining more and more fans as the years go on.

April 29 001

I finally asked THE QUESTION.  “Where did the story come from?”  He told me that it all started with one line.

“The Unicorn lived in a lilac wood and she lived all alone.”

He was staying at a friend’s cabin in 1962.  His friend was a landscape artist and went out every day to paint.  Peter felt he couldn’t very well just sit around, so he decided he’d write a book.  He wanted to give up many times, but the sense of competition with his friend drove him onward.  Little did he know, his friend felt the same and kept painting long after he wanted to stop.  So the two of them completed what they set out to do and here we are, 52 years later and still enjoying “The Last Unicorn”.

At the end of our conversation, my Mother asked if we could have our photo taken and I am very glad she did because I quite frankly didn’t have the presence of mind to do so.  I looked Mr. Beagle in the eye with tears in my own and said, “I will remember this day for the rest of my life.”  Touched, he opened his arms and embraced me, making me promise that I would keep writing.  “I will.  I promise.”

I intend to keep that promise and look forward to the stories that are to come.

Peter S Beagle - April 2014

For your opportunity to geek out over “The Last Unicorn” and meet Peter S Beagle, please visit http://lastunicorntour.com/.

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Filed under Books, Film, What Inspires Me, Writing