Steps

So, I am now seven weeks post op and the cast is finally off…it came off just over a week ago and it has been a mixed blessing really. It is way more comfortable to sleep at night now…I just lose my eyes and off I drift. This is luxury in the extreme and I hope I never forget that. But in the day it is still very painful. I have done some snooping and it’s quite normal for swelling etc to be there for up to 6m after the op so I am settling in for a marathon rather than a sprint.

What am I focussing On? Well, this experience has taught me a lot of lessons…and I can summarize them as follows. I will actively appreciate and care for:

  • My friends and family
  • The level of support I have had has been stunning. My loved ones have scooped me up and carried me, sometimes literally, over the last few weeks. I am taking some of them out this evening to try to say thankyou but it will never be commensurate with what I have received from them. Friends are your chosen family, and mine have gone beyond even that in some cases. I am so so lucky.
  • My health
  • Unexpected? Well, my health is what I would politely term as ‘buggered’ what with this foot, the Parkinsons and other lovelies I have yet to discuss with y’all. Don’t worry, I will, but not now. What I mean is I will not ever ever ever take any movement, strength or ability I currently have for granted again. I completely shut down a number of times over the past weeks and it was SCARY. The gratefulness when I felt the energy surging through my body when the painkillers worked or the Parkinsons meds kicked in is almost overwhelming. I pledged to maintain and then improve my health levels. I intend to keep that promise to myself and my loved ones.
  • My independence

  • Well, I had a glimpse of the future, depending on others and the NHS. I didn’t like it. One bit. I will fight and fight hard for independence as long as I can. I am feeling militant.
  • My mental strength
  • I have always known I am stubborn. I have always known that I have been blessed with intelligence too. I had to draw upon these resources big time. When your body is shutting down and you don’t know why it is very easy to panic, I know I did a number of times, but it is also possible to grit your mental teeth and ride the storm. It takes practice, which unfortunately, I had plenty of opportunities for, but it is doable. I meditated myself silly but hey, it worked. I logically reasoned out my predicaments to myself (very frustrating to those who have different problem so,ca g approaches I admit) so that I could face them with reduced fear. I learnt how ideal With bad news, how I react In a crisis, what it is like to draw on others’ strength and trust them.

    And so I sit here and think about the future. I have to plan to achieve and maintain these priorities. And I have to understand myself so as to succeed. Next time we will go into that particular briar patch….

    Gaga

    so, I’m back. It’s been a while…I seem to say tha a lot don’t I? I have moved house now so I am slowly getting settled into the new place. Lots of painting and DIY opportunities. I will take you round the projects at some point soon. Honest. But today I wanted to share a radio show….not like me, you say. She’s never shown an  interest … however, I am on this show so I obviously am a little bit fascinated ;0

    the background is that Ian, the interviewer, is a friend made via t’internet a while ago. I joined a Parkinsons UK self-management group and Ian was one of the members. We are are still in touch with each other and the other group members. Ian is a DJ at Radio Parkie. This is a digital channel dedicated to decent music and Parkinson’s. An unusual combo I grant you.

    anyway, here’s me spilling about PD, Italy, music, work and the importance of sniffing bread. Enjoy.

    Click for radio show

    Revamp

    It's October, the air is crispier and so is my life. Stitch Towers is under new management (mine) and life is both challenging and stimulating. I am middle aged, I admit it, but I have never had to fend for myself until now. It's not a barrel of laughs but I'm not drowning quite yet. I am unhealthily interested in household organisation tho. I admit.

    This whole experience is making me realise that despite the plethora of domestic bliss/homemaking blogs, books and advice, what goes on behind closed doors will remain a mystery until we choose to disclose. And most of us don't choose. So, the stories I have been hearing recently from friends who have trusted me will in the main remind hidden. And that means that the perpetrators of domestic unhappiness will continue unhindered and will never truly understand the impact of their behaviour. I come from a quite well healed area where middle-class guardian readers like to drink their Pinot Grigio wine sitting in their beautiful gardens. But that image is just that, an image. Such unhappiness and frustration can lie underneath it all.

    I am choosing to walk away from unhappiness. I hope this blog will become happier and more frequent as a result. I have missed you guys.

    Lucky number

    So, as I said last time, I’ve started a new arts space here in stitchopolis. It’s my new baby and I’m loving it. I’ve come to realize That the genesis of this venture is a massive step for me. For Once instead of saying ‘one day I will do that’ I’ve just got up and done it. It had made me so much more Confident in other areas of My Life and has left me way more appreciative of my friends and network. 

    Yesterday I went to a street party being held round the corner from the unit. I knew so many people, all for different reasons- it was lovely. And me and my business were right there in the middle of it. Great. 

    I also met someone who was struggling with life and just needed to offload and breathe again. I am still stressing on a daily basis but omg life is so much better than this time last year even. 

    So I guess this post is to mark my recognition that I’ve come a LONG way in the lifetime of this blog (7years!!) and that means j can continue to go even further….cool, an adventure!! 

    Peck

    I was once told that there are two

    Types of folk in this world

    The ones who leave you safe and warm

    And those who leave you cold.

    Not cold as in, you just don’t care

    No, I mean chilled and hurt

    All life leached out because they drain

    Your joy by their salt words. 

    I see my friend affected thus

    Pecked by a ravens beak

    Picked up upon with gimlet eye

    And gossips thrill to speak.

    I find it hard to see this as

    I felt the same attack 

    But if I may quote that Mr Poe

    “nevermore” is now my track…

    So no to social bullying 

    to those who strike a spark

    and no to those who fan the flame

    And burn to leave a mark. 

    For life is truely much too short

    To be upset or cranky

    Ignore Those revellers in discord. 

     it’s them not you who’s manky . 

     

    Supernova

    The timeline is complicated

    But unforgivingly straight 

    Before the night We shine

    We burn

    I’m bright, I know

    I have letters to prove

    To me, at least.

    But Perhaps this fire this inner flash

    This drive these files this splash

    Are my last gasp

    My battle cry

    Before I start to fade.

    I’ll rage against the downwards force

    Oppose it with my will

    I’ll go down fighting

    But I know

    I’m going downwards still.

    I see it clearly now and then 

    I catch a glimpse of truth

    And I ignore it

    And push on

    There’s f2%k all else to do.

    Berlin face off 

    I was standing on the pavement

    My fingers cold and stiff 

    The phone loose in my hand 

    It’s job done

    Directions good.

    I saw my goal

    Iconic and cool

    Lines clean against the cobalt rise

    And then a blue

    Familiar friend

    Caught my eye and

    As I bent

    Towards its light

     I saw my life

    The first one – past –

    Just sitting there

    Edging in my view

    Not framing

    Not quiet

    But glowering, dark

    No face just squares

    And that same blue

    That I wore close

    And thought would stay

    Now shadowed by the new design

    The squares no longer box me in

    I turned and walked

    Away.

    Its only words…

    So, we are approaching the end of 2016 and i am thinking about what I have doe, not done, learnt, ignored, lived, regretted, loved….you know the drill. I may well post something specific but i. The meantime I have been thinking in particular about how to stay p[ositive, motivated and focussed. I lose my drive so easily its just not funny. I start a new project and then it just fades. Well this year (2017) thats not going to happen. I plan a few ways of ensuring this and the first is the power of the affirmative statement. I cant be doig with the type of mantra that says ‘you are perfect, you can do anything, you win $200’ but i do think the right quote or statement can add a boost when needed. So, here are my current favourites…

    • Not perfect, but good
    • I am the architect of my life
    • You are entirely up to you
    • Happiness is a choice
    • Life happens. Coffee helps.
    • This too will pass
    • You will never influence the world by being just like it
    • You are not a spaniel
    • You become what you believe
    • Will this matter when i am 80?
    • See the good
    • Today will rock
    • Go where you feel most alive
    • Read the rules, then break if necessary.
    • What you allow is what will continue
    • Im not grumpy. Im processing.
    • If its still in your mind, its worth taking the risk.
    • Die with memories, not dreams
    • Be you, bravely
    • Take the scenic route
    • My path is different but i am not lost
    • You cant fail at being yourself
    • Be kind
    • Do as you would be done by
    • Two wrongs do not make a right

    Haiku

    Now guys I am not about to teach you to suck eggs by which I mean I am not going to give you the definition of a haiku. By now you know that when I use the title for a post it’s always an oblique reference at best. No, today’s little missive is a sort of meditation on what haiku means. 

    It is essentially a distillation isn’t it. A beautiful little gem of a poem crafted from limited means. And that really is all life is isn’t it? Something we have to craft from what we have been given and what we can purloin along the way. Before you think I’m going to get all sad and depressed here in fact I’ve been thinking about what we can make from what we have and how lucky the majority of us are even though sometimes we don’t see it. 

    I am writing this post in a hotel room in Tokyo. It is 2 AM in the morning and I am not sleeping. Blame it on jetlag and a broken air-conditioner. Actually just blame it on the air-conditioner. I got in 2 days ago and the jetlag should’ve gone by now shouldn’t it?.
    Anyway, this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list thing not least because I’m here on my own without my members of family small. I have been given a pass for the next 10 days and so I need to crystallise what I can until it is something I will treasure. Am I getting wrapped up in my metaphor? Quite possibly. But then, I am shameless.
    I will when I get a moment post the photographs of the key points on this trip but at the moment I’m so busy just keeping up and not collapsing with fatigue (Damn that Parkinson’s) that writing is not on my list of priorities right now. I hope you understand. And as ever, the vast majority of the content of this blog is what goes on inside my head rather than looking at what I am doing in real world. I promise this will be where I will post conclusions and ideas. It always is.

    To those of you reading this in the middle of the night, Just like me writing it, switch off the screen, and try try try to get some sleep. Good luck.

    Dot dot dot

    Sometimes we use code to communicate. We use familiar shorthand and we can miss details as a result. I have recently started a Visual Communications MA course at the University of Stitchopolishire so expect to hear my garbled thoughts on the subject in the future. I am intersted in this idea of lost information and errors arising. It links to my wider interest in the whole concept of failure. Is failure real? When we fail we often feel that its the end of the world, that all good will end. And yet, we mostly recover, we get up an brush ourselves off. It is very rare that a failure is indeed a true end. A cauterisation. What makes us embrace that finality i wonder? Are there common traits tat we all share that, if in place, lead up to surrender and give in? And conversely what makes for resilience, creativity and sheer joy of life? 
    As i said, a big subject. All these questions are spinning round in my head. No wonder ive not posted for a while. Mea culpa. But hey, i hope the answers to these musings will be interesting enough to make up for it.