Category Archives: Uncategorized

The War

I have spent the past 18 months in a situation that has been a source of constant frustration for me. As a result, my reactions and behavior on occasion have been expressed in anger and negativity.

I came to this facility for rehab when my reduced mobility due to a badly damaged arthritic knee made independent living too difficult. I needed to increase my strength before I could undergo surgery but it was 4 months before physical therapy was finally started.

Getting around was difficult even with a walker and anxiety kept me from eating in the dining room or participating in group activities, so that time was spent almost entirely in bed. I grew weaker and increasingly depressed. My roommate during that time was 94. She spent her days in the dining room and her nights asleep. Her only communication was to curse at the aids if she was awakened during the night.

I read every mystery, thriller and action/adventure novel in the small library. I watched TV when programs and movies come on that engaged me, which wasn’t often. I enjoyed conversing with the people who attended me. But despite all my efforts, my depression  remained.

It was 5 more months before I had my knee replaced. Another round of PT  began. Normally I would have been able to resume my independent life after 3 months,  but my right shoulder had become increasingly more painful and less useful. I had been favoring it for some time and getting by with cortisone injections, but it was clear that I would no longer be able to put off a having a replacement. I went through 2 more roommates in the 5 months following my knee surgery. The first wasn’t  much more compatible with me than the last, and spent little time in our room.

Finally I was  assigned a room where I could claim the bed by the window. No longer was I tucked away behind drawn blinds and privacy curtains. My depression disappeared. I began to write and to enjoy my crafts once more. The facility is located on the outskirts of a small town here in southern Idaho. I am able to look out my window as the seasons change at the surrounding farmland. There is a line of low hills in the distance. I am thankful for all these things even though the only opportunity I have to get outside is to go to appointments.

Within a few days of this move I got my third roommate, Pearl, who was exactly what I needed. Though she only stayed a month, she was the first real bright spot in my life here. We became close friends and still text each other often.

The upcoming surgery would mark my fifth joint replacement in 15 years. Both hips had to be revised during that time as well. I had both hips replaced and the right one revised in 2005 alone. I had accepted early on that I needed help during my recovery times though it wasn’t easy. I had been diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. In other words, my body bad betrayed me.

Despite all my efforts to stay centered in the present, I resented the fact that I was no longer able to work. Being confined indoors for long periods is difficult for an outdoor person and having to give up most of the activities I  enjoyed was even harder. Indeed, it was humbling.

My current roommate, Deb, is closer to my age. With many shared experiences in common, we immediately struck up a friendship. She has a quick wit and a positive attitude that even my lingering bouts of negativity can’t diminish. But she has cancer and was given only a few months to live. She is confined to a wheelchair. On bad days she mostly sleeps. When she’s up, her pain is evident and she shows little interest in anything. Still she doesn’t complain. I feel helpless to comfort or assist her. But I try to insure she has help when she needs it. We look forward to the good days.

When I think about her indomitable spirit, I am ashamed of my resentfulness. I am thankful for my life, my overall good health and an active mind. I believe everything happens for a reason. Every person, event and experience is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to become a better human being. We are free to choose what we do with it. I believe this with all my heart. But still I am frustrated. Still I react with impatience. I miss the companionship and comfort of my cat and being able to go out into Nature. These things nurture and heal me. Neither the meditation nor all the positive reading I do can replace them. I want the freedom and increased options work on my laptop gives me versus having to do everything on my phone.

I read a post yesterday on journaling for healing. I was unable to find the site again or I would share it with you. I realized that though I had journaled about the facts of my experience with my disability over the years, I had never written about the  feelings that were a part of it. I had buried them all this time and was continuing to do so.

I was reluctant to let go. I wanted my resentment. It was a wall that kept people from getting too close. An excuse to show anger. A reason to fight against the rules. Deep inside I felt damaged, unacceptable.

This is something I need to do but I don’t know if I can. I want to be whole again, emotionally and physically, but I’ll settle for being the best human being I can be.

Got a Dollar? This Climate Action is a No-Brainer!

Any way you choose to help will make a difference.

The Happiness Nerd

Here’s proof: The Happiness Nerd is a good human 🙂 And for a buck you can be, too!

Hello my dear happiness nerds, welcome (back)!

This just in and I had to spread the love: An awesome group of youtubers have joined forces to make it easy for you to do something about climate change. I know so many people, who want to help, but just don’t know where to start. Researching the best options online can be daunting—believe me, I’ve been doing it for weeks and there’s still no end in sight. But I’ve found out a couple of things. For example, planting trees, especially diverse local species in tropical climates, is one of the most effective (and beautiful!) measures to heal Mother Earth (see sources here,here, and here), who has fed us, clothed us, and gave us shelter for all these millenia.

And this is exactly what…

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Nature Speaks to Me

janbeek

Autumn’s Here

fall colors-bathroom

Sitting on toilet
Looking at the bathroom sight
I see Autumn’s here

Fall Too Soon

It’s only mid-September. Summer didn’t come ’til  late June. I’m not ready for fall already! But, look at those orange leaves. They are speaking to me. There’s no denying it. Autumn is here!

Get Ready

Get ready for four-wheeling trips on our favorite mountain trails. I’ll let you go vicariously with me as we revisit this season of change in the Rocky Mountains – the Tobacco Root Range to the west of us and the Gravelly Range south and southwest of us.

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What speaks to you during this season of change? Add your own thoughts to the following prompts:

  • the beauty of the _
  • the softness of the _
  • the fragrance of the _
  • the rhythm of the _
  • the faintness of the _
  • the freshness of the _
  • the strength of the…

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How to keep your to-do list short and still be insanely productive.

Salted Caramel

A to-do list forms the basis of every life skills, personal development, or productivity enhancing course.  Self improvement, self help, and time management advice always begins with a list. Blog posts, articles, audio and video life coaches all emphasize the importance of a to-do list. A list of goals, aims and objectives is considered a pre-requisite to organise your day and your life.

In the 21st century, a to-do list does not require paper and pencil. It can be made on a desktop or laptop computer. You can make it on the go on your tablet or smart phone. In this digital age, surprisingly, there are people who prefer to map their day on paper. Special printed notebooks and notepads, journals and planners, are even more popular today than they were before the advent of electronic devices. People (especially young people) love to fill them with monthly, weekly and…

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Big Sky, Blank Paper

Being a writer as well, I couldn’t help sparing some of the trials and rewards of writing with you…

The Message Pub

I don’t feel like writing. Creative writing, I mean – the novels and short stories I write that bring me such pleasure. It’s not writer’s block, at least not how I understand writer’s block. I have plenty of ideas floating around in my head that I’m itching to write down. I’m not avoiding or procrastinating. There are plenty of days when I don’t feel like writing, yet I sit down and do it anyway. This is different. I. Just. Can’t. Do. It.

As I’ve struggled to find my way back to my happy writing place, I read a blog post that helped. It’s titled “Motors” on “Andrew’s View of the Week”. He has a clever writing style using metaphors interspersed with engineering terms. Anyway, I think I’ve run out of creative energy and I need to recharge my batteries.

How do I recharge? People. I’m an extrovert, so social…

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https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F639510924&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=500&maxheight=750&dnt=1

I hear a lot of people talking about this. I’ve noticed a common theme among these teachings that the ego is bad and the intuition is good. It seems to be a widely accepted belief that the ego is something that we have to transcend or conquer in order to live life as our highest […]

via Intuition and The Ego — The Inspired Soul Podcast

Overnight Oats

A healthy, no fuss way to start your day.

Salted Caramel

Overnight oats are the best breakfast option for busy people who want to eat healthy. They require almost no preparation and are a satisfying meal that you can pack with as many nutritious ingredients as you like.

All you require is a Mason jar or deep cereal bowl that you can cover. Put in your oatmeal, whether white or wholegrain. Layer it with chopped fruit or berries, nuts and seeds. Now pour over your choice of milk or milk substitute. Cover and chill overnight in the fridge. Voila ! The next morning you have a nutritious breakfast that you can enjoy at home or carry with you on your commute.

The beauty of this recipe is that it has no fixed quantities or ingredients. You can vary them to get a new flavour every day. Berries are the most popular but any seasonal fruit can be chopped or sliced and…

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