Archive for the ‘health’ Category

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A different way to start the New Year

January 7, 2013

Despite its calamitous start, I’d say that 2013 is off to a good start.

That first day is one that, as much as I’d like to forget, will likely become the memory that pushes me beyond the ho-hum to make this year a great one. 

You see, I’d been feeling tired and stressed before December had even started but I’d hardly noticed.  Then I was obliged to work extra hours every day while juggling a final week of school that was bordering on insane.  On top of all the usual seasonal chaos there was a municipal hearing, two performances of a school play, preparing for and hosting our biggest solstice celebration yet, and a fabric dyeing workshop.  How I survived it, I just don’t know.  And the funny thing is, I thought I was doing well because in the 10 days following, I kept from getting sick despite all the sugar and late nights.  That was, until, I woke up on January first.

Despite not a single glass of bubbly the night before, I woke up at 9 am with one nasty headache.  I had already determined that this was the day for cleaning out our main living spaces; clearing the cobwebs so to say.  Well, I did that, but my allergies didn’t like it and by the end of the day I was little more than a miserable pile of tears with a splitting headache. 

I loathe visiting that place so by the time I went to bed I had determined that I was going to eat better and sleep better for the rest of the holidays (in the hopes that I might start the new school year better than I had ended the last).  I figured it might be easy enough and then I went for labwork.  They revealed that there was more to my crash than just a few weeks of late nights and too much sugar.   It seems I’d gotten too cavalier about taking my vitamins, holding space for relaxation and getting exercise, and all the other things that keep me healthy. 

Seven days into this year I’m on a whole different pathway.  I’ve made a list of menu ideas for the month, Kevin and I have been snowshoeing twice and cross country skiing once, we’ve gotten things started with our architect, I’ve got a plan for my stories and circles for the new year, I’ve started attending contra dances again, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting up before the sun, I’m taking my vitamins, I’m preparing meals in advance (so that I can better avoid blood sugar crashes) and, most importantly, I’m feeling better.

2013 – I know you’re going to be one heck of a challenging year but I’m ready for you!

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melancholy monday

January 4, 2010

I was some how able to keep myself upbeat during my last post but by last night I was a wreck. I’d had the day to reflect on things both past and future and to add to the mix I was thinking about my late friend Cory.

Today would have been his birthday had he not had leukemia or rejected the bone marrow transplant. I know I can’t turn back the clock but even though it was 9 years ago his memory is still fresh. Having had an earlier run in with cancer he lived each day as though he might not see the next but with such youthful and energetic enthusiasm. It was contagious at the time but as each year passes, I’m reminded of how much further I am from living life that way and it’s upsetting.

I know that my view of the world is changing – I wouldn’t be maturing if it wasn’t – but it seems like fear keeps taking a larger and larger hold on me. Fear of falling, of breaking, of not losing weight, of failing at work and relationships, of not getting what I want in this life, of letting other people down, of making them uncomfortable, the list goes on. This isn’t what I want but at the same time how do I change it? Thank goodness for true friends who listened to me yesterday and helped me shed the most raw stuff. If I learned anything, it’s that I need to talk about these thing because getting upset and then trying to bury them isn’t working.

My winter holidays didn’t go the way I had expected – not even close. A big part had to do with house guests that didn’t leave but another thread, with a much longer history, is how I deal with injuries.

I get hurt a lot and I’m convinced it’s because there are lessons I haven’t yet learned. I gave up hockey, downhill skiing, mountain bike racing and now even cross country skiing because it seems that if I fall, I break something. Fracture number eight, which happened four years ago was so painful and persistent that I let a doctor convince me it was too risky for most of that stuff. Ooh it made me upset at the time but this thumb thing I’m dealing with now is serving as a good reminder for why it’s hard to turn back to those sports. I get frustrated from losing my independence and having to start over at ground zero again with my training.

At the same time, my social life has always revolved around sport and I have yet to find a worthy substitute for that or the adrenalin rush. I think that’s part of why I have a hard time accepting ball room dancing and swimming laps with wall hangers as my new activities. And heck, even though I love handwork it sure is hard these days and that makes me wonder what will it be like in another decade or two.  Should I even consider teaching handwork down the road?

It’s been a few years and I still don’t know what the answers are but I need to find a new determinism for finding what meets my needs for socializing and adrenalin. And of course, if you’ve been here and have any suggestions I would love to know!

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reflecting on 09 and pondering 2010

January 3, 2010

New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing but Heather and Granola Girl have captured me with their reflections on 2009 and their hopes for the year ahead. I always thought September was more my time of year but suddenly I’m in the mood to take a look backwards and forwards.  There were some significant changes in 2009 and so many yet to be defined in 2010.

sewing on the beach

In 2009 I took care of a few items on my bucket list:
– learned how to use the pottery wheel (it was so good to use my bowls when I was home for Christmas!)
– starting this blog
– training for triathlon
– trying dragon boating
– going to Glacier National Park in Montana
– dipping candles
– visiting New England
– going back to school for teacher training
– getting involved in the (Vancouver) Olympics – I dreamed of volunteering at the games but the logistics didn’t work out and carrying the torch was closer than I ever imagined I’d get

Olympic toch relay

Plans are already in place for a few more items to come off the list in 2010:
– attending the Olympics (I still regret that I didn’t go to Sidney where I knew 10 people who were participating!)
– finishing teacher training
– starting a new career
– taking a cross Canada road trip

tenting on Maui

There are some things I’m really proud of from last year but need to go a step further with this year so I can truly say I love this life!

Getting fit. Getting into a cycling and swimming routine last year was great but it took a lot of work for me to get to the point where I enjoyed it (and these were both sports I loved when I was in public school and university). Then I lost momentum when I spent half of the summer without my bike and away from a pool. I’m not sure that triathlon competition will fit into the plans this year but I need to get back on the fit routine so I can enjoy hiking, photography, and whatever 2010 has in store for us. I think the key here is to remind myself of why I want to get fit and starting my day with exercise.

Glacier NP - view from the E!

A decade or so ago I went so far as to run a few nights a week so I could develop the endurance to hike longer and higher. If I could handle that, surely I can handle a few pilates, swimming and yoga sessions a week now!

artful attempt at shore protection

Finding rhythm. I know that I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and do more with my day but I can’t believe how hard it is to do when my days aren’t jam packed with activities outside of the house or something to proove in a competition. I’m hopeful that regular glimpes at this post will help keep me on my game but I’m also going to need to find a way to limit my time on-line. The rhythm I’m still struggling to find needs to squeeze my computer time out but make space for fitness, socializing, sleep and healthy eating so I can be ready for a summer of outdoor exploration.

silhouette at big rock

Doing what I love. Taking leave from the career I felt was destroying my soul was a big move last year but finishing my training and starting afresh are going to be big too. There are still a lot of questions about where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing seven months from now and beyond but the most critical thing for me is it to find what I love no matter what situation we end up in. That means being open to whatever our future holds and rediscovering the outdoor activities we enjoy but haven’t done much of lately. I also need to be open to enjoying new things and doing what it takes to love the work I’m doing.

Kev on the slackline

Having goals are a big help and so this year, I resolve to get outside, get to bed early, get fit and love life. Have a great 2010!

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relax mode

December 22, 2009

After a week of trying to get things done and being frustrated by my sore hands I’m finally getting into the season and relaxing a little bit.

My main gift in my family gift exchange is done and in the hands of the recipient, we had a great time with friends on Sunday evening, Kev’s folks are here, and we’ve had some low key evenings with friends. Life is good again!

I haven’t been able to do as much sewing as I would like but when I got word that my mother had broken her wrist on Friday I felt compelled to move into action. (No my mother does not have weak bones or a propensity to fall.) She was complaining about the hospital issue sling and when I had the fracture that changed my outlook on skiing, hockey and mountain biking, I had a similar problem so I bought a more comfortable one. I thought I’d throw it in with the package my sister was taking home but it’s navy and white and I knew my mom would wear it reluctantly because it’s so darn obvious. Taking into account her love of green and corduroy I fashioned this:

mom's sling

It should get to her tonight.

In addition to cleaning up the house, I’ve been trying to make some of our blah areas look a little nicer. Last week I covered up our reference library (which is heavily used in the summer but sits dormant through most of the winter) and made a home for our candles and the plant from the kitchen. Since my wrist and thumb have settled down I was finally able to replace the pieces of our window trees that have disappeared since last December and today I also made a swag for our door.

transformed bookshelf

snowy trees

trees and SNOW!

Following in my mom’s footsteps we always have a swag of conifers and cones at this time of year but since we haven’t made it to the u-cut tree farm and I don’t believe in paying money for branches our door has been empty. Whether we’ll have a tree or not remains to be seen so I waded through the knee deep snow to clip a sampling of twigs from our backyard. It’s small and simple but it works for me!

door swag

Oh, and how could I forget baking!  There’s been chocolates that Kevin and his mom can eat, chocolate almond bark for the rest of us, caramel popcorn, caramel coated puffed sorghum, cosmic power cookies and more…  These treats alone would be too sweet so we’ve also been enjoying salsa and corn chips, veggies and hummus and of course, oranges.  I hope you and yours are enjoying a happy holiday season too!

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adapting

July 26, 2009

I arrived at the centre for my Waldorf summer intensive three weeks ago  after “hitching” a ride with 3 folks from the Montreal area.  My French n’est pas bien and it was interesting to try and understand some of the French conversations.  I think I did alright though.

Anyways, we got to the campus, I found my room, met my roommate and promptly went to bed.  I didn’t sleep very well that first night and had a really hard time with the food that first day.  My diet wasn’t very well understood and our location made it extremely difficult to get out and get some healthy food for my stash.  I worked in the kitchen too but wasn’t at all involved involved in preparing the meals.   I know it was one of the worst versions of myself that I shared the first day and as awful as that was, it was also good to have a reminder of how fragile the balance is.

07 adapting 1

Things did get better; much, much better in the subsequent days and weeks.  I survived mostly on salads,  potato chips and seeds for that first week with just a few problems.  I took a class with the folks I’ll be studying with in the fall and enjoyed meeting others in our morning activity, at meals and in the kitchen.  Clean up after meals was actually a lot of fun too once I got over being absent from the food prep.

In the second and third week I did something kind of silly and completely filled my timetable.  With my food problems mostly solved I thought it would be alright but I was so tired by the end of the first week and I really didn’t catch up until Monday of the next week.  I’m definitely still tired now that I’m home but we had a good restful day and despite my flights, yesterday was pretty relaxing too.  All in all it was a good three weeks and if I wasn’t so tired I would probably write more!

07 adapting

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mini houses

May 21, 2009

I wrote this back in February but it’s as relevant as ever today so here goes!

As mentioned a few months ago I’m in love with the idea of building our own house.  A little, energy wise, mold free and animal free house.  I especially like the idea of less  cleaning and more time for the important things in life.  A big part of that is saving money – spending less money on a house and less money to keep it warm and dry which then means spending less time at work perpetuating the whole cycle.

We could start building a trailer model right now if we wanted to but with all the hobbies we enjoy and all of our toys…. it doesn’t seem like the smartest idea.  That, and we’d have to rent a truck to drive it to our next destination.  The portability really is the best part but for short term stays we have the ecamper already.  For the lengths of time we tend to visit places it’s probably better to have the camper anyways.  We want to live close to amenities and I’m not sure we could stay under the radar of the local bylaw officer for long in a house on a trailer.

If someone wants to start building neighbourhoods with them and common buildings for laundry, hosting dinner parties, etc. in a place we want to live, it would be a different story.  For now though, I think I’ll continue to dream about cheap infill land and something akin to the B-53.

We’re not at the point where we could build our little house and live mortgage free but we’re working on it.  A lot of it really depends on where we wind up a few months from now.  I’ve been watching for land in the places we like and checking with local bylaws to see what we could do.  It turns out it might not be that hard to get a variance on the minimum principle residence size and if we plan things correctly we might be able to get two on a lot.  We don’t want to have renters but if we do things correctly it would help with resale because another owner could build their monster (ugh) house and rent the wee one out.

I’m just dreaming… rambling… dreaming.

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dem bones

May 11, 2009

Knowing that my bones are bad but not quite knowing how bad they are now had me full of anxiety this past week.

Since shortly after my first wrist fracture 11 or 12 years ago I’ve known that my bones are bad.  For the first few years I went for bone scans every two years as a precautionary measure.  My densities kept going down but medications weren’t deemed necessary since I wanted to have kids and hadn’t crossed the line (and wasn’t expected to until well after 30).

Four years ago at age 27 I had the nastiest break yet (and hopefully ever).  What had previously been a gradual decline in my bone health had suddenly changed and instead of wondering when I would wind up with osteoporosis I had it.

I have a tendency to forget about my bone health (well, apart from taking supplements every day, trying to eat healthy and staying active) except at this time of year when I go for what has become an annual DEXA scan.

The first osteo revealing one was by far the hardest on me emotionally but this one was coming close.  We’ve been talking about starting a family for a while but I want to take one last kick at school first.  My anxiety about how bad this test would be was making me wonder if I was pushing my luck.  I’ve met other women on-line who have found out they have osteo after having their baby but I have no idea if they were in worse shape before hand or not.  Regardless their experiences have sounded awful – usually involving very painful and debilitating compression fractures of the spine.  Add to that, the fact that I hadn’t seen a specialist in a few years because of our move and unsuccessful attempts at taking fosamax…  I was super anxious.

Well, today I went to see my regular doctor and I got exactly the opposite news of what I was expecting.  I’m by no means in the clear but I’ve pretty much made back the bone that I lost from 2007-2008 which was a significant amount.  There have been tears of joy pouring out of me all afternoon.

So why all this improvement after years?  Well, I know it’s not related to physical activity since I was way more active in the years preceding that last break than I have been the past 5 months.  My diet hasn’t changed much either.  I think the biggest thing is that I sought help.  A year and half ago, concerned about mysterious allergic reactions and my shaky emotional state I decided to give naturopathic medicine another try (I’d had both good and bad experiences in the past and moving around made progress difficult).

With my naturopath’s help I’ve been able to reconnect with my inner self, get my “system” running better with the help of supplements and get out of this hole I was stuck in for a few years.  At last there is hope that I might kick this disease!!!  Yeah!!!  Now I just wish I’d gone to a naturopath sooner.