nurturing thursdays: shine the light…on the devil

I’m getting ahead of myself publishing a post for next week’s Nurturing Thursdays. However something has occurred which I’d like to write about now, while it’s still fresh on my mind.

A young woman committed suicide.

Alone in a big city.

Illness.

Cancer.

Incurable.

Like a death knell, she took the news hard. She holed up, alone, in her apartment for a week. And then she threw herself out the window onto the sidewalk below. Barely missing a person who’d just walked by. Traumatic for that person; the end of life for another. 

Family and friends kept reaching out, trying to keep in touch. But having suffered depression before, the young woman was still caught in its stranglehold.

Depression is the devil. Not to be toyed with. Not to be entertained, even fleetingly. The devil doesn’t play games; neither does depression.

Don’t go there. 

Hang on for dear life, with all the strength you can muster.

Surround yourself with only positive influences. 

There’s no place in your life for negativity. 

Say “no” to negativity…that’s a positive step forward…and upward.

Bask in the sunshine…even if you have to switch on all the lights in the house. I do…

A high electrical bill is way better than a hospital bill…or a funeral.

Fight to live the one life you’ve been given.

Despite the darkness you encounter without…and within…the light is your friend.

Let it in…let it in…please, let it in.

…you matter…because i care…

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

a complaint letter works!…hawaiian airlines

Did not expect to be back writing about Hawaiian Airlines, and my less than satisfactory experience with their inept bureaucracy. However I’m here to tell you that it pays to let those in authority know when you’re…tired of being pushed around like some invisible non-entity!

After hearing from a senior counselor in the airline’s consumer affairs department who told me that my case was closed, I decided that the President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, Mark Dunkerley, to whom I’d addressed my complaint letter could care less that I’d been led down a merry path by his company’s front-line representatives. Then and there I resolved not to fly Hawaiian Airlines in the future.

Lo and behold, you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Avi Mannis, the Vice President of Marketing. He apologized for the delay in addressing my complaint letter sent some 20+ days earlier.

I am writing in response to your letter of May 2nd, addressed to Mark Dunkerley. I apologize for the time it has taken me to respond personally.

I was distressed to read of the difficulties you had in processing a fare adjustment. The communication from our representatives to you was frankly unacceptable, and inconsistent with the standards of service to which we hold ourselves. This is a matter that I take seriously, and–as in all cases in which we fail to meet the expectations of our customers–we are undertaking an investigation to understand how we can improve.

Mr. Mannis went on to explain in “plain English” what none of Hawaiian Airlines’ personnel could do during the several phone calls and emails that transpired between them and me. 

I’ll try to state our policy on fare adjustments post-purchase in plain English: If you buy a ticket from us directly, and the price subsequently goes down, we’ll issue you a travel credit (applicable to future travel) in the amount of the fare difference less a $40 service fee. The lower price has to be available on the same flights/travel dates that you purchased when you call for the adjustment.

Perhaps if I’d been speaking with local employees who were invested in Hawaiian Airlines, rather than out-sourced hired help in the Philippines, communication might have been better. Instead, it was as though the folks with whom I dealt could only speak what they’d memorized. Unfortunately, they couldn’t even get that right, in light of what Mr. Mannis was able to adequately convey in just a couple of sentences.

In concluding the matter, Mr. Mannis offered my family eTravel Credit towards future travel. I’m not certain the $300+ will convince my husband to book Hawaiian Airlines again, especially since the credit must be used for travel within the next year.

It’s not often we up and fly to Hawaii. Every few years is more our speed. It’s more than likely we’ll go back to booking whichever airline is offering the most attractive rates when we decide to make another trip home to our native islands.

Making a case to resolve what I deem as unfair treatment is something I will undertake without hesitation. There’s a thread of integrity that runs through my moral fibre which I’m unable to ignore when it begins niggling away at my conscience. Blame it on the Catholic nuns who hammered it into my psyche from day one of my schooling. Anyone who received an education from those women in black garb knows of what I speak. You don’t know brainwashing until you’ve dealt with a formidable female disciplinarian of God’s elite staff. 

When I take the time to voice my complaint, however, I make certain I have all my facts and figures at the ready.  I’m not one for blasting away without first lining up my ammunition. Chalk it up to my years as a paralegal for the now defunct Trans World Airlines.

I list dates, name names, and offer proof of conversations. Emails are God-sent, in that respect. I literally blow my unsuspecting adversary out-of-the water with facts. What the recipient of my complaint letter does with it is totally out of my hands at that point.

Voicing my dissatisfaction is what I can do as one individual. I’m not equipped to take on the world, let alone a corporation. 

Once I decide to take on Goliath however, I set about learning who it’s head is…the President and CEO. Once I even copied in the head honcho of the parent company. In this amazing age of GOOGLE, finding corporate information is easy-breezy.

In the not too distant past, I had to finagle the information from a receptionist by asking to whom I could send a commendation letter. Little did she know I was intent upon blasting the company for trying to inflate an original price quoted for delivering a piece of furniture some 3,000 miles, traveling from east coast to west coast. Yes, I ended up paying the original $261. Nowhere near the $900 the local representative wanted to deliver the piece to my home.

Other battles include a bank that tried to increase the interest rate on our mortgage application because the appraiser failed to turn in his paperwork with due diligence. The bank president’s executive secretary intercepted my call to her boss, and made sure we got the rate initially promised. I guess sobbing my frustration helped, although I had no intention of breaking down. Who does?

Rather than bury your stress deep within, put it out there in the form of a complaint letter. You’ll feel better…no matter the end results. And if it gets you concrete resolution, consider it the…

…icing on the cupcake!!!

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00023

 

 

nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2

This is where I come in…

This year I turn 65. The year of Medicare. On the thresh hold to formally entering…old age. 

I’ve been practicing for a while, even telling folks I was already 65. My husband who turned 66 recently, pointed out my mistake. Seems I was rushing him along.

Funny thing. As the years pile up I’ve become more preoccupied with, of all things, death.

Without realizing it, death has become my point of reference these days. Not in a morbid sense, more like savoring the pluses in my life while trying to downplay or diminish the minuses.

So with my daughter as ring master, I’m jumping through the hoops and…going for the gusto!

On Facebook the other day, I saw a photo of my mother-in-law seated with her 7 daughters. They were the picture of health and happiness. She sat shrunken, a shadow of her former, robust self. A quick glimpse of her eyes spoke of a woman growing older by the second. Yes, she looked all of her 80+ years. But she seemed to me, even older on the inside.

Years before my mom died, she fell in the bathroom of a vacation home we rented near the beach on Oahu. Her legs were like toothpicks, bowed from years of suffering the effects of arthritis. She was probably mortified that it took several of us to get her to her feet. Sadness seemed to hover over her like a black cloud in spite of her efforts to smile away her tears.

Both images are permanently embedded into my brain. Old age is not a pretty sight to behold.

For more than a decade now fibromyalgia, arthritis and I have occupied the same body…mine. In recent years I’ve been forced to take a backseat, while they’ve taken to calling all the shots. By late afternoon, I’m totally fatigued. Muscling through dinner preparation and evening chores, I usually fall into bed exhausted, aching from head to toe.

Caring for our dog who has heart disease and chronic neck and back stiffness, has only added to my own aches and pains. I must cajole her into taking her meds morning and night, including forcing a capsule down her throat. I must lift her in and out of the car when taking her to the vet, as well as carry her up and down flights of stairs.

Knowing that we women are often the designated caretakers, I wonder how long I can manage to help those about whom I care, as my own health dwindles. How can I help my husband should his health fail?

It’s more than likely my chronic pain was caused by the statin CRESTOR which I started taking to lower my cholesterol. I alerted the prescribing doctor to the fact that news reports indicated Asian women were susceptible to muscle pain caused by the drug. He’d not heard about it so I remained on Crestor, especially since it did the job intended. Even a subsequent physician, who happened to be female and Asian, ballyhooed my information. Not until a third physician drew blood to measure my C-Reactive Protein number and found it to be 1000+ instead of within the normal range of mid-100, did I stop taking CRESTOR. Only after trial and error did I end up with the one I’m currently taking which doesn’t have the same effect…yet.

In the midst of trying to determine the cause of my chronic pain, the doctor sent me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia. Like the “kiss of death,” I’ve been living with it ever since. Thanks, CRESTOR!

Alternative medical practitioners, including chiropractors and massage therapists, have helped me live a fairly normal life. I’ve done pretty much whatever I’ve wanted to do. But with old age settling in for the duration, quality of life becomes harder and harder to sustain. 

After much reading, discussions with my naturopath, and soul searching,  I have begun the WILEY PROTOCOL natural hormone replacement therapy. 

Not having had the truly bothersome effects of menopause like hot flashes and night sweats, I never felt the need for hormone replacement treatment. But now that old age is staring me in the face and my quality of life is in jeopardy, renewing my body’s resources seems imperative. 

Without hormonal balance, our bodies are going the inevitable route of shutting down. And while that is the natural order of things, I’d like to make the journey as enjoyable as I possibly can. 

I’d like to savor the moments I can still do for others, and with others. I’d like to continue laughing, and hugging. I’d like to feel the excitement of learning new things no matter how old I get. I want to keep on writing, and blogging.

Essentially, I’d like to keep on…keeping on.

So why choose to change things up? What’s my goal? Well I’ll tell you…it’s for quality of life…no matter the quanity of years.

…here’s to living life…the best way i possibly can!!!

………hugmamma.IMG_3370

it’s sunny where i am…not!

(Written yesterday. Today…the sun is smiling…its glorious teeth shining brightly. Hooray!)

It’s “raining cats and dogs” where I am…in Seattle. Duh. No surprise!IMG_5213

What I wasn’t prepared for is having to bail myself out of rain water every hour on the hour. Somebody didn’t want new gutters installed…back when hubby suggested it. I can remember the conversation as if it were yesterday.

Hubby: “I’m going to change out the old gutters for the ones that prevent pine needles from collecting.”

Me: “How much will it cost?”

Hubby: “$2,000.”

Me: “Are you crazy!!! Let me think about it and do a little more research.”

Twelve years later I’ve no one else to blame but myself for the puddle I’m in.

A portion of the gutter pulled away from the eave of the roof due to the constant pressure of pine needles that formed a dam every fall. Being low maintenance folks…meaning maintenance was low on the list of things we liked to do…sometimes the needles were cleaned out, sometimes they weren’t…until the rains came and forced us into action.

Smart hubby. He left on a business trip just as the rain began falling. And I’m positive he’ll be home AFTER the rain’s gone. That’s just how these things work out.

It’s like the time he left on a business trip while we were living in Redding, Connecticut. It was the dead of winter. Snow piled high on the ground. The heavens opened up and dumped buckets of rain without letup. The field stone basement of our 100 year-old Victorian farmhouse flooded. The old sump pump installed by the previous owners was too small to drain all the water. Guess who was bailing water out in the middle of the night, while cursing out her young husband? You got it! Moi!

With my husband’s tall rubber boots just skirting the hem of my nightgown, I sloshed around in the water, bucket in hand. I had thrown back the wooden basement doors leading to the outside, and proceeded to fill bucket after bucket of accumulated water tossing it out the open doors. Of course it was a totally nonsensical solution to the problem since the water dribbled back down the steps as quickly as I was getting rid of it. Or trying to, anyway. To make matters worse, the water probably melted the snow just outside, adding more water to the knee deep reservoir in which I was wading. Thankfully, my toddler lay fast asleep in her cozy bed a couple of floors above . She never awoke to the mayhem beneath.

Since we’d not resided there very long, I had no one to call except our realtor. If I recall she sent her husband over. That was the good news. The bad news was that he couldn’t do anything. He suggested I call the fire department to have them come out with their long hose to suck out all the water. Their response was “no” because they didn’t want the hose to get damaged by any grit that would likely get sucked up as well. 

More than twenty years later, I have no recollection how I resolved the dilemma. It might be that my husband returned home in time to take charge. I do know that we updated our sump pump so that it would activate quickly and drain the water away from the house. When we purchased the house we were aware there might be flooding, but we had no idea we would need Noah’s Ark.

IMG_4438In my present situation, the water dripping from the broken gutter is saturating the ground in back of the house which, in turn, is soaking through the carpet in our downstairs family room. Luckily I’ve been able to vacuum out the water with our rug shampooer.

In order to capture as much of the overflow as possible, my husband had strategically placed a couple of barrels beneath the broken gutter. One of them is smaller and rolls on wheels. The other is larger and with water filling it to the brim, I would break my back trying to lug it to the edge of the deck where I then upend it to spill the contents along the path leading away from the house. So smart me…I use a pot to bail water from the large barrel into the smaller one. Once it’s filled, I drag it a few steps before carefully turning it on its side. It must sound like a tsunami every time the water splashes out over the garden with a thunderous CRASH!!! Especially at 11 p.m. when the neighborhood is beginning to slumber.

CRASH!!!

While I’m getting too old for this, I tell myself these ordeals make me a survivor. I can take care of myself when I’ve no man to come to this damsel in distress. A good legacy to leave to my daughter…

A woman CAN empower herself…

and

DON’T skimp on home maintenance.

…unless she wants to bail herself out of her own puddles…

………hugmamma.IMG_1545

 

nurturing thursdays: to everything there is a season…

…and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3)

 IMG_4102As winter succumbs to the warmth and charm of spring, I find myself reflecting upon life as I move into my sixty-fifth year.

I can’t help thinking…I’m so lucky to be alive…and living my life.

In our daily struggles it’s so easy to complain about everything that isn’t exactly right.

The house is always in need of cleaning and straightening. Especially if you’re a hoarder, albeit an organized one, like me. Is it my fault if I can’t get let go of yesterday’s nostalgia?

I’m constantly adjusting my diet to shrink my belly, and failing more often than I’m succeeding. Let’s see. When was the last time the tape measure read less than 34 inches?

And when did arthritis and fibromyalgia decide to move in permanently?

All my whining dissipates, however, when I glimpse what matters most to me…my husband, my daughter, and the four critters who make their home with us.

Blest I am to have shared my life with others who make me the center of their worlds. While it means juggling a lot of colorful balls in the air at the same time, I’ve had an exciting time of it. It’s as though I ran off to the circus as a youngster and decided that’s where I belonged. And so I stayed.

Life IS exciting. Every day is never quite the same. The smallest of details can tweak our experiences for the better, or leave us completely befuddled. Either way the decision rests in our own very capable hands.

If we’re positive about life, always looking for the silver lining, however slim it might be, our lives will always dwell in sunshine. And in rainy, dreary Seattle, I spend most days churning out my own brand of homegrown sunlight…with a little help from Edison’s invention.

I’m definitely no Pollyana living in a Disney World setting.  My house has remnants of dust leftover from the Great Dust Bowl of the 1930s. I might even have bats in my attic, as well as my belfry.

What I know for sure is that if I’m fortunate enough to live another quarter century or more, I’d prefer to wake up every day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. And the only way I know to do that is by deciding that after all is said and done…things are what they are…

…and accepting life as it unfolds in the moment…with no regrets or self-recriminations…

………hugmamma.Venice 2010 00074So…RELAX…BE HAPPY!!!

friday fictioneers: no happily-ever-after

Copyright -Claire Fuller

As a toddler I loved burrowing into the freshly laundered clothes in the large crates.  Since they’d been drying in the sunshine, I felt warm and cozy as I fell asleep.

The world was perfect, but not for my widowed mom.

On her feet all day, mom washed, dried, and ironed clothes for an orphanage. Removing her shoes, she’d stand on the cool, concrete floor.  Unfortunately, she developed varicose veins and, worse, arthritis in both knees.

Mom needed rescuing. Mr. Chalmers, the handsome gardener, seemed made-to-order.

Unlike Cinderella,  mom never married her prince charming. No fairy tale ending for her.IMG_4143

the layman’s ten commandments…

I’ve borrowed the following from fellow blogger and friend Inside the mind of Isadora at http://www.insidethemindofisadora.com …for  Nurturing Thursdays. 

“The Layman’s Ten Commandments”

1. Prayer is not a “Spare Wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “Steering Wheel” that directs the right path throughout the journey.

2. Why is a car’s Windshield so large and the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE; so look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to Burn, but it takes years to Write.

4. All things in life are Temporary. If things are Going Well, Enjoy It; they will not last forever. If things are Going Wrong, Don’t Worry; they will not last long either.

5. Old Friends are GoldNew Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!

7. When GOD solves your problems, you have Faith in HIS Abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in YOUR Abilities.

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”

9. When you Pray for OthersGod Listens to you and blesses them, so sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. WORRYING does not take away Tomorrow’s TROUBLES; it takes away Today‘s
PEACE. IMG_4127

 

nurturing thursdays: love among the ruins

Yesterday my daughter and I saw Meryl Streep’s latest film, August: Osage County. Other famous actors were cast, among them Julia Roberts.

We were prepared for some light-hearted fare, a comedy with a sprinkling of drama. Instead we were thoroughly surprised by the heavy drama about which there was very little to laugh.

The byline should have read…tragic mayhem in a fractured family. The film was reminiscent of  holiday dinners one hears about where family members spew venom across a table of delightful goodies.

If I had to describe the film in one word it would be…ugly. 

While both Streep and Roberts seem to be aging beautifully without the help of bottled potions, their depictions of the main characters  was anything but. I’m certain neither actress is really like the persons they portrayed, a bitch of a mother whose daughter followed suit.

I’ve always felt that parents play a big role in determining the outcome of their offspring. After all, we are their first role models, like it or not. Like the monkeys, our children imitate what they see us do. Understanding what it is they’re doing comes later, sometimes much later. Like when we’re adults unable to change who we’ve unwittingly become.

The silver lining to an otherwise tragic story is that we can break the pattern. We needn’t continue the legacy of bad parenting. It may take all that we have to cut the ties that bind us to an abusive past, but for the sake of future generations we must. Otherwise, endless lives continue to be heaped upon the landfill of lost souls.

August: Osage County is rife with lost souls…Streep’s husband who commits suicide because he can’t continue living with a venomous wife…Streep’s sister who ceaselessy hurls abuse at the son she fathered with Streep’s husband…Streep’s daughters, Roberts who has taken up the mantle of her mother’s razor-edge tongue, and her sisters of whom one can only find love with the brother whom she thought was a first cousin, and the other sister who is marrying a lech because he promises her an island honeymoon.

Perhaps the film’s characters are over-the-top, but I’m sure we all know someone who has suffered the effects of  abuse that made its way from one generation to the next.

Love is key to finding one’s way back from a life of purgatory on earth. Love of one’s self, nurtured by the supporting love of others.

…a big step forward is not being closed off to love…

………hugmamma.

...a loving mother of 12 who continues to serve as a great role model for future generations...

…a loving mother of 12 who continues to serve as a great role model for future generations…

nurturing thursdays: believe in yourself

My daughter’s decided that her 2014 New Year’s resolution includes…ferocity.

As she moves forward in her quest to become a contemporary dancer, my daughter’s inner voice is at the helm.

In ballet, dancers are taught to fit within a standard. Rigorous training reinforces discipline which, in turn, often engenders a relationship similar to that of a parent and a child. On the one hand it is highly effective in perfecting a ballerina’s technique; on the other, it may be difficult for the ballerina to grow comfortably into her own skin.

Along with everything else, a ballerina must find a balance between what is expected of her and what she wants for herself. Unlike puzzle pieces, the two sides don’t always fit together neatly. In fact, finding the balance between the expectations of others and her own are most likely an ongoing effort. At some point, she either acquiesces and dances on auto-pilot…or moves on.

Every ballet dancer at each stage of her career, from student through professional, must decide whether or not the journey is worth the sacrifices and commitment. No one is holding her feet to the fire unless, of course, she’s the product of a stage mom. God help her if she is.

Change is not easy no matter the profession. A ballerina, however, once enamored of the classics…Romeo and Juliette…Sleeping Beauty…Swan Lake…finds it very difficult to sever the ties that bind her to the beauty she can spin as part of an ensemble.

And as any ballerina will tell you, it ain’t easy getting hired by a company in the first place. It’s true what they say. For every one there’s probably twelve more nipping at her heels, eager to have their go at it.

My daughter’s experience, while not perfect, was promising. Had she waited around another few years, she might have been challenged to do more solo roles. But with the passing of years, 11 to be exact, she finally decided it was time to sever the “parent-child” relationship. It had outgrown its purpose.

Moving into contemporary dance has been freeing. There are no father figures; there are no children. All are artists. The difference lies only in their abilities, their experiences, and their passion for dance.

My daughter feels she can get to the top of her game, no longer hindered by the trappings of the environment in which she dances. Rather than be told “when” and “how,” she’s been asked…”show us what ya got!” And she’s only too eager to comply.

Believing in herself and her passion for her art, my daughter is excited to be auditioning. This week it’s Los Angeles, next month it’s Germany, and in March it’s Chicago.

Fierce is my daughter’s new mantra. Nothing’s impossible since…

…she believes in herself!

………hugmamma.

nurturing thursdays: give up the martyr

Some folks continue to believe that suffering is a necessary aspect of living.Imported Photos 00428

It builds character.

Or so they say. They being Catholic school nuns. I’m sure of it.

Religion has a way of rationalizing everything. Nothing wrong with that. We all need spiritual stroking now and then.

However when spirituality hinders us from improving our plight, then it’s time to relinquish the ties that bind.

I believe in the God of my faith, who like a mother wants us to figure out the best use of the gifts we’ve been bestowed.

It may take some longer than others to find their way, but find it they must. 

I no longer buy into suffering for the sake of suffering, especially as a means of living happily-ever-after.

Why wait for heaven in the hereafter, when we can gain entry into something closely approximating paradise on earth.

With God at my side, I’m encouraged to make choices for a pleasanter, more positive life. And when I cross through valleys, She’s there to give me a hand across the precipice.

I wholeheartedly turn toward happiness, and turn away from suffering.  The two are not interchangeable in my book.

My God is one of hope and encouragement…

…for happiness on earth…and in the hereafter.

………hugmamma.IMG_0437

nurturing thursdays: partnering for success

When my daughter broke off with her first beau, a brother-in-law with whom I’m very close told me …”She’ll be fine. They’ll both meet someone for whom they’re better suited.”Nashville 09-2010 00132

Those words have resonated with me ever since. 

Not only is the advice romance appropriate, I find it applicable to any relationship.

For some folks, like my husband, self confidence is a by-product of having been nurtured by great parents. Individuals whose love for one another was undeniable. And a love which blanketed their offspring, and all future generations…forever after.

On the other hand, the majority of people probably struggle with low self-esteem

I would suggest it better that these folks surround themselves with supporters, rather than detractors. Positive, not negative, personalities whose energy will help sustain and grow an otherwise wilting confidence.

However, just as my very wise and very beloved brother-in-law advised, everyone is suitable for someone. We just need to find the right one…

…be it a friend…or a lover…

………hugmamma.

"If you don't see your worth, you'll alwa...

 

friends affect us…

fibromyalgia awareness

Found an interesting post Nine Signs that Unhealthy Friendships are Fueling Your Fibromyalgia at http://asethaviens.com/

I’d go so far as to say that unhealthy relationships of any kind aren’t good for fibromyalgia sufferers. Then again, Asetha is correct in placing so-called friends, at the top of the list.

Friends have quick access to our innermost thoughts and feelings.

We trust friends to offer us words of wisdom.

Aren’t friends the first to whom we turn for compassion…praise…support?

Friendships can, however, become the breeding ground for discontent. Remember the old adage “Familiarity breeds contempt?” It’s sad when that happens. When friends begin to envy our lives in one way or another. 

I don’t suppose even friends realize when they begin to cross the line. Ones who take a dig at you every now and then, thinking you won’t notice or that they’re only thinking of what’s good for you.

What’s good for me.

I believed my mom when she said that to me. However, even she could lead me on a merry chase that way. Nonetheless, she borne me so I knew she had my back. Most of the time, at least.

When others tell me, or imply, that they know what’s good for me. They go too far. Even I don’t always know what’s good for me, so how can someone looking at me on the outside know what’s going on inside?

Companionship with folks like myself who are tentatively making our way through life, humble about our strengths, forgiving of our weaknesses…that’s more my style when it comes to friendships.

Although I can probably count my good friends on one hand, I enjoy the moments we share…and relish seeing them again, whenever.

Not judging others because we don’t walk in their shoes seems the best advice any friend can give another.

…that’s what i offer you…dear friend…

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00058

a “new” old me…

Following up on my previous post nurturing thursdays: relief…myofascia release, I must admit to feeling pretty darn good this morning. 

Normally I awake with my body already aching as though I’d been lugging myself around for several hours. 

This morning I’m standing here at the kitchen counter as though I’d been given the proverbial “new lease on life.” And to show you that the “proof is in the pudding,” I could actually bend down to pet my 3 cats and one dog without flinching as I did so.

My pets got the benefit of some me and them time. Me cooing sweet nothings into their furry, little ears; them lapping up every morsel of mommy murmurings dropping from my mouth.

Even hubby reaped the benefit of yesterday’s rejuvenating rubdown…without having to undergo it himself.

I slid out from under the bed covers, sashayed down the hallway to the kitchen, and fixed him an egg sandwich, replete with a nicely done, fried egg, a couple of lightly sauteed ham slices, with slivers of cheese sandwiched between so that they’d melt. To complete the morning feast, I sliced a couple of large, juicy strawberries for hubby to nibble upon. Hot green tea with slivers of fresh ginger finished off my king’s 6:30 a.m. meal.

I sent happy hubby on his way, and after I publish this piece I’ll return to my comfy nest of sheets and quilts to catch 40 more winks.

The moral of this little story?

…go get a massage! pronto!

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: relief…fascia release

Just returned from having a massage. Actually, it felt more like my body was stretched to the max.

Not on the rack, mind you. No, no. This is 2013, after all.

Jennifer Soames Bodywork Maple ValleyJennifer Soames of Instride Bodywork at http://www.instridebodywork.com, worked on my body’s faschia. It’s inability to perform as usual has probably been at the root of my recent health issues.

As Jennifer explained it, the faschia is like saran wrap that encases our entire skeleton, not only on the outside but throughout all the nooks and crannies as well.

Imagine then what happens when saran wrap clings to itself. Pulling it apart is difficult at best. More than likely, it’s impossible.

Tossing out useless saran wrap is one thing. We don’t have that option when our faschia becomes stuck.

Most, if not all of us, live with stuck faschia. Over time our movements become restricted. And with restriction comes discomfort which eventually dissolves into pain. Chronic pain, to be exact. And that’s what makes fibromyalgia unbearable.

Chronic pain. And the accompanying fatigue from having to move when the faschia’s constriction doesn’t allow for normal movement.

I imagine old age is hurried along by faschia that’s become stuck…everywhere.

Picture dad, once tall and erect, vital and hardy…barely able to go the distance and cranky as hell. Then there’s mom, usually bubbly, and into everyone’s business (in a good way, of course)…stuck in neutral and wondering where the day went.

Humorous to imagine. Not so funny when you’re the one suffering…for days, weeks, months, even years on end.

After one hour with Jennifer today, I could raise both arms to their full length. Rotating them at my sides in ever-widening circles, I was giddy with delight. Just a few days ago, I could barely do half-circles without feeling like my shoulders would snap.

Between massaging each arm, Jennifer would have me get up and walk around. She asked if I noticed anything different.

Heck, yeah!

The arm that had been worked on felt longer, looser. In short, it felt as though my arm had been reset. It’s as though I’d gone in to a body shop for repairs, and left with a totally new limb. By comparison the arm still needing work seemed compacted, jambed into place, unable to extend.

In the remaining minutes Jennifer massaged my neck, upper back and a bit of my lower back.

The session ended with a massage to my spine while I arched slowly forward as though I were bending over a beach ball.

I left feeling as though Jennifer had rolled me out like homemade bread dough. Under her careful kneading, my body continued to spread. I was able to rise fully, walking tall as I exited her office.

Excited with the results, I enrolled in Jennifer’s 3 session program, each one lasting an hour-and-a-half instead of the usual one hour. My first appointment is the week after Thanksgiving, and the remaining two appointments will follow one week apart. Upon completion I’m certain I will feel like a woman reborn.

I’m a staunch believer in alternative medicine…chiropractic, naturoapathy, massage therapy. Perhaps one day I’ll take on acupuncture.

Our aging bodies can’t keep doing for us without us doing for them. They need maintenance. Diet and exercise are only the beginning. Proper realignment is essential to make sure all the moving parts keep working.

We do as much for our automobiles. Why not for the “machines” we shove through the meat-grinder, day in and day out.

Folks who are non-believers, as I once was, probably feel chiropractic manipulation and therapeutic massage are money pits. My daughter convinced me otherwise. Since her body is pivotal to her career, she feels both are mandatory to her longevity as a dancer.

So it makes sense to enlist whatever help I can to keep my body in mojo mode. I’d like to do my job as a wife, mom, and whatever other “hat” I’m wearing on any given day for as long as I’m able.

My mom, a young widow with numerous mouths to feed referred to our automobile as the family’s “bread and butter.” On weekends we gathered around the Dodge to give it a wash and a wax. Keeping it in tip top shape meant my mom could keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. With the help of her trusty companion, my mom traveled to and from her job at a Catholic orphanage an hour’s drive away.

Your body is your “bread and butter.” Take care of it…and it’ll take care of you. Its as good as having a lifetime warranty.

Visit Jennifer’s website for expert information. I can only offer layman-speak. But if you’re like me and want someone you know and trust to make a referral, then…

…go get a massage…for your faschia, if possible…

…i highly recommend it!………hugmamma.

KMI back work

KMI back work (Photo credit: Dreaming in the deep south)

our daily bread…words to inspire

Came across the following quote on Picture Perfect Memories for Life at http://coreenkuhnphotography.com/ which I was moved to repost here.

Deep in their roots all flowers keep their light… Theodore Roethke.IMG_4352

Seemed inspirational for those suffering depression. 

A reminder that though flowers may wither and die…on the surface. Their lives continue unfettered…underground.

When the warmth of sunny days return to envelop the earth…the flowers begin digging their way out from beneath the dirt that buries them.

So too are we allowed to crawl back into a fetal position to refresh and renew and…begin again. 

Depression need not be the end.

Let it be…

………a new beginning…

………hugmamma.