When I came to bed last night I found a note on my bedside table from my son. He was asking if we could go to the library the following day, and if so, he asked that I wake him up. That last part is laughable because he’s an early riser – no way am I getting up before him. But I was touched by the request anyway, and super proud that with one week left of summer, my kid wants to walk two miles to READ.
We had a great time. Luke checked out some Michigan Chiller books he had been wanting to read, and Natalie perused the children’s cookbooks. Then they both put on a couple puppet shows for me, and we headed back, stopping for lunch on the way.
Nothing super special, but we all really just enjoyed each other’s company and had a good time. These are the times I hope they will cherish and store away in their memory banks for years and years to come.
I have a sign hanging in my living room that says “Do more of what makes you happy”. I look at it regularly and it always makes me wonder: what makes me happy? I really want to know, so that I can follow this rule. I feel like I lost some of this self-awareness when I lost my hearing, and I certainly don’t do many of the things that make me happy. So I thought I would start a list (I love lists) here on the blog, and maybe it would help me to think of those things and perhaps take some steps to start doing those things.
What makes me happy:
1) Drinking coffee – I do that plenty
2) Tattoos – I only have four, plenty room for more
3) Concerts – The hearing loss makes this extra challenging and scary, because I don’t know if I would enjoy them the same, but it’s worth a shot, right?
4) The city – I love walking around cities, big, small, it doesn’t matter. Chicago, Lansing, Mason, they all fascinate me.
5) Reading – On any given day my mind is partly stuck in a good book. Reading makes me happy, for sure.
That’s it. I can’t think of any more. I’m sure there are more, but that’s a start. Maybe more ideas will come to me in my dreams tonight.
What about you? Tell me readers, what makes YOU happy?
I am loving loving loving this book and what it is teaching me. I am gaining some really fresh insight about what things to keep, what to discard, and why. I have done a great deal of de-cluttering around the house that turned out making our move to this new home much easier. I started the purging process long before we even knew we would be moving, but I’m so glad I did. The packing and unpacking would have been a major cluster****. However, I am still frustrated on a fairly regular basis as I come across things that lack a home and/or take up space. But this woman who has mastered the art I strive for has given a beautiful explanation for my frustration. Why am I so irritated? Because these things don’t bring me joy. They have served their purpose and it’s okay to let them go.
It’s okay! Goodbye to the labelmaker that no longer connects to my computer. I made plenty of labels with it. I can say goodbye to that tailored green jacket. I wore it when it fit post-pregnancy and I don’t plan to be that heavy again. I can even say goodbye to the clown afghan my grandmother crocheted for me when I was a little girl. I enjoyed it, loved it nearly to pieces, but it’s time to let it go. The memories will remain. Ah, this is such a freeing feeling for me. I can discard things and forget about feeling guilty. I can’t wait to get to it.
But for now, I’m honestly still recovering from having the kids home for Christmas break, so I’m tired. And it’s flipping cold, so that doesn’t help. My legs are not cooperating, because the extreme temperatures and MS do not get along. So well just have to table this discussion for later. Such is my life, and we keep moving on. Walk on, my friends, walk on.
I am reading this book – “Sharp Objects: A Novel” by Gillian Flynn. It’s so hard to put down! I just have to know whodunnit. I think it must have been Adora but don’t tell me. I’m only two thirds of the way through.
I’ve always loved a good mystery. I am my mother’s daughter 🙂
So. I’ve been feeling rather irritated with myself lately, or just irritated in general, I can’t decide which. I find myself wasting a lot of time. It’s true that I have a lot of time with being home all day, no job, kids at school, and I can certainly afford to waste it. But I just don’t feel satisfied with that. I believe when I get in the habit of wasting a lot of time, that it sends me on a sluggish spiral down to Lazy Town. Then nothing gets accomplished. No book gets written, no good meals get planned or prepared, the dust starts to settle and cake up on the surfaces (metaphorically, mostly. Mostly.).
So I made an executive decision today and uninstalled Facebook from my phone. Because I’m pretty positive that’s what’s causing most of this. Not all, but a good portion of it. I also spend a lot of time reading books on my phone, but I’m not ready to call that “wasting time”. I love the books.
Here’s the issue with Facebook lately. My feed is 90% BORING. The other 10% contains thoughts and stories and updates from people I actually know. I know some people have decided to check out of Facebook altogether, but that 10% I would be missing is too important to me to give up. So rather than giving it up, I’m just going to limit my exposure to the section of the day when I intentionally sit down with my laptop to “work”. I have my alloted time every day to work: pay bills, plan meals, write, etc. and when I’m done working or need a break I can hop over to Facebook and catch up. So I’ll still be around, but it won’t consume my time or thoughts. In theory, of course, it’s only been 12 hours 😉
Oh my goodness. This past weekend was a whirlwind. Lots of fun activities going on. I can’t quite process it all. In fact, it has sort of left me in a State of Funk. (Also, I just finished reading The Giver, so I’m tempted to capitalize the Common Words. My apologies. Do you accept my apology, Giver Fans?)
Anyhoo, Saturday we went to Luke’s soccer game, and Grandpa took us out for lunch after. Natalie was wanting to do something special with me, so we went to this local “paint your own pottery” place called Playing Picasso. We had so much fun! Natalie was ecstatic, and had so much fun that she has decided she would like to have her 7th birthday party there (because her 6th is already planned). Of course she only gets one birthday per year, so she has the next three all planned out. This year is laser tag, next year pottery painting, and the year after that roller skating. Well, at least we have time to plan lol. Anyway, I really liked this place, and I’m already thinking I would like to come back on my own and paint some stuff. Maybe I’ll even throw myself a party one of these times.
On a normal day, the pottery painting was A LOT of art for this girl here, but I didn’t stop there. No sirree, I had plans to go to Painting With a Twist with a friend that evening. This was a completely new experience for me, but I had heard from other people that it’s a lot of fun. They get 20 or so people set up at tables, with brushes and paint, and then an instructor guides everyone through painting a masterpiece. After 2 hours, you have 20 matching paintings (in theory) and they take a group photo while everyone stands proudly holding their finished paintings.
I was a little hesitant to do this, knowing I would have trouble seeing and hearing the instructor, but we had them place us right up front. This way we had a better chance at reading lips, and could readily ask questions as needed. I ended up asking a lot of questions, mostly relating to which color was which on my palette. My vision is bad, but not in the way most would think. I have a much smaller field of vision, but within that field I am able to see 20/20 with my left eye (20/40 with the right). Colors on the other hand, are hard to distinguish. So most of my questions were relating to the colors: which one is blue? Is this one green? Can you show me where I just painted the white circle? White on white is impossible for me to see, and that happened to be the first thing we did. Oh, I could have freaked out right there, but I decided not to. I was determined to have fun, no matter what, and that is exactly what I did. Even when I lost my balance trying to reach the top of my canvas and almost knocked over the entire effing table. Yes, I lost it. Fell right over onto the table. But I quickly recovered, exclaimed “oops, I forgot I have poor balance”, laughed at myself, and moved on.
At the end of the day, I went home with some fun memories and a painting that turned out to look pretty darn cool!
It may not seem like a big deal for most, but it was to me. I am still, two years later, adjusting to life with hearing and vision loss. I am almost daily faced with tasks that are new to me. New to the NEW Me, not the Old Me. And that can sometimes be a smidge frightening, but I am also daily making the decision to ignore that fear and just keep moving forward. Because today is a gift, and I refuse to waste it being afraid. Do you hear that? Life is a gift! Open that bad boy up!!
I have done almost nothing today. I mean, no real work or housekeeping or other responsible adult type of activities. Here was my day so far:
Morning preparations: fed the kids breakfast, packed lunches, made coffee
Took the kids to the bus stop – get this, it’s a 2 minute walk. TWO!
Read a book while Piper slept at my feet. (Piper is the dog, in case you’re new here)
Fixed my morning smoothie with banana, strawberries, and blueberries.
Took Piper outside and played fetch.
Had lunch – made a sandwich on buttered toast with leftover tomato, green pepper, onion, and fresh basil. It was surprisingly yummy!
Finished reading the book (a Grisham novel…The Racketeer. Not his best work but it still kept me entertained).
Mixed in with all of that was some Facebook browsing and texting with a friend. Not much else. So it’s been a long overdue lazy day, I guess. I still have an hour before I’ll leave to meet the kids at the bus stop, and I haven’t decided how to spend it. Getting bored is kind of unnerving for me. I think I’ve forgotten how to relax.
Now, lest you get all envious of my luxurious life of no job and no responsibilities (sort of), I feel like I should remind you that what I have here is a trade-off. Multiple sclerosis, sudden deafness, visual impairment. So while it is nice on days like today to be home, I still have my regular struggles. I am extremely grateful to be home for my family and I am also extremely grateful to be able to rest when I need it. Today was a day of rest. Shalom.
I may be deaf and half-blind, but I am and will always be… still Mindy