random ramblings …

On my mind.

The idea of self.

Who we think we are, who we think we were, who we want to be.  And how all those things form who we actually become.

Also interesting — the idea of seeing yourself from someone else’s perspective.

Do strangers think I wobble as much when I walk as I feel I do?  Do my co-workers think I do my job as well as I hope I do?  Do my friends think I’m a good person or that I’m all smoke and mirrors?

Am I all smoke and mirrors?

What do I really believe and do I live by those tenants?  Or am I a hypocrite?  (Disclaimer: sometimes I can honestly say, I can be a hypocrite).

All of this stems from more of Dr. Sadeghi’s book — about the power of words, both spoken to others and spoken to ourselves.  Do we tell ourselves that we are smart and pretty?  Do we tell ourselves that we are fat and worthless?  How do we speak to ourselves — and how does that language affect how we behave as people?  It’s an interesting thing to contemplate.  And as I’ve had a few life events recently that have made me really examine myself, my motivations, the way I handle things/approach situations and the results I hope/look to achieve it’s really put me in an introspective mindspace.

Who I actually am and who I strive to be are very different people.  But also — the flawed nature of my being constantly working toward being the person I want to be -hope to be - can only lead to a betterment, can’t it?  I hope so.

So often, I feel as though I can clearly see the rights, the wrongs, the gray areas and the path I feel is the best.  But actually following that path can sometimes prove more challenging in practice and then I find myself lost again, struggling to regain my direction.

Maybe that’s why I like self-help books.  They are my roadmaps to who I want to be.

lydia

Yesterday, despite all my internal struggles, I bought my first walking stick. (I can’t call it a cane — not yet).

And I named her Lydia.

I don’t know why.  It just sort of came to me as I climbed into the passenger seat of the man’s truck.  As though she was introducing herself to me.

And today, for the first time, I had a little help walking to work.  And it felt nice.  Weird, and surreal, but nice.  Because for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t filled with intense anxiety about losing my balance, or being able to get somewhere.

My co-worker also paid me the best compliment by telling me that Lydia is very nice, modern and sleek.  That helps.

I have good days — good weeks even, and then I have bad ones.  Stretches of days when my body seems to constantly fail me and things I had faith in crumble beneath my touch like grains of sand.  Having a disease like MS can be tricky — one moment you think things are on the upswing, you’ve figured it out, life is evening back out.  And the next moment — well, it all turns to dust.

I’m starting to understand it a little better – the signs that my body is once again in the grips of a flare.  And I suppose that’s a good thing — I suppose.  Each one is a little different from that last, and each one leaves traces of its most intense moments.  Remembrances for when the worst of it has passed.

Each time, a little more of my freedom of movement is erased.  Even if it seems minute, I know it’s happened.  And I’m still trying to figure out how not to be defeated by that.  So many people have words of advice, thoughts and encouragement.  And they are all well-intentioned and meaningful.

But it can be hard to accept when no one really knows what it feels like to be unable to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without help.   How it feels to be unsure of your feet and your balance and the security and strength in your knees.  When your brain is so fogged and the fatigue is so intense huge chunks of memories slip away.  When fear runs like an undercurrent through life, bubbling and burbling like an underground river — ebbing and flowing with the fear of falling, the fear of slipping, the fear of forgetting, the fear of losing… your job, your husband, your independence.

It can get dark during the worst of times.

But there are also moments of light — a shining pinpoint in a canvas of black.  An upcoming trip, a long weekend — a soy chai latte from Starbucks.  A strawberry rhubarb crumble.  Sweet corn on the cob.  A good book.  A snuggle with Lucy.  Evita on Pandora.

Oh, and it’s the very beginning of football season.  Have I mentioned that? ;)

small blessings

Football is back.

Yes, it’s pre -preseason football, but it’s back and it’s new and all of a sudden, life feels a lot better.

Football has – as weird as this is to say – saved me more than once.  It was there, every Sunday, through some tough times in my life.  And for the three hours the Steelers play, things seem easier — clear.  Comfortable, familiar.

But right now – despite my best attempts to stay upbeat and positive — right now I need football season.  I need the black and gold of the Steelers.  I need the rush of a well executed offensive play, the jolt of a powerful defensive stop, the frustration of a controversial play — but more than that, I need the three hours every week when nothing else matters.  When life stops and football starts and things are simple.

I need that more than anything.

So thank God for football season.

noah & his ark

The man and I watched “Noah” last night.

It’s been on my mind all day.

And I had a good day.  I got a lot of work done and ran some (very) delayed errands.  I nearly died (slight exaggeration) at LA Fitness swimming laps (I’m in a flare right now, so exercising may seem counter intuitive — but I had this wacky logic that the more I shy away from certain things because of my MS, the less things I will be able to do — so off to the gym I dragged myself and what a lesson in humility -and how out of shape I am – it was!)

And now, after a dinner of stuffed peppers (that wasn’t in any way earth -shattering) the man and I find ourselves watching “Noah” again.  (That’s what you do when you get a 2 day rental On Demand, right?)

And it’s just as strange and intriguing the second time around.

It definitely has me asking questions I would never have thought to ask.  And I believe that’s a good thing (although I fear that some groups may vehemently disagree with me. And that should -theoretically – be okay. Y’know, according to that little thing called the Bill of Rights.  But I digress!)

I am fascinated by the director’s interpretation of the landscape, the societies that could have existed, the struggle that Noah faces as a man tasked with protecting the innocent from annihilation.  Some of the camera shots are just stunning — and the pace of the story was incredibly well done considering the breadth of time covered.

Both the visceral nature of the film and its specific ambiguity just totally captured my mind.  So any thought of a food blog, or an MS blog … or really anything else is totally beyond the scope of my thoughts right now.  Right now I’m contemplating the stories of the bible, and how much room is left to fill in the details of the time, the personalities of the people. I mean, I’ve known the story of Noah for a long time and never have I ever questioned the way in which it was told to me or the specifics of the story.

Sort of the way Dr. Sadeghi talked about accepting beliefs without ever questioning their roots.  Again, I digress.

I think now, upon the second viewing, what I love about the movie is exactly that — the writer and director’s fearless re-telling of a classic and -until now -unchanged story.  It definitely pushes the boundaries of faith, but it also challenges us all to reconsider what we’ve always accepted without question and open up our minds to different perspectives.