Sinte

I started drumming a of couple years ago to fill the void that leaving African dance left. The community is so joyful and supportive that I forced my body to “fight through it” far longer than Fibromyalgia wanted me to.

When I left African, I felt like a failure. I was lazy, something was wrong with me – something else, something real, something wanting in my nature, not my body. My body was always strong. I’m young. If I “can’t” do it, it’s because I’m not eating right. I’m still partying. I’m just not talented enough.

Yes, that’s all true. I’d be better at African if I’d stop all those things, but I could still rally. African dance wore me so bare, I was my authentic self. I didn’t want to let it go.

So I drum now, to keep my tie with the community. There’s just something about it that keeps me coming back for more, even when I’m not very good at it. It’s happy, and it feels good to brave failure. I can’t think of anything else I’ve found where I don’t demand perfection from myself. I’m excited by success and improvement, but I don’t need it.

It’s nice to enjoy something something authentically.

I started belly dancing. I think that’s the recipe. Drum for African dance. Move my body elsewhere, somewhere gentler, more lyrical, equally challenging. Belly dance is the perfect fit, and there’s so much room for me to level up!

I give myself permission to have autoimmune disease.

Today, we played Sinte in class. We don’t do that often, and I’m not that good. Drumming is hard! I go for the simplest background rhythm and hold on for dear life.

But Quinn pushed me. “You know this!”

“Okay!” I agreed. It was deep down somewhere, back when I was taking lessons.

I know this!

I remembered the dance. I could feel it in my body, and I did remember once – long ago – learning the rhythm in Quinn’s class.

By damn, I figured it out! It was a huge high, and I barely held on. I did well enough that when I fell off the beat, he harassed and teased me. (If I sucked utterly, he’d correct me and continue to lead.) I laughed a lot today.

It was a great break from the pain of Cricket’s emergency 2 days ago.

Cricket is at the end of her life. Of course I know that. She’s 14 years old in September, OBESE, and sick with random everything all her life, that sweet alien. A respectable, healthy feline life is 12-15 years. She’s given everything she has.

I have a vision. Perhaps it’s selfish. I just want to keep my little kitty until the first cold snap. I want to build a fire in our forever home, their last home, and cuddle with them by the fire. I want to love my girls by the hearth of our home.

After that, whenever she’s ready to go, I’m ready, too. I want Lap of Love to put her gently to sleep on her own pillow, while I thank her for spending her unexpectedly long life with me. Please don’t die under my bed tonight, in pain and frightened, blind from ketoacidosis. Let me hold you in my arms by the fire.

“Thank you for being my baby. Thank you for being my teacher. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you making me a mother. Thank you for teaching me love.”

I feel guilty. I can see that she’s tired. She used to be so grabby, I had to be careful not to get scratched when I took my hand away from a long spell of affection and sweet talk. Now, all the the strength she has to to give is the flick of her tail. And she gives it.

She gave me her everything.

Hold on, sweet love. I’m not asking for long. I know you’re ready to go.

Please give me a cold snap of weather. I want to snuggle by the fire.

My Cricket is dying. cricket in the er
cricket in the er 2

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Role of a Lifetime

I feel really lucky. It’s so satisfying a thing to get what you wanted. How much lovelier and rich my life and memories are to cherish Adelaide and my Guys & Dolls, rather than to regret the dream never realized.

The dream not realized isn’t the end of the world, but I feel so lucky to have this one.

I’m happy with my performance. “Perfect is the enemy of good,” my mother repeated often to her dissatisfied daughter, and I’m able at last (this time) to manage my wish for more than I delivered. I’m proud of my Adelaide, really proud.

I made good choices for her, far deeper than just the fun stuff, which I played to damn-near-perfection. I’m not ashamed to be the best thing to hit the community stage every now and then. Our show was good.

I was good. A well-known producer in our area was pretty taken with me. It was quite a compliment. I don’t know how secure my retirement is, but I know my foot hurts.

The second joint to require a cortisone injection bothers me still, daily, and I confess I anticipated with some anxiety the possibility that I wasn’t really able to dance a show like this. To be honest, I’m surprised it didn’t hit before closing weekend. I do not know how I got through that. It’s amazing how you don’t feel pain onstage.

I guess that’s why we do it. I certainly did this time.

I think the angels carried me through it, a la “Footsteps.” Angels and painkillers.

Well, I can’t walk today, but I don’t care! I’m so pleased and grateful, and sad that it’s over. I cried yesterday! I didn’t expect it to hit so fast.

What a gift. I’m so grateful. I’m so BLESSED!

Check out my wardrobe! I can’t even!
DSC_7319bushel

lament

mink

minky goodness

sue me

Recognize the Queen of Hearts?

fearsome foursome

I got to wear my RED patent leather stilettos for the last time, so I take full responsibility for not being able to walk this week. Wish you could see the red in the leather belt and other accessories. Such a charming touch to keep Adelaide true to her flaming red core. I love that my hair inspired a wardrobe! (and that the power shift after our wedding is represented in me being taller than my darling Nathan)

guys and dolls promo

Guys & Dolls saved my life. I’m just SO GRATEFUL I was blessed to be a part of this cast, this crew, this Guys & Dolls. It goes deeper than finally playing my dream role. Our show healed me in ways no one will ever really know, maybe not even me. That was, honestly, one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Solstice Sunday

It sucks to be depressed on the most beautiful day of the year. We’re smack dab in the middle of the longest days, with a small cold front from the north. It’s only supposed to be 85 degrees today, in late June! I don’t want to go to the drum circle. I don’t want to go to Earth Jam. I don’t want to get out of bed.

Yesterday, I ruined the first drum I couldn’t recover. It sucks, too, because it was my first PERFECT piece, and then…

I’ve never made a mistake that I couldn’t modify or mask or turn into a surprise success. I told Jax, “There’s something I hate about every drum I’ve made, but she’s perfect! I love her so much. She’s perfect!”

I couldn’t leave well enough alone. One thing too far.

I gave her weeks of detached consideration. There were several small attempts at a fix that didn’t work, so I put her away quickly and thoughtfully, certain the answer would come. Finally, I found the solution, which I applied yesterday, to her destruction. There was no taking it back, no coming back, no way forward.

Many years ago, an artist friend told me the secret. “You just have to accept that you will hate 29 out of 30 things you do.” And I had, I thought, but I just can’t let go of how much I loved her. To lose her is killing me.

After the week of tolerating this awful user who just won’t leave, I crumbled. (SO much more to the story of the unwelcome couch-surfer.) I fell deep, deep, deep in the hole. At first I tried to watch the self-talk, but that only made me more abusive. Just be honest about the useless, talentless idiot you are. Stop killing yourself with that insufferable silver lining, and those unbearable lessons in the loss. Shut UP!

There’s nothing to my future but the last of my desperately clinging looks and a body that doesn’t belong to me. I fucking HURT! I have nothing and will die with less.

I’m so sick with this goddamn depression. At the worst time. It’s far worse to shut the door and draw the blinds when the weather is so lovely. I can’t get out of bed.

wind in her hair

If only I’d photographed her after finishing her body and limbs, and outlining her curves and edges. Something to remember her by before ruining everything.

About-Face

I went back to Salt Lake Homeopathy today for my follow-up appointment. I had faith in this once, and excitement for what it might do. It’s easy to lose faith on pain days, so I decided to stick with it for awhile longer. I haven’t yet reached the dollar amount I committed to the experiment and, really, I can’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work. I was willing to risk that, and I’m going to.

Don’t make decisions when you’re discouraged.
Don’t make promises when you’re happy.
Don’t makes speeches when you’re angry.

Something like that.

The homeopath asked me, first thing, “Are you feeling a little rough?”

“Oh! Does it get worse before it gets better?”

That was a relief. It was also heartening that, once again, he knew how I was feeling. Maybe this is real and still has the capacity to help me? To heal me?

I told him I didn’t see any worm corpses. He was nonplussed. “Well, you could. I didn’t think you would, but I didn’t want you freaking out if you did.”

Take that as you will.

The most compelling evidence, for me, if you can call it that outside of science, is the muscle testing. He can tell me what he picks up from my muscular responses to his inquiries. I can believe him or not. He can lie to me and I’ll be none the wiser. That’s why this is a leap of faith. However, when I hold a bottle of herbs, minerals, or medication and cannot keep my fingers together – or conversely, can’t have them pried apart  – how can I believe it’s anything other than he says? “You don’t need this.” “You do need this.” I’m not making up how strong or weak my grip is! It’s quite incredible.

(I brought all of my supplements and prescriptions to see what the homeopath thought of them. He muscle-tested me holding each. I need none of the supplements – they’re all made from crap – but I need my antidepressant. He couldn’t pry my fingers apart holding the bottle, and asked what the pills were for. When I answered, he was surprised.

“You need it.”

“Well, yeah,” I teased. “That’s why it’s prescribed to me.”

“Well, a lot of people are prescribed antidepressants unnecessarily. I never tell anyone not to take their medication. That’s not my business, but most Depression can be healed in other ways. You need it.”

“Yep.” 10 tiny miligrams of Citalopram, and thank god! Better living through Chemistry.)

So I bought more herbs and tinctures. Now that the parasites are vanquished, we can get to the real problems – like deficiencies, and scars from old injuries and traumas (car accident, 2006; bike accident, 2009; surgery, complications and surgery, 2008).

“I don’t have kids to put in braces, college, or therapy. I do what I want!” And I want a body that can travel again, and dance, and not sleep and ache for days/weeks at a time.

Skinny Was My Superpower

And I ate everything!

I learned that some girls in my school had what they called “The Christie’s Thigh Diet,” because my legs didn’t “splat” when I sat down in my cheerleading outfit.

So I ate more. To show off.

Well, 40+ happens to everyone, ha! I bought a car on September 1st and gained 19 lbs. in 4 months. (9 years on a bike, and damned proud!)

I am 5’5(+)” and 159.6 lbs! I think 5 lbs/mo. is healthy weightloss. I’d like to reach 130 by Summer, and stay there this time.

When I got home from Spain last year I was 129 lbs. But, you know, being held captive and fed once a day will do that to you. I told my best friend that “The Brian and Chrissy [forced] Diet” was more effective than the one those girls named after me in high school, and at least one good thing had come from the trip.

But my visit triggered dormant PTSD, which triggered a loooong binge, and I ate everything. I finally got it under control after 6 months or so and held steady at 140-145, not minding if I did or didn’t lose weight.

So that’s what I’m doing this New Year’s. Diet and exercise, like everyone else. I don’t mind being average. 🙂

And quit smoking. (For good! 20 YEARS in May! Unacceptable.)

I quit Diet Pepsi in October! Hey!

I expect Salt Lake Power Yoga to bring me back to my athletic body and relieve the newly unremitting pain of Fibromyalgia. (Since Spring, 2015 was spent in constant pain, with a week to 10 days off here and there. It was aching, exhausting, and extremely challenging to retain my signature enthusiasm. Before this year, I never considered medication. Now I’m studying.) (It seems awful. I really hope to keep it natural, and controlled.)

I have to say, I hide weight well. It’s pretty evenly distributed. It’s like everything just puffed. I got as much back fat as I did boobs but they fill an A cup now, so there’s that.

Oh, guess what else happened in 2015? Psoriasis. *sigh*

Coconut oil seems to help, but I’m still finding new patches every so often (since November). I’m hoping to avoid steroids or immune suppressors.

I’ll continue djembe lessons and drum for dance classes. I’m joining a guitar class on the 13th. I’m anxious. That’s what began my journey with Fibro 4 years ago. Refamiliarizing myself with chords and frets, I developed pain in my left wrist until it seized up to the point of requiring a cortisone injection to move freely again without screaming agony that woke me up nights. Other joints joined in, but only the left big toe needed cortisone. None of those joints is 100% now, and that wrist is particularly moody, but not unbearable.

I have to try. I want to play and sing! I want to write shitty music.

Life is strange. I would have thought it untenable, my reality. My body hurts. I’m tired and lack endurance. Aching like I do – worse and worse, in ever-new muscles and junctions, then finding scaly patches of goddamned skin that spread and won’t go away – is very frustrating. And I like my life. Huh. tough

Everyone has something. Some people have lots of somethings.

Okay.

Hope you’re rollin’ with it and having a good time, too.
Blessings in 2016.blessing

I Don’t Like To Be Cold.

I’ve been so good this Autumn at not borrowing Winter’s trouble.

I have such a hard time enjoying Fall for its brilliant colors and merciful temps. All I feel underneath it all is, “Oh god oh god, here it comes. I’m going to be miserable for 5 months, minimum!”

This year was very different. I’ve actually enjoyed myself this season! Until last week. We expanded our office and the heating in this old building isn’t equipped to warm an entire warehouse. It was set up for our formerly confined set-up, but we tore the walls down. And I AM FUCKING FREEZING.

My new home? Freezing. North-facing freezing. My beautiful sun-room? Single-pane windows from ceiling to mid-wall, EVERY WALL, except for the south-facing, which has no window at all. (I thought the west-facing windows would suffice for light and heat, but the blessed sun doesn’t peak through foliage to the south until just before it sets. No warmth for me.) And it was clearly an addition; There’s no heating to the room at all! Unless I want cat litter in my bedroom, I have to keep that ice-box open to freeze me ’til Spring thaw. Otherwise, my room will be almost completely dark with its one paltry, narrow, North-facing window. And small. And drafty, cold, ever so cold.

It feels like December already. I’m wearing my warmest clothes, layers, gloves, and BLANKETS! At work, as well as home! What am I going to do in January?

My body hurts. I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I’m going to miserable until March.

Thank god I didn’t move to Idaho.