The Fragile Heart


I had a good weekend.  Eventful.  Caught an early movie on Friday night then went for a late dinner.  I got up before dawn on Saturday morning and went on a photo walk with a group of shutter bugs.  This one was titled ‘Deer Lake in the Fog‘.  The hope was the sun would burn off the fog and we’d get this really magical morning sunrise.  We had to settle for a mystical morning.

Mystic MornMelting RoseMystic morn 2

Above are a couple of the images I captured. This fog has socked us in for several days now.  This morning on the drive in to work  I could not see the tops of some of the buildings in downtown Vancouver the fog was that thick.

I got a Yoga class in later on Saturday and it felt good to get back to it.  My toes are still numb so doing a downward dog was a rather precarious pose this time out.  Very odd not to feel anything is that area.  Still, it was a good class.

My body feels like it has retreated completely, it is so tight.  Still, I get it.  Physically I am feeling a bit beat up.  First the surgery, then the chemo and I am now preparing it for the last bit of abuse which is the radiation.

Maybe the last few trips to the gym I pushed the body a bit too much as well.  I need to a pull it back a bit.  I was just working out at about 75% capacity and the last few weeks I’ve been pushing it up closer to 90%.  Perhaps that’s why I’m so tired these days.

I’ll roll it back once more.  I am hoping that I can begin to run in a week.  The toes are the only part of the foot numb at this point.

I did some writing over the weekend and am starting on preparing my home for the new year when I am planning to sell.  A few repairs and a some tedious cleaning lay ahead.  But I am going to tackle everything, one area at a time, and get everything better than perfect.

Plans are in place to move forward in this life of mine and I am doing just that.

I was considering the way I’ve been pushing myself physically, despite the abuses my body has been taking. Then it occurred to me how careful I am with this heart of mine.  I have not surrendered it for a very long time.

I know the healing power of love is a balm we all seek.  I know I need to open myself to this and I have been, little bit by little bit.  And while friends tell me how strong I am and how far I’ve come, I realized just how fragile this heart of mine still is.  Yes, I agree in part with their observations.  Still, when I compared how I treat my physical self at times in comparison to the emotional aspect of it, I am far more protective of this heart of mine.

My dilemma at the moment is do I just throw this fragile aspect of self out there?  Or do I hold back and just offer up glimpses of it?  Is my heart tough enough?  Does it need to be tough?

I don’t really have a ‘tough’ heart anyway.  It is a gentle thing. So I will keep urging it to peek out a bit more.  See me.  See the love that waits to be taken.  Watch how it will grow when love is returned.

Despite this hard knock life, I always get back up and shake it off.   Despite the many hurts the purity of this heart remains, however fragile.  To the universe I say, I am here.

Peace.

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Choices


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This is an anniversary of sorts for me today.  One year ago on this date I was admitted into hospital where an angiogram was performed and later an angioplasty.  Which means, for those of you not familiar with the terminology, I had a heart blockage that was investigated then had a stent inserted to open up the artery which we discovered was 95% blocked.

And the thing of it is, I had virtually no symptoms.  We  kind of stumbled upon this through some other tests.  A year ago I was feeling far too human and far too fragile by the day’s end.  But what I realized in that moment as I laid in the operating chamber, very much awake and watching as the doctor moved his instruments inside my heart, was how little time on this planet we actually have and how much we take it for granted.  It was the day after this event while I sat curled up on my sofa, ruminating about all of the things that I had been through in my life time that I began this blog.

I have always wanted to write and I want to be a good at it.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always written,  not always in a particularly coherent manner, mind you.  At this time last year no one had ever read any of my writings.  I had been working on a memoir, which last year was still a compilation of emotional writes in several notebooks.  I embraced the New Year with a vim and vigor never quite experienced before.

I found a writer’s group that focused on offering positive critiques for ongoing novels and/or short stories. My first meeting with them was rather intimidating.  I can recall thinking ‘What if I’ve just been kidding myself all these years and can’t really write very well at all?’  To this little offering of doubt that presented itself, I smiled and decided that I best learn the craft then if I want to write, yes?  And so began the exploration of learning to become a decent wordsmith.

I joined yet a second writing group which tackled different issues regarding the world of publishing and all the little intricacies and nuances and gave me insight into a world I really knew nothing about.  I have been a sponge, wanting to take in as much as possible.

Sanctuary Photowalk 087This is my 219th post over the course of this past year.  I have had emotional highs and lows.  I have challenged self consistently and have moved forward steadily.  To where, I can’t say just yet.  What I’ve been doing, I realized today,  is that I have been laying down a foundation of sorts.  I have become far more disciplined in the task of writing on a daily basis.  The appetite to read, to explore, to research is at times voracious and difficult to satisfy as there are only 24 hours in the day.  In that mix I work two jobs, run, workout, do Yoga, write, cook clean, socialize.  I punched it up into high gear and just ran with it.

Over a four and half month period I put the book together.  And other ideas began to blossom in this fertile head of mine.  I participated in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary of the Man in Motion Tour.  And now not only do I want to write, but I want to contribute in a positive way to this world that I belong to. And I guess that has been one of the most exceptional realizations is that I do belong and that I matter right along with all my other beings on this beautiful planet.

For so many years I looked out at this world from a carefully constructed shelf.  As this year began I jumped into the fray and woke to this world of so much splendor.  I wondered why I had not done this previously, but then decided no point dwelling on a point that was now moot.  I run now into a presence that encourages as much as it challenges.  I no longer have the attitude that I can’t do something.  Now the neurons are firing and assembling thoughts and ideas at a pace that I sometimes can’t keep up with.  And so I sit, meditate and slow the thing down.

It’s not about me, the individual any longer.  It is about me, the participant.  What can offer to the grand design?  How can I be used by this life source that feeds me and give back?  Those are the questions that dance through the head now.

flowerI do consider myself a writer now, not just a person who likes to write.  I have made several choices in my life…some not so good…some not so bad.  But the best choice I made over this last year was to live and live well.

For those of you that have followed my journey over this past year,  I thank you and hope that you will continue on with this evolution of mine.

A Heart for Sale


I am a woman with a heart for sale.

Used but still in good working order, very strong and well-connected.

Feels deeply, takes nothing for granted and cherishes all those who it holds dear.  It is an expansive heart, a gentle and tender thing that has known heartbreak.   It has been put back together many times and now resembles a mosaic of all those who have offered their love, kindness and friendship so graciously.  This heart reflects and values all of this.

The cost in not that high.  It shouldn’t be.  Just love me and what I will give you with the offering of this gift, well, not a day will go by that you won’t know that you are loved.  Not just by words will this be shown but by every glance, ever touch, every thought, every whisper.  Never will it be taken for granted, never will it just be assumed.  Always will it be nurtured and fed.  Always it will be encouraged to grow.

So that’s it in a nutshell.  Why advertise, you ask?

I am not too sure how to get the message out otherwise.  I am somewhat perplexed by the man / woman thing.  Never really learned how to do that dating thing.  Never really learned how to use my feminine wiles.  Can’t say that I know all that much about flirting either.

For me flirting is when I take off my clothes and say ‘Want some?’  Yup.  Need to develop boundaries in a big way.  I am open and very honest.  I no longer feel shame for past behaviour and while current behaviour is sometimes a wee bit suspect, I am very forgiving to self.  I am, after all, only human.

I guess the thing is that I have such an enormous capacity to love.  It knows no bounds nor should it.  For far too long I have held that part of self locked up, afraid of being hurt yet again.  Now I realize that by putting it out there to the universe, the heart will only become stronger, the love more profound.

I am currently accepting offers.  No conditional clauses or low ball bids will be considered.  It will be an even trade, a heart for a heart.

Thanks for your perusing this ad and enjoy your day.

 

Still thinking after all these years


Sometimes that buzz in my head can be a bit annoying.  That buzz is the transmission of thoughts from one point to the other in my grey matter that we affectionately refer to as the Brain.  I prefer to think of it as ‘grey matter’.  I don’t know why…I just do.  And I wonder if it really is grey or does it just turn that colour once it is exposed to H2O?  Hmmmm!  Such are the ponderings on this somewhat ‘cloudy with hopes of clearing up’ Friday morning in the always lovely Vancouver.

I love this City.  I was born here.  I have watched her grow over the years, watched her change.  I don’t like all the things that have been done to her.   The very heart of this City still beats with such passion.  Some will tell you differently, but this is my home.  Vancouver is and always has been the keeper of  my secrets.  Her sidewalks and beaches have been showered with my tears.  Her parks and mountains have felt the echo of my laughter.  I have watched thousands of sunrises and sunsets from dozens of different locations.  I have played in the snow and ice.  I have jumped into puddles produced by the rain.

Some say Vancouver is not a friendly City and again, I beg to differ.  We hosted one of the most memorable Olympic events ever.  And it was a love fest from the get go.  On that first night my friend and I sat in the Elephant & Castle having dinner and a pint or two and Jennifer Heil won the first medal for Canada and it was Silver.  The place broke out spontaneously in the singing of our national anthem.

Afterwards we walked up to Robson St. & Hornby St. which is pretty much the City Centre in these parts.  The laser show was fabulous and everyone was hugging each other…it didn’t matter where you were from…you got hugged!  For the next 17 days it stayed that way.  I walked up there every day on my lunch hour just to be part of the energy.  At any given time there was approximately 100,000 + – people in the area of perhaps a 10 block circumference.

I know many heard about the Stanley Cup riot last year, and what I would tell people is that those people were not hockey fans.  They deliberately came out to cause trouble.  What touched my heart more than anything was the next day I walked up on my lunch break, feeling very much heartbroken by what had been done to this beautiful City.  All the windows that had been broken and had been boarded up and people were writing notes of apology to the City.  I waited and indeed wrote my own apology and felt the tears rise.

The ‘Free Hug’ people were on the corner of Granville and Georgia and I got several ‘Free Hugs’.  And don’t you think that is a beautiful sentiment?  To stand with a group of people and offer ‘Free Hugs?

Now that I have waxed poetic about my hometown the sky is clearing and the Sun is sparkling on the new spring growth.  I became a mother 29 years ago.  It was and still is one of the most profound moments of my life.  To have watched that first breath taken, heard that first cry…it feels like yesterday.  The evolution of myself and those around me continues.  I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to take her from child to woman.

And life continues on and the thoughts and musings of this particular human animal continue to whisper thru the grey matter that is always absorbing the different forms of stimuli being offered.

Enjoy your day, where ever you may be.  This little blue dot that we live on is really quite extraordinary.

Monday….I think this day gets a bad rap.


What is it about Monday’s that we dislike so much?  Is it that we are back to the ol’ grind?  That we have to head out and start earning our 78.5 cents per day once again?  I think I would like to see us change how we do things in the business world, but some of the ideas I have are relatively radical in their context.  Perhaps I will explore these ideas further in a new blog.  Monday does get a bad rap though.  They do these studies and statistics saying that people are more likely to die on a Monday.  Really?  Is that imperative to our existence to know the day of the week we are most likely to flatline on?

I am sometimes quite amused and befuddled by the studies and research that is undertaken in this vein.  Some of the information, well I just can’t help but wonder why it is necessary or relevant.  In any case, I am drifting off topic here a bit.

I had a really good weekend.  Didn’t get a whole lot done around the house but had a lovely dinner out with my daughter and her boyfriend.  Because I imbibed a wee bit two weeks in a row,  I am tacking on a few more weeks to the 12 week plan.  I didn’t deviate too much but a little and this is going to be a lifestyle thing in any case but in terms of getting to the optimum health goal…I will likely need an additional few weeks.  After 6 weeks I am down 8.5 lb.  Not bad.  Another 27 lb. to get to goal weight.  The fact that I am an older woman makes it a bit more of a challenge.  Still I am up for it.  At this pace I will need about another 15 weeks to get that goal.  That’s okay.  I am determined to get a clean bill of health by year’s end and go off the medication that I am currently on.  I will have to go through the nuclear test on the heart once more to ensure that everything is okay….so I fully expect that the results will be extremely good at that time.

I do know that since the surgery my breathing while running has improved dramatically.  Funny, I never realized that there was a problem, but the before and after effect is quite dramatic.  I can actually pinpoint where I would begin to get a little breathless when I was running and end up stopping and walking it out for 20 or 30 seconds to recover…then start up again.  At that time I thought it was just a progression and that eventually my recovery time would improve and my stamina and endurance would get better as well.  But I can see now how the issues surrounding my heart were actually effecting me.  No, I wasn’t having any pain.  I wasn’t having any shortness of breath.  The shortness of breath would occur once I had pushed myself physically as in running.  So of course, I figured it was simply because I was pushing myself physically.  And the improvement I saw from when I first started to run again back in 2010 to just prior to the surgery in December 2011 was dramatic in and of itself as well.  Still, it is very interesting to see the difference that it has made.

I had a good workout this morning.  I am really focusing on the midsection these days and trying to tighten up that area.  I know I have to work on the upper body as previously stated…so I am kinda working my way up. I am adding new exercises to the mix and want to have a different workout for each of the four mornings that I am there.  So still need to add a few more new ones to the mix.

There is fresh snow up in the mountains this morning and it is actually not too bad of day out there weather wise.  I am going to get to my day’s work now.  I want my work life to be really organized as well…sometimes a challenge when those you work with are not like minded in that sense. You can only do so much in that regard then comes compromise.

I am reminded just thinking about the Monday comment I made that we often times worry about things that are inconsequential.  So I am trying to just be in the moment as it happens and looking after the things that I can look after and releasing that which I cannot look after to the universe for assistance as everything works out eventually.

Enjoy your day!

Transitions….


This has been a good week for me.  A busy one.  I am on track with my workouts and my diet and will likely do my cholesterol test next Friday.  That should give me a good idea of where I am at with all of this. I feel quite confident that I will have improved. Since the surgery, I have been paying close attention to labels and the dietary information listed on them.  As stated before, I had improved my diet considerably prior to the discovery of the heart blockage…but now that I am pursuing optimum health….I am far more conscious of what I am putting in my body.

I was thinking the other day of when I was younger how we would can fruits and veggies.  We would do Salmon bakes (my grandfather was a fisherman, so we fortunately had some fine fare awarded to us) and we would pull out the mason jars and load them up so that we could have salmon all winter.  We would smoke the salmon as well…and let me tell you, there is nothing like fresh salmon jerky.  We had a garden in our yard that yielded fresh veggies and a cherry tree.  I can recall eating so many cherries at times that it would leave me feeling a bit queasy shall we say.  We would pick strawberries out at the farms in the summer as well.  Every summer we went to the Okanagan to bring back a ton of fresh fruit for canning purposes.  There was always a rhythm to our year in this regard.  Certain foods were available at certain times of the year…that was just how it was. And we enjoyed, and still do, such an abundance.

So my question is this…when did we forget how to eat and how to cook?  I look at the way our society eats today, particularly our children, and it is frightening to think what we are putting into our systems.  For a good 15 years of my life I ate atrociously bad foods…and I was lucky…we found the problem before it became a problem.

This transition back into a healthy lifestyle as been fabulous.  The energy that I have, the enlightened moods, the absolute joy in movement….I wonder why I spurned that to begin with.  It isn’t easy starting off…particularly if you have a considerable amount of weight to lose.  And in truth, the ‘junk’ food does have an addictive quality to it. For anyone wanting to change their lifestyle, I would certainly encourage them to embrace the diet and exercise regime.  There are so many ‘quick’ fixes out there regarding weight loss, but the one thing you have to first understand is why you have put the weight on in the first place.  If you don’t deal with that aspect of it…then you will likely yoyo…and that can be very hard on the system.

This, by the way, has nothing to do with aspiring to be a size zero…that is the craziest thing I think I have ever heard.  This is about being healthy.  If you are healthy…in every regard….this pertains to those who are underweight as well…if you are healthy in every regard (physical, mental, spiritual, sexual) you will look and feel fabulous.

I hope everyone enjoys their day…