Rest Part Deux 

Today, I succumbed to my body’s cues and spent the early part of the day resting. It was difficult initially because I have a Saturday morning routine of cleaning. I’ve missed writing in my blog, so I finished up a post I started last week. After that, I took a shower, attended to my charred breast, warmed up some leftover chicken noodle soup, and headed back to bed with soup in tow. On my way home from my next to last radiation treatment yesterday, I could tell by the pain and discomfort that it would be best if I rested. I’ve been feeling a little emotional now that I can see and feel the effects of the radiation. I decided that I would take care of myself, not worry about housework considering that there are 3 able bodied human beings that live with me. I’ve been joking that my fitbit has been controlling me, so I thought about my steps briefly. How would I get my steps in? It can become addictive really quickly. I’m even in a work week challenge with some of my coworkers. However, I decided to ignore the fitbit. I’ll catch my steps some other time. I’m finding that it takes less effort to let go and just listen to myself. I cozied up in my bed without any disturbances…not even from the kittens.

At about 2 p.m., I was rewarded with an energy burst. I felt replenished. The hubby had breakfast, lunch and dinner covered and did some dishes. I took on the kitchen….the stove hood, back splash, and floors (not sure what came over me…?) I assumed my role as captain of the ship and commenced giving orders on what else needed to be done to get the house in decent order. Hey, I managed to get over 3,500 steps in a short period. I felt guilty for a bit, but then when I saw them actually doing the work, the guilt subsided. I can’t do it all. At least, I’d rather use my energy doing other things. I’m also teaching my kids to be responsible people…at least that’s the goal. However, I do want to work on my delivery. It would be great if I could only get them to do it without the poking and proding. Work in progress…stay tuned!


Nourish yourself

Merriam-Williams’ online has identified 3 definitions of the transitive verb nourish: 1) to nurture, rear; 2) to promote the growth of; and 3) to nurture, sustain. I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately and have decided that my primary focus this year will be on nourishing myself and receiving the nourishment I need from the resources that will help take me to the next level (wherever that is as long as it’s forward). I haven’t set “new year’s resolutions” in years. I prefer to identify a set of goals that I want to accomplish. These goals help set the tone for the year. Here it is, nearly halfway through the new month, and I haven’t solidified my list yet, but nourishment will definitely be the theme. I’ve read that when you crave certain foods, that it is likely because your body is deficient in a particular nutrient. That’s why it’s best to listen to your body and satisfy the cravings. (I’m obviously not a nutritionist although I read about food constantly, so do your own research). I’ve been having some cravings of my own…for more healthy foods, for more green smoothies, and for things that are not related to food, but provide nourishment.

How did I this word “nourish” come to my attention anyway? There’s nothing complicated about it. I think the word is pretty self-explanatory. I do enjoy pronouncing it. Recently, I’ve made daily posts in a private facebook group created for a green smoothie challenge called Simple 7. You can read more about it here. It’s been fun to post pictures of my smoothies, the ingredients, and myself posing with my smoothies. I actually wrote a blog post on my love of green smoothies, which you can read about here. In a comment to one of my posts, a group member provided encouragement to me in my breast cancer recovery and I returned the favor regarding her brain cancer recovery. In my attempt to be succinct, I told her to “nourish herself”. What I meant was for her feed her body, mind and spirit with the nuitients that would help her heal. I had hoped that translated with those two words. She appreciated it very much and there were a few more post exchanges. Since then, I’ve been intrigued by this word.

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been the last 4 months that my life has beened altered in a way that I never imagined, but it has. In some ways it feels a lot longer than 4 months. Throughout this time, I’ve been in treatment, which means that I’ve had to focus all of my energy on improving my medical condition. I’ve slowed down, prayed, fed my body the proper healing nutrients, reduced stress, slept, exercised, read, and self-reflected. It’s natural for me to self-reflect, but I’ve had even more time to do so. When you have a life altering medical condition, you are forced to examine yourself. Believe it or not, some people still don’t get it. They have no clue. They’re not ready. They blow the opportunity, but not me. I search for the lesson and my assumption is that there is always a lesson. Searching for the lesson doesn’t entail shaming myself and assigning blame, even though I may want to sometimes. The lesson isn’t always obvious or easy to determine, but figuring out what the lesson is points me to a growth opportunity. It gives me an extra nugget of wisdom. And every year, I desire to be better, to challenge myself, to be wiser…to grow. 

I’ve been craving new adventures, the taste of achievement, victory over family pathologies, and conquering debt. I need a plan to carry out these activities and I’ve been working on it. My new obsession is audiobooks. I’m not much of a novel reader either, not that I’m criticizing anyone who is. I like a good novel every now and then. The last novel I read was The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and it was so fascinating, it haunted me for months. Outside of work, the bulk of my reading is on health and wellness, financial management, and personal improvement.

A vision board is another excellent tool to set the tone for the year. I am a visual person indeed. This year will be the 2nd annual completion of our family vision board. Although our health crises (my husband had one too…see my very first blog post here) was not on it (go figure), I did do more traveling in 2016, experienced Jamaica for the first time, and invited 2 new kittens into our home, all of which was on the vision board in some way or another. The kids were disappinted that they didn’t get to go on a big family trip, but we’ll work on that for 2017. The jury is still out on if we were all kinder and more loving to each other, but I put forth a great effort. We definitely didn’t save as much money as I wanted. Completing the vision board with my family will help solidify our family goals, but I am reminded that God may have a different plan on how we will get there. 

In the meantime, I will follow the advise I gave that kindred spirit in her brain cancer recovery. To the best of my ability, I will nourish myself with the healing nutrients that feed my body, mind and spirit to include healthy food, books, prayer, sleep, exercise, writing, the people that I love, and kindred spirits. If I think of more, I’ll let you know.


R.I.P. Baby Carr

Last Wednesday, December 28, 2016 something tragic happened. Our beautiful cat, Baby, was killed. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it for obvious reasons. I wrote a blog post about her in October…you can read about it here. We’re all very sad and the circumstance surrounding her death is senseless. Our new neighbor was moving in and her dog saw Baby, jumped out of the vehicle, and relentlessly chased her until he eventually killed her on our front porch. My kids were home, and although they didn’t know what was happening, it startled my daughter enough to send me a text while I was at work indicating that she was worried about Baby and hadn’t seen her. I called her to find out what happened, but in her mind, she thought two dogs were fighting and didn’t realize a new neighbor was moving in. 

We’ve been keeping Baby in the garage and attempting to let her outside during the day so she could do her business and get some fresh air. As time passed, we noticed that she had less interest in going out. However, the weather was warm for most of last week …as in 70 degrees and we could tell she enjoyed that. In fact, the night of the incident, she stayed out all night in the rocking chair on the porch. When I left for work, she was in the rocking chair and jumped down to walk me to my car.

My daughter mentioned that our existing neighbors came out to intervene during the incident. Thank God for our neighbors too because when my husband came home, they told him what happened. There were some other disturbing things they told him. When I first heard the news, I was obviously heartbroken, but then became pissed (angry). How could someone be so irresponsible with their pet? Why was the dog not on a leash? What kind of dog is this? What if my kids had been outside? The neighbor left a note with her phone number and when my husband spoke to her, he said she sounded apologetic. Normally, I’m a compassionate person, but my thoughts were that she should be sorry. I know she didn’t mean it, but our cat was killed by her dog. The neighbor placed the body in her back yard wrapped in a blanket. I couldn’t look at Baby’s lifeless, possibly bloody body, but asked my husband to confirm as I held on to some hope that she had survived. 

I’ve been experiencing a mix of emotions from guilt that we even let her out, sadness over her violent death, feelings of helplessness, anger, and even relief because it was going to be a challenge getting her acclimated with the kittens. Baby didn’t seem to like them very much because she often hissed at Beignet and Cannoli when she was near them. 

Despite all of this, I know that we took good care of her. I had just made veterinary appointments for all of the cats the day before this happened. I’m glad we were fortunate enough to take care of her unoffocially, then officially over the years. Our 2016 family vision board included obtaining one cat, then we got 2, then officially 3, and now we’re back to 2. 

We took her to the pet hospital the next day to have her body cremated. The staff were very kind and seemed just as devastated as we were. 

Rest in peace, Baby. We love you and thank you for being such a sweet cat. We will never forget you.