Category Archives: hope

“Finding the Flow”

“Finding the Flow”

Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“The sword is like a bird. If you clutch it too tightly, you choke it. Too lightly, and it flies away.”

~ “Scaramouche”, Perigore of Paris

The Foda’s Take: I guess that’s why they call it a “happy” medium. Because in this scenario… well, overcompensate and you’ve got yourself a dead bird.

The year was 1997. I was in junior high, and it was a cold winter night. My father, known in this galaxy by his alias Dobiwan, was standing in front of our ridiculously antiquated microwave, finger hovering over the timer button. We were watching “Scaramouche,” a 1952 film starring Stewart Granger and Janet Leigh. It was toward the end of the movie, right before the protagonist and antagonist were about to engage in an epic fencing duel, the length and intricacy of which made it the longest dueling sequence to date. And we were going to time it. (To my recollection, it clocked in at around 7 minutes.)

This movie was one of my childhood favorites, and I remember well the advice delivered by fencing master Perigore: “The sword is like a bird. If you clutch it too tightly, you choke it. Too lightly, and it flies away.” (It’s actually stolen from 19th century French fencer Louis Justin Lafaugere.) Great advice, right? It applies to pretty much everything. Relationships. Running a business. Holding a spoon.

So then why did it take me so long to realize that “muscling through” a tough time was, how shall I put this…. STUPID??!!

You see, I’ve recently started a new protocol for my chronic Lyme disease. It’s part of a new study combining three drugs, and they were super upfront with me. IT. IS. INTENSE. Like, “people calling in crying because they feel so awful” intense. (It’s a “feel bad to feel better” kind of situation. Like chemo. Or getting your teeth cleaned. Or doing lunges.) So in the days leading up to beginning this treatment, I was in preparation mode. Stock the fridge with easy meals. Load the Netflix queue. Take care of all important business, bills, and paperwork I’ve been avoiding. I’m not going to lie, it was very much a “last supper” kind of mentality I had going on.

Which I may have mentioned to my father Dobiwan the day before beginning the treatment, stating I just had to “muscle through it.”

To which my wise and learned father replied: “Or flow through it….”

<Picture a light bulb popping up over my head and rapping my skull repeatedly, yelling, “Ding-ding-ding!”>

Yes. In this scenario my light bulb is talking. (Shut up. It’s my imagination.) Why was the light bulb blatantly shaming me? Because I’ve worked really hard over the past four years to better myself, my mind, and my spirit while my body deteriorated. And learning how to relinquish what isn’t mine to control and approach each day with a flexible and mindful spirit was one of the first big lessons I learned. But some lessons you need to learn more than once. (Or twice. Or… a lot.)

When life gives you a traumatic situation, most people’s tendency is to try and gain control over it, kind of like a burly bodybuilder at an arm-wrestling match. Problem is, trying to arm-wrestle life is kind of like– how shall I say it– a premature baby trying to drop kick the heavyweight champ. Alternately, we also can’t sit back and throw our hands up, relying on fate or time to do the work for us. That’s called letting your life pass you by.

So as I embark on this new path, I’m reminded once more to channel the strength and intelligence of water: Strong enough to erode any obstacle over time, and yet smart enough to flow around the jutting rock instead of fruitlessly trying to knock it down.

Or as we kids used to say back in the 90’s…

Go with the flow, yo!

<Swwwwiiiiiiishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!>

The Foda

“This is a Metaphor”

“This is a Metaphor”

It was Saturday afternoon and I was MAD.

As anyone who’s ever suffered from chronic fatigue knows, you have a finite amount of energy. On Saturday, I was blessed with a rare, elusive energy window, and I POUNCED. I decided to attempt a project: a newly acquired skill. I took out my measuring tape, tailor’s chalk, and my newly purchased denim thread and needle, and set out to hem my jeans. I did the math, marked ‘em up, and neatly sliced off a good 4 inches, leaving an inch extra for the hem. (Yes, having pants that are 5 inches too long is a common occurrence. Hence, the need for this skill, lest I want to continue paying $20 to have my pants altered for me. Some tailor has put her kids through college off my diminutive height….)

Anyway, I started with a pair of black skinny jeans. Since the material was thin, I used regular thread and needle in my machine and voila! Perfecto! Then I started in on the white whale: thick, beautiful, premium jeans, ones that needed a specific denim needle and thread. (Or so the how-to instructions I’d found online had said.) Fast forward to two hours later, and I was shaking with fatigue, my compulsive need to leave no project unfinished pushing me way past my window’s end, and all I had to show for it was a broken needle, an entire hem that needed to be ripped out, and a row of stitches that looked perfect on the underside but bumpy and like a squiggly caterpillar on the front. (To which I may have yelled: Go home, hem, you’re drunk!)

Finally, I gave up, frustrated, not knowing how to fix the problem despite reading the manual backwards and forwards, and annoyed that I had pushed myself into a low. Later, I discovered that apparently you’re not supposed to use such thick thread for both the needle AND the bobbin. I rooted through my meager collection… no all-purpose thread in the color I’d need. Oh, how I huffed and puffed! (Picture streams of air coming out my nostrils all Tauntaun style.) “The energy window is so rare, and I have nothing to show for it,” I complained to Mandalf. (Yes, I was conveniently forgetting the successful hemming of the first pair of jeans. I was MAD and needed condolences.)

An hour later, I was routing around through a drawer, when under a scrapbook, I found a green plastic box fastened with duct tape. It had belonged to my grandmother, one of the boxes of her crafting supplies. She had been like me, a creative butterfly, searching for every possible avenue of expression, never quite settling on one for too long. Inside the forgotten box were spools and spools of thread, lovingly arranged by color, with an antique pair of tiny thread scissors and a tin advertising hard candies that actually held pins. My eyes welled as I found the thread I’d need, but what hit me more while I ran my fingers over the tools she’d used was the overwhelming sensation that I was carrying on her legacy, that a piece of her lived on in me. It no longer mattered that I didn’t finish my project. And even though she’s been gone half a decade, holding the box and picturing her routing through it just as I was then made me feel closer to her than ever.

I had been so mad because I’d thought I didn’t have the right tools to fix my problem. Yet it turned out, I had them all along. They just weren’t where I thought they’d be. (Yes, this story is a metaphor for life. Just in case the title didn’t give it away…)

Many times, we come across a roadblock. We don’t know how to get past it, how to fix it, and we don’t think we have the tools. But often times, we do have them, they’re just not in the place we’re looking for them. That’s because we often can’t see what’s right in front of our noses until we step back and get a wider view.

What’s that called? Oh, yeah. Perspective. Must remember to keep that one on retainer…

Off to rip some stitches,

The Foda

Thirty

“Thirty”

Thirty.

Thiiiirrrttttyyyyyyyy.

Rhymes with “dirty”, “flirty”… and if you’re a Texas ranger, “purdy.” As in, that’s one right purdy filly there.

Why my interest, you ask? Well, today, my friends, just happens to be my last day in my twenties. That’s right. As of tomorrow, I shall be thirty.

And until a week and a half ago, I was completely sure I wouldn’t be one of those people who freak out because of some societally trumped-up milestone.

Until my family asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate.

<Picture a camera rushing in on my face, exposing a close up view of me instantly panicking.> Kind of like…. this.

 

My cat Yoda!
My cat Yoda!

I know. How cute is he??? But I digress.

All of a sudden, thirty DID seem like a big milestone. And the panic? Was because for the latter half of my twenties, I haven’t been able to do any of the things I wanted, because this illness has essentially turned me into a hermit. Which, of course, left me feeling the way so many twenty nine year olds feel: that judgement day has arrived, and I’m about to cross some metaphysical line… and I’m not prepared.

So here I am, feeling like someone’s about to hand me a church steeple when I haven’t even laid the foundation yet (odd metaphor, I know, but it’s the first one that came to me, and I’m going with it) and I’m a little excited, but mostly, I feel like I’m not ready.

Which, again, is totally odd, because due to my vastly unique experience of living like an eighty year old for the past four years, I have no problem with aging. When you’re old, you can be crotchety and opinionated and stubborn, and no one will call you out on it. But here’s the rub. I’m not old. And all those societal cliches? Don’t apply to me.

So once again, I have to redefine thirty to fit with my set of circumstances.

Thirty, for me, is not going to be anything other than “adios” to half a decade of illness. It’s going to hopefully be the start of the decade where I finally get my health back. And it’s going to have absolutely no bearing on how I feel about myself, how I measure my self worth, or how I compare myself to what other thirty years olds are doing.

So fare thee well, twenty nine. With the exception of your involvement in finishing my first novel, starting two more, and having a wonderful family, I shall not miss thy reign.

Oh, and thirty? Just in case you’re planning on being as ornery as twenty nine? BRING IT.

Cheers,

The Foda

Long Live the Misfits

Long Live the Misfits

 I didn’t want to tell this story. This story is sad and unjust. It’s teeming with discrimination and humiliation and I’ve tried for the past week to find the words. I wanted them to be poignant, yet light. Personal, yet above it all. Victorious. Poetic. I failed. 

The truth is, last week I paid $100 dollars to go to a mandated workshop on how to prevent bullying and discrimination in NY schools. It was the last requirement I needed to obtain my masters– something I’d had to fight to finish once I became too ill to travel to campus. I called ahead, letting the instructor know that I was ill and that walking or moving around was very difficult for me. “Being a teacher myself,” I explained, “I know that many ice-breaker activities involve movement. So I wanted to give you a head’s up.” My assurance? “No one’s going to make you stand up if you don’t want to,” the woman laughed. I was led to believe it wouldn’t be an issue.

A week later, I was sitting in a conference room with forty other people, listening to this woman speaking about the perils of discrimination and bullying: about the eleven protected classes, one of which is people with disabilities. Then she asked everyone to stand up. I hobbled over and discretely reminded her of my limitations. She told me to sit back down, and announced over the microphone that people should come talk to me. Humiliated at being singled out, I sat, breathing a sigh of relief when it was over and everyone returned to their seats.

…Until twenty minutes later when she instructed everyone to stand and move to the open space on the other side of the room. I locked eyes with her, and she waved me off, as if to say, “you just sit.” That’s when I realized that even though I called ahead, even though any good teacher would have taken this information and tweaked their presentation so that everyone could be included, her version of “accommodating” me was to have me just watch everyone else. She drew a line in the sand: able-bodied, and not. And I was the only one on the other side. Ostracized. Humiliated. Marginalized.

Forty pairs of healthy eyes drilled into me, wondering, “why is she sitting? What’s going on?” A curious woman asked, “Oh, are you not with us?” I mumbled something, mortified. After several exercises, the instructor had them do an activity where they all made a long line. Which they made. Facing me. Staring at me. Cementing every fear, every piece of personal shame I’d ever had to quell since getting sick: that in a world of normal, healthy people, they were on one side. And I was the freak on the other.

I stared at my pen, too humiliated and too furious to do anything else. The irony that I was paying to have this woman teach me how not to marginalize people with disabilities was not lost on me. I got my certificate and waited until I was in the car with my husband to cry.

I have tried to write this story many times. To share with people that just because someone looks normal doesn’t mean you know their story. That disabilities don’t just come in the form of wheelchairs and visible impediments. That just because someone is an adult doesn’t mean that ostracizing them based on physical ability won’t be just as scarring.

This happened a week ago. I’m not going to pretend it won’t bother me for a long time to come. But one day soon, I will wake up, and realize I’m still here. Still breathing, still living; I survived this humiliation. And I’ll give up the shame, toss it aside like a tissue. For I know in my heart just how much I have to give. Just how much I am worth. After all, most anyone can walk about on their healthy two legs. But I know a truth they do not: of the value that’s found on the other side of “have-not.” Of “surmount-this.” Of freak. Of misfit. And a smile will steal my lips as I realize my strength; a strength that surpasses having two workable legs, and will live on long after that instructor’s body withers with age until it’s crippled like mine. She will have none of the tools. And I will be fine.

So to the woman who did this: I see your humiliation and I raise you fifty years. Until then, I declare: Here’s to all the freaks breaking the mold. Long live the misfits. 

Freak out,

The Foda

*For all my readers with Lyme Disease, I welcome you to join my Google + community: “Lyme Disease: A New Hope.”

Four Benefits of Having Chronic Lyme

Four Benefits of Having Chronic Lyme

 It’s so easy to talk about the horrors of having chronic late-stage Lyme, especially since so many people don’t know what it is, or how devastating it can be to your life. This paltry level of awareness makes sufferers want to shout from the rooftops: See me! Understand my pain! Recognize my awesomeness for carrying on throughout this horribly devastating disease!!  

It’s easy to go there. After all, life with a chronic illness IS hard and SHOULD be recognized. But like all things in life, there is yin and yang. And as much as there are days when all I can do is mutter “why, God, why” from the confines of my couch, I have to admit there have been some significant upgrades to, well, moi, that I didn’t have before. And chances are, you have them too.

Discipline. Sure, I was always a hard worker. But now I have an insane amount of focus, because having a chronic illness and committing to doing everything in your power to overcome it takes incredible discipline. It also goes hand in hand with the second trait I’ve had to develop to combat chronic Lyme.

Tenacity. Mandalf often shakes his head and tells me how well I’m handling this, or how patient I am. Well, it’s not that I’m patient, and it’s not that I’m magically handling this well, it’s that I believe I have only two choices here: cultivate a tenacious spirt that keeps me going, or give up and becoming a colossal waste of space. I choose option #1.

Empathy. I have greater empathy now for the troubles of others, and I’ve learned not to make judgements or assumptions based off appearances. After all, I probably look completely healthy when you meet me sitting down, perhaps just a bit tired, and you would never know that my nervous system is as fried as the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive.

Purpose. I have had to redefine myself, and learn how I can matter while living in a body that is disabled. It’s forced me to get creative, work around problems; it drives my ambition and self-worth. Without a clear purpose, I’d be lost… and the funny thing is, before I got sick, I was running around so crazily that I never would have noticed if I was living with purpose or not. I was just going from A-B.

(Searching for greater purpose in your life? Click here to check out this awesome guide: “Your Life On Purpose” by Mark W. Guay.)

It’s easy to go negative when you’ve been sick for weeks, months, or in my case, years. And don’t get me wrong, this is not a commercial for how great it is to be chronically ill. I wake up each day knowing I have a fight ahead of me, and I do everything in my power to get well again. This experience has defined my life. But like all things in life…

It ain’t all bad. 

Okay, that may not apply to all things…. hard to see the upside to puppy kicking…

So in closing, I ask you: What has your chronic illness given you?

Cheers,

The Foda

“It’s Cold as Hoth Out There!”

Howdy, folks!

Man, it is cold as Hoth out there today! I’m sitting in front of my patio window, watching the light flecks of snow rain down, the hiss of the heater providing a nice, steady hum. Correction. A nice, steady, loud hum. Like, obnoxiously so. Which is frustrating, because it’s kind of doing an abysmal job at keeping me warm. But it’s obviously working so hard that it’s kind of like that kid who stinks at math but tries so hard… you’re at your wit’s end, but you just smile and say: “good hustle, kid-o! Keep up the good work!”

So, 2015 has begun and I’m currently crafting my query letter to start sending my book out to agents, which is very exciting. On the down side, my appeal to my insurance company to approve my medically-necessary super-expensive totally-need-it PICC line just got denied… again… Envisioning God standing in the clouds right now, arms crossed, shaking his head and saying: “Not yet, little Foda. Farther, your journey must be.” 

Sidebar: is it odd that in this scenario God talks with a Yoda voice?

Don’t answer that.

But in all seriousness, as frustrated and burnt out as I am with the length of these Lyme Disease shenanigans– (everything sounds better if you call them shenanigans)– I never would have written this book or discovered how much I love writing if I hadn’t gotten– and stayed– this sick for so long. I would have been happy teaching music forever. I love working with kids, and I miss my job a lot. But I’m hoping this fantasy book written for young adults will give them something I really needed as a kid growing up with a sister battling cancer… the wondrous world of imagination. I really believe this is why I love Sci-Fi and fantasy so much… it’s because when my own world was so bleak and trying, I needed to find a world where I could be safe; escape my own reality for a while. In a way, it was probably destined for me to become a fantasy writer.

Plus, I dream in super hero. No joke. Dream Foda is AWESOME. She flies, pushes people away with her mind (and an awesome palm thrust a la Luke Skywalker), and never gets caught.

Although we won’t analyze how in all of these dreams I’m being chased by someone… must be some psychological ramifications to that… <gulp!> 

So I guess I can hang out *here* a little longer. No, I don’t know what the future has in store. But I have hope.

Cheers to you,

The Foda

Happy 2015!

  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 Greetings, friends! Happy 2015 to all of you.

Alright, I’m going to start off this new year with some honesty. For the past few years, I’ve really dreaded New Year’s Eve. Why? Because for me, it’s always been a time of reflection. And as hard as I’d try to stay positive, one thing would smack me in the face like a cold, smelly fish: Another year gone by, and I’m still not healthy. Another year gone by, and the most memorable thing about me is still that I’m the girl who can’t kick Lyme. For years, there was nothing that could combat this, nothing I could hold up and say, well, at least I have this!!! Until NOW. (Dun dun dun…..)

As of yesterday, the last day of 2014, I wrapped the final draft of my very first novel– a YA fantasy novel called Elements. It clocked in at over 120,000 words, and is the first in a series. I’m thinking trilogy, but I may go all George Lucas and do a triple trilogy… who knows!

So last night, as I sat with Mandalf on our couch, discussing our goals for the new year and playing fetch with our cat, Yoda– (he finally learned how to fetch and return his toy right to our laps, and now he wants to play ALL. THE. TIME. But seriously. When a gorgeous silver striped cat looks up at you expectantly and gives his little musical mewl, how can you say no? I can’t. Which is why I pull my deltoid muscle at least once a day. But I digress.) Anyway, I realized that even though 2014 was by far the worst year of my life, and I spent pretty much every moment of it holed up in my house due to how sick I’ve been, I now have something I can hold up and say ah-HAH! Finally, something that is not overshadowed by my chronic illness! What is it, you say? Well, folks, I’m a writer. Ooh. Spine tingle. There’s something so powerful about saying that. I am a writer. Publishing world, here I come!

The point is, this was the worst year ever. And yet, somehow, I wrote a book. A book I am so monumentally proud of. A book I think is damn good. And it just goes to show, even when the chips are down and you think you’re never going to get back up again… unexpected blessings do happen. I am living proof.

So Happy New Year to all of you, and may you find your own unexpected blessings this year.

Cheers,

The Foda

“Jump Back, Socrates”

“Jump Back, Socrates”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom: 

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

~Chinese Proverb

 Shhhhh. Okay, come in quietly. No sudden movements. Why? I just realized that I’m on a very precarious teeter-totter, and I must remain perfectly balanced. Or. Else. I. Will. Go. Boom. Just take a seat, nice and quietly, that’s it, roll heel to toe… wow, you do that so well. Were you in marching band? Oh, right, the teeter-totter. Well since you’re here and being so obliging and all, I guess I’d better explain.

I’ve just come upon a frighteningly deep discovery. Super existential. Insanely philosophical. And I wasn’t even wearing my what-does-it-all-mean fedora. (Very different from my fooled-you-into-thinking-I’m-a-hipster fedora.) GAH! Almost fell. Well, that’s what I get for segueing from my profound revelation to festive headwear. But I digress.

Okay, here it is. My discovery. My Luke-I-am-your-father of all plot twists. And I’ll tell you right now, I’m not entirely certain it’ll make any sense to anyone who isn’t in my head right now. But here goes.

I have gone my entire life thinking that if I can’t logically, verbally, succinctly describe and define who I am, than I must not know who I am. Now compound this by the fact that I’ve spent the past three plus years trying to discover and redefine who I am now since my life was turned upside down by Chronic Lyme Disease. So this is an equation I’ve been working on for over three years… balancing on this damn teeter-totter, trying to figure out where I need to land, how I need to look, to think, to act to make my life matter… and here’s the kicker: I’ve only just now realized that I’ve only been considering HALF of the equation! I’ve been super serious and all tense and focused on the brainy analytical side of it all, focusing on all these unanswered questions… without once considering that I have, perhaps, fundamentally, despite sickness or health, never changed at all.

I know. Jump back, Socrates.

Which means all these pressing questions? Are only there to satisfy the logic center in my brain. Not my spirit, soul, or any facet of my emotional being. Which means I’ve put all my eggs into the brainy puzzle-solving basket, and none into that place of knowing that has nothing to do with what’s in your noggin. I’m talking about intuition. The feminine energy we rarely acknowledge as valuable in today’s society. (The big brain gets all the attention these days. Spotlight Hog.)

Yes, what I do has changed. How I spend my time and days. My goals and outlook on life has adapted, sure. But I’ve been so preoccupied trying to discover who I should be in the midst of this debilitating illness (re: strong, inspirational, warrior woman) that I never stopped to think that just because my brain is telling me that since my circumstances have changed, (meaning I must, naturally, agonize over what this means for my life purpose) doesn’t mean that I don’t know myself. Step away from the spatula, baby! This hunk of clay is here to stay.

So, I guess you can move around now. Because I think I’m finally ready to get down off this tiny point I’ve been balancing on, trying to work out who I should be in light of all that’s happened in my life. Because what you do isn’t who you are. That’s backward. Who you are drives what you do, and how you do it. And what you are may not be definable. And what if the only one demanding you define it is YOURSELF?!!

Meaning me. I mean me. I’m the only one demanding I figure out the mathematical solvency for chronically thriving. Which means… I made my brain the boss. And ignored my gut. And now that I know I’ve been working for that incessant workaholic, I don’t have to devote every minute to appeasing it. And golly gosh darn, doesn’t that just sound like the most relaxing breath of fresh air I’ve ever heard.

After all… what if it just doesn’t have to be that hard?

Off-To-Enjoy-Newly-Mandated-No-Analysis-Hour,

The Foda

“Wampas and Probe Droids and Ferdinand, Oh My”

“Wampas and Probe Droids and Ferdinand, Oh My”

 Today’s Words of Widsom:

 “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”

~Jack Canfield

 The Foda’s Take: This quote makes me think of that awesome scene with Richard Gere as Lancelot in the movie “First Knight” where he defeats the formidable obstacle course that had- quite literally- given the old heave-ho to all who went before him. When asked how he accomplished it, he said it was because he wasn’t afraid to die. To which King Arthur replied: “A man who fears nothing is a man who loves nothing.” Soooo in conclusion… if you love something… today’s Words of Wisdom apply to you. BAM! Foda-ed. (Foda-ed! You know, like “Lawyered”… sigh. So not funny now that I’ve explained it. But to be truthful, you would have really needed to hear me say “Foda-ed” to get it right away… stupid inflectionless print!)

 Hello, friends! So, ever since I saw this quote a week ago, I haven’t been able to get it out of my wee little brain. Mainly because it is currently very relevant to my life. And it may be very relevant to yours. Living through an extended chronic illness, personal trauma, or intense struggle, changes you. It widens the world, banishing all perceptions of teenage invincibility or “that can’t happen to me.” It opens the door. (You know which door I’m talking about, people.) That  door. The one with the monster behind it. That’s right. The Wampa Snow Beast of Fear, all yowling and drooling scarily.

And it makes sense, doesn’t it, that you’d have more fear in your life. Something really bad has happened to you, and now you’re on edge- alert- your radar has suddenly been switched on. You’re like the Empire probe droids dropped on Hoth, scurrying around babbling nonsense as you search for signs of trouble.

Sidebar- anyone else like to try and mimic that monotone robotic dribble from time to time? Just for fun? No? Just me? Ah. Right. Moving on.

So, the point is, when you’re going through a lot, it’s a natural side effect that there will be more fear and more anxiety in your life. After all, you’re probably spending a huge amount of energy every day tamping down those pesky feelings that accompany whatever ails you. And it makes total sense that this wears your down, allowing fear to play a bigger role than it would if you were all fresh out of the bullpen.

Am now thinking of the book “Ferdinand.” Great book. But I digress.

But you’re not fresh out of the bullpen. You’re probably tired and worn down and now you’re scared- scared of what this is doing to your life, scared of how it’s effecting your loved ones, scared that it won’t be over soon. And by you, I do mean me… just to be clear…

So lately I’ve been coming back to this quote. Because I’m not going to stop the fear from coming. It’s a natural response to what’s happening in my body and my life right now. But somehow just recognizing it, remembering that there is a path past it… helps.

And I hope it helps you too.

<Empire Droid Babble>

The Foda

“Doers Gotta Do”

“Doers Gotta Do”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

~Oscar Wilde

The Foda’s Take: I just adore Oscar Wilde’s witty ripostes. Don’t you?

 Hi folks! Sorry I haven’t been posting as much lately. I’ve been researching a side project and its pretty much consumed all my allotted writing time. So let’s just jump right in!

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been gnawing over something, all dog-with-a-bone like, trying to figure out the answer. What is it, you ask? Welp, let’s go back. It all started when I had a conversation about how “doers gotta do.” If you’re a doer, the way you feel proud, accomplished, needed, and valuable in the world is by, well, doing. I, my friends, am a doer. Only one small hiccup here, however… due to my current state of nasty neurological Lyme-i-ness, there is precious little I can, in point of fact… do….

Which, a wise lady pointed out to me, means that I really need to find a new way to feel proud, accomplished, needed, and valuable. Unless I want to continue to hold myself up to the standards of the woman I was several years ago when my life was, for all intents and purposes, normal. So the easy answer is: I’m accomplished, needed, and valuable just by being meeee!!!!!! ….But… “just sit and look pretty” is not a philosophy I subscribe to… and while I know everyone’s special just as they are, I also cater to the core belief that it’s what people do in this world that matters. And just being a good-hearted person from the confines of my home just doesn’t seem like enough…

Hence, the conundrum.

I get that I need to reconfigure my standards of awesomeness. I get that I can’t berate myself for not being able to “do” like I used to. I get that I must be okay with no longer having the capability to “prove myself” to the world… something ambitious, over-zealous me always felt like she had to do.

I think I have to go smaller. Like Ewok small. Notice the small things I can do, the ways I treat people, the connections I can make.

But it still doesn’t quite feel like enough.

I don’t really have an answer for you today. I wish I did. But maybe, just maybe, one of you out there in the Words of Wisdom universe has muddled through this conundrum before and has an answer or little nugget of wisdom for me.

If you do, I am all ears. Huge ones. Green. With hair. Like Yoda’s.

Thoughtfully yours,

The Foda