Tag Archives: blessings

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

Episode XIV: The Small Things: Part III

Episode XIV

The Small Things: Part III

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Even in the most peaceful surroundings, the angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace.”

Doe Zantamata

 The Foda’s take: Yup, I second that.

 Hello fabulous friends of Foda! Welcome to the final installment of the small things miniseries on finding blessings and peace in life’s little lifts. After my last post on finding 5 simple ways to bring joy into your day, I was contacted by a very wise, very honest man. Let’s call him… Dobiwan.

Dobiwan shared with me words of honesty, beauty, and heartbreaking reality about what it’s like to be the support system of a loved one going through a longterm battle. I spend a lot of time in this galaxy delving into how to get through our own battles with grace… but what about the person who stands by you? The one who has the power to walk out the door, leave all the pain behind, but chooses to stay, knowing his (or her)  shoulder will be lent upon, leaving him lopsided and unbalanced. What about the people behind the people? After all, when you have a chronic illness, your wings have been clipped for you- you didn’t choose it, and you do all you can to build your mind and your body up so you can one day fly again. But…the people who love us… they clip their own wings using scissors from their own hand. They choose to fight, to stay, to learn how to love someone whose whole existence is likely becoming redefined.

Today I’d like to honor these people. People like Dobiwan and Mandalf who don’t have the illness, but still have all the pain, all the stress, and all the guilt. Guilt that their loved ones can’t walk away, but they can. Guilt when they feel happiness, then immediately feel like they shouldn’t while their loved ones are suffering so. Guilt that there’s nothing they can do but be there and offer what little comfort they can through the small things- letting her choose the movie, picking up his favorite dinner, staying in when they can’t go out.

And on behalf of people like me who are fighting their way back- I want you to know, I see you. And while you may think these small things aren’t enough, I need you to know just how much they mean. That phone call out of the blue from the old friend? Touching. The butternut squash soup from the sister who wishes she could do more? Warms the belly and the soul. The father who would go to the ends of the earth to find a Tibetan singing bowl just because he heard you mention once how peaceful it sounds? Priceless. The mother who talks about handbags and hairstyles with you when she knows you need a bit of normal? Comforting. And the husband who loves to explore and experience but stays home instead, and agrees when you ask to watch yet another romantic comedy? That means something. It’s small. It’s not going to cure me or fix me or take away all my pain. But it makes all the difference, because at least I know I’m not alone- even when I feel like I am.

So thank you to all the loved ones out there like Dobiwan who are just trying to do everything they can for the people they care for. What you do may feel small- but as we’re learning, it’s the small things that count.

Cheers,

The Foda

Episode V: Gratitude

Episode V

Gratitude

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” 

– The Bible… and then Abraham Lincoln

 The Foda’s take: Before you jump into the ring to fight- look very carefully at what it is you’re fighting. And then watch the barn raising scene from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for a perfect visual (and musical!) example of what this quote means.

 Happy Thanksgiving, friends of Foda! As I begin this day of thanks slowly sipping some piping hot micro-roasted organic coffee, I’ve been pondering… what am I thankful for? It’s not so easy a question as it used to be. For the past four weeks, I’ve had a devastating relapse, and have spent the vast majority of my day on the couch, trying to keep my mind positive, active, and fulfilled while my body can’t travel. Anyone who’s ever had brain fog knows this is no easy task. The natural result is, of course, frustration, anxiety, and- let’s be real here- depression. But it wasn’t until I went to a doctor who sagely discerned that I was disassociating myself from my body that I realized how much I sometimes refuse to “live” inside my own tiny shell.

Grandstand Announcer: Step right up, ladies, and gentlemen, for the fight of your lives! Here, in one corner, is the Fabulous mind of Foda. Facing off in the other corner, feast your eyes on the fearsome Foda form – ooooooh, she looks mad! At the sound of the bell, they will attack each other with all of their might! Ready? Ding ding ding! 

Child: Mommy? Why do I only see one person fighting?

Parent: Because she’s fighting herself, Billy. 

Newsflash to me- I’ve been fighting myself this whole time? I thought I was fighting my disease! Turns out, somewhere along the way I began associating my uncooperative body with my disease, and my mind with the “real” me. How awful! How did I not realize I was doing this?? (Fumbledore says she totally told me I was. Apparently it didn’t sink in until now. Brilliant cunning vixen.) But I digress.

The point is, I am grateful for my body- flawed and weak though it may be. It has four working limbs, just waiting to be strong enough to morph back into the marathon runner I used to be. It has an expressive face, which made me (briefly) consider becoming a mime. (Very, very briefly.) It’s really good at being short and fitting into small places. And although I sometimes hate it, it’s really good at looking normal so that so long as I’m sitting down, I can pretend I’m just the same as everyone else.

My body is not good at healing itself as quickly as I would like. If you’re reading this, perhaps yours isn’t either. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good at other things. Like- today- enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with the supportive and loving family I’m so very lucky to have! So have a wonderful day of gratitude and thanks. I am thankful that you read my words of wisdom and allowed me to share with you what I am most grateful for.

Party on,

The Foda