Tag Archives: Lyme Disease

“The Shoe- In: Revenge of the Moccasins”

Liked “The Hat”? Welcome to another non-fiction story told in a fictitious way about the dastardly consequences shoe-polygamy can have on your health. The story continues…

“The Shoe- In: Revenge of the Moccasins”

The shoes are out to get me. And not just a select pair of shoes, mind you, I mean a universal inclusion of all shoes. Boots, flats, mules, slides, sneakers, d’orsay pumps, and even, yes, the most fragile connection to the category of shoes: bridal beach wedding footwear. Which are basically shiny chains for your feet, sometimes with small charms or rhinestones attached. This, in my humble opinion, places them firmly in the jewelry camp, more akin to elaborate ankle bracelets than strappy sandals. And yet, the bridal community has dubbed them footwear. Which, I am convinced, is the result of a conniving marketer with a twisted sense of humor. I can see him sitting there, twisting his flaxen mustache and writing copy for these new-fangled foot-cages, smirking to himself over the fact that, “There must be a good ball-and-chain joke in here somewhere…” 

But this is neither here nor there. Because they are considered shoes by so many, so they shall be added to my list. My list of shoes that are out to get me.

You see, I had been free with my love for them for so very long, that they finally revolted. Apparently, excessive shoe polygamy is not acceptable in the patent-leather pump-wearing lizard-scaled world. It first began with the breaking of a brand new heel. The loud resounding crack was like a shotgun signaling the start of a battle. Only I didn’t realize it then. Next came the squeaks. Oh, the squeaks! Perfectly crafted leather sandals with no prior squeakage were all of a sudden waaaaah-ing and toooot-ing and pppffffff-ing left and right! Oh, the horror! Oh, the embarrassment! Then, the sneakers got involved. “Cheat on us, will you??!!!” they scoffed, crossing their proverbial arms, (which, in this case, let’s face it, were their laces), until they were tied in such definitive knots it seemed like a sailor had alighted from the sixteenth century just to knot them good and give me the heave-ho with a wave of his gnarly poxed middle finger.

Or perhaps that was the era where they bit their thumb at you to show offense. Either way, it’s not good.

But even as this mutiny raged on, I stood steadfast, merely taking this as a sign that I needed to buy more shoes, better shoes, shoes that would not, could not, possibly let me down. And that’s when the shoes started doing the most egregious thing of all.

They started dropping.

Of course, they were too clever to actually drop. They knew Sir Isaac Newton’s theory on gravity, and they were at terms with the fact that they would have to be lifted by an entity outside of themselves to fall. So instead, they did it metaphorically. Invisibly. Treacherously.

And that is how my life began to go downhill.

The first shoe to drop did it in May of 2008. I would give you an exact date, but I can’t quite recall, and let’s face it, you really don’t care, do you? It was a lightweight shoe, a moccasin, lime green suede with colorful beading on the front and slim, I-can-feel-every-pebble-underfoot soles. It dropped on a weekday, which may surprise you, as a moccasin definitely seems like a weekend shoe, especially in such an outrageous color as lime green, but I was a young professional breaking into the teaching world all fresh-faced and enthusiastic with my washable Crayola markers emblazoned with the “teacher-approved” stamp right on the box, and my brand new three-quarter size guitar. (What, I’m short. Small fingers come with the territory.) So there I was, in my freshly pressed blouse and my obligatory adornment of turquoise jewelry, those little lime green mocs peeking out rebelliously from beneath the wide cuffs of my favorite black pinstriped pants. (Because as everyone knows, if you’re going to stick-it-to-the-man, you do it with footwear.)

I was over the moon, because my temporary position for a music teaching maternity leave had led to a job opening, and I was days away from my official interview. My interview outfit was all picked out, a smart black suit with a cobalt blue blouse that gathered in starchy folds in the front, and my favorite black leather stilettos– the ones with the band across the forefoot, ensuring there would be no embarrassing step-outs or heel-snags. Because as we know, the mark of a true power woman is that she would never allow her footwear to impede or break her momentum.

And then it dropped. Two days before the interview. I’m not sure if the moccasins were jealous, spending all that time in my closet gazing at the outfit I’d hung up, complete with the stilettos propped up underneath and my fancy blue topaz necklace draped over the hanger as the pièce de résistance. But as a roiling heat wave wrestled its way into the Hudson Valley, they struck.

“We must act!” They chortled evilly, the colorful beaded fronts taking on the appearance of a hundred menacing eyeballs. And so they did.

At first, I thought the headaches were just a result of the heat. And then the bone-crushing fatigue arrived, and that got blamed on the heat, too.

“Or stress,” my mother supplied knowingly when I complained of the seven dwarves that had taken residence in my cranium, seemingly intent upon heigh-ho-ing their massive sledge hammers against it without breaking for lunch or to imbibe so much as a poisoned apple.

Heat. Or stress. “Very reasonable,” I agreed, staring at my very reasonable black interview shoes.

Only it wasn’t heat. Or stress. It was something else entirely.

You see, something that very few people know is that moccasins have a viciously cruel sense of humor, their love of dramatic irony and word-play almost Oscar-worthy in its deviance. Hence, why their name seems derived from the root word “mock”, followed by “asins”, which in my humble opinion either means they like to mock your sins, or they are mocking assassins with bad spelling skills, as there is clearly an extra “s” missing under that theory. So what did they do? They put a bullseye on my back.

Only it wasn’t on my back, it was on the back of my leg. And it wasn’t a proverbial bullseye, it was an actual bullseye, splashed across my beige skin in loops bordering on brick red with a hint of aubergine. I saw it the morning after my interview. At first it was a tiny pinkish spot, but within hours it had turned into a full-fledged bullseye, splayed across the expanse of my thigh.

It was genius. My lime green moccasins had called in a favor and found a way to teach me a lesson in a way that ensured I would never, ever forget them.

They called out a hit from a tiny woodland creature, the one that parades around on deer and dogs and in some circles is known as the most heinous four-letter word imaginable. Yes, that one; the one that rhymes with “kick.” As in what those shoes delivered me; sucker-punch style.

“Tell her the lime green moccasins say hello,” they guffawed in delight. “No one messes with us.”

And that is the story of how I first got Lyme Disease.

 

To Be Continued…

“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

Musings from a Wheelchair

 

Musings from a Wheelchair

 I am a stalk

Rootless in space

My stem a sickled streak of circumstance

I have burrowed deep in the muddy waters of pride

And it has kept me

Covered

Now I rise

Rocked forwards on the wheels of

Opportunity

Which is what we call things we don’t want to do

Yet I ride

And rock

And receive

The world as I have not seen it through mud and caustic subterfuge

With the sun on my cheeks

And the wind on my back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newok Says No

“Newok Says No” 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch onto the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.”

~Johnny Mercer

 The Foda’s Take: This 1940’s song, “Accentuate the Positive,” was covered by greats such as Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and Ella Fitzgerald. I love the message- and there’s really nothing to lift your spirits like hearing an old-school jazzy recording! Check out the original version on Youtube by clicking here.

 Welcome back, party people! Today I’d like to introduce a new member to the Foda’s Galaxy. He is my super cute, totally adorable 20 month-old nephew, whom I shall heretofore refer to as…. Newok! Yes. Nephew + Ewok. Newok.

So, Newok has been getting more and more verbal in the past several months, and lately he’s been going through this phase where when you ask him anything, he’ll look up at you, all wide-eyed and adorable, and say in his cute little high voice: “no!” He says no to everything now, even when he obviously means yes. I consulted my fabulous  sister Fumbledore on this, and she said that many babies learn to say “no” before “yes” because shaking your head is an easier motion than nodding. It’s also linguistically easier to say. And this got me thinking. Is it possible that our preliminary penchant for saying “no” stays with us as we grow?

As we get older, it’s considered intelligent to fully weigh situations and not plunge into new paths blindly. This is part of being an adult, yes? But I have to wonder if the reason many of us shut down ideas before fully exploring them or jump to a negative conclusion is not that we’re pessimistic people- it’s just physically easier to say no! Yes? No? Do you agree?

Living with Lyme has forced me to say “no” to a lot of things. I’ve had to say “no” to my old life, my old fitness standards, and my old favorite foods. (Ah, bread, cheese and chocolate, how I miss thee….) But contrary to my “Newok Says No” theory, saying no hasn’t felt easy. It’s been a difficult process of time and acceptance. And I still daydream of the moment when I’ll be able to say: “yes!” YES, I want to go on that walk with you! YES, I’d love to meet up for a drink. YES, I will sign up for that race in the spring. In a world full of “no’s,” what I want more than anything is to hear “yes.”

So I had to think.. what in my life can I currently answer “yes” to? And this is what I came up with.

Do I have a family who loves and supports me? Yes. Am I sharing beauty and creation with the world? Yes. Have I found a way to define myself other than “the girl with Lyme Disease?” Yes. Am I doing everything I can to get well? Yes, yes, YES! 

So all the rest- all the “no’s”? Are out of my control. Which actually relates back to my post last Sunday regarding how many women’s perception of their self-worth revolves around things they can’t control. And as such, I suppose this theory is just another way of saying how important it is to try and focus on the positive when you’re dealing with a chronic illness. Because so much of the time, living at a deficit can feel like you’re living in a world of NO. But what if the no’s don’t count- because if they’re out of our hands to begin with… can we really say “no” to something that’s not ours to control? And if that’s true, perhaps this is just another way for us to step up and redefine our lives on our own terms.

I’m no child psychologist. I have no idea if the Newok theory holds any water. But I’d like to leave you with this thought. For every “no” life has given you, is it possible to find a “yes” that counters it?

(Just don’t ask Newok that question. Because he will say no. And it will be adorable. And that will be that.)

Affirmatively yours,

The Foda

Episode XXXVIV: A Woman’s Worth

Episode XXXVIV

A Woman’s Worth

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

~Vince Lombardi

 The Foda’s Take: Well, that’s a lot easier than spending all our energy chasing after what we don’t have, right?

 Hello, friends of Foda! To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day! (Especially you, Professor Momgonagall!)

First off, may I say I am overwhelmed with the amazing response “Once Upon A Lyme” has gotten. It’s been pretty unbelievable! The Female Yoda was even mentioned this week on the Huffington Post (<— click to read) which is so amazing! Thank you all for being a part of creating a healthier, safer community for the upcoming generation. Please continue to share, especially since May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Alright, with that said, now let’s get on with our topic for the day!

Drumroll, please! Today I’d like to talk about: Yardsticks! (Although to be clear, by yardsticks, I mean the figurative ones we use to measure our worth by.) Not sure what I mean? Read on!

I recently wrote a guest post for “Words from the Sowul,” one of my favorite introspective bloggers, on the topic of beauty. (Read it here!) And it really got me thinking about how we as women determine our worth. (Sidebar: sorry, boys, this is going to be a totally femme-centered post. Oh, wait just a minute. You’re leaving? Don’t you know I’m letting you into the secret underground workings of the female mind—yeah, okay, he’s gone.)

Anyway! A woman’s worth has been determined throughout history using a variety of different yardsticks. Does she come from a powerful family? What dowry does she bring with her as incentive for marriage? Will I get two goats and a yak, or just one old camel? And, of course, is she beautiful?

Notice none of these ancient values focus on personality, skill, or intelligence. (Unless you’re going totally 1950’s on me and count cooking. Cooking is a skill…. one I don’t… happen… to have. Sigh.) Anyway, the point is, women have (historically speaking) been valued for things completely out of our control. Can we control who we’re born to? No. Can we control our physical appearance? No. (Well, yes. Hence the multi-billion dollar makeup and clothes industry. But let’s face it, at some point every day, you’ll be down to your birthday suit with no “science” on your face. Hence, no. Can’t control DNA.) So basically, women have been taught that they need to have many things to be valuable, but psych! If you weren’t born with them, you’re up Dagobah creek without a paddle!

So how does this fit into my theme of living gracefully with a chronic illness? Why, I’m so glad you asked! You see, I, like most women, grew up convinced I had to try and be the “ultimate” woman. A beautiful, successful, heel-wearing powerhouse who could keep up with the boys and still look fabulous doing it. Now some of that I could control, and I tried for a long time. Then I got sick. And I realized two things. One, my outward appearance was the same. Lyme, as I’ve said before, can be an invisible illness. But two, my inward appearance was in complete shambles- and when that would return to normal was beyond my control. So after a couple years of waiting for my health to return, sure I’d get better any day now, I realized I had to throw out the old yardstick and change how I viewed my worth. It could no longer be measured by my beauty or physical accomplishments, because since there was such a divide between how I looked and how I felt, my appearance felt like a lie. And you can’t value a lie. (Or you can. But that makes you foolish. And destined for a life of unhappiness.) But I digress. So I had to discover my true worth- what makes me truly, inwardly beautiful, regardless of outer appearance or inner health. And that, my friends, was the real game changer.

I’m still working on changing how I view myself in this world. For now, I accept that the old me is gone, and the new me has to play by a different set of rules. Is it fair? No. But is it better? Yes. Because going through this has allowed me to move past the superficial societally constructed ruler of a woman’s worth and pushed me to create my own yardstick. (How do I measure my worth now, you ask? Through creation. The beauty no person, no illness, and no amount of time can take away from me.)

So today, dear reader, I’d like to pass you my yardstick. Everything we can’t control has been wiped off it: DNA, health, fate, family. (And yes, I say health, because if  it was so easy to maintain, would anyone ever get/stay sick?) So I ask you- if you had to write in your own markers of worth- what would they be?

Ciao for now,

The Foda

Once Upon A Lyme: A Children’s Book

Alright, folks! I promised it to you, and here it is! The Female Yoda’s first EVER e-book made just for kids!

“Once Upon A Lyme: A Children’s Book” by Kaitlyn G. Guay

(Click the title anywhere in this post to read!)

“Once Upon A Lyme” is a FREE electronic children’s flip book written and illustrated by Kaitlyn G. Guay on how to prevent Lyme Disease. Using whimsical prose and rhyme, this book helps children learn how to recognize ticks, gives simple tips for how to play safely, as well as what to do should a tick be found on you, all in a humorous, lighthearted way. On the last page is also an additional list of resources for more information on tick prevention, safety tips, and excellent sources for hope,  health, and community support.

This interactive flip e-book is being offered FREE, and is equipped with several social media sharing links so that you can share it anywhere it may be helpful: schools, parks, daycares, etc. You can even bookmark it for your child’s own personal library! This e-book lends an interactive experience as the reader can flip through the pages electronically, enjoying the sound of the page turning every time! Just click and drag the page corners to turn the page or use the arrows at the top of the screen. You are also most welcome to print and share this e-book by selecting the “print” option on the the flip book control panel!

Simply Click,  Enjoy, and Share!

Want to bookmark this e-book? Simply visit TheFemaleYoda.com and click on the page “Once Upon A Lyme” located on the homepage under the header.

And of course, if you like what you see, please join The Foda’s Galaxy by entering your email under “Subscribe” on the side bar, and enjoy two weekly posts and one comic from the “Chronic Funnies” line delivered right to your inbox!

“You see, knowledge is power, and the more that you know, means the more you’ll be able to get strong and grow.”                                                                 ~ “Once Upon A Lyme” by Kaitlyn G. Guay

Episode XXXVII: Knowledge Is Power

Episode XXXVII

Knowledge is Power

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You see, knowledge is power, and the more that you know, means the more you’ll be able to get strong and grow!”

~ Kaitlyn G. Guay, “Once Upon A Lyme”

 The Foda’s Take: This quote is an excerpt from the newly created children’s e-book entitled “Once Upon A Lyme” which discusses how to prevent Lyme Disease using whimsical rhyme and prose. Tips include how to recognize a tick, what to do after playing outside, and what to do should one be found on you. Coming soon to a galaxy near you! As in here. Right here. This galaxy. Likely within the next week or so. And get this- it’s FREE and 100% shareable. How. Cool. Is. That.

 Hello, dear friends! I hope you’ve all been doing well. I, myself, was lucky enough to have some fabulous visits last week- one from two ladies who are working tirelessly to advocate and improve policy for people with Lyme Disease, another by my sensational sister known to you as Fumbledore, and another by a few of my lovely ladies from the years of yore (aka college) who may or may not have joined me in doing a dramatic reading of the first four acts of Shakespeare’s “Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” by Ian Doescher. (And yes, if you’re a fan, this is a must have for your library. And you must get your friends together and read it. In costume. With voices. Also known as what I call getting your geek on.)

But I digress.

I’ve been really excited about this children’s book, because when I was teaching, every spring I would find several ticks crawling across the floor of my classroom and in the auditorium where I taught chorus, undoubtedly having hitched a ride on an unassuming child. I noticed right away that most of the children were terrified because in an effort to keep them from thinking a tick bite was no big deal, some had been told that if you get bit, you will get Lyme Disease, and it will EAT YOUR BRAIN!! <Pause as you gasp in abject horror.> The other half thought it was just another cool bug and wanted to touch it. <Pause as you gasp AGAIN in abject horror.> Which is when I realized- even with the topic of Lyme growing exponentially, especially in the area where I live, many people still have no idea what it is. And it doesn’t help that when it’s mentioned on any medical TV shows or in movies, they always poo-poo it and say “oh, a few weeks on antibiotics and you’ll be fine.” So if parents don’t know what it really is and teachers don’t know… how are the kids supposed to know?

Hence, the creation of this children’s e-book. This book gives children the information they need to recognize a tick, tells them what parts of their body to check after playing outside (ticks like warm places, so if you check right away, it’s likely they’re still traveling to get to that prime real estate, which means you can get them off before being bitten) as well as what to do if you find one already on you. (I’m pretty sure those kids who were told it would “eat your brain” would panic and just rip it out. Releasing the bacteria right into their bloodstream. Not good.) And because it’s designed for kids, everything has been phrased in Dr. Seuss-like rhyme, all with a dash of humor, and in a very non-threatening, non-fear based kind of way.

You see, I do believe that knowledge is power. But I also believe we sometimes need to be very careful about how we use that power to make sure it doesn’t spread fear. (Like “eating your brain.” That’s fear.) Which is also why I don’t discuss my symptoms or medical journey on this blog. Because it can be scary. And the last thing I want is for someone to come to this blog, searching for hope and understanding, and then be smacked with fear, wondering if what happened to me will happen to them. I should know. Before I created this space, that’s what happened to me as I reached out to the world wide web for hope and validation. And instead, I found people wanting to tell the world how horrible Lyme is, because there’s still such a huge battle going on politically about whether chronic Lyme even exists. Noble, yes. Necessary, yes. What I needed? To quote Luke Skywalker before his final duel with Darth Vader: “NEVAAAAA!!!!!”

So in conclusion, I’d like to combine two idioms together to make a complete package. One one hand: they say that “Knowledge is power.” I believe this is true. But on the other hand, Spiderman’s uncle also said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” So let’s put those hands together, people!!!

Or, as they said on the TV show “Heroes,” “Protect the children, protect the world.” Oh, that’s not right? It was protect the cheerleader? Well that’s not nearly as inspiring.

Yours Truly,

The Foda

P.S. Want more information about “Once Upon A Lyme”? Comment, Tweet me @thefemaleyoda, or email me directly at TheFemaleYoda@gmail.com.

Episode XXXV: WHY?

Episode XXXV

Why?

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

~ The Rolling Stones

 The Foda’s Take: I find this quote very uplifting, because it reminds us to see the bigger picture. What we want is fleeting, and often temporary. Once we get it, we celebrate for a minute, and then go off in search of the next item on our Wish List. But what we need is pretty standard for most human beings. And once you start to think about that, well, it doesn’t take a Jedi Master to know the difference.

 G’day, folks! I’ve had this song spinning through my head for several days now- and not just because it’s played at the end of the first episode of House which just appeared on Netflix…. okay, totally for that reason… but it got me thinking. About what, you ask? About life and struggle and the big WHY’S that jumble us up and make us question things like fate, God, or destiny. My big WHY for the past three years has been: WHY can’t I get better when I’m doing everything I possibly can towards that end? It’s not like I’m sitting back and letting this chronic Lyme have free reign to wreak havoc, or like I got this way by living slovenly on McDonald’s every meal.

So WHY?

<drop to knees, hands reaching towards the heavens>

WHYYYYYY????????!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Yes. Why? I’ve been searching for years to find a reason that will make me understand why this has happened to me. After all, if there’s a reason, an endgame, that would make it more bearable, yes? No one likes to think they’re suffering for nothing.

And last week, after years of searching… I found out why.

I’ve been unable to work full time for years because of the severity of my condition, and once it escalated a little over six months ago, I stopped being able to work altogether. Naturally, this induced a month or two of woe is me and why, God, why. Then I got to the point where I knew I’d have to accept my current limitations and learn to contribute grace and beauty and art to the world, even though I couldn’t leave my own house. So I began writing. Not only this blog, but a YA fantasy novel involving a girl named Amy Wells. And last week- I finished it. The first draft, that is. And I know there’s still several months ahead of me where I’ll be editing it and making it as fabulous as possible- but I don’t care. Because during a time when I couldn’t do much more on my own besides fix a meal or take a shower… I wrote a book!!!! And that, my friends, is something I’ll be able to leave behind in the world. That will be part of my legacy. That is a great WHY. Because I don’t think I’d ever have delved into writing had I not gotten sick. I was happy with my life. But now I’ve accomplished this huge thing- despite all my limitations.

In your face, Lyme!!! HA!

And you know the funny thing? The other day, I was sitting outside with Mandalf, soaking up the sun, and he said: “I bet you’d give up this book in an instant if you could go back and take away the past thee years of being sick.” And you know what? I hesitated. And it was in that moment that I realized how important this accomplishment was to me. Not just because it’s something most people never do- but because I did it in the face of adversity. And when dealing with a disease that often makes me feel weak and “special” for all the wrong reasons, I really needed something good to come out of this so that I could define myself not just as a girl with chronic Lyme Disease, but as a girl fighting for her health back who used her journey to create…..THIS. 

So what I want? Is to get healthy. But what I needed? Was to find a way for my life to matter while I wait.

And now? I have that. And it feels freaking AMAZING.

So hold on, dear readers. And ask yourselves- what do I need right now to make me feel proud and empowered and valuable? And then go for it. Use your difficult journey as fuel. Because it feels SO good to accomplish something despite the odds. Kind of like Han Solo flying into an asteroid field. “Never tell me the odds!” And look how that turned out for him? Spoiler alert: totally nailed it.

Novelly yours,

The Foda

Episode XXIX: Be Curious Like George

Episode XXIX

Be Curious Like George

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Be Curious.”

-Mantra on my tea sachet

 The Foda’s Take: Years ago, I had a professor who answered every student’s question with “Hmm, that’s interesting, I’d like you to ‘stay curious’ about that.” Which, in point of fact, was a bit infuriating, seeing as that didn’t actually answer the question! But what I now realize is that what she really meant by “stay curious” was stay open. After all, the saying is that “curiosity killed the cat”… and you are smarter than a cat, aren’t you? So I think you’re safe.

 Welcome back friends! I’ve been thinking a lot about curiosity lately, so I almost choked when I went to take a sip of my ginger tea today and saw the mantra be curious scrawled across the sachet tab. (Ironically,  yesterday’s mantra was be well. To which I narrowed my eyes and said- out loud, mind you- I’M TRYING!!!)

So why is it so important to be curious?

This led me to several moments of deep conversation with my house guest, Professor Momgonagall. And our consensus was that by remaining curious,  you give yourself time to really look and observe what is in front of you instead of snapping to quick judgements. Which, let’s be honest, is what we do most of the time. That girl in all black with kohl-rimmed eyes? Goth. That boy with the glasses and quiet disposition? Nerd. Spilling coffee all over your new suede jacket? That’s karma, cow-killer! Uh, I mean… sad…. so sad… for you…. hee? Hee hee? Hey! Get out of my closet, you, there’s NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!! Oh. You saw those leather boots, huh. Gulp. Yeah, that happened. <Sheepish look. Baaaaad girl. Pun intended.> But I digress.

For me, the act of practicing curiosity when you’re dealing with a chronic illness like Lyme Disease means keeping your mind open to the possibilities, instead of slamming a door every time you flare up and go from how-could-it-possibly-get-worse to I-didn’t-mean-that-as-a-challenge, universe! TRUTH. After all, when your life is already so tenuous, if you’re not curious about how each moment will turn out… how will your mind ever stay open long enough to find the bright spots amidst the proverbial trenches of the Death Star?

I wrote recently about what it meant to be a warrior while combating a long-term illness, and how important it is to redefine what that archetype means to become more malleable, more flowing, and now, more curious. Try it next time that special person gets on your last nerve. Instead of throwing your house slipper at them or switching the sugar for salt in their morning coffee, try thinking… Huh. That’s interesting. I wonder why he/she just did/said that? I’m finding that when I make a point to be curious, there’s less miscommunication, less anxiety, and less woe-is-me-my-life-is-oveeerrrrrr!!!!!! 

It’s no miracle cure, but it really helps on those days you’re feeling especially low to think- huh. What could this be? How could I help? What could I do? And if the answer is stop trying to wash the dishes and lie down and watch a movie, crazy lady! Then that’s what you do. If it’s immerse yourself in something rejuvenating you love, you do that.The past two days have been a little tough for me, but I’ve really focused on staying curious when my migrating symptoms roll through, and it’s helped me not spin into the Quagmire of Anxiety like I used to. (Always a wild ride, this condition! In the words of Forrest Gump: Lyme’s like a box-a-choc’lates. You nevuh know what you’re gunna get. Oh, that’s not right? Hmm. A thousand pardons, oh great one.)

So in closing, I ask you- what would your life look like if you were more curious?

Curiously? Yours? Forever?

The Foda

P.s. As I finish this I realize I’m very hungry… I’m now curious if my husband will make me dinner? If I ask? Very nicely? OH. So-rry. Didn’t know you were on a conference call.

P.p.s. Kitten? How ‘bout you? No, I can’t eat your toy. It is shaped like a dog, but we don’t eat dogs in this country. Especially if they’re made out of felt.

P.p.p.s. I’m now curious if it’s possible to learn how to use the Force in the next five minutes so I can make dinner from the couch… Yes? Yes? Sigh. NO.

Episode XXVI: The Letters I Never Mail Out

Episode XXVI

The Letters I Never Mail Out

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make a soul?”

~John Keats

 The Foda’s Take: This quote totally reinforces my theory that gains gotten without effort and persistence are often not as valuable, nor as long-lived. (And if that’s not true, man, this whole fight against Lyme Disease just got super depressing because I am putting in epic amounts of time and effort!) This henceforth inspired my slightly different format today detailing The Letters I Never Mail Out. Enjoy piping hot with a double espresso and a healthy serving of sarcasm.

Dear Gray Hair,

I was fine when I saw you a few months back. I have, after all, been living a more elderly lifestyle despite my young age. Plus, Stacy London totally pulls it off. But now I see that you have been reproducing…. BEHIND MY BACK. Which, in my opinion, is quite rude, seeing as I was so welcoming when you showed up unannounced and uninvited the first time. Your visitation rights are hereby REVOKED. <Pluck> What? WHAT? What is this??!!! ANOTHER ONE?? 

Traitor. 

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 Dear Kitten,

You are only about 8 pounds. And yet you love to wrestle like a rampant bobcat. My arms are beginning to look like I ran naked through a thorn bush. I am clipping your nails. RIGHT NOW. Sniff. Big bully.

Ooooh, look how cute you are when you’re sleeping! I love you again. No, your nails are still getting clipped. Aw, you thought you could get out of it by snuggling up next to me? Adorable. Still getting trimmed.

Love,

Mom

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 Dear People Who Complain About Colds,

I laugh at you behind your back. Because you have NO idea what being sick is. But I admit, it’s not very nice of me, this scoffing at your whining Facebook status. Which is why I don’t say it to your face. I just think it. And cluck my tongue at you. And judge you. And, apparently, write it on my blog.

Glad you’re feeling better already,

Me

P.S. No, I’m not bitter at all. Why do you ask? 

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Dear HolisticHabits gal on YouTube,

You are fantastic! You give so much wonderful information about how to live a cleaner, healthier life. I had no idea there was more than one type of cinnamon, and that  the kind sold in the NorthEast is not “true” cinnamon, and is actually crazy high in liver-damaging properties when eaten frequently. (Which I do.) I am now the proud owner of REAL cinnamon- Organic Ceylon Cinnamon- and it is DELICIOUS.

Thanks ever so,

My Mouth, Liver, and Taste-buds

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 Dear Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar,

I miss you. When will you be in my life again? 

Love,

LymeLadiesWhoLunch

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Dear George Lucas,

Kindly Regard This Letter as my formal application for the role of Mara Jade in the continuation of the Star Wars saga. (Which you really should be getting on with, don’t you think?) I believe I would be the perfect candidate to play Luke’s nemesis-turned-wife. Also, I look great in leather and am willing to dye my hair red for the role. I will be expecting your call.

Your biggest fan,

The Female Yoda

P.S. I naturally expect to have in my contract that John Williams will be composing my personal themesong. Please and Thank You.

 

THE END