About a year ago I took a vow of simplicity. I started before the health scare took place and am picking up where I left off.
What is it? What's the point?
A vow of simplicity is one where you vow to live (for a time) a more simple existence which includes freeing up time wasters, money wasters and drama for the purpose of mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and balance.
I think simplicity has cleaner lines of thought and action. I think life can be filled with distraction and clutter and I'd like to minimize the affects the outside cluttered world has on me.
The vow is personal and spiritual, and has nothing to do with how others live or thrive.
Being a personal vow, it is specific to my needs.
This is in fact a vow before God to live a simplified life for a time. Its new and official start date was September 1st of 2018. Because the vow is before God it is more than a goal. It's a spiritual obligation. I really want this in a large way which is why I did a vow instead of a goal. I wanted the obligation to fulfill it.
How is this a spiritual goal?
If I mentally simplify my life and declutter it, I am available more mentally for spiritual things such as Bible reading and teaching others about the Bible. Simplifying my life so there's not so much damage control, not so many distractions to muddle through will allow me to be more available to assist in a ministerial way.
September 1st I started a gratitude art journal. I wrote down a few things I'm grateful for then decorate the page. After reading through daily entries I see the thing that pleases me most is getting basic needs met like those today. My CNA showed up! I got a shower and a hot meal and slept in a clean bed.
Today the CNA that arrived made a wonderful chicken curry dish. Tomorrow she will help do some more organizing here. This is a photo of how things are coming a long so far. I love my new art table to bits but I've still not used it. I'm not going to push it though. It'll come.
I did it. I went to meet with the two people I'll write letters with for the winter project. It went very well. I had sweet potato pie and Kenyan tea.
I didn't drop a tear, didn't show anxiety too much.
We discussed topics to include in the letters and how to address some of the elderly individuals. I used my special calligraphy style pen gifted to me. 🙂
I'd already started the winter project two weeks ago when my friend got the flu. Recently I got a response from a letter. It blew me away. All it said was, "I love you. Thank you so much." That was the response I got from a home bound person who received a letter from me two weeks ago. If nothing else makes me smile, that certainly does.
I once said that what I intend to do with my training is encourage people professionally. I got laughed at when I said that. The people who get letters aren't laughing but my heart smiles thinking that I could be part of something that matters. This is part of my reason for waking up.
Shortly before my 6:30 alarm goes off I've had a minute to myself. I've stolen it from internet time, texting, phone conversations and world events. It's a moment to recharge and get ready for the 6:30 alarm clock and the few tasks that follow.
I let the alarm continue until it turns itself off 20 min later. It's set to play a 20 min segment of a lecture which helps me get lessons deeper in my head.
While listening I down evening meds, which is the main reason the alarm is set. I also take the time to mist the frog tanks, mist the crickets, turn off the plant lights and now feed the dog his dinner.
Six thirty is a transition from focusing primarily on outside issues to personal care. My creative juices start really flowing. I paint, sew or do something else creative. There are times when I'm not done with volunteer work and I need longer to finish up, but usually the alarm clock signals a change from 'you' to me.
Part of 'me' time includes walking the dog and interacting with him. He's an emotional guy so today I gave him a back massage and brushed him longer than usual. He did well with it. I love how much he stays beside me.
Even though I need space too, I need a way to get out of my own head. I need help out of the vacuum. Paying attention to pets helps with this.
Although there's much to do with deadlines to meet , this is by many standards a slow pace life. It gets even slower at the sound of the alarm.
My dreams weren't good but they didn't plague me. I laid in bed for a bit and watched a short lecture then got ready for therapy. We talked about how wonderful it's been to have my new buddy and how there's renewed courage to leave the house and go further than usual. I can't explain why a dog gives me that courage but he does.
We talked about the gift of sleep and how I can close my eyes and go to sleep without looking at the door fearing someone from my past will be standing there. It's not possible to stand in the doorway without Clyde letting me know. So I close my eyes and go to sleep....because I can.
The anxiety is still out of control with no real answer as to why. It's there, it's huge and it's not going anywhere soon. Dr. D and I went over a few things that could assist with managing it. We talked again about getting a stationary bike. I have to do something physical to relieve anxiety like this. Sometimes I just need to run from myself, get out of my skin and my head. I remember riding a bike back when I had a measure of health to do so. Man I miss it terribly. That's one of the best feelings ever. I know this bike will be stationary but my current need for it will be met because the motion of riding is what I seek. I figure since this is holiday time I can put one in the layaway at Walmart or something. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Managing Anxiety. Relief"
We talked about how there's no reason on earth I shouldn't trust that I get to keep Sir Clyde for a very long time. We discussed anxiety and grief concerning Mary Jane and some guilt that I have another pet so early after her passing. It feels like I tried to replace her but as I've said (I just have to always remember it) Mary Jane helped me be able to give even more love to the next four-legged friend in this house. Clyde is here now and I look forward to spending a very long time with him.
A few pieces of anxiety artwork.
We talked about how I became so frustrated with someone who kept giving me way too much information when all I needed was a simple answer. My head was swimming in information that just confused me. Processing words seems complicated at times. The words stop 5 inches from my face and mean nothing to me. I get frustrated and shut down. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Trust. Guilt. Anxiety Art. Community"
I struggle with the idea of covering up the best words ever written with my art but I love the ideas I see on Pinterest.
I think adding art representing a specific scripture is a good way to mediate on that scripture. For instance, when the Bible talks about showing hospitality, I can think of examples in the Bible where different forms of hospitality were displayed. Then I can then think of ways in my life where I can reach out to others. I don't have to serve food or entertain, I can show hospitality by being courteous to others, generous with my time and receptive of new people that come into my life. All these things can be meditated on, processed in my head, while painting out the scripture.
And yet I still struggle with the idea of painting over these words. lol ah, it feels weird, not blasphemous but just weird. I think I'll end up printing off pages at Kinkos if they'll allow it. At least I'll be able to print it on thicker paper. I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do but I'd really like to try this as a 2018 creative goal. ...continue reading "Bible Art Journal. Creative Goals."
I've been reading about staying positive which can be difficult for me. One of the things I've been trying to remember is that even with my health issues, I've not lost everything. I made a short list of things I've learned to do while in bed and while pacing at home. The reason I learned these things is that it's difficult to sit. It's painful so I end up lying down or I keep moving while I'm up. Standing still doesn't go well for me but as long as I keep moving I'm okay. So, here is my photo for the 17th of this month and my list of things I can still do:
Complain. I can do that in whatever position I find myself in. I complain in English and American Sign Language. I'm currently learning French, which isn't killing me this time around.
Paint. I can paint and draw while lying down. I've covered my bed so as not to ruin my mattress. It was my greatest concern that I wouldn't be able to paint because of needing to lie down so much.
I can sew while lying down. This was a welcome surprise. I have to be a little more prepared but it is still possible. I just finished and adopted out two dolls and I've started on a custom order doll today.
I can study and take notes in bed or on the sofa as long as I have my tablet and supplies with me. I can read and pace at the same time which I do quite often.
I can produce hand written letters of encouragement to others while in bed. It's important to always reach out.
I can still receive visitors if I'm on the sofa.
I stand while making tea but I have a no spill cup that allows me to drink tea in bed. Yup, gotta have that tea no matter what.
I can enjoy the sunshine on my face from the comfort of my bed. I can see the sky and hear the birds and ducks.
My smile isn't broken because I'm lying down. I still have a sense of humor.
One thing that's been on my mind is getting the last item for my disaster readiness bag aka "go bag". I have yet to include beef jerky, but other than that, my "go bag" is complete.
In an entry called Emergency Kit and Chronic Illness, I talked about the importance of documents that aren't stored on a device. I think those without power would agree that medical documents and phone numbers on a device with a dead battery is essentially useless. What I accidentally discovered is that I can store items inside empty medicine bottles because they're waterproof. I thought about what other items are waterproof and came up with a short list: old Tupperware, a tall coffee cup with an auto-lock, no spill lid or an old coffee thermos. Papers inside these items would be dry and safe. ...continue reading "Now and for the long haul of disaster recovery"