Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘Healing’

In Search of the Comfort of Home

It’s moving day. I can’t begin to express how excited I am. Except for a short period of 7 months, I have been without “home” for 2 years and 10 days. It’s my own choice of course. There are many reasons to be home-less. I may even consider it again at some point in time which is what makes apartment renting somewhat attractive.

Originally, I preferred to try to purchase something small so I wouldn’t have to do this move thing again. The house in Arizona hasn’t sold so purchasing one isn’t an option right now. It’s expensive to move, to say the least and time-consuming. Pack it up, then unpack it, then pack it up again. I’m really good at it if you need help with your move. I was bragging to someone yesterday that when my last husband and I moved from California to Arizona, I packed and moved 40 thousand pounds worth of our “stuff”. Books weigh a lot. The only thing that broke was something I had not packed myself. We had a yard sale before that move, selling $3,000 worth of “stuff”. That’s not counting what I talked him into giving away.

I wanted to simplify our lives only to wind up with more of the same. My move to Oregon, alone, was with a rented 26 foot truck. Now I will live in 1000 square feet rather than 3000. At 64 years of age, that’s enough to take care of while having the time to pursue more creative endeavors.

After spending over 50 years cooking, cleaning and caregiving, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I have reached the point where I want my home to be a place of comfort for myself as well as my guests. Now, I think that can finally be done. I have learned in the last two years to say NO. Doing it my way is now an option. I can put up my favorite artwork where I want to see it. The lights can be on when I want them on because I’m paying the bill. I can have my windows open for fresh air. That’s why they invented quilts, isn’t it?

What makes your residence a home? I have moved over 30 times in my life so home is almost a foreign concept. Is it a place you park your “stuff”? Can it be more than that? Especially if it’s an apartment and not a home you own. My grown children don’t even have that sense of “home”. We moved quite a bit when they were young though my daughter went through school in almost one neighborhood. Home was not the comfort zone I had hoped it to be.

My daughter said a home is the place that reflects your inner self and nourishes the soul. In doing so it helps you to heal. My last apartment was small, dark and a bit chilly but it gave me time to do nothing but heal. As many people as I manage to talk to, no one has ever heard of Bells Palsy manifesting in the way it showed up for me.

I’m hoping to make new friends to invite to my home; where we can share ideas and laughter. Maybe teach a niece or two to sew, quilt or embroider. I’m looking forward to finding out what my Style is. Of course, it appears to be what I’ve scrounged from here and there but soon my real style may surface. How did you discover your style? I’ve been looking on Pinterest for mine but can’t seem to duplicate what I think I like at the thrift stores. I’ll keep looking though.

My new place has a nice “feel” to it. Is that what makes it comfortable? Is it the bottle of wine in the fridge to make a toast and celebrate another milestone in life? I look forward to hearing from you.

I had spent my whole life feeling homesick. The only difference between the two of us was that I didn’t know what or where home was.”
― Marian Keyes, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

In Search of a Little Peace and Inspiration

I’ve been lazy this week or maybe it’s just sagging motivation.

Next weekend I get to move into my own apartment. You can’t even imagine how excited I am after living for the last year on family member’s futons or sofa beds. The lack of major responsibilities has aided in the healing process. People who have not seen me in the last year remark how much better I look and sound. Their observation reinforces that there is still hope for complete recovery from two and a half years with Bells Palsy. The last doctor I saw gave me no hope.

Last weekend my daughter drove the two of us to the Newport Beach here in Oregon. I’m specific because I know there is one in California. We made a quick stop for hugs in Albany at my niece’s and then visited several quilt shops in the surrounding area for a little quilting inspiration. I found a Christmasy Log Cabin quilt on Pinterest that I’m anxious to start. It amazes me that each quilt shop is so very different. Albany has a less than inspirational store. Lebanon and Corvallis, Oregon had bright, cheery places with lots of finished quilt items and fabric to inspire for years to come. I believe they reflect the owners taste in quilts and fabric choice. The quilt shop in Newport Beach was almost not worth the stop unless you are looking for a little beach themed fabric.

The first place I wanted to visit in Newport was the Sylvia Beach Hotel. I had the pleasure of staying there once several years ago. It’s technically a bed and breakfast that also serves dinner if you want it. Every room is named after a different writer. The dinner menu is listed as “Chapters”. There are books available to borrow if for some odd reason you forgot to bring one and there are quiet places to sit and read or to do your own writing. It sits right on the edge of the beach so the sound of the surf will lull you to sleep each night or sit and peacefully write your next chapter of your own book or life.

Newport happened to be cloudy and quite cool as we took off shoes and socks to walk along the beach. I watched as my feet would sink down into the sand but as soon as I lifted it, the footprint disappeared. It was as though I had not even been standing in that spot. The earth has a way of showing us how fleeting we are on it. I chose not to spend the money for the Sylvia Beach Hotel this time though my free night at the La Quinta was more than comfortable.

Maybe after I’m all done paying the expenses of another move, I will save enough to spend a week there. It’s a good place to find both, peace and inspiration. Even one quiet day and night at the beach can do that. For me, peace has been essential to healing while inspiration is essential to life itself. We all find both in different ways. How do you find your peace and inspiration?

“Inspiration is God making contact with itself.” ~ Ram Dass

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

In Search of a New Story

For the first time in my life I am getting the opportunity to take a creative writing class. It’s at the senior center and I have become an early member at the ripe age of 63. I fit in quite nicely there with my silver cane and cautious step. They have been warm and kind even though I still find it hard to express myself verbally as the facial paralysis continues. That’s where the writing comes in.

Writing is something I have been doing for the past 25 years to preserve what sanity I had left. I know, it’s questionable as to the amount of sanity still available. I’ve never been a story writer per se but I love a good story. So many wonderful writers out there weave a web that draws me in and I can’t put the book down until I see what happens to the characters. I recently read a story of a woman whose husband had left her for someone younger. When that didn’t work out he came and tried to manipulate his way back into her life. I had decided then and there that if the writer had her heroine take back the louse, I would never read another of her books. Lucky for her the story turned out how I wanted it too. I was caught up as though I knew these people. That’s the kind of story I want to write. I want to find where my creativity and imagination have been hiding and bring them out to play. Daily journal writing documenting the chaos that is my life is what I do and in a way it’s a story. It’s a “just the facts ma’am” kind of writing that if I told the whole story it could make you laugh, cry and curl your hair. It’s a story that I will eventually need to tell in full.

Though I am without formal education, at my heart level I think I’ve always been or at least wanted to be a teacher. Now I am trying to use my words to teach. For the time being, my subject is Bells Palsy; how I’m trying to heal from it and the consequences of not heeding the bodies warning signs that something in life isn’t working. My life was out of balance and now my body is trying to get its balance back. Funny how that worked out. It would help a lot if the Bells Palsy hadn’t short circuited the pathway in my brain that helps me find words but slowly and with certainty, new circuits are forming and old circuits are healing. Sentences are coming quicker and writing anything helps that healing process.

I’ve written well over 20 volumes of the same old story of my life. When I hear others that I know continue to whine about their lives I think to myself; either do something about it or shut up already. I’m pretty sure my family and friends were thinking the same thing about me. Thank goodness I’ve finally turned the corner with that. These last two plus years have brought the greatest and most positive changes in my journal writing.

Now I write about the actions I’m taking, like signing up for the class or getting the sewing and needlework back out. I write about the house I want to buy when the house I still jointly own with my ex-husband is sold. No, I’m not holding my breath. I have written the description of every room down in detail. My cozy cottage has a welcoming and spacious covered front porch with several wicker chairs and small tables so my neighbors can come and sit; sip tea or wine while exchanging ideas and stories. There is a library in this house and a comfy white wicker desk and chair to sit at and write. The kitchen is optional. I’d prefer take out from the local health food store or just fresh fruits and veggies.

I believe we create the life we live with our thoughts, attitudes and actions. My thoughts become words and then they can become real things. My life so far has me really wondering what the heck I was thinking back then. Through my writing I want to create the most interesting and fun life ever. I want to tell you about all the places I have seen in the world and all the interesting people I have met. Will I ever be a real writer? I don’t have an answer to that though I would like that very much. That’s why I’m taking a class. What makes a writer real? At the end of the day, I guess it’s the need and desire to put words together to express ourselves in print. Each of us does it a bit differently. That’s what makes it so very interesting. Vive la difference!

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home
. – John Campbell

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

In Search of a Good Mother

On this Mother’s Day weekend I want to wish all of you who are mothers a great, love filled day. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world as well as the most rewarding. On the other side of the coin, it can also be the most heartbreaking.

Mothers’ Day brings up so many emotions for many of us. If our child or children don’t acknowledge us on that day does it mean we were not a good mother? What is it that makes a good mother? I can remember in the early years of my first marriage, the greatest insult my husband could hurl at me was to proclaim “You are just like your mother”. Then the fight was really on.

I had a very difficult relationship with my own mother for far too many years. I was so grateful that our relationship was finally mended long before her passing. Mom was raised in Germany while Hitler was in power and had all the warmth and nurturing ability of a rock. But was she a good mother? Absolutely! I made certain to let her know. What I received from her was a desire to do it differently with my children. To balance the strength and independence she instilled in us with love and compassion. I probably already mentioned that when I was 10 I started looking for my adoption papers being certain that these people couldn’t possibly be my real parents. I think lots of kids feel that way growing up. Mom used to threaten me when I had done something to upset her that she was going to send me away to boarding school. I kept wondering what it was I had done so wrong and how could I do it again. I’d have my bags pack in a heartbeat. I think it took the wind out of her sails that I was looking forward to being sent away. Moms, don’t make idle threats. I know I drove her nuts and when my daughter went through adolescence, yup, she got even with me. Nothing new under these stars.

I’ve apologized to my children many times for my inadequacies as a parent. Mom didn’t have a book of directions that came with the four of us and I didn’t get one with my kids. There are no directions. We are flying by the seat of our pants. I used a lot of tough love and hugs. Mom couldn’t hug till she was quite advanced in years and you could tell she was uncomfortable but stretching herself. Dad didn’t hug either so they were a matched set. Mom created in me strength so many only wish they had. I shine in emergencies, never getting rattled until the crisis is over. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I have seen every kind of mother imaginable. We’ve all seen the over-indulgent, permissive moms. Thank goodness I didn’t get one of those. I’d rather have the rock, thank you very much. Then there are the moms with a mean streak a mile wide who are totally overwhelmed by parenthood and lash out with a loud slap or an arm grab and shake. They didn’t get a how-to book either and were probably raised the same way so that’s what they know to do. I’ve met moms who love enough to let their child go to a family that’s better able to care for their child. I have also met moms who gave away or used their children for the price of a fix. When you look back at their history, no one seemed equipped to be a parent.

So how do you tell if you are a good mom? Well, I guess if your children are willing to let you live with them while recovering from a long-term illness, that’s a good sign. This Bells Palsy of mine has tested all my relationships. I am fortunate that both my children and my sister who was a child of my heart have all stepped up willingly to help me heal. They have been there for me through 2 divorces as well. They are strong, independent thinkers with huge hearts and always give it to me straight just like I gave it to them growing up. I don’t need anything else to know I’m wished a happy mother’s day. I was able to be there for my mother and I miss that rock every single day. I think I also found the book. It was in my heart all along and there was a happy ending.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.
~Harriet Beecher Stowe

In Search of New Ideas

Next week will be 23 months with Bells Palsy. I’m counting on 24 to be the magic number and call it done. Wouldn’t that be just snazzy!! But just in case it needs a little help to go dormant again for another 61 years, I’m on the lookout for new ideas to help me heal.
My belief and my truth (they do not need to be yours) is that illness is the body speaking loudly to messages we were unwilling to hear more quietly in our gut. I heard the message each time it came to me but vacillated on acting on the message. Now even a headache or a tickle in my throat tells me to let go of something I’m holding resentment about.
That being said, I turned my life and many others upside down in order to heal and to prevent more serious illness from manifesting. Yes, I’ll do most anything to get well, even give up sugar. Now that’s a tough one and I’ve been holding onto it. Carbs were the glue that held me together. Now they have to go. Granted, it’s an experiment like everything else I’ve tried but it can’t hurt. Vitamins always make my stomach hurt so I’ve been told to take them late in the day before going to bed. Guess I’m not supposed to notice a stomach ache when I’m asleep but B vitamins are so essential to healing the nerves. Not that I have a nerve left. Maybe I’ll get new nerves to replace the damaged nerves.
Other things I’ve tried as I have mentioned before are Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Neurologists (2), ENT’s, GP’s, Naturopaths, alkaline water, the Vibe machine, herbs, tinctures, medical intuitives, and psychics. What’s left to try? Well, I’m exploring Energy medicine which may help or not. Haven’t devoted enough energy to it yet. Just this week I also tried some Qi Gong exercises for healing. That did refresh me quite a bit and I noticed I didn’t get so tippy while doing them. Yoga is a favorite but my balance has gone missing so I only do a few floor poses.
What’s left to try? I’m open to suggestions. Most people are surprised that I make such a big deal out of Bells Palsy. It’s just facial paralysis after all. I wish! That’s the easy part. The vestibular integration dysfunction, the hearing loss, wayward balance and the difficulty forming complete and cohesive sentences under the smallest amount of stress is mind blowing.
I can tell you this much. I have a healthier respect for people with illnesses that are invisible to the naked eye. My daughter has fibromyalgia. Most doctors and most people think it’s a disease of the mind. I always thought it was just lazy disease. We all have pain, just push through it. Not so easy as it looks. I have found pain and even balance issues to be exhausting. Every effort requires rest behind it. So finally, I’m trying to cut my daughter some slack. I finally understand.
So if you have something new to offer, let me know. I haven’t tried a witch doctor but I did call a Shaman. Unfortunately, by then, I had run out of funds. Whatever you come up with it has to be inexpensive because I no longer have insurance either. It’s been quite an interesting ride. But truth be told, I’m ready for a different ride. Something with wellness and fun involved.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

In search of connection

In Search of

Connection

I’m new at this blogging thing. The last one I tried to post on Halloween went into the ethers. So please bear with me while I muddle through. What is it that I’m in search of exactly? When I say I’m in search of it all, I’m really not kidding. I’ve been searching my whole life and have been trying to figure out how to find some help along the way. Then I want to share what I’ve found with other Searchers. Let me start by telling you a bit about who I think I am. Honestly, I’m not really sure about that answer either but it’s a place to start. Technically I’m a senior citizen at only 63. I’m already on Social Security since I am recently divorced and unable to work or drive. To fill you in on how this came about and why I am in search of it all I will start at the most relevant part.

It’s been 21 months since I woke one morning with what eventually was diagnosed as Bells Palsy. Now I thought Bells Palsy was that your face fell on one side for a few weeks and then everything went back to normal. That’s not my story.Iit’s still an ever present part of my life. My illness was so fully involved that I was dizzy 24 hours a day needing a cane for balance when walking and a shower chair when bathing. I lost 25 percent of my hearing in my left ear and my eye had to be taped shut to shower and sleep. I couldn’t and still cannot drive a car because turning my head to look both ways throws me so off balance that it’s nauseating. Each week that went by I was grateful it wasn’t a stroke because it appeared to others that I’d had one and after the second week the pain subsided somewhat. But each week I wanted to wake up and have it be gone.Now, telling you about the extensiveness of the illness would take many pages and probably bore most of you to tears. All I knew was my independence was completely gone. So began my search for Health.

That led to my search for understanding. I wanted to know why this happened and I was certain it was no accident. I was pretty sure once I took time to look at things there was something there I really needed to look at. I want to share all I have learned and surmised from this because I see so many friends and family members struggling with the same things in their lives. I knew in the core of my being that things in my life were very out of balance and I felt powerless to right them. But each day I search for some joy and even with this very debilitating illness, I find bits of joy.

I’m searching for connection, purpose, direction, wisdom, enlightenment, independence, honor and so much more. I’m an avid reader and student of human nature. I require dirt to nourish my soul. I’d play in it for hours. I’d be sewing and crafting again when the needle of the machine doesn’t make me dizzy or I finally have a home to unpack my toys for crafting. My interests are varied with my extensive library of books covering all the subjects that fascinate me and then some. I’m on a journey without transportation. Please feel free to join me.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene

Halloween

I’m handing out candy to the neighborhood kids dressed as the scary lady on the corner. I don’t need a costume. 20 months ago I woke with Bells Palsy and the left side of my face paralyzed. It’s somewhat better than it was then. But once I say “Boo” the kids turn and run or they hug their parents closer. No one wants to ask what happened. Most think it was a stroke. Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday. We were Army brats and some of the places we lived just didn’t do Halloween. It was always for little kids and when I was 13 I had to go trick or treating for my little brother who was in the hospital. He had pneumonia from drinking paint thinner. I had to explain to every person whose door I knocked on that the candy was for my little brother. I never went again.  I notice that I somehow also don’t enjoy watching the bigger kids come to the door. They get so big I’m actually afraid of them. When my kids hit that age, I started having parties at home for them. They had plenty of junk food and it kept them off the streets. My dad died on Halloween. No one realized what day it was at first. Halloween lost its charm that year. I don’t have grandchildren so I haven’t found a way to bring back the fun. This year I’m at my son’s house for Halloween. He’s been here for 3 years and never passed out candy. He has no children so why would he. Then I noticed 4 of the neighborhood kids in the driveway calling him by name as he fixed a bike tire for one of them. The kids in the neighborhood know him so there must be candy. I bought lots of it. Maybe there is a way to put some of the charm back in an old relic of a holiday after all? How do you have fun on holidays without children?  I’ll try not to let my crooked face and cane scare them too much.

From my heart to your heart

In search of joy