"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Monday, August 12, 2013

Medical Monday ..... what do you do for you?

It's Monday, which means we're starting the week off with some positive motivation:
"It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary."
What are you doing to take care of yourself today?

Once again I have been missing. I have been busy and overwhelmed, and exhausted, and lupusy. But mostly busy.

In June my Nana passed away. I have mentioned her often in this blog. We referred to her as the Queen Mum because she loved everything English. She and I would talk for hours about religion and mostly my complete misunderstanding of it. I use her in my class discussions to highlight the battle women had to go through in the workplace and that we all have to thank strong independent women like her for lighting our path. Her sayings still play out in my mind everyday - when I want to throw in the towel I hear her tell me I have had my self-pity and it is time to move on; or when I didn't understand why my life had taken a turn I didn't expect she would tell me everything happens for a reason and I will understand it someday if I take the time to look back. More often than I want to admit she was right.  There was always a place at her kitchen table and a cup of tea ready if you needed it. She taught me about opening my door to others even if I don't think I have enough for me. She taught me about faith and hope and strength and understanding. She was my idol and my moral compass. I will miss her more than I can even think about and not a day has gone by that I have not thought of her and the hope that wherever she is, she is happy and proud.

That was the beginning of my summer. Then there was the wedding trip to Chicago - and the 7th birthday water park extravaganza in my backyard, teaching three classes, working, and keeping things afloat on the homefront. Soon I will be on vacation, but even then I seem to need a vacation from my vacation when I get home.

Shedd Aquarium

Chicago from the Shedd Aquarium

The Wedding Fountain

My Boys - Walking to the Adler Planetarium

So the quote from SLE asks what are you doing to take care of yourself today? I am going to talk about what I have done to take care of myself this summer!

I get a massage every month! This was an AWESOME Christmas present. My Aunts got me a gift certificate for a massage. I had never gotten one! Now I go every month. For one hour a month I am just relaxed. Then I hit traffic on the way home and I am tense again - but for 1 hour I am not. Everyone should do it.
The massage helps not only with my mental relaxation, it is great for the fibromyalgia and lupus. My doctor had been telling me for years that massage and yoga would be good for me. I wish I had listened sooner ..... I am working up to the yoga!

For the most part I have stopped commenting on the news that makes me angry. I still keep myself well informed and I most definitely have opinions - but I have stopped sharing those opinions with everyone who posted a comment on a news story. The news just makes me so sad these days. The death toll on my homepage everyday makes me want to hide under my covers and not leave the house.  So for my sanity I am taking more news breaks so that I can feel a little more in control of my surroundings - even if I'm not.

The Boston Skyline from the plane ... almost home.

I took a cake decorating class. Friends and family are probably sick of looking at my cakes but I love them. And I am AMAZED that I made them. I kind of took the class as a joke. I never imagined that I would actually succeed at making my own frosting and decorating a cake. It is just so outside my comfort zone. Baking and cake decorating are very precise art forms ... and I am kinda all over the place.
I have the most wonderful husband who has set up the most tranquil backyard for me. I can lounge in my lounge chair under the pine tree in the shade and hang out with my son while he tinkers in the garage. All of us doing our own thing but doing it together.
I have managed a day at the beach, a day at the zoo and time at the library.
It has been a very busy summer with lots of things that I have been able to do for myself in between all the craziness that is my world.
But the biggest thing I have done is decide to go back to school and get my license in mental health counseling. It isn't that I don't like my job or that I am planning to move on, but I think it is always good to have a plan B. I am really nervous - I have not read a text or written a paper in 10-years. I am pretty sure I am going to like grading papers better than I like writing papers! But I think that when you stop learning your brain dies (I don't think this is actual scientific fact - just an observation).
And for me, I will once again try to keep up with the blog (no promises).
So, the SLE Foundation asked what I do for myself and I have shared. Feel free to share what you do for yourself. It isn't just if you have an illness that makes your life complicated. Everyone needs to take time out to take care. Don't forget to do that and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The world of the future .....

Some time ago I came across the videos below on Facebook and they fascinated me.

Technology is AMAZING. After I got over the shock of how amazing the future looked I went back and watched the videos a little more closely.

What bothered me is the reality that this is not necessarily the technology for everyone.

I can't see schools in poor communities, or schools in middle class communities - schools that can't afford to have paper available to their students for an entire academic year without getting help from the PTO having that kind of technology available for their children.

And I know it will be a very long time before I can afford a car like that (and even then it will be a very used car).

I am in no way saying that we should not advance technology ... we have to. What I am saying is that we need to take a moment to stop and think about the reality that these kinds of technologies will enlarge the gap between the rich and the poor. There is no way to ignore the fact that the gap keeps getting larger - within a country and between countries. If a poor child in the US won't be able to see this technology in the classroom, can you imagine a child in a village in Uganda having access to it?

A part of me can't wait for whatever comes after this technology - so that I can afford some of the things here. It is reminiscent of The Jetsons (Skype is reminiscent of The Jetsons for that matter). I know that I am aging myself but when I grew up watching this cartoon I couldn't wait for my flying car, video phone, and that closet that would dress me in whatever outfit I wanted. Maybe I am getting older - but I would kind of like the technology roller coaster to slow down a little bit so I can learn to truly appreciate the newest thing .... before I have to turn it in next month for the newer version of the newest thing! If you know what I mean.

Right now, my seven year old is fascinated with dinosaurs .... since we are not this far into the future yet we will need to learn about the past the old fashioned way. We are about to go upstairs and read a book! Just an observation ......