"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!


  1. Leanne, I always enjoy reading your blog. I am sorry to hear of the passing of your Nana. Thank you for taking the time a few years ago to syop and be there during what was a difficult time for me. X o Kathy

  2. Hope you manage to keep up your blog Leanne - I've missed you!
    Sorry to hear about your Nan - unconditional love is a rare commodity and when it comes you notice it and appreciate it. Your nan sounds very much like my late mother in law who we all loved dearly and although she died about 6 years ago she is still very much alive in our conversations and laughs about her. Whenever we go on holiday so does a small picture of her and we always take the time to ask her while away if she is enjoying the holiday - and you know what - she always says yes! My great uncle too had the same capacity and even though he was 60 when I was a teenager he always had the capacity to cross the generations and make you feel valued and valuable. I shall blog about him in the near future! When my own son was born, shortly after Great Uncle John died in the early 70s there was only ever going to be one name for our new baby! Have a good day.

  3. It's me again! Your post prompted me to look out a little verse that we used on the front of the Order of Service when my mother in law died. It says much I believe:

    So many different lengths of time BRIAN PATTEN

    How long does a man live after all?
    A thousand days or only one?
    One week or a few centuries?
    How long does a man spend living or dying
    and what do we mean when we say gone forever?

    Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification.
    We can go to the philosophers
    but they will weary of our questions.
    We can go to the priests and rabbis
    but they might be busy with administrations.

    So, how long does a man live after all?
    And how much does he live while he lives?
    We fret and ask so many questions -
    then when it comes to us
    the answer is so simple after all.

    A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us,
    for as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
    for as long as we ourselves live,
    holding memories in common, a man lives.

    His lover will carry his man's scent, his touch:
    his children will carry the weight of his love.
    One friend will carry his arguments,
    another will hum his favourite tunes,
    another will still share his terrors.

    And the days will pass with baffled faces,
    then the weeks, then the months,
    then there will be a day when no question is asked,
    and the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach
    and the puffed faces will calm.
    And on that day he will not have ceased
    but will have ceased to be separated by death.
    How long does a man live after all?
    A man lives so many different lengths of time.

    Enjoy it, Leann! My mother in law still lives in our house and hearts so many years after she left us. I'm sure that your Nan will.

  4. As always Tony thank you. I guess picking the blog back up right before my technology free vacation was not a great idea! But that is a blog for another day!