What Is It To Live

I  read an article that has left me in a state of, well to be honest I’ve no clue what state I’m in.  The article is about choosing Heaven over the Hospital  which can be found Here.

Now given my own health conditions I made a decision awhile ago that in the event anything should happen to me, I have no desire to be resuscitated.  I’d sooner have a shorter life, that is more filled with living than a longer life that means spending most of my time in the hospital.  These decisions are mine, based on my own wishes for my life.  I’d never impose them upon another’s life.

And I guess this is why I’m in a strange state after reading the article, you see the person in the article who has decided to forgo hospital visits is a young girl.. Five years old to be exact. Is that too young?

Her parents seem sincere in wanting to honor her wishes.  They have tried to get her to understand that this decision may result in the end of her life.  But how much does she understand when it comes to death or dying?  Can she really comprehend that her life will cease, she will not grow older or spend more time with her brother?

The flip side to all of this of course is that we have to consider e quality of her life.  Is it fair to ask her to hang on for the rest of us?  Because let’s face it, who is really comfortable with the idea of a five-year old opting to end her life?  Then again what would that life be like?  Sure she is loved, but is that enough?

Her parents anguish over this child’s decision is raw and easily felt as you read their story.  And yet they indicate that they will honor her wishes, let her make the choice.  And it’s clear that coming to this point hasn’t been easy for them, that their faith and beliefs are strength as they all wrestle with the finality of the decision. There is an honesty in how they explain how they’ve come to this point in their life as a family.  They don’t sugar coat it as they share their pain.  And they know that at some point somewhere, people will judge them.

Does any of us have a right to judge?  Do we know, really know, what it’s like for this family?  For this child?  Why is it acceptable for adults to make a decision when it comes to dying with dignity and not a child?  Do we fully understand what a child does or does not comprehend?  Let’s face it, some of us adults struggle with death with dignity and if it is right.  So when the decision is expressed by a child, a young child at that, it makes the wrestling and struggling with this topic that much worse.

And in the end I suspect a lot of us end up in a state of something we can’t express.  I hate to see the hope that comes with a young child extinguished so quickly.  But I also don’t think a child so young should be forced to a life without quality for however long that life is.  And so I’m torn.  But I do know, it is not my place, nor my right, to judge these people and heir choices.  And I know, no matter what choice is made, this child’s life is not easy.  Nor is the life of her family.  But I also know there is something to be learned here, that even in the worst of moments there is beauty, love and humanness in each life.  And that’s what we need to remember, to honor, cherish and hold onto.

It’s That Tme Of Year…You Know, Where You Dream Of Other Climes

The cold wet weather is upon us now.  I’m not a huge fan of the cold.  I’ve been known to plan and plot ways to avoid the cold.  I’ve not always been successful with these plans, but at least it takes my mind somewhat off the cold.  Temporarily, until I step back outside that is! 😕

Wet I don’t mind.  Actually there is something magical about walking in the rain on a hot summer day, the water seems warm as the raindrops splatter against your bare skin.    That kind of wet I don’t mind.  Wet that is cold, is a slightly different story.  Just not a raving fan of it.

Between my scheming and plotting, I secretly plan how to stay warm and not look overdressed.  This can become an adventure all of its own because half the time I’m dressing for outdoor weather and then also indoor “weather”.

With all these plots and schemes I’ve come across some favourite things.  Some I’ve stumbled on, some I’ve found after searching and others have been gifts.  The gifts are by far the best because they represent someone’s love and thoughtfulness.

Today, with the cold joining the wet  knew it was time to pull out some of these fa route items.  I have a lovely wrap of the palest blue, like a summer sky at noon.  It’s as light as a feather, but comfortable and oh so warm.  Then there is the pair of red socks, another fabulous gift that make me giggle when I wear them.  Not only are they warm and comfortable, they are a brilliant, cheery red.  Just the thing for cold and dreary weather.

I also pulled out my white fuzzy gloves.  These are like clouds on my hand.  Well I honestly don’t know how clouds feel, but I imagine how soft and delightful these gloves feel is exactly how clouds would feel.  If you wore them.  On your hands.  My fuzzy white gloves were also a gift and one dearly treasured as they are from someone special.  I’ve worked hard to keep them pristine and white!  (It goes without staying that keeping things white is a rather superhuman challenge for me!  That shows how much I treasure these gloves.)

Now none of these items have actually removed me from the cold or the wet cold.  To do that I’d have to move to some place that just never gets cold.  Tempting, very tempting.  But I’m sure there drawbacks to those laces, like perhaps drought.  Drought and I would have issues, because remember I like wet, provided it isn’t cold wet! 😉

Beloved swears there is no place that would meet my requirements.  Not even most of them.  Pretty sure he’s right about that.  But shhh!  We don’t need to let him know that!😉 Let’s just have him focus on me not being cold and wet! 😉

 

 

 

What An Assignment Taught Me

IN my life I’ve had people who have come and gone; sometimes out of necessity and sometimes other reasons came into play.  Now and then I might stumble across a name that reminds me of one of those people and I may wonder whatever happened to the individual.  Typically this doesn’t happen often, I’m probably too self-absorbed or lost in school work.  At least that’s the story I’ve told myself.

But on my journey of finding my voice, my mission and such I’ve been asked to consider the people who have been in my life regardless of the  duration of our relationships.  This little assignment has proven to be anything but little.  In my personal experience this always seems to be the case.

And I will be honest about this, when I first started the writing assignment it was a half-hearted attempt on my part.  I just didn’t see the point to the assignment.  But I also didn’t want to take the shortcut method and miss something so I started listing names.  Slowly at first because well only half my heart was in it.

A strange thing happened as I was slowly putting down the names.  More names came to mind and I was written faster and faster.  I was trying to keep up with those names that popped into my head!  I also started to remember those people not just as named, but as people.  Smiling as I greeted each ne who came into my conscious again.

When I finished writing down the names and flipped to the next part of the assignment, I noticed my mood had shifted.  I was engaged, involved and in the to this assignment.  The second part of the assignment was to acknowledge the role each of these individuals filled in my life.

I found myself silently thankng these people as I wrote the second part of the assignment.  Not just a casual thank you either, but honest and true gratitude.  I may not have had the opportunity or the grace to thank each of these people in person.  I certainly didn’t have the love in me all the time to step forward and let these people know that I appreciated them for what they did as well as for who they were when they were present in my life.

While it isn’t exactly the same thing as personally thanking these people, in a way this assignment allowed me to do just that.  And this blog post?  It also provides me a forum to say thank you and appreciate each of these people again,a little more publicly.

so thank you to all, who were as well as those who are a part of my life.

P.S. You didn’t really think I’d have the space for listing all the amazing people I’ve been fortunate enough to know did you? 😉

P.P.S. The real lesson is what role gratitude plays in our life as well realizing each person in our life has something to share or teach us.

Unleash Your Inner…Snail?

“Find you power animal, you spirit animal. You will know when you’ve found it because it will feel right to you.  It may even feel as if it is a missing part of you, the piece that completes you.”  She was insistent with these directions, confident that it would happen for each of us as we rested on our mats.

It was her confidence, so strong and loud, that made me think hat I too would find my spirit animal .  All I had to do was find the entrance to that other world and apparently as I journeyed along, I would find the animal that spoke to me.  Sounded simple enough.

But finding the entrance wasn’t as straight forward as she made it sound.  She said it could be a hole in a tree, a cave, a crack, or another method something like that.  All. Had to do was see it, and slip down it like Alice and soon I’d be in my own version of Wonderland.  Only I couldn’t get comfortable so I had to shift around which got in the way of the vision.  And then I had a case of the wandering itch, it moved from one spot on my back to another and somehow ended up on my nose.  I know unfair right?

I never made it to Wonderland, not in the time she provided us to get there.  I guess that means my spirit animal is a slug or snail!?!

She has assured me that we will work on this visualization, but I’m pretty sure by the time we get there my spirit animal will be dead.😐

Have a feeling this is going to be a long, painful process, just like trying to meditate!  But I could be wrong.

The Gift Of Relaxation

Sometimes there is no explain or accounting for what someone wants as a gift.  Beloved asked for a nice loofah for his birthday.  And a natural sponge, and some mud from the DeadSea region.  Listen Beloved is into this whole spa thing, more than a lot of people I know.

He is very specific, is Beloved, about the type of sponge, loofah and suchlike.  Specific and particular.  I may have mentioned before, Beloved takes bath time seriously.  Well serious as far as relaxing and washing away the tension of the day. 😊  He had the whole thing setup for his relaxation, from candles to pillows and soft music.  He also isn’t against refilling the bathtub once the water cools too much.  Yes, when it comes to bathtime, Beloved doesn’t worry about excess.😊

Now he didn’t tell me about these bath items for his birthday.  You see we have this odd habit of getting each other books.  Sometimes they are classics from our childhoods and other times special editions of much-loved  books.  So no, I didn’t get him the bath items.  But his dear friends had asked, and so he had told them.  No shame, no silly blushing.  Not for my man. Not when it comes to bathtime.  Thankfully here are friends he has had for years and years.  Some of them even share his passion when it comes to bubble baths.  I’ve seen the group make their way happily into one of those bath stores.  The ones that sell various scented  soaps and lotions, for men, women and gender neutral.

For Christmas he may get lucky! 😉  Yep a nice, thick, plush bathrobe like you get at the spas!  What?  You were thinking of something else?  Dare I even ask?!

 

Violence Restrained And What Happens Next

Beloved went to visit his family, I stayed home because I wasn’t up for the trip and given my new treatment for lupus I  need to be careful around people who are sick.  One of his nieces was just getting over a cold so I didn’t feel it would be wise to risk it.

So while he went off to visit family, I attempted to work on my calm, peace and napping.  According to warden tracking device my attempts at peace and calm actually increase my work on focus.  And attempting to nap turns into activity apparently.  It could be that my warden is a bit confused or I’m confused at what these activities are supposed to be like.  Of course there is also a bit of, umm, what you may call contrarian behavior on my part!  Just a wee touch mind! 😉

While I was in my attempting to nap phase, (I wonder if I always had this idea with napping or did I just get anti-napping at some stage in life?), I received a text message from one of Beloved’s sisters.  The text started with “we had a great visit” and  then “he’s on his way home and we didn’t want to alarm you so…” (Pretty sure it’s stuff like this that doesn’t help in the napping department, or the calm if you get right down to it!)

after a brief period of nothing, a picture of Beloved came onto my screen.  Beloved with a swollen cheek and a black eye.  Beloved who looked as if he had been assaulted.  Because he had been.  By his almost sixteen year old nephew.  A nephew who has violent rages that are set off by just about anything.  Or so it seems to me because I don’t understand autism.  And the nephew has autism.

Now once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, or was it a long long time ago…anyway at one stage in his life Beloved trained in boxing.  He also worked as a bouncer.  Just not in the same phase.  The boxing came first, the bouncing came later on.

The picture I saw looked like a man who never figured out how to move and doge.  Bobbing and weaving seem to have left Beloved’s skill set.  But when he came home, he assured me it wasn’t for lack of bobbing or weaving.  It happened when he and his brother-in-law were trying to restrain the violence.

Apparently at some point the nephew became frustrated and started throwing objects.  At people.  Thankfully the baseball teams aren’t beating a path to his doorway although I pretty sure the Speed his throws things at are impressive.  He just needs to work on accuracy, but no one is lining up to give him this skill.  That could become a deadly mistake.

After running out of items to throw, the boy decided that hitting, kicking and biting people were in order.  It was at this point, before blood was drawn or a successful bite landed in human flesh, Beloved and his brother-in-law moved to operation restraint.  Successful this time.  But at some point someone won’t be able to restrain him and then what?

What happens to the boy?  What happens to any one who gets in his way?  How do we protect him from himself and still protect everyone else without taking him away from opportunities and society?  He isn’t even fully grown yet.  Do the rages get stronger as his strength grows?  What happens if it gets out of hand?  If someone gets hurt, especially if someone who doesn’t neerstand him gets hurt…or worse?

Mindful Awarenss and How Things Aren’t As We Think

I’ve always found reading to be a calm, soothing and relaxing activity.  Yes this includes reading technical prices and textbooks.  I’ve just always assumed it keeps me calm because it normally makes me smile.

So imagine my surprise to see the activity of “calmness” or “peace” displayed on my cellphone as a wavy line with massive peaks and valleys.  Sure reading engages the imagination and it is possible to become emotionally involved with what one is reading.  But I honestly had no idea how much it impacted me.  Of course now that I have this mind and body tracker by Spire, I can see for myself how things are playing out.

Focus to read?  Sure I expected to see st, especially with technical material or textbooks.  But to find that I’m not as calm as I’ve always assumed myself to be?  Well clearly the device must be defective.  No other logical reason exists, surely not.

Since Beloved has the same device, I asked him to see what happens when he is reading. His chart shows even more moments of “less calm” than mine.  And like myself he had always thought reading calmed him.  He admitted that he has even read just to achieve a portion of calmness.  So like hydrofoil he was curious why the kind should things other than calm.

A friend of his, a neurologist stopped by for drinks with Beloved and shared some research about this curious little thing.  Apparently in some people reading instills a huge sense of calm, brain scans show a slow down in certain areas being active.  His friend went on to say that for some people reading induced a huge sense of clam and that moves into something else that renders the person able to sleep.  These people, according to the study, seem to never get beyond the surface of the reading material.

people who have more brain activity while reading tend to not always be as calm.  This can be due to an emotional involvement with the written work or emotional response to difficulty/ease of comprehending the material.

further work on these studies indicated people who tend to become emotionally responsive to the material tend to have richer imaginations.  It is possible that there is a connection between the imagination and emotional response.  A portion of me wonders if it is just how different people have different likes and dislikes.

either way I’ve obviously fooled myself into believing reading makes me calm.  But in another sense I’m still calm, it’s just that my mind or thoughts aren’t as restful as some other people’s when it comes to reading.  And you know what?  That’s okay with me!  Why should everyne’s mind and process