This has been a particularly difficult week if you’re seeking positivity and good news from the news. I know it’s out there, but overshadowed by some truly traumatic stories.
I almost didn’t post, but then I remembered how much my weekly publishing record means to me. That’s when I decided to start small, by looking closer to home to find something – anything – that brings me peace.
Recently, a friend recommended the book, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” by Charlie Mackesy. (Thank you, Ingrid!). I read it, reread it, and then read it again. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
I kept coming back to the page bearing the words:
“Sometimes,” said the horse. “Sometimes what?” asked the boy.“Sometimes just getting up and carrying on is brave and magnificent.”
It’s true. Sometimes, just showing up is a start. Just being. Some days, that’s as good as it will get and that’s okay. Showing up for ourselves, our families (currently via text and FaceTime calls), our coworkers (even if it is on a zoom call), our neighbors (waving from a distance while masked). We’re doing our best to show up and that takes courage. Especially during this shared experience.
During my telemed call with my doc, he asked what I’ve been doing each day – how I’m coping. I’m not even sure what I said. We talked about my sleep and taking melatonin – I’ve taken it a few times, not every night. It’s helped. We talked about using less pillows when I sleep. I’m a side sleeper, on my left. Sleeping on my back and my right side is nearly impossible. He thinks propping my head up could be pulling on the nerve roots in my neck, causing my left arm to become numb with nerve pain extending down to my fingertips. That happens every night, lasting until sometime in the early afternoon. (It’s 1:15 p.m. and I still have that painful, slammed-my-funny-bone-nerve-on-something-sharp sensation. Not a good feeling). He suggested an MRI, saying I could come into Manhattan or have one done here in Brooklyn. I declined. He understands my hesitation about taking the subway and going to medical offices at the moment. No thanks. (And, by the way, I tried sleeping with less pillows last night, it helped a little. But there’s still that annoying nerve elbow situation. Oh well. It’s a start).
It was just a short check in call, over in about ten minutes. He’d asked about my day to day, and I completely forgot to tell him about our plants. (This is a terrible segue from neck nerves to gardening. I apologize.)
My gal and I have become obsessed with having a garden. As we have zero access to any green space, we’re creating an urban garden, (see the included collage). We also have one Zamioculcas zamiifolia aka ZZ plant in our kitchen. (That’s the gorgeous green plant in the stripe-patterned pot).
The seedlings will hopefully grow to be full grown zinnias and calendula flowers. My gal has a naturally green thumb. However, my past plant experiences aren’t great. 😬 She keeps trying to get me to stop saying that. This time is not that time. These plants are not the ones from before. Begin positively. She’s right, of course. But since we’re doing this together, I’d love for it to go well.
Taking care of these plants has brought us a ridiculous amount of joy. Checking on them. Watering them. Rearranging them, more than once. We’re two hovering plant moms. (As I could be a professional hoverer, this is not a stretch for me).
I’m also reading more. More non-fiction, new authors. It helps me spend less time on my phone, (away from distracting apps), and my iPad (where Hulu and Netflix wait, though I love both).
Find something – big or small – to take the sting out of what’s outside, out of what’s on the news, what people say.
That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to go through each day, without freaking out over the news or the pandemic or missing the rest of my family. I’m trying to be brave. Sometimes, that effort falters a bit and I show my worry. That helps too. It helps to say things out loud. Saying we’re afraid doesn’t make us less brave. I think it shows our strength in being honest enough to admit our truth. It’s the same with showing up. We don’t have to have all the answers, know every escape plan. We just have to be. Our presence is enough. Maybe clarity will show up also. Maybe it won’t. And that’s okay.
I can’t fix everything. But I can show up. And that is brave and magnificent.
Wishing each of you things – big and small – that bring you peace and joy. May this week be a calm, low pain one – both physically and emotionally – for all of us.
Peace and painlessness,
#thisiswhatsicklookslike #rsd #crps #arachnoiditis
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, by Charles Mackesy, © 2019 HarperCollins Publishers.