Nanowrimo, My Helpful Health-Stealing Frenemy
You know what’s hard? Nanowrimo. But I’ve got to do it. I’ve just got to. It will make me a better writer. I have done it for a few years now and I haven’t yet reached my goal. That doesn’t matter, though. What does matter is that I will do it, because it’s good for me. Nanowrimo is a messy experience. I ignore everything else, and just write, more than I do already. I sleep less than usual, too. Not good. But it’s happening. I might write less on Prose while I participate in that hell-hole of a writing goal, but hopefully I’ll come back with good stories to tell. Hopefully, I will come back as a writer that is more qualified to tell a decent story. Nanowrimo will have some nasty consequences, but everything in life will. I’ve got to do it. So, here’s to writing. Here’s to not giving up before I’ve tried. Here’s to having hope. And here’s to believing I can do it.
Reaching her gnarled hand toward me, my mother said in a gasping voice that there was something she had to tell me before she died.
“Child, I don’t want to tell you this but I have no choice because it will greatly affect you when I am no longer living.”
“Mom, be at peace, I don’t need to know anything if it hurts you so much,” I answered.
Her frail voice quaking, my mother insisted that she must tell her story.
’I was a young woman in my twenties who was unable to have children of her own. This caused me tremendous grief every day. I decided to go to the art museum so I would get my mind off my problems. There I saw the most beautiful painting of a young child with flowing golden hair sitting in a chair looking straight at me with her lovely green eyes. She was so real with such longing on her face that I reached my hands out to her and pulled her out of the artwork and took her home with me. The little angel was you, my love. I knew there would be questions about your sudden appearance so I packed up and moved to another city where I wouldn’t be known. Eventually, I found a wonderful man and we raised you as our own. The man you thought was your father never learned of my duplicity and went to his grave loving us both.”
I was horrified at what I was hearing and thought maybe my mother was delusional. “No matter what, Mom, I love you,” I assured her.
Just then, I heard a knock at the door. “Answer it, my child,” my mother requested.
Standing at the door were two official looking people. “We’re here to take you back to the museum,” they informed me. “We found out what your mother had done a long time ago but you were just on loan until she passed. Now we must return you to the museum.”
There are bright lights where I am but I am trapped in my canvas. People stop to stare at me, saying they have never seen such a life-like painting.
“I’m alive, let me out!” I beg. But no one hears me.
My Health Journey: “Baby-Steps”
Years ago my family tricked me into watching “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. It was a hard sell. Why? Because I run hot-and-cold on Murray: Loved him in “Groundhog Day”—not so much in “Stripes.”
(They also made me watch “The Waterboy” with Adam Sandler, but that’s another story.)
Turns out “What About Bob?” is laugh-out-loud funny. Goofy. Silly. Witty. Yet sprinkled with poignant moments.
Here’s the seed of the story: An egotistical psychotherapist (Leo M. Marvin, M.D., Ph.D) is looking forward to his appearance on “Good Morning America.” One of his patients, Bob Wiley, inserts himself into the doctor’s big moment. Hilarity ensues.
My favorite visual in the movie is the fish-in-a-mason-jar that hangs around Bob’s neck. Love it. My second favorite is when Bob is tied to the mast of a boat, and yells, “I’m sailing!”—definitely a precursor to Leonardo DiCaprio's “I'm the king of the world” in the movie “Titanic.”
What does any of this have to do with my health? Everything. Why? “Baby Steps.”
“Baby Steps—A guide to living, one step at a time…” is a book written by Dr. Marvin, the character played by Richard Dreyfuss. Here’s what the fictitious doctor says about his “baby-step” psychotherapy approach:
“It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself, one step at a time, one day at a time.”
While Dr. Marvin may be a made-up guy, the idea of “baby-steps” rings true. It’s what I’ve been going since December—and it works.
“How?” you ask.
Here’s the short version: The program I’m on is based on a proven process that utilizes health coaches, a supportive community of like-minded individuals, and a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide. In addition, the program specifies lean-and-green meals supplemented by fortified fuelings that meet people’s nutritional needs.
In my opinion, coaching is the key. That’s certainly been true for me. My coach, Jennifer Barna Crouch, challenges me when necessary, encourages me when I need it, pokes me if I start to drift—in other words, she keeps me accountable.
Jennifer is one of the reasons I decided to become a health coach. She convinced me I should “pay it forward.” When I told her I was retired and not looking for a new career, here’s basically what she said:
“If you help just 10 people, and those 10 people help 10 people imagine the impact you’ll have on all those lives going forward.”
“Wow,” I thought.
So here I am. Sharing my health journey—thinking about how I can encourage 10 other people to start their own journey and wondering how many more lives might be affected by that decision in the future.
Until next time, take care and God bless.
Some say we were too bright
we came in too fast
racing across the galaxy
leaving remnants of cosmic dust behind
as we crashed and burned into the earth
faster than we came together
and all we have left are
memories floating above us
and permanent scars
etched across the earth.
Ever noticed every rose I give you is thornless? There's a reason for this madness, the rose represents my love for you, carefully picked and de-thorned too. Its beauty withholds what I give. It tells a story, of the love I live. My love has no bounds. It comes to you without hidden surprises, no sharp Jagged edges or beautiful disguises. It's plain, but, it's pure and ready to endure an eternity loving you more and more.
Uknown Author/Poet/Artist ©
Your hands they flit across my skin
Your eyes burn to my core
Your lips are soft as summers sin
And I’m made a fool once more
Like soft green grass you hold me close
To the very essence of your soul
Like all good things you come and go
My flesh burns up like coal
You smile and wait just for a moment
For me to recognize
That playful look of lust and onus
Simmering in those eyes
Where would I go what would I do
Without your gravity
To keep me close to the sparks I know
Will someday ignite in me
Burning up or so they say
You’ve got me around your finger
Despite knowing I’ll never stay
I can’t help but watch you linger
When it rains I feel
Much more assured
But then the sun comes out again
And like a worm
Cast Off Your Crutches
crutches of ecstacy
of soft lust,
essence won’t sustain -
life once more,
find who you are
under folds of being,
opening your soul
to joy within.
Your fingers crawled their way up and down my nervous spine.
And even as they searched my skin,
I wished I could relive it
on constant loop.
I seek escape from the gnawing feelings of hurt, shame, guilt, vengeance, gloom & doom that engulfs and frighten me in unknown territory. Whenever I feel threatened, I use ‘work’ as an addiction to seek refuge - not to let me think of anything else: the shattered (chartered) accountant can crunch on numbers till numbness.
It’s a secret - the crutches I use to steady myself and sail through the passing phase. Get addicted to work, a new skill, physical exercise, anything that you are passionate about and it works. Focus and determination always brings rewards and restores your self-worth.