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Just keep on keeping on

Just keep on keeping on

What I’m reading
Vanguard’s guide to retirement withdrawal strategies.

[E]very conversation takes place on two levels. The official conversation is represented by the words we are saying on whatever topic we are talking about. The actual conversations occur amid the ebb and flow of emotions that get transmitted as we talk. With every comment I am showing you respect or disrespect, making you feel a little safer or a little more threatened. The Essential Skills of Being Human.

Deep thoughts
When the kids came home last night the first thing they both said when they walked in the door (1/2 hour apart) is, “You’re dressed! What’s going on!?” UGH. I need to get out more. In my defense, it’s been a lot of bedrest for medical reasons and once that was done, Mr. Tucker had condo stuff to do in his spare time so all personal stuff was de-prioritized as we ended up in survival mode. But it’s time.

Still, I want my kids to remember having an active mother who go out as much as she could despite disability. In general, I feel like I am way more active than a lot of other disabled folks. Some it’s due to the severity of their disability and for some it’s just plain giving up. If I was a researcher I would study the health trajectories/outcomes of people who had a positive, life-affirming attitude and those who give up once they’re diagnosed. I am happy to offer support, kind words and resources to people going through a rough time – sometimes you just need to complain to other people who understand what you are going through. But I’ve had to block individuals in online PLS groups because they were posting constantly about how awful they felt and how they can’t do anything and how all of their friends don’t want to hang out with them. It was a constant barrage of pity-party posts and it just exhausted me and brought me down. I think perhaps these people should reflect on whether or not it was disability that turned people off or if it was the constant complaining?

But truth be told, while I have experienced some of that, most of my good friendships got stronger after I was diagnosed. Sure, some people will always fall by the wayside but it’s difficult to tease out how much of that is just a natural progression in friendship and what is an inability to manage someone’s diagnosis. I keep showing up for them and in turn they keep showing up for me.

But back to last night’s astute observation by my kids. If I’m honest, pre-pandemic I went to the gym 3-5 days a week, did dragon boat, walked or biked around the neighbourhood more and did physiotherapy twice a week. Since then, I haven’t been back to my usual activity levels and my return to dragon boat was thwarted by my broken foot followed by a huge pelvic surgery (that went a bit sideways). It feels like since we have been back post-pandemic with some regularity, it’s been one thing after another. Having said that, I am determined to change that even as we head into winter. I think I have been focusing too much on what I can’t do and not really focusing on what I can. In other words, while I am not whinging about it on facebook, I am falling into the same trap of the people who constantly complain. I need to show up for me.

Next weekend is pretty social with games night and heading out for dinner with friends on Friday night. The following weekend is book club. These things remind me that I am still doing things but I am just not back up to the level I once was. I plan to change that.

What I’m up to
Mr. Tucker is at the condo today as the appliances have been delivered. He sent me a picture and they look FANTASTIC! He also replaced the vent covers, replaced the shower curtainrod and now he’s putting the doors back on and measuring a few things. The last things we need to do are: fix the window, install the microwave, replace the bathroom fixture and replace a curtain on the closet.

It finally feels like we are in the home stretch and are almost ready to put it on the market!

Oh, and as for last night: we went out to buy paint for the room switch! The Eldest is moving into the office downstairs and Mr. Tucker is moving the office upstairs. He plans to do most of the painting next weekend as it is American Thanksgiving and it’s super slow at work. That will leave him energy to paint at night. Then on the weekend, we will move her stuff downstairs. Damn, it will be good to be able to have a shared office again. I have a desk tucked into a corner of the living room and quite frankly – it sucks.

Since we’ve also used almost none of our pocket money this month, afterwards we treated the kids to dinner. It was a pretty lovely evening and it felt good to be out.

Bon Vindredi à tous!

Daily writing practice

Daily writing practice

This TED series on How to be a Better Human looks good but there is a lot of information in there. I came across it when a friend posted 7 Types of Rest that Every Person Needs which is a good read.

It’s been a helluva week. Like most people I’ve spent a lot of time glued to the news and to my social media timelines wondering what the hell is going to happen. But the days of eyestrain, neck pain, and headaches finally came to a head today and I decided to step back from the rage machine and tackle my Goodreads goal (150 books!) instead. I’ve read 4 books so far.

Today I finished On Writing by Stephen King, which is why you see these words today. Mr. Tucker is also reading it and so our conversations naturally gravitate to interesting parts of the book, or information we find relevant to our own lives. Last night I turned to him and lamented that I used to write every day back when livejournal was huge and since I joined facebook in 2007 I don’t write with any length anymore.

To be fair, I gave birth to the Bean in early 2008 and writing was not as a high priority. Facebook had also started to take off and it had a more open and succinct style of communication that fit into my knew lifestyle as a stay-at-home-mom of a newborn. Of course, the snappy style of facebook led to its widespread adoption pretty quickly. I also became so adept at it that I made a career out of it – a successful one, in fact. So while it’s easy to blame social media for my lack of writing the reality is that it is a culmination of factors: mom of two kids, working (in communications a lot of the time. Nothing kills your own writing like writing all day on someone else’s agenda), and the ease in which social made keeping in touch with multiple people much easier.

I’ve also always kept a journal. For the majority of my job contracts through 2012-2015 I woke up early to be at work early so I could be home to take the kids to the park by 4pm. So 6am saw me belting out a couple of pages of notes on my life. I didn’t journal from 2016-2018 during my series of operations and the tests that led to my final diagnosis but at the time I was barely living at all. My diagnosis forced me to pick up the pen again to try and make sense of everything that had happened.

I did manage to keep a blog for awhile that I had started when I had gone back to work after being home with the kids for four years. I wrote during my lunch hours and on the weekends, mostly. At that point my goal was debt repayment and early retirement. So I wrote about the things that I found interesting from that perspective. The universe is a cosmic joker though, and when I found myself in January 2018 with a PLS diagnosis & my neurologist recommending I go off work, I found it deeply ironic. All those years spent worrying about early retirement goals only to get streamrolled by forced retirement. Like a petulant child I screamed in my head, “WHAT? BUT MAYBE I DON’T WANT TO BE RETIRED?!” I had been given what I had wanted but not in the way that I wanted it.

So I started this blog…and did nothing with it. I think I have been reluctant to write here because it feels like I should have a theme and stick to it. Put this blog into a little box labeled DISABILITY BLOG and only discuss topics relating to my disability. But when it comes down to it I just want to write about my life and how I am living it. Yes, Post Morbus means after diagnosis and this is my life after diagnosis but my diagnosis isn’t my life. Sure, it has an effect of every facet of my life but it’s larger than that.

So instead of getting caught up in the minutiae where I feel like I need to write some well-researched, perfectly written tome of helpful information I am just going to write. I am going to write something every day (or almost, everyone has bad days) and get back into the habit. Maybe it will just be a recipe. Maybe it will be about some silly thing I saw online. I can’t say. But the goal is to write something every day & to just get back into the habit of writing.

So here goes it: January 10, 2021 is day 1. Let’s see if I can do a year?