Surprise! It’s me:)
For anyone counting, it has been 144 days since my last post. You’ve been on my mind, as has what would be my three-year blogoversary this month. The time has come to say “hello” and update anyone who might still be following the errant life and Waisting Times of the former blogger known as Karen. So, today I once again bring you my thumbs:)
Thumbs up: Life is good. Let’s just get that out of the way. My disappearance from blogging doesn’t reflect anything negative in my life. No weight gain (as is so often the case when a blogger of this genre goes missing). No major stressful life incidents. No emotional upheavals or crisis. Just the continuation of whatever cosmic shift brought a sudden end to the words flowing from my fingers to this page. I haven’t missed it. Oh, I missed YOU! And sometimes missed the creativity as I would find myself blogging snippets in my head. And, no, since several of you have asked, I have most definitely NOT missed social media. Thumbs up at how much more time I have now and how much less of it I spend online.
Thumbs down: My health. So the big news is that I’ve been recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus Vulgaris. Basically, my body is attacking my skin, specifically my mucous membranes, and for me, the symptoms were all in my mouth and throat. I found it incredibly ironic that someone who has struggled with food and eating for so long should suddenly find herself in a position where her mouth becomes the focus of her life and every swallow hurts. I could have blogged volumes about the mental aspect of suddenly truly appreciating true physical hunger and food as fuel and nutrition. Thumbs up that from what I can tell, my diagnosis came much earlier than most. Thumbs up that I have responded to medication amazingly fast and with minimal apparent negative side-effects to a heavy dose of Prednisone. I will continue to take it for months to come, maybe indefinitely, along with a recently added antibiotic. Thumbs up that I have never had as much willpower in my life to stick to a healthy eating plan, bound and determined to stave off what seems to be an almost inevitable weight gain from steroid use.
Thumbs up: Getting smart. A phone, that is. After (four days short of) four years of faithful service, I retired my still-working dumb phone and copied my husband in his purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S iii. I cannot say enough about how much I love my new phone. Oh, the continual joy and convenience from this shiny, inanimate object.
Thumbs up: Number one son. My oldest seems to have settled easily into life in the real world. He is established in his new state (halfway across the country from me, but, thumbs up, he has many friends near him). He seems to enjoy his job as much as any recent college grad can enjoy any job that rudely interferes with what was so recently a life filled with free time and limited scheduling. Thumbs down that he’s decided not to spend his vacation time at home this month.
Thumbs up: Number two son. Just turned 20, thus my inability to continue to refer to him here as “my teen.” He is comfortably ensconced in his frat house and was recently elected to an executive position for the coming 12 months. He has already been snowboarding this season and plans to spend part of his winter break in CA doing more. Thumbs down that his major is still up in the air. But he at least thinks he has a possible direction now. Thumbs up that I am doing
very well at “letting go” and not being a long-distance helicopter mom.
Thumbs down: WordPress. Really?! It just logged me out in the middle of this post. Thankfully it had been auto-saving as I typed along and I didn’t lose much. That might have really put me over the edge of never blogging again! And while I’m thinking about WordPress, I wonder if I can import all my content from this self-hosted (i.e. costing money) blog into my old WordPress.com (i.e. free) blog. Hmmm. I can! Done. Someday when I shut down this blog, the old content will still be here.
Thumbs up: Work. Still enjoying it. Have finally almost conquered the register! (Amazingly, after nine months, I still sometimes encounter something new, like having to modify the tax rate for a return from another state.) Have gotten past the constant backaches from standing. My feet don’t even hurt unless I do a longer than typical shift. (Remember – I get to wear my workout shoes to work!) Thumbs up that I have exerted self-control and not spent every measly dime I earn on clothes. Thumbs up that working makes me appreciate my time spent NOT working all that much more.
Thumbs up: Yoga. Still going. Twice a week when my schedule allows. I like it a lot. For me it is about the flexibility (of which I have very, very, very little) and the strength of holding the poses. Thumbs down that my mind still wanders and I probably should pay a lot more attention to my breathing. I still think about being zen, now and again. But not very often.
Thumbs down: My body. I have seemingly entered the “my body is falling apart” years. Thumbs up that my calf injury from last year has finally mostly healed although it was close to nine months and some starts and stops before I really got back to doing consistent cardio again. Thumbs up for cardio! Thumbs down that I woke up one day in July with an apparent pinched nerve somewhere between my neck and upper arm. That brought me months of discomfort, finally leading me to see a chiropractor for the first time in my life. Thumbs up that said nerve is much better now, although not totally resolved, thanks, I think, to time, since the chiropractor, to her surprise, wasn’t able to improve things over the course of a month. Thumbs down that the two therapeutic massages I tried didn’t improve things either; I’d have loved an excuse to pamper myself.
Thumbs ironic: Blog offers. In the months I’ve been missing, I’ve gotten a slew of offers related to my blog. Crazy, that. Some have even been ones for products I’d have tried if I’d been posting. Oh well.
Thumbs up: I loved LA. (Sing it with me now.) Hubby and I went out to visit our son for Parent’s Weekend at his university. This trip we stayed at a condo instead of a hotel, complete with a view from the balcony of the Hollywood sign. We saw our son briefly each day (dinner out, parent’s tailgate at the frat, Costco run, Lakers’s pre-season game) but spent most of our time playing tourists. Fun. Thumbs up for frequent flier miles. We’ll make the long drive out to visit our other son in PA some time this spring.
Thumbs up: Vacations. I’ve got two great ones coming up. I had not intended to leave you with a cliffhanger in my last post about next summer’s big trip. We are going to Alaska. With my brother and SIL. Small cruise ship on the inner passage, then a day in Anchorage before we head to Denali National Park. Thumbs up that I got my first pair of hiking boots (after spending an hour and a half in the REI store in LA) and am very slowly breaking them in. Thumbs up for my return to Canyon Ranch Spa (thanks again to my mom) in February.
Thumbs up: Purple. Long my favorite color. I wear it often. I even have incorporated it into decor in my home. (Okay, let’s call that eggplant or, hmm, aubergine.) And now, a new purple love – sweet potatoes. YUM. My SIL, an amazing gardener, brought me a sampling of sweet potatoes when she and my brother recently visited. Some were purple skinned but light fleshed; one was dark purple through and through. They were so delicious that I’m almost inspired to take up gardening for myself. Almost. Maybe I’ll finally try purple cauliflower:)
Thumbs undecided: Blogging. In the back of my mind I am still considering starting a new blog. I have no idea what I would write. But the words for this post, once I finally sat down and started typing, came so fast and felt so good flowing out, just this little bit of creativity again. If I do return to blogging, I think it will be a new home with no connections to this blog. If you would like to know my new URL, if it happens, please tell me in the comments below or via email (since I do not intend to link or publicize my new location here). And I’ll be in touch when/if I start anew.
Thumbs thankful, joyful, peaceful, wishful: Life is good. My boys were both home for the Thanksgiving. I was actually so much more aware of being thankful on the holiday this year. Funny how having something bad happen can make you so much more appreciative of all that is good. Thank you for being here. I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and the best of everything in the new year.