January 1, 2015
This year has begun with a brighter day than most we’ve had in December. The sun is shining and that makes me smile.
The first day of a new year is like opening a new writing journal for me. I have a clean slate on which to begin. It is mine to do what I will every day, make it mundane or exciting. On my Gratitude List today, number one is: I am here in this lovely place which inspires me to write and to share with other writers.
Last May, as I started up my stairs, I had a sudden muscle strain in my left hip, fell and for two months, as I visited one doctor and another, I worried that I might have to stop holding classes in my studio, Writers Circle around the Table. I could not walk up and down stairs for three months without extreme pain. Prescription drugs became a way of life for me. Depression set in as I visualized myself moving to be near family, leaving this place I love so much.
I am not a city girl. The first time I lived in town, I shared an apartment with two girls after college. The girls were great, but I missed my privacy and the open green space of my rural home. When my husband and I married we lived in a furnished apartment for less than a year. Our poodle, Brandy, soon made it obvious that he was not a city dog. He chewed everything in the place and shredded the sofa cushions. We had to move to a place with a yard.
That was when we claimed our five acres of my father’s farm. My husband delighted in living in the woods and Brandy spent all day outside.
For thirty years we lived there and when we moved to the mountains of North Carolina, we found a house surrounded by trees, very private but only five miles from our small town. After my husband died, I remodeled my downstairs for my studio. Already, I have excellent instructors lined up to teach classes in 2015. (see Schedule page)
Thankfully, the stairs hold no challenge for me now. With the help of my orthopedic massage therapist and an acupuncturist who introduced me to Pete Egoscue’s book, Pain Free, A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain, the pain in my hip is gone. I do one simple exercise every day. It is called Static Back. The book has many of these e-cises and I also do many of them, but Static Back is the one that fixed my hip problem.
So on my Gratitude List today are two very wonderful young men, Jay Gibson and Chris Bassett, and a young woman massage therapist, April Stewart. With massage, acupuncture, and the dedication of these therapists, I feel better than I have in a long, long time. Seldom do I need any pain medicine, and when I do, it is over the counter, not prescription.
We have to manage our own health, learn all we can about our problems, and follow our gut instincts. I was told I needed to see a back surgeon. I was told that all of us live with pain and I could expect to deal with it the rest of my life. I would not accept that.
When Chris Bassett told me I didn't have to live in pain. I could work on my posture, aligning my body by lying on the floor twenty minutes a day with my legs on a chair, I wanted to cry with joy. He took time to show me how I walked, what I was doing that aggravated my muscular problems, and gave me the hope I needed to go to work on myself. Simple stretches every day will keep our muscles from atrophying. The acupuncture helped with the pain, as did the massage therapy, but I had to continue treatment on myself so that I was not re-injuring myself.
Yes, this New Year has dawned bright and beautiful and full of prospects for challenges and successes.
I hope all of you, my readers, will have much to be thankful for in 2015, and I hope you will start your own gratitude journal today. Write five things each day for which you are thankful. This stimulates the positive in your life instead of the negative.
I might write “I am thankful for the butterfly flitting around on my flowers.” I might also write, “I am grateful today for the good test result for my friend.” This is your journal and no one needs to see it.
Although we hear all the horrible things on the news that make us feel that our world is coming apart, our words, deeds, and ideas can help to make a better world. They really do matter.