Grace Being Tom…Being Tom

On Christmas last year a fellow blogger, Tom from Tom being Tom, recognized me as a blogger that other bloggers might approve of.  As he frequently does, Tom used his creativity and humor to shake things up a bit, and named his recommendations as Reindeer in the theme of the holiday.

I was granted the name Prancer.  I’m not sure how Tom assigned the Reindeer names, (Einstein and I were talking about it, and if anything I should be Blitzen with the thought of BLITZKREIG), but I will trust Tom’s decision on this because he always says the nicest things about me.

As part of the recognition,  I’m supposed to tell a story about how I began blogging.  If you are interested in reading it I have previously shared my story here in my first blog post.

When receiving recognition, one is supposed to share any advice for new bloggers.  As far as advice……Like most things in life I am a better example of what NOT to do than what to do so it’s up to you if you want to follow. 😉

The first time I was nominated for the the Blogger Recognition Award, I sent the person who nominated me a short message saying, “Thank you for the acknowledgment, but I’m not comfortable with awards, thank you for thinking of me.”

Not long after that, I received another nomination which I also declined.  Again, I sent a quick message thanking  the nominor?  (What do you call a person who nominated you for something?  Google did not have an answer for me.)

When I was nominated the third time, I had found so many amazing bloggers that I ‘kind-of’ accepted the award, just to promote the bloggers that I loved.  (Ok I made my OWN, not your typical blogger award just to be different.)

Included in my award were,  DGGYST, The Incurable Dreamer, Superman, And Bojana.

Damn Girl get your shit together took a break for a bit, but has recently come back and is worth more than a peek. I still caution everyone not to drink anything while reading her blog, since numerous times I have spat or choked on my coffee from laughing so much  while reading.  Yes she is that good!

The Incurable Dreamer is no longer part of the blogosphere, but will be fondly remembered!

The third blogger I named is Superman, who while not TECHNICALLY a superhero, is still a pretty terrific guy.  In his latest blog post, The Lessons of Time,  he summarizes some of the challenges he has faced during the last 10 years. I believe the ‘average’ person may have given up when facing some of his challenges, or at the very least become very cynical.  Not only does Superman continue to face his challenges head on, but he does it while continuing to help others.

The final blogger I named is Bojana, from Coffee and Confessions to go.  I have included this link to her blog, although it may not work since her blog is no longer public.

Several months after I ‘created’ the Not your typical blogger award, I revisited  it and recognized additional bloggers that had captured my attention.  First on my list was Tom.  I posted several links that I enjoyed from his blog. (I had to limit the number that I shared, because at that point, I had gone back to read every post he had ever written) Unfortunately, those links along with many others were eaten by the internet.

The next blogger I recognized is Lisa from All About Life.  I am happy to see that Lisa’s blog writings are still viewable, but she seems to have taken a break from adding to them, as she was busy writing and publishing a book, From his Perspective, during the last year.

The final blogger I recognized is “Lockwood” from the Lockwood Echo.  She seems to have taken an intermission from blogging, to start an online shop for her photography.  Her blog and the archives are still available though.

I myself have not been present  in the blogosphere too often over the last year, mostly because I have spent an overabundance of time at Doctor’s offices or in hospitals not only for myself but for others I care about.  While admittedly, those locations are better than Jails or cemetaries, last year was very overwhelming for me.  The Loss of My Best Friend was my undoing.

If you have poked around my pages at all, you have probably noticed that at times I am very long winded and I take a round a bout way of getting to the point.  Let me get to that point now.

I would like to Thank Tom, from Tom Being Tom for the recognition, it truly means a lot.  Advice I would give to new bloggers is simply to “Just be you”.  While putting your words out there, reach out and get to know other bloggers. The rewards I have received from finding “my tribe” are so much more than anything I have contributed.  Best of luck to you!

I will end by directing you to another blogger that I consider part of my Tribe, Kim, the writer of I tripped over a stone.  Kim, her husband, and their fur babies have recently begun their adventure of RV Living.  I just realized today is Sunday.  On Sundays, Kim posts What about you? , quick questions that she asks to get to know a little about you.  If you have a moment, THIS is a great place to start.

Thank you for stopping by.  Best of luck on your blogging journey!!!!

 

 

Healthy resources for chronic illnesses

Last week I shared, my list of Not your Typical Blogger Awards recommendations.  I mentioned in the post that I also had recommendations for chronic illness bloggers that were inspirational and motivating that I would share if requested.

As I continued to reread posts from February of last year, I realized that I had completely forgotten that not only did I actually write a little about MS in February, but I also made a video about being newly diagnosed> I was also fortunate enough to have some of those very same inspirational and motivational bloggers do guest posts on my blog.  Their names and links to their blogs can be found here.

I would like to add a few of the chronic illness bloggers that I have also begun following since that post was written that I also find very motivating and helpful.

First is Terri, from Reclaiming Hope.   Terri lives with Fibromyalgia, and offers great tips on total wellness, sharing advice on complete wellness encompassing emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, financial, and physical aspects.  Whether or not, you suffer from a chronic illiness, I think you may find a lot to gain by visiting her site.

Next up is Heather and Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS.  Heather was diagnosed with MS a only a couple of years ago, but you would think she had been living with MS for a long time, based on the amount of information she shares.  Heather shares information about the OMS program, many exercising techniques, and relaxation techniques through her stories with her Donkey Dizzy.  She has also begun a podcast featuring two herself and two other MS bloggers from the UK.  If you have a minute, potter over  to her page, again you will not be disappointed!

Also from the UK is Caz, the author of Invisibly Me.  For a quick glimpse at her personality, check out her post, This and That.  As with most invisible illnesses, you wouldn’t know that anything is “wrong” with Caz, by looking at her, but she takes this one step further by sharing tips on how she continues to fight and rise above the trials she faces.  I especially like her post, What my invisible illness(es) have taught me. If you have another moment, (while you are in the UK :P) take a few steps over to her page.  About once a month she will share frugal finds for things she has found that help beat the heat and work on relaxation.

While I’m taking you around the world (well yah the internet is) I’d like to take a moment to visit Vancouver and talk about Amanda from Walk a Myelin* My shoes Not only does Amanda talk about the realities of living with Chronic Illness on her blog, but she is in the process of writing a book, and often talks about the other side ( caregivers and support people for those of us living with an invisible or chronic illness). To keep in line with the subject I wrote about earlier with being newly diagnosed, I would like to share this post written by Amanda as a place to start.

It is so easy to fall in with “the bad crowd” of people living with chronic illness.  By “bad crowd”, I don’t mean bad people, I mean people that spend more time succumbing to  their diagnosis and limitations than they do focusing on the positives in their life or are resigned to let the disease consume them.  (I think we may all go there from time to time.) Personally, I find it so much more helpful to spend time with people that while maybe struggling, continue to fight each day.

I hope you can take some time to visit the above mentioned websites, and that you find them as helpful as I do!

I have showed you mine, will you show me yours?

Do you have any websites or bloggers that you follow that share tips for dealing with chronic illness?  I would love to hear your thoughts

Maybe you can share some recommendations that you have?

 

Not your typical Blogger Award revisited

Revisited? re awarded? Whatever the case, last year I wrote a post, Not your typical blogger award, in which I decided to share some of my favorite blogs with you. I would like to do that again now.

The blogs that I have chosen to list are the ones that make me laugh, or even just really think the most.  I have purposefully NOT included the blogs I follow about MS, or other chronic illnesses, because AGAIN, today is just NOT an MS day for me.  If you are interested in hearing a list of chronic illness bloggers, let me know.  (I have some great motivating and inspirational recommendations.)

The first blogger I would like to recommend is, Tom from Tom Being Tom.  Of course I have to direct you to a fabulous post that Tom wrote about me, Graced (I can’t resist the free publicity.)  Seriously though, let me talk about Tom for a minute.  Tom is the 2nd blogger, I have read every post they have written.  (The first was superman, who I previously nominated for this award.)  There was no challenge to read Tom’s words, it was a pleasure.  Sometimes serious, sometimes light hearted.  Sometimes, (ok frequently) Tom writes about sports and politics, but imo he makes up for that when he shares his love of his wife and his fur babies, Ludo and Moxie.  If you have some time, do yourself a favor and give him a read.  (If you haven’t clicked on one of the links to his posts above, start here.)  This is my favorite.

Up next is Lisa, the writer behind All About Life.  Although Lisa is a relatively  “new kid on the block”,  you wouldn’t know it by the number of followers she has racked up in the few short months that she has been blogging.  There is not just one word to describe Lisa, but here  is one….  CANDID.  Refreshingly Candid.  I don’t remember how I first discovered her blog, but I am certainly glad I did.  In fact, I think she is the next blogger I will be going back to the beginning to read (once I finish rereading the posts I have made) If you are looking for a place to start (not the beginning but an insight into her personality, may I suggest. Refusing to Grow up.

My final recommendation is the blog Lockwood Echo.  While I don’t actually know her real name, Lockwood works for me.  I can’t think of a better way to recommend her than to share what she says about herself on her The Editor page….

The Lockwood Echo was born from a collection of random musings and a wish to collate what I thought may be of interest or side-splittingly funny.

Using humour to deflect rage or feelings of misjustice and trying to make people think I’m wickedly witty has been a game-plan of mine for many a year. It’s self-preservation when life hits melting point. It’s also not healthy to bottle up so much sarcasm. It’s best I let it out.

She does this quite well!  While reading her posts, I promise you will feel….”omg that has happened to me” or maybe be glad that it didn’t. (though you might not admit it as she does.)  If you need a place to start, check out,  then there was that time series.

I’m going to end this post now, as I have much more reading to do.  Please take a minute and look at the blogs that I have listed.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

 

So….. not what I was expecting…..

A parade?  For me?  How Exciting!!!!

But not even a little bit true.

Let’s start at the beginning…..

😦 no the beginning would take to long

where to start?   where to start?

Ah, just go with the flow…. let’s start with the picture I have posted.  Apparently, it is homecoming weekend for our school district.  I had no idea. As I watched the band, and trucks pulling floats assemble outside my house yesterday, my mind traveled to a different time. In some ways this makes me feel incredibly old, because I have been there and done that.  I participated in Homecoming events, not only when I was in High School myself, but also as each of my daughter’s were.  Wow that feels like I lifetime or two ago!

At the same time, I’m not done with Homecoming.  In as short as 15 years or so, I will have Grandchildren that might be participating in Homecoming.  I will be telling the story…..” when I was your age we had to walk 10 miles through the snow, Uphill to get to school…etc.”  ( Ok that’s MY grandma’s story, but you get the point)

I wonder how different the world will be even in just the few years.

Yesterday, while sitting in the waiting room for my 3 week post op visit, (more about that soon) my mind started to drift to a post that I read earlier this week, by Bojana at Blogging with Bojana.  In her post she talks about spending time with her young son at the playground.  She writes…

Another good thing I’ve noticed spending plenty of time in the sandpit with toddles is the presence and acceptance of all the colors of the rainbow, that is an utter and complete absence of racism and xenophobia in their world. While there’s possessiveness and envy of another kid’s bigger and shinier toy, there’s no discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, appearance or disability. The society has yet to teach them hatred and prejudice, giving rise to inequality and aggression.

20180927_145626As I thought more about her post, which you can read in its entirety here. I thought that I had the condition for the beginnings of Utopia right in front of me.  I may be misusing the word, but here is the definition I am trying to describe…

u·to·pi·a
yo͞oˈtōpēə/
noun
noun: Utopia; plural noun: Utopias; noun: utopia; plural noun: utopias
  1. an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.

Even though we are all sitting in a Doctor’s office, and there is still pain and suffering, as individuals, no one was adding to someone else’s discomfort.  Young, old, black, white, blonde, brunette, bald, overweight, underweight….we were all there coexisting.  Peacefully.

That is the kind of world I hope to see my grandchildren raised in.

In the beginning of the post, I said I didn’t know where to start, so I just started typing/rambling.  I actually intended to tell you about my post op visit, but as I “reviewed” yesterdays events in my mind, my foot became very insignificant. I am not going to say anymore about Homecoming, memories, hope for the future etc or even my foot notes…..  I made a funny ( at least in this post)

Instead I want to ask you for your feedback.  Don’t you think the world would be a better place if instead of drawing lines that separate us from one another, we focused more on the common goal of helping everyone “make it”? all making it

Great reminder from Walk a Myelin* My Shoes

Earlier today I read a post that reminded me of a topic I had wanted to discuss many times, but had never gotten around to.  Amanda, at Walk a Myelin* My Shoes wrote this post today, that I think everyone who has to ask someone for help, myself included, should remember.   BE Kind and Thankful for the people that are there for you.  But not only that…. REMEMBER to THANK them.

I reblogged this on my page a few minutes ago, in an effort to share her post, but I don’t know if I did it correctly.  If you have a minute, please take a minute to visit her post on her page at the link above.

We’ve all held the door for someone without receiving thanks.  Maybe you have let someone with a smaller cart checkout in front of you?  Doing those things and helping people for the most part makes us feel good about ourselves, when it is our choice to do them, and it’s an added bonus when the person you help Thanks you.

I’d like to share a story that while I am not ashamed of, I am not particularly proud of.  I’m not going to go back and “fix, or undo” it, but I do try to be better than that now, and I really try to remember to thank the people I have to ask for help.

Ok so here’s the story….

When Thing One and her husband started dating, he lived in Michigan and she lived in Il.  I am so thankful that the kids have decided to make Illinois their home.  I felt bad for Z’s mother, who has several physical limitations, that she would not be able to see the kids as easily.  Once the kids decided to get married, Z’s mom, (we’ll call her T) decided that she wanted to move to Illinois to be closer to our kids and potential grandchildren.  She asked for my help.

I have learned the hard way in the past, (and I am still learning) that it’s important to set boundaries when you help someone.  One boundary I try to place is that I will happily TEACH you how to do anything I can, but I won’t do things FOR you, if you are capable of doing them yourself and chose not to.

I helped T find maps, handicap accessible apartment websites and phone numbers, and offered to take her to the buildings if she did all the other prep work of reviewing the websites, and scheduling appointments.  That process wasn’t without it’s issues, but we did it.  She came to Illinois to stay with the kids for 4 days, and Friday was the day I would show her around and take her to her appointments.

When I arrived at Thing One’s to pick T up, they (Thing one and T) weren’t quite ready and neither had eaten breakfast, so I offered to make eggs for them both.  I asked, T how she wanted her eggs,  ( which is more than I did for Thing One) and she replied “Over medium”.  Ok, I will give it my best shot.  I made her eggs first, and when I placed them in front of her she made a face and said, “I guess I can work with that”.

Deep breath Grace!…Deep Breath! ( no I did not throw the plate in her lap)…..  I did look at Thing One though, who instantly gave me an apologetic look.  ( l love that my kiddo and I can communicate through facial expressions and body language so well)  Next I made Thing One’s eggs and placed them in front of her.  She replied, “Thank you.”  (Yes I had to point out that my daughter has simple manners).  Finally, I finished my own eggs.  (the same way I made T’s) eggs.  I sat down to eat and T immediately said, ” well that’s how I wanted my eggs, that looks good.”

WOULD YOU LIKE MY FUCKING EGGS?!?!?!?

What I actually said was,  “If you would like my plate, I will happily trade you.”  She dismissed me and began to eat from her own plate.

Several times throughout the day she barked at me that I was doing something wrong, or this wasn’t what she wanted.  I really really tried to be patient, but after seeing 4 different apartment buildings, and constantly being told I was incorrect, I made up an excuse that I needed to be home for Einstein for something, and took them back to Thing One’s.  (sorry kiddo, I did what I could….but she’s all yours)  and yes I did say that in her ear as I hugged her goodbye.

For the remainder of the evening I tried to offer Thing One appropriate responses to her future mother in law  (via text ) as she got on Thing One’s nerves more and more.  I was also supposed to hang out with the kids and T on Saturday for a couple hours.

When I got there on Saturday, I told both of the kids I was only staying for one cup of coffee, and asked which excuse they would like me to give about why I wasn’t staying longer.  Since the kids were “entertaining”, I offered to make everyone coffee.  Thing One wanted hers with creamer, no problem.  Z wanted his with a scoop of sugar, also no problem. I don’t even remember what T wanted in her’s because I honestly I had had ENOUGH of being told how many things I did wrong…

Here comes the not proud part

I placed T’s cup in front of Z and told him, “Here, YOU fix her coffee for her, because if  she tells me I did ONE MORE thing wrong, she will wear it”.  T gasped and looked up at me saying, ” Oh do you mean about yesterday?…. I was only joking!!!!”

Uh huh.  I quickly drank my coffee, made my excuse to leave, and wished T an enjoyable rest of her trip.

Yes I know that was wrong and very passive aggressive of me.  As I said I’m not proud.  But I think it illustrates my point.

A year has passed since that day, and while I have not been MEAN to Z’s Mom, I have not been helpful in ANY WAY.  Normally I would have spent some time at the kids wedding in March with her, making sure she was settled in ok etc.  I didn’t, other than to make sure the obligatory newlywed’s with their mom’s picture was taken.  I have not shared any of the kid’s ultrasound pictures with her (as I would have in the past).  I know that it’s not my job to do those things, but that is who I normally am.  The one who tries to treat everyone like they would like to be treated.

I’m sure I will have more dealings with T in the future, and any help I give will be because I chose to help not expecting anything (even a thank you in return) I know that this is the way it is supposed to be, but I am human, and would at least like a Thank you.

Thank you for reading along today.  Do you get bent out of shape too, when a Thank you is not spoken? I think we all do a bit.  PLEASE remember to thank people who are kind to you, or that you rely on for help, it can really make a huge difference.

**** I didn’t realize until reading some of your comments, that I neglected to add that at this time, T still resides in Michigan.