...and it's been a bittersweet and challenging year.
I had to put my dog Gryph down at Easter and we also put down our beautiful 9 year old Borzoi Kiki and my 20 year cat Hiss (late August and early September). I unexpectedly got a Deerhound puppy, Bailiewick in October. She has been very therapeutic for me.
I got stable enough in my treatment programme that I could start Chelation in the late spring, however 'treatment' chelation is nothing like the tester bags I had a few years ago. The stripping of the lead from my body has been quite painful, excruciatingly painful and it completely surprised me (I am not sure why I thought removing lead from my body would be easy...).
We made some major changes around the house (moved an equivalent of four or so rooms, including my old craft space), changed the flow of energy and in the middle of it all I got sick so everything is still on some level of transition. Arggghhh!
I had the H1N1 virus and survived (my doctor was seriously impressed given my multiple chronic illnesses that I was able to keep it out of my chest), only to have about three other viruses since (I have been sick since the beginning of September)....the side effects being a brutal exacerbation of my fatigue and pain for the last few months and no end in sight. It has been debilitating and mentally grueling and in order to reflect on the year that was, I looked back in my photos to see that I have done things, that there has been progress and that my life has had substance.
I wanted to do a montage of my favourite photos from last November and I even got Michelle's help (thanks Michelle!, I continue to be a cognitive challenge) but I couldn't get the damn thing to work so instead here is a slide show (there are 36 and if you are patient enough to watch I am forever indebted).
I started "365 days of being 16" for Nick in May and it has been a good exercise for me. Some days the only energy I have had is enough to do the journal for the day and a photo. Importantly for me, I have kept up to date. It also made me realize how small my square is and how isolated I am much of the time. That being said, I am so fortunate for Ed, Nick, the dogs, my Mom and Dad, the farm and my friends.
My spirits are low right now and turning 49 brings a lot of thought with it. This year needs to be different for me. I need to feel that I am making progress and that there is future in my future. I want to turn 50 feeling that I can accept where my life is and accept the limitations I have, whatever they are.
My mantra is going to be that "I am what I am, not what I do." This is going to be a huge challenge for me.
I am going to start an Eat-Clean program (gradually easing in so that by January 1 I am fully into the program) to see how much change I can make long term to the inflammation, pain and mobility issues I am having. My challenge to myself will be to do it for 365 days. We eat very healthily now but I plan to cut out sugar, all processed food, cheese and eat smaller meals more often. I want to see if the changes over a longer period will really make a difference.
I am going to take some online courses in order to enhance my photography and photo editing skills. I love taking pictures and the digital age is such a blessing; so I want to see if I can up my cognitive challenges in a more creative way and broaden my small world if only on my computer screen, when I have the energy. Ditto on some digital scrapbooking courses online, again with hopes of boosting my creativity (and confidence).
I hope to do some knitting. This past year has really sucked in the knitting department with a few things finished, not much started and not much posting or keeping up to date in the Ravelry or blogging world (I have become an accomplished blog lurker and I still struggle with the energy it takes to read and comment and follow through and knit and do the living thing - I have serious envy for so many of you out there!).
So Happy Birthday to me. If you made it this far you rock and I hope I don't sound as bummed as I am thinking this sounds - I don't want to be all sunshine and light when it really hasn't been but don't think that I am not thankful for all that I do have - I would just like to get to a point where I can take more advantage of it all! I leave you with a pair of socks I finished in the spring and have not posted yet (here or in Ravelry). The details escape me but I will get on that! Thanks for listening!