Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All right already! I went to the doctor!

Like most women I know, I am stubborn and a little stupid when it comes to taking care of myself. Take this whole sciatica situation, for example. It all began with pain in the ball of my left foot probably a month or more ago. I didn't think much of it. It went away. Then there was the pulling sensation in my lower back, down the back of my thigh. That went away after a few days.

So when I went to help spruce up the new rehearsal space the theatre company acquired, it didn't dawn on me to sit back and let someone else lug out the 5 gallon buckets of dirty water from the steam vac. Nah! I knew I could handle that. I am, after all, WOMAN! Foolish woman, but WOMAN, nonetheless.

Had I not learned? Had I not learned from the occasional bouts of back pain brought on by similar chores? Obviously not, because a few hours after the lugging, the pain in my lower back... oh wait! No... that's not really my lower back. It's my entire left buttcheek! Oh, and now it's shooting down my thigh, and zingo, skips the knee and goes right out the ball of my foot.

I am not a wimp. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. When I write that the last two weeks I've reached level 8 on the pain scale, I'm not exaggerating. For those who have listened to me whine endlessly for days, I'd apologize except I know something you don't know. The whining is the only outlet that has kept me from tears, and I feel like I've kept going pretty well and been toughing it out.

Pleh. Well, now the real toughing it out starts. I've been given a mild painkiller to take when I really need it. I'm to call a chiropractor, recommended to start yoga, and, of course, I need to get serious about weight loss. Somehow, I've gotta' do that while not stressing my back. (That means no walking, no treadmill, no aerobics, no... uh huh! You've got the picture!) I wonder if I have the fortitude to return to the modified fast that led to my 100+ pound weight loss 20 years ago. (Time flies when you're eating chocolate!) I'd only do that until the back eased up, and I can really move again. Hmmm...

Welcome to 2010 and my 50th year! The year of my rebirth!

But no. Despite today's blah blah blah about my sciatic and moo-cow-weight issue, this is NOT going to become a diet blog. There are already many of those in the world, and though the weight loss is essential, there are headier and more spirited aspects of my life I'd rather share with anyone who cares to read them.

Mostly I just want to get in the habit of writing SOMETHING every day. Because I do have, somewhere deep within me, a really, really good book.

Until I write again...

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010 ~ Predictions and Stuff

It takes the onset of pain for one to really appreciate good health and being pain free. My sciatic nerve is very unhappy, and the extent of the pain is really quite astounding. I've gained a new empathy for those who suffer with sciatica, and pray that mine will resolve itself soon. (Web research shows that 90% of sciatica flare ups resolve without surgical intervention. I love the internet!) I've put off calling the doc and/or a chiropractor, but am waving the white flag of surrender and will be calling Monday.

In the meantime, I think of a woman I loved very much who left this world on Thanksgiving. Mrs. Gentile suffered almost every day of her life from pain, but she lived with grace, joy, humor and love, and no matter how badly she was feeling, she always noted that there were people worse of than she. I'm going to embrace that philosophy and muddle through this temporary set back, and celebrate all amazing things in my life.

I begin 2010 with so much hope and anticipation! Chris is plugging away on his edited manuscript, which is due back to the publisher on January 6. His second book will arrive in print in July. People are already pre-ordering the book! It's very exciting, and I've had a sense all along that this book was going to do very well for Chris. His first book and his research have already reached around the world, so the pre-orders are no surprise to me. I predict now that he is going to spend the upcoming year fielding requests for attendance at conferences, doing presentations, radio shows, more TV/film, and that by next year at this time, he will be able to retire from his job and make a fine living doing the research, writing, traveling and exploring on which he thrives. I am so proud of and so excited for him!

I am blessed to share my home with two wonderful young men... my son Geno and my stepson Alex. They are both 18 until Alex hits 19 in a few weeks. They have both faced some academic challenges this year, but I have confidence that as they find their paths and focus on the future, they are going to excel. I love my time with them. They make me laugh, they make me think, and they put up with my mothering, which is never easy for 18-year-olds! I am so proud when I hear from others that Geno and Alex are great kids, and, although the grades could be better, I know they are passionate about what they love, they are respectful, intelligent and likable. For them I predict a year of finding themselves and their passions and impressing themselves as much as us with their achievements.

Danville Light Opera is keeping me very busy, between my work on the Board of Directors and my work directing THE SPITFIRE GRILL, which opens in February. I've made some amazing friends through DLO, and find that I love the all-encompassing creative process that is directing. It is a real thrill to have a vision and watch it coming to life before my eyes. My cast is incredible! And the production team is made up of capable, enthusiastic people. I can't WAIT until opening night, and look forward to each and every rehearsal until that happens. I predict a very successful run! And I'm thinking about directing another show next year. Maybe.

My job continues to be a real antipode. LOVE the people with whom I work. Love them SO much! The job itself is incredibly stressful and not very creatively fulfilling. Not that I'm not great at what I do, because I am. But I'm not very happy. Because I work at the community college and enjoy the free tuition benefit, I'll be there until Geno and Alex complete their ASA degrees. If I give up some of my theatre responsibilities, maybe I'll get a degree, too, but if I'm honest, it's not a huge priority for me right now. It should be. But I'm having too much fun doing other things! : )

Chris and I learned a few days after Christmas that my eldest stepson, Pete, and his girlfriend will be having a baby in June. This is Chris's first grandbaby, making me a stepnana. The situation isn't ideal, but we are focusing on the blessing of the child and hoping this will be a good thing for Pete and Trina, and a joy to all of us. My initial feeling was boy, but I'm a little wishy-washy now. Probably comes from looking at cute girl baby clothes at Baby Gap while shopping earlier this week. So I'm sticking with my original feeling that the baby will be a boy.

Things I'd like to achieve or do in 2010 include... *sigh* ... yes, losing weight and getting more fit. I know 2009 has been a really bad year for me weight-wise. I know I've put on more weight. I'm shaped like a big ball. The ankle I broke is often uncomfortable, and I'm pretty sure my weight is contributing to this sciatic nerve pain. I avoid the doctor because I don't want to get on the scale. Ignorance CAN be bliss, right? But it's time to stop avoiding and start working on my weight/health issues. I need to make myself exercise. HATE IT! But it's a necessary evil, right? If I could figure out a way to hook up the laptop to the treadmill, I could play games like Pathwords while I walk, and wouldn't that be awesome? : )

I want to make another trip back east. I think I need to do that at LEAST once a year. I need to reconnect with friends and family. I am so sad that I'm missing my nieces and nephews growing up. I'm very sad and frustrated about the disconnect with my brother Scott and his family. I really want to smack him upside the head, but I need to rise above it and make the effort to re-establish communication. I'd also like to get to Texas to see my Mom and meet her boyfriend, too. And, the last of my travel wishes, is to take a REAL vacation with Chris. Of course, with limited vacation time from work, I don't know how I'll make this all happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Time to ice my back again.

Until I write again...