Looking up.

I took a bit of a tumble off the top of that mountaintop I talked about yesterday.

Today was a day I’ve been dreading.  I sat down to reconcile our bank account and budget…and…look at this month’s bills.  It hasn’t been done since my stay in the hospital.  What can I say?  I did the best I could.  Some folks got paid something and a lot went into the “maybe next check” pile.  Math is not my best subject by any means, but I’m pretty good with the concept that once you hit zero, it’s all negative on the other side.  I confess that I shed a few tears and wondered what in the world to do, but then I moved on.  You can only do what you can do…

Even good days have bad moments.

I’m close enough to the mountain top that I can see it clearly if I look up. And looking up is a pretty good way to live.  I guess I’ll just start hiking back up there…I need the exercise!

If anyone is reading this who is facing a hard time of one kind or another – please know that you are not alone.  Take a moment to count a few blessings:  we all have something to be grateful for.

Tomorrow is a new day and it will find me waking up with a thankful heart.

The return.

Greetings and salutations.  I have returned.  I don’t know if you missed me, but I have missed posting!  The healing and recovery from surgery is progressing well.  Slower than I’d hoped and expected, but I’m heading in the right direction.

Today, I completed my first two mile walk.  It’s two miles from my front door to the entrance of our housing development.  It contains three gentle inclines which were pretty tough today, I must confess.  I preferred the declines (is that even a word?)  I trust it will get easier!

In other news, I returned from a long weekend retreat at a place called Laity Lodge in the Texas Hill Country late Sunday evening.  It was a blessing of a time – an artists’ retreat teeming with visual artists, musicians, song-writers, singers, poets, writers, actors and…did I miss anyone?  The weekend was full of good food, rest, studio time, inspiring speakers, a concert, an art exhibit, music by the outdoor fireplace and magical moments.

The featured speaker was a gentleman named Malcolm Guite.  He is a lecturer, chaplain, artist, musician, and writer from Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.  An entertaining, knowledgeable, talented, down-to-earth guy who can quote Shakespeare or any other poet at the drop of a hat.  Check out his blog site, http://www.malcolmguite.com, for more information.

Malcolm Guite
Malcolm Guite

All in all, a refreshing, rejuvenating weekend…exactly what I needed to put me back on track.  I’m full of new artistic ideas and plans for art projects.  I’ve made some new friends and connected with some old ones.  I’m back home and ready to take a close look at our belongings and clear out some more excess.

It feels like a new start and, in a way, it truly is.  I’m lucky and thankful to be here on this big round ball we call earth.  I’m grateful  for healing and returning strength.  I appreciate that I have a house that shelters us and that I can make into a home that enriches us.  I’m blessed to have a husband that works so hard to provide for our family and still has the energy to look out for me.  I’m happy that I have a modicum of artistic talent and the desire to create.  I love my family, my friends and the anticipation of who will next enter my life and become family or a friend.  I’m exited to make and share more art (see my other blog:  http://www.unearthedart.wordpress.com).

At some point, reality will no doubt rear it’s ugly head, but for right now…in this moment, I’m loving the mountaintop experience.  The view is great from up here!  Amen.

Day 13

Post surgery…day 13.  I can’t believe it’s coming up on the middle of October.  It still seems like September to me.  Oh, the things I had planned to do this month.

But instead, I’m focusing on a part of my personal journey that I had chosen to ignore for far too long…my health.  I’ve known my weight and inactivity have been something that I needed to take on as a challenge, but ….

I’ve worked hard to appreciate that  I’m “me” no matter what I look like.  I would have chosen Cindy Crawford if I’d been given the option, but I missed that boat.  Learning to love me is about more than being okay with what I look like.  This is no longer about appearance, but about my health and my life.

Now, I’ve got no choice.  Sixty pounds is my goal, but this is not going to turn into a weight loss blog.  The weight is important, as is the exercise.  But, more importantly it’s part of taking care of myself and having an intentional life…a life that I make the choices in.

Today I’ve realized what a long-term challenge this is going to be. Yesterday, I took my first walk, piddled around the house and sat up working on an art project most of the day.  Today, I found out that I took on to much and really wore myself out.  It’s hard to realized how little control we have over our bodies and to confront the limitations we must face.   It’s easy to downplay the medical crisis and to “bravely” keep on going…”I’m fine.  I’m feeling much better.  I can do this.”  The brain says yes in it’s denial.  The body makes itself clearly heard.

Healthy food (who brought that donut into this house!), rest, short walks…small changes for a lifetime.  Throw in a little art, a lot of family and some spiritual growth.

It’s time to re-evaluate and re-balance again…and probably not for the last time.

Day 13 – healing.



This blog started out as an  expedition into community and my intent has been to keep it as honest as possible.  Tonight shouldn’t be any different.

It’s ten o’clock and I’m tired…exhausted.  I don’t want to go to bed.  It’s early for me – usually.  But things aren’t usual right now and won’t be “normal” for a while.  All the things that I do, that make up the “doing” part of who I am, aren’t allowed right now.  I can’t clean, or cook, or take out the trash, or lift anything heavier than 5 lbs.  Every time I start to do something, I come across something that weighs five pounds!

Laundry, nope.  Wet jeans and towels weigh too much…especially when you are pulling them up from the bottom of a washer.  The dryer is unbelievably close to the ground…bending and lifting, nope.

I can’t even open our back door to let the dogs in and out…it’s a sliding door that sticks and you have to lift and push to get it to move.

I am working on some small art things.  That’s a plus, but anything can become boring if you spend too much time doing it.

The doctor said I have to lose a lot of weight…we’re not talking 10 lbs. here.  This could all happen again if I don’t.

I found out that I have some really good friends (who are also good cooks).  I’ve also found out that some people I thought were friends apparently aren’t.  Hey, I know people are busy(people other than me), but how long does a comment on facebook take? I wonder how many time I’ve been guilty of not being there for someone who needed me.

I’m in the emotional, holy crap, what happened, I don’t think I can do this stage of recovery.

This journey of mine took an unexpected turn right in the middle of going so well.   Sort of like that great vacation that gets sidelined by car trouble.

Lest this sound like a complete “feeling sorry for myself ” rant – I’m grateful for great medical care, the first health insurance we’ve had in over 20 years going into effect a little over a month ago, a smooth recovery so far and a very supportive family.  I’m grateful that I’m alive.  I have much to be thankful for.

But, like I’ve said before, even grateful happy people have bad days, or nights.

All I can write about is me, my life and my stories…because that’s all that’s honestly mine to tell.  Right now, my story is kind of a teary confused mess.

And I need to get some sleep.

I’m back…sort of.

Hello all.  I am home from the hospital with lots of funny tales to tell.  But that may take a while because there is an equal number of not-so-funny stories also, and I’m just not ready to deal with it all yet.  I did want to get on for a minute and thank everyone for prayers, messages and happy thoughts.   Many, many times during the last week, something scary or painful would be happening and I would think of it in terms of how I would blog about it (or not) and it helped me out tremendously…just to think things through and not react at the first emotion or thought that popped in my head.

Not to be dramatic, but I’m told that I was an emergency surgery case and would have likely died if I had not gone to the emergency room.  I have lots to process and evaluate in terms of my life journey…the changes I’ve made and those that need to be made.  It kind of makes you stop and think, you know.

Now it’s time for my early, mid-afternoon nap.  You have to carefully schedule and plan to fit them all in you know!  I’ve written one post, responded to one email and sat up for 15 minutes while using my brain.  I think I’ve earned a nap….or two.

Bye for now.

Kelly is down and out for a while

Bad news for all of Kelly’s blog followers.  Kelly underwent emergency surgery yesterday and is resting comfortably in Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.  She will be offline for a week or so.  I know that all of you will miss her blogs as much as I do.  If you are so inclined, please send Kelly all of your prayers, good wishes and pleasant thoughts, she can use them.

Grace and Peace,

David Barrow