Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finals Are Here! Finals Are Here!

It is difficult for me to accept, believe, comprehend, etc., etc., etc., but finals are here for this quarter.  Classes are over as of today and I am having to waste time between one class and another.  In keyboarding I was informed that I had done all of the timed writings I needed and since I had handed in the very last packet I was free.  My head just didn't know how to think nor did my heart know how to feel. 
Earlier, in Introduction to Law, the instructor handed out our finals and said, "This is due Wednesday.  You are free to go."  Same feeling.
Between now and math is (now) an hour and a half gap and I am curious to see what we are going to do, if anything.  Since it is math I am sure Ms. Math will have something for us to go over in preparation for the final. 
The legal research project, the final project, is done and handed in.
After I take a make up math test tomorrow morning I am free to do as I please until Wednesday.
I have time to study.  I have time to work on only two projects and let myself feel absolutely relieved about them because I am confident I can do the work and will come out with relatively good grades.
I am not panicking.  I am not over worried.  I am at peace.  I've never been at peace before where finals are concerned.
Yesterday I had a lot of pressure to finish the legal research final project.  I didn't want to have to try and work on it as well as the rest of the final projects I thought I'd be doing.  It was a good project and I believe I did well on it.  Hopefully I did.  One project, intro to law take-home exam, and two tests and this quarter is completely finished for me.
Oh, and yes, I have already registered for next quarter and have my list of classes already.  I am actually becoming an organized student, as well as a more organized person.  Oddly enough, I had always considered myself organized (and I am compared to my husband), but now there isn't any doubt. 
Finals are here and I am ready.  Plus I finally feel like a human being!  The only thing wrong with me today is arthritis in my right shoulder.  With relaxation and some chi breathing, and Advil of course, and I am feeling much better.  So far have only had to take one dose of the painkiller Ultram(tm).  I'm going to make it!  I'm going to make it!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sometimes preparations need Preparation-H

Preparing for the up-coming week. I have homework lined out and almost finished. There are a good number of lunches in the fridge. There are books of the fiction variety to keep me occupied when there isn't studying involved, and I have The Healer Within to keep me moving forward on the path of just simply feeling good. And, thanks to a dear friend, I also now have the prayer book I have been wanting, needing for a while.

Everything "looks" as if it is straightening out and at the same time it all feels like a big pain. Keeping my head on straight and moving forward with the plan I have so carefully laid out for myself (it's the A part of my personality; it shows up at the strangest times), but, at the very same instant, I see all of the math problems flowing ahead of me like a numeric white water rapid and the legal research is right there with it like some gigantic boulder in the middle making a dangerous split in the frothy water.

No, I'm not overwhelmed. Not yet. At least, not now.

My other classes are looming in front of me as well, but not so much as a menacing tower of doom, but more like an annoyance, like when Indiana Jones faces the sword wielding bad guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indy pulls out his gun and just shoots him. That sort of annoyance. I guess, in some ways, this is a positive thing: I am at least feeling somewhat confident again and finally rested enough to feel as if I can actually make it through the next two weeks with some form of sanity.

Yes, my first quarter of being on the Dean's List may not exactly be there, but I am looking at it quite happily because a) I am still alive (I was doubting I would be by this time around Wednesday of last week); b) there is always next quarter to be on the Dean's List and continuing; and c) there really is a lot going for me right now in my personal life, academic life, and writing life. So, I guess you could almost say life is good for me again.

Why am I not saying it completely, confidently and boldly that life is good again? I am not going to tempt fate or the Darkness by being so arrogant. What I am feeling is good. It is positive. And, quite honestly, it is a self-knowledge that doesn't need proclamation for some reason. Everything just feels in balance again and this is enough. I don't need for life to be perfect or that illusive "good" just at this second. These moments don't come often, but when they do, I firmly believe they should be cherished and enjoyed to their depths. They should be experienced with gusto and love, people!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well, it's kinda like...*sigh*

Yeah, I'm supposed to be studying, preparing for the return to the educational world on Monday, but earlier today I had an interesting thought about music and communication as well as singing. It doesn't make sense now, but it will soon. Promise.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Missing the Group

Humans are definitely social, herd animals. No matter how much we enjoy being alone and having that ever dwindling "me space" or "me time" there are just moments when being part of a group, being part of the crowd is beyond wonderful. A more perfect example couldn't be found than last Saturday in my mind.

Hubby and I went to tai chi in Georgetown like normal. I missed the pre-final meeting because Jaybird said, "If you don't go to tai chi you're going to miss your own birthday cake!" The wife of a tai chi class member made a cake just for me. OK, I thought, missing a cake someone made for you for your birthday isn't a good thing. It just isn't nice. It goes against everything Southern in my being. So, of course I went.

The morning wasn't as hot as it usually has been so tai chi helped to warm the body and settle the mind and spirit...for me. Doing the movements. Letting them flow from one into the other gave me a peace I had been missing for the past several days. Just Bill wasn't there leading us intrepid tai chi-ers(?), but we had instruction and practice and it was good, very good.

At breakfast I ate sparingly because we were heading to my birthday luncheon/early dinner at three o'clock that very afternoon. Talk was happy and chipper and I let myself relax into the buzz and hum. I was a part of what was going on and yet able to separate myself just enough to observe it and drink it in like an over-dry sponge. However, when the time for cake came I was very much in the present and very, very close to happy tears.

When I knew there was going to be a cake for me I expected it to be a sheet cake. When it was unveiled I was flabbergasted: It was a homemade from scratch turtle cheesecake! For me. For my birthday. To share with my friends. With the group that had accepted me down to the core and was celebrating my life with me in a glorious, quiet, gentle, happy fashion.

No matter how much we need space. No matter how much we, as individuals, need time to just settle back into our own skins, being part of the group, welcomed and cared for is what we need to the core of our beings. In the Orthodox Church we say that those people who become monks or nuns and go out into solitude have received a very special gift from God. I didn't understand it at all until this past Saturday because I knew, deep down, I couldn't give up these people nor my study of tai chi or the study of things in general. Why? Because acceptance is precious and should be treasured like the wonderful gift it genuinely is. It is one of the most wonderful gifts we have received from God.

I have found acceptance in two places, in two groups, and I feel very blessed and humbled by this. One place is Church. The other is tai chi class. Some would say they are two totally unrelated groups, kinds of people. I disagree. They are just people. Human beings. We are all living and moving forward and trying to find our way to peace as much as possible here on earth as well as here after. It is a difficult struggle, but we are not struggling alone any more. We have each other and the great strides of one can be appreciated by all, as well as the smallest of steps by the beginner. We can rejoice in all of it, because we are actively walking, traveling on a journey, on an adventure

Like most people I forget the wonderment of the journey. I let life and living get in the way of Living and seeing how far I have come and actually let myself look forward to the journey that is before me. I let school and bills and other people sidetrack me into small holes here and there, but the journey still goes on and there are little sign posts, rest areas along the way where we stop for a moment and remember where we are, who we are and where we have come from, and, hopefully, where we are going (even if we aren't very sure at times). One of those days, one of those rest areas was, for me, last Saturday.

Sadly, I am probably not going to be able to go to tai chi tomorrow because I need to finish recuperating from this yuck that has tried to swallow. Still, just like the movements of tai chi, they are here with me and, perhaps I am with them. A part of the group.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

About the "class" thing....

Didn't make it to class today. *hangs head in guilt* It appears my body has other ideas about what is needed at the moment, and since I am actually listening to my body for the first time in quite a while, I didn't go to school today. I had a fever on and off all of last night. However, there has been progress: Not only has there been warm Pepsi consumed, there has also been crackers, some cream cheese and crackers; and even some water! I am most excited about the water actually. Also, there hasn't been any episodes of mass evacuation of the intestinal system all day. Still, I have been very tired, weak, and my head hurts. I am hoping the last of this thing is going to be this nagging headache that I am doctoring with Advil and water.

I am not as concerned about classes as I was. Why? Because I want to be able to keep going to school and making good grades. I have been extremely ill for this week, so I need to take care of myself. Yeah, I just may be growing up somewhere. Shocking isn't it.

Hubby has gone to the rpg game. It is Thursday after all. I miss the game and the fellowship it brings, but I need to rest and be as close to a restroom I can use as possible...just in case.

Yeah, it is so great being me sometimes!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sickness and Music - Sometimes a Strange Combination

This has not been the best of weeks for me. Monday was a long and productive day. Tuesday I was sick as a dog due to a nice stomach virus. Today? Still sick with same stomach virus, but, thank God, it is better. Right now about the only thing that is staying put is a nice warm Pepsi.

Since Tuesday (yesterday, can it be only yesterday?!) was one of the worst physical days I have had in a number of weeks, I have been weak and just sleeping. This could possibly be because I have puked/purged/got-rid-of stomach contents in any way possible -- truly not of my choice mind you -- and have felt little worse than dead. Today, after Noon that is, I began feeling a little better. Even tried to eat some baked chicken. Not a bright idea on my part. Therefore, I have sworn off much of the food in a solid fashion and thus have sipped my warm soda and tried to take Advil for a head that feels heavy and pounding.

The Advil appears to be working because I can listen to my current music selection in peace. It is an odd collection of Cowboy Troy, Big and Rich, John Rich, and Big Kenny. Nothing overly serious and has a happy beat. Right now I am listening to "Please Man." The first line makes me smile, "Please man, don't call the police man." It's all about a party that got a little loud, and I almost like their rendition of "Shook Me All Night Long." I would have enjoyed it much more if it had been more rock than country. I should already know Big & Rich don't do things normally. It's in a super country melody and beat, not rock at all. Still, it makes me smile. However, I did remove it from my MP3 player. I need happy for school tomorrow.

Yep, I am heading out to school tomorrow. I just may not be able to make it to six o'clock like normal. Isn't school grand?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sitting Quietly Contemplating Knitting When I Should Be Working on Legal Research

Today has been quite the productive day. I have finished up my Am Jur exercise problems and almost completed all of that dangburned math! The Shephardizing sheet is before my eyes and all I have done for the past 45 minutes has been to look up knitting patterns (and even printed off a couple). Not only that, but I have read knitting blogs and thought seriously about what I was going to purchase with the gift certificate I received for my birthday to Stone's Throw--my local yarn store (LYS to the initiated).

I know I should be working on the Shepardizing problems, and probably will actually *d0* one of them before I leave today, it is just proving something difficult to keep going at the moment. My brain and energy level have practically bottomed out. Food follows yarn in my head like some strange caboose on a very brightly colored train. Yes, I am hungry and I would love to just settle in and pick up my needles and relax for a little while before having to head home to be domestic and finish up the math.

This isn't a new thing for me, though, especially of late. Around five o'clock every afternoon my brain seems to shut down for about an hour. Despite having done chi breathing exercises, some tai chi movements, and potato chip consumption (for the potassium, ahem) the gray cells prefer to shut down for about an hour. While the brain shuts down my hands and eyes want yarn. Lots of soft, brightly colored yarn that absolutely soothes the soul, my soul any way.

Currently on the needles is a hat for Hubby, which is going to require the purchase of more yarn in order to finish it, and a pair of shorts for myself. There is also the capelette I keep threatening to make for myself but never have let it completely take me over.

With the way school is going and all of the consistent movement and alertness required of me, having some down time with yarn relaxes me deep down. If all goes well tomorrow, and it isn't supposed to rain, I may actually attempt to bring some yarn and a set of needles with me for these times. It would be wonderful to be relaxed when heading home of Hubby and the animals so that I don't snip and nip when there isn't any call for it.

It is looking as if every day until finals I am going to be here at school until six or seven o'clock in the evening. It would be good to be able to just sit for a little while, knitting quietly while the rest of the school begins picking up for the evening classes (which is beginning to happen right now).

A lot of familiar faces are here, too. We've been here together since seven this morning. I see the same brain-dead look in their eyes while they force themselves further, onward to evening classes and more homework. Is knitting for a few minutes too much to ask in this day and age? Something to permit the mind to quiet yet keep it occupied so it doesn't become bored and require sleep? No, says I! Not in the least!

So, what is going to be the next major feat of the knitting needles? Why, it could be those socks I've threatened for ages and ages, or the capelette. There are so many things yet left to knit!

Could I really manage to bring the knitting with me tomorrow? I may just go ahead and try....

The Spoon Theory

Many people throughout my life have asked me what it was like to be me, a person with a disability. Even though I told them I hurt somewhere every day and some days were worse than others, they would nod, but it was quite plain to see by the look in their eyes they didn’t get it. It wasn’t them, of course, and it wasn’t me. It is impossible in many respects to explain what it is like to be disabled/handicapped; it is just as impossible to explain what it feels like to be black, Asian, or just plain white.

For many years I didn’t even try to explain it because I had grown quite accustomed to the looks in their eyes when they didn’t get it, and if I attempted to explain it at all it would be only to the people who genuinely seemed interested in wanting to know. These people were usually my closest friends, or those on the border of becoming a close friend. Still, despite their desire to understand, they couldn’t, and they seemed, looked sad because they couldn’t understand.

Recently I made a comment to a friend about feeling tired. He said, “So you’ve run out of spoons for the day?” I didn’t understand what he meant. “I read something that sort of explains to me how you are. I’ll find what I read and send it to you in an e-mail link.

He was good to his word and sent the link to me, and now I am passing it along to you because it does explain what it feels like to have a disability.

This woman has Lupus, which, according to the Arthritis Foundation web page, is lumped in with arthritis. I have rheumatoid arthritis so the fatigue she talks about and how you have to plan and that your back-up plans have back-ups are quite accurate.

So, I pass along the spoon theory. Enjoy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taking Time to Breathe

Finals are fast approaching. They are heading toward the populace of Sullivan University like a freight train preparing to run over a number of damsels and heroes alike that are tied to the train tracks no less. Yes, this is probably quite a bit of exaggeration, but, all in all, this is pretty much how it feels to yours truly at the moment.

Everything was under control. It really was. Or, perhaps, I had just convinced myself of this. Either way, I am fighting for control now with every fiber of my being and am actually beginning to make some headway.

Legal research is the problem child, of course. It was under control. It really was. Then someone asked me today if I had worked on my Am.Jur sheet. My response was, "What Am.Jur sheet?" Yeah, you got it. It seems, since I sit so far away at a computer terminal in legal research class, I don't often hear things. Luckily for me I have made some friends who are helping me keep track of everything that has been handed out. Now all I need is the time to do it.

Earlier today I was feeling a little over-whelmed, (OK, a lot over-whelmed) so I just went into my favorite unoccupied classroom and just sat for a few minutes while waiting on my next class. Do you find it odd I have a favorite unoccupied classroom? It shouldn't, and won't once I've described it to you.

It is a corner classroom. Two walls are nothing but glass and look out at the bright sunshine. It is warmer than most of the other classrooms because it has the sun streaming into it, and it is always bright--as long as the sun is shining, of course--and just feels happy. I have taken to going in there every afternoon just prior to math class and sitting for a little while because I find it quite peaceful. Today I did some breathing exercises just before heading out to class and felt the knot between my shoulder blades loosen some. Just what the doctor ordered.

It isn't just me that is feeling the stress of fast approaching finals. Everyone is. Everyone who cares about their grades that is. (I care. I care a lot. I probably care more than I should, but getting good grades helps validate me. I don't know why. It just helps me prove to myself I am smart I guess and can do what I've put my mind to. And, on a totally different front, it is almost like a game to me, a game I love playing and the good grades mean I've won the game. Silly? Probably. Honest? Most definitely.) Friends I've made here are all wondering how they are going to get all of the assignments done and handed in on time as well as locate enough time to study for some finals. Yes, I am right there with them, but my worry doesn't seem to be making my face break out in pimples or my stomach churn like it normally would be doing. I am giving credit to prayer, faith, and a lot of breathing exercises I'm learning and actually practicing. A friend here at Sullivan has asked me to show her some of them, and as soon as we have some spare moments together I will.

So, today I am taking time to breathe and do the things that make me happy deep down inside like LJ and blogging. Hopefully this isn't boring you too much. It is just nice sometimes to sit down and connect, thought to person and communicate.

It seems communicating actually does help you lesson your fears and worries as well as relieve stress. Hopefully one day I'll keep expanding this to verbal communication as well.

Now it is time to attack the homework before work begins.

Hope everyone is having a splendid August day!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I have always loved poetry. There have been moments in my life, still are, when the only way something can be explained or shared has been through poetry. Oftentimes I have nodded quietly at a poem I've read because the poet has captured what I have felt, or explained, in words and meter, something I have been unable to explain to others even though I felt it deeply within my Self.

With everything that has been changing in my life recently, good and bad, this poem has been popping up for me. It isn't because it speaks so profoundly about the ability to change one's self and to be a better person while being "unconquerable" in the Soul and thus being true to yourself. It is mainly because of the idea of struggle it speaks of before the affirmation of somehow succeeding in life. This is very real and true for me right now. The struggle.

Life, of course is nothing but struggle. In my youth I struggled and fought with anger and determination, never quiet simplicity of action. Now I long to struggle quietly so that the victories I achieve, even if I am the only one who realizes the happening as a victory, are my own. If I can do this, (current) fight and struggle, quietly the only thing people will see will be the results and the change, not the turmoil and hardship of the fight itself. Right now it isn't necessary people know I am struggling, fighting for something I cannot, as yet, explain to anyone else. Why? Because when people see the fight they take it for granted it seems, but when they see the results of the struggle, they are more apt to notice the change to its core rather than merely on the surface.

Another reason I am trying so hard to struggle silently is because this is affecting more than me now and I am changing for myself more than anyone else.

Isn't it odd how this happaens sometimes? More of the internal struggles you seem to hide in order to keep the peace or happiness all around you, even if you yourself are miserable and sharing the misery would really just make you even more miserable? Maybe it isn't everyone, or some people, maybe it is just me. I'm not sure any more. Still, the internal struggle happens and I change.

Luckily I can say I have given up all I can give up except for my very life now. I am whittled down to my core; the deepest, most inner parts of my core at that. Now the healing hopefully will begin and create for me a shell that is stronger and easier to maneuver through life with.

So, here it is. The poem that has been roaming my mind for ages, especially during times of intensity such as these happen to be for me. I give you Invictus.



William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Some Extremely Interesting Things in the News (Some of it is important, too!)

First off, the really important part: Fisher Price recalls toys because of lead paint!

In Finland there is a chocolate loving squirrel that eats the chocolate and makes off with the toy!

And finally, there is a fellow who claims to have proof of real aliens and UFOs. Yeah, I'll believe that one too when he actually convinces me of it. I haven't been able to play the video but the article does make a relatively good start at making a case for him.

On the school front: I have my class schedule for next quarter. The rooms aren't listed, of course, but other than that it is a done deal. The schedule is as follows:

9:00 a.m. = Domestic relations/Family law
10:00 a.m. = College Mathematics
12:00 p.m. = Legal Writing
1:00 p.m. = Real Estate Law

And there is also an online class I'm taking Criminal Law

The criminal law class makes me all a quiver! There was another class I really wanted to take, but it was an evening class and since the world is going to turn cold and dark sooner than I am prepared for it to, Hubby and I decided it would really be best if I didn't go forth and take the evening class. Actually, it was Hubby that kept bringing this back to my attention. This is just how much I wanted to take the class. Which class? Tort law, which is what we think of as "law" really. I believe it is just a fascinating case. Still, I have criminal law and it is being taught by my favorite teacher, so this is still a plus and I'm not going to complain overly much. In the winter quarter, however, my schedule may drop down to just three classes because of the weather and how well I do not do in the colder months. Who knows, this year the winter may be another warm one.

About the only class I am really not happy about is the math class. I was told that Math 100, my current math class, would be the only one I'd have to take. This was before UK decided it wanted to be difficult and not send me my correspondence transcript. Because of them I am having to take another crappy math class! No, I am not particularly pleased about this change of events, but there is little else I can do about it, of course. Except grumble. And I am probably going to grumble about this for a while.

OK, I'm outta here for the moment. There is a poem I am wanting to share with you, but this may have to wait until tomorrow or later on this evening.

Monday, August 06, 2007

History in the Making!

Planet Mars will be the brightest planet in the night sky starting
August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

This will culminate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65 million
miles of Earth.

Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 around 12:30 am. The sky will look
as if Earth has two moons.

The next time Mars may come this close again will be the year 2287.

Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it

An Interesting Day of Almost Nothing

There wasn't any school in my future today, or much of anything else. It seems I let myself get over-heated on Saturday even though I did spend lots of time indoors with the a/c running at Bohannan's Books and then at Stone's Throw yarn shop. Actually, I didn't think I had gotten over-heated at all until we were heading home and I said to Hubby, "My head is hurting." Yep. The head continued to hurt right up until about seven o'clock last night. By then I was, pardon my English, a very grumpy bitch. Luckily I was able to sleep lots and lots, and this morning when the alarm went off felt quite nauseous and ill which made me decide to stay home. Much to my own surprise, it was evidently the correct thing I needed to do for my body. Slowly but surely I am beginning to listen more closely to what my body needs and doesn't need. Tomorrow I will go to classes and hit the world wide open again, but am not going to venture out very much beyond the Sullivan's main building.

So, today was spent sleeping and drinking lots of water and, well, just relaxing and letting my body renew its energy. I also spent some time on reading The Healer Within which is a book Just Bill suggested I read. Although I have had the book for a couple of weeks I hadn't actually picked it up seriously until Saturday night because I had promised Just Bill I would read more of it before the next tai chi session.

It is a very simple book. It isn't long at all or difficult to read in the least, but some of the ideas it puts forth are, again, so simple my brain boggles which is forcing me to read it slower. One of the ideas that keeps being hammered home is that we can trust our own bodies and ourselves to know when something is wrong with us and that we know the speed we need to work at in order to help our bodies get better. Having been in the patient side of the world since I was a very young child, this idea keeps hitting me like a sledge hammer, mostly because I have always been silent after voicing a concern to a physician or a nurse and then been told what I am feeling and thinking. Now, here is a book that is saying I know how I am feeling and what I am thinking and it's perfectly all right. It is quite a surprise, especially how difficult it is for me to accept it even though I have wanted for years for someone to listen to me and not just tell me something and send me on my way with a prescription. It is amazing how this book is making me stop and take stock of what I truly think about myself and to trust myself where I am concerned. Despite the shock of it all it is refreshing and peaceful a read.

It seems the more I do tai chi and the more I let myself pray the more I am learning about myself. Some things are just reminders of what I knew before, but other things are brand new. Like confidence. I've struggled with confidence for years. In the younger portion of my life I can sadly admit I was arrogant. Now I realize the reason I was arrogant was I was afraid people would just look at me as a cripple and not as a human being, so I over-compensated. I also realize now that all I have ever wanted for myself was peace and acceptance. Now that I am actually getting the acceptance and the peace is slowly becoming more and more steady, I can actually see that I myself am accepting myself more and more which just so happens to increase the peace I am feeling. When I am not at peace with myself I am not at peace with anyone or any thing. I genuinely don't like feeling this way.

Some of you may be going, "Oh, I've known this for years!" To be honest, I've known it for years too--in my head, but not in my heart. Now the knowledge is progressing to the heart, which means I actually know it in the place where it really counts, matters. Who would have thought that with age there actually came wisdom?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New Drivers, Psychiatrists, and Life in General

There just isn't any way I can explain this better.