Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I am Thankful

I have been thinking recently that I am so thankful that I am able to walk and get out in nature. I'm thankful that my legs are strong and that I can appreciate fall, the smell of sugary sweet leaves, the cool hues of leaves changing colors, the glow of the sun on my cheeks, the crackle of leaves under foot while I walk. I'm thankful I could explore my neighborhood the other week, and could discover a few trails and hidden spots off the road where I live.

I am thankful that I get stretches of time where I feel great and can get out of the house. Every now and again, a day will pop up out of the blue where I sense in my bones that I feel great, and I make the most of that day. For example, the other Saturday was just such a day. Karl and I went the mall, and I was grinning from ear to ear. First, because it was the first time in the last two months (since moving here to this neighborhood) that I went out in the car with him. And second, because it was the first time in the last three years I've been to a public place during the Christmas holidays. The mall was decorated with lamps, wreaths, and lights, and Santy himself was there in the center of the mall with kids on his lap. Christmas music was playing, and I was just... so... happy. To be out of the house, to feel healthy, to be out in a public place, to be around people. Karl got Chick Fillet and I sat with him in the food court, people watching. I bought two pair of jeans from Gap and a pair of Gap Dance yoga pants. Ohhhh, there is nothing in the world like a pair of tights jeans that fit! It's been four years since I wore a new pair of jeans, and oh I won't let that happen again any time soon! I could have ordered online, but I knew that would not fly. It takes 12 actual try ons minimum before I think a pair looks ok, and I could not foresee sending 20-40 pairs of jeans back and forth in the mail. How absolutely lovely it was to be in a fitting room with an eager to please sales lady calling me "sugar" and asking what else she could bring me. I am thankful for the cheerfulness of that girl... she didn't know how much it meant for me to be out and about, trying on clothing.

I am thankful that I have been getting out so often the past two months. Three trips to the chiropractor, trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, the library and grocery store, drives around the neighborhood. I was house bound for almost two years, a time when even a trip out the back door to my own backyard was too much for me. So things are getting better.

The thing that I am most grateful for, though, is that I have experienced about two solid months recently where I had no stomach nausea. I have had stomach nausea lasting from 25%-90% of the day, every single day for the last four plus years. So to have this respite is huge. Your gut is your second brain, so when the gut is happy, the brain rests more easily, digestion takes less energy and there is more energy for the body to use. Having a calmer, more reliable stomach has been the reason I am getting out more. Interestingly, the anxiety slowly but steadily has decreased in the last ten months, and more and more often, I feel as calm as a cucumber hopping in a car and being in loud public places. Trust me, this was not happening a year ago. I am so thankful!

I am thankful that I made it through our big move to this house. I did 5 times the physical labor Karl did, as he was at work and I wanted to be busy.... oops, now there's nothing left for you to do, Karl! I was also in charge of the paperwork, scheduling, and technical issues in buying the home. Karl was very stressed, but somehow I wasn't stressed that much... I had to be the one to tell him to lighten up! I share all this is a thankful way though, because a year ago I didn't have the concentration or energy to even maintain a lucid, five minute conversation without going under. I am so grateful. I may have overtaxed myself in doing too much during and after the move, but I am super impressed with the progress I have made with my health.

I am thankful we got the water pressure fixed in our shower. I am thankful we got approved for a loan to get a heat pump installed in the house. I am thankful for mugs of hot chicory and dandelion mix with a dusting of forbidden cocoa on top... I am warming my paws on a hot mug right now. I am thankful my sister is living with us. I owe her my life, really, as she was there two years ago when doors were closed to me. I am so happy to be able to help her now even if it is small.

I am thankful that we are living in this area... the culture here seems open-minded compared to the town I am from. I am thankful there are two horse farms less than 15 minutes of this house. One is a home for aged equines, and the other is geared toward therapy for those beautiful souls with special needs such as autism or down syndrome. I want to volunteer there. I am also thankful we live down the road from a no-kill animal shelter. I want to volunteer to hang out with and talk to the cats, if any are in the mood to listen and be petted. I could also ask if I can walk some of the dogs! I am currently in dog-deficit mode, so this would make my day. There is so much to be thankful for!

Below are some photos from a walk down the road from my house the first week in November. It was a perfect day, brisk enough to need a jacket but warm enough to enjoy the walk.

This is the road that leads to our house... ours is at the end of the road near the red car. I turned around to take this shot.

Another view of leaves falling on the road.

This is the road I live on... It zig zags down to meet the rail trail.

Our road meets the trail.
Vivid leaves.

Someone's no hunting sign fell over.

Gorgeous sun kissed leaves.

Looking down at the trail, tiny leaves are nature's confetti.


Peaceful woods.

About fifteen minutes down the rail trail, I came across a bridge (to the left, not in the picture) and a stream.

You can walk off the trail at this point, down some steps burrowed
in the embankment going down to the creek.
Perhaps you can see the steps here leading down to the water.

I didn't venture down, but plan on doing so in the spring. I am thankful to have many walks to look forward to!

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