The meaningful and the mundane

I need to get clear on what I value.

I feel like there is a big disconnect right now between what I believe is important and how I am living my life in the day-to-day. I need to look at the areas of life that are meaningful to me, and make some serious decisions about how I am going to live.

I value my family. I believe it is important to be there for each other when possible. I am heading to a family funeral tonight, and I am so glad I am going… but I haven’t been to every funeral, or every wedding, and I need to ask myself why.

I value my health. I want to do the best I can to take control of this MS. But I skip yoga, I don’t handle stress well, I don’t manage Kaiser well, I don’t switch insurance so I can go to the MS center at St. Vincent’s… and I need to take a clear look at the reasons behind all this. I know we can start with fear, but I’m not sure if that’s the only thing driving me here.

I value my friendships. The support I get from the people who love me is so important to me. I don’t know what I would do without them. I try to be as positive and helpful to them, but I know that I need to be more conscientious about setting aside time for them, the biggest gift I have to give right now.

I value my relationship with David. One of the biggest things I took from our trip to Europe was how much I like spending time together, and how he cares for me – sometimes in the small ways, not the showy ways, but it is there.Yet at home, we fall into the trap of doing our own thing and spending all our time working on one thing or another, or decompressing separately, on the computer or reading or whatever. I want to choose to spend quality time together.

I value my relationship with Quinland. I think I am actually doing a pretty good job on this one, with the occasional blow-up on my part (due to medication side effects, usually). But we communicate well, we spend good time together, we enjoy each other’s company, I love and appreciate his friends and they like me. I could probably be a bit stricter and I could definitely be more structured on feeding him properly, but I am getting better,

I value living in a peaceful home. I am getting there, slowly but surely. Our bedroom is clean, the hallway is clean, the bathroom is tidy, Quinland’s room is pretty clean. The main floor is pretty chaotic due to being a broken-leg hospital ward, but overall I feel okay about people coming over. This is pretty big for me.

I value reading as a means of relaxation. Yeah, if I am being honest, I probably spend more time reading than I ought to, at the neglect of other important things… But I really do value the downtime and the peace of mind it gives me.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things I believe in, just a few I have had on my mind lately. But it’s powerful to look at where I am and where I want to be, and see where I am succeeding and where I fall short. Really, some days it’s good to feel I am doing anything well!

Daily Check-In:
I’m grateful
for the wonderful conversation I had with my nephew, RJ, yesterday. It was such a treat to visit with him for so long.

Little MS cranky

If staring at the phone could cause it to ring, I’d be a lot happier.

So I rolled over in bed on Friday night and my right leg – the good one – hit David and felt creepy. (Creepy is a scientific term for when it feels like you are being touched through a wetsuit. You know you are being touched, but you can’t feel it properly.)

I have been to the neurologist a time or two in my day, so I made a critical medical decision and ordered David to get a safety pin and poke me with it. Sure enough, the poking did not hurt any part of my leg, but did hurt my arm. In the world of MS symptomology, this is what is known as Not Good. Continue reading “Little MS cranky”

Attacking my paper clutter


If you follow FlyLady, you may know that her focus this month is paper clutter. She suggests taking 15 minutes at a time to tackle a small pile of paper – a drawer, a file, a box – and to determine what needs to be shredded and what needs to be kept.

I’ve been bogged down since I got home with a few different kinds of paper:

Bills to pay. I set up everything on automatic deduction before I left… or did I? It’s funny how many once-a-year things like a Costco membership or AAA come up unexpectedly.

Bank statements to reconcile in Quicken. I know David thinks that using Quicken is a waste of time, but I like to know where my money is going. I have been operating on a Quicken-backlog basis for about five years, but I may actually be seeing the light at end of the tunnel.

Stuff to file. This pile grows and shrinks depending on how productive I have been lately, but it seems to be a never-ending job.

Euro-Trip memorabilia. This is contained in a single box right in the middle of the office floor. David has been tackling it bit by bit, recycling the “Why did we save this?” and the “Do you even know what this is from?” stuff.

Other memorabilia. I’m really trying to cut back, but the dang scrapbooker in me still likes to save.

Plans and Hopes and Dreams. This is the stuff that gets out of control easily: pictures of rooms I love, templates for organizing schedules and cleaning routines, things I read and want to save, Very Important Directions (such as how to remove stains or when to plant tulip bulbs), and the like. Information and inspiration, all piled together in dishtubs, waiting to be remembered and sorted and put to use.

Last night, I worked on the “Bank statements to reconcile in Quicken.” I am really burning through those!

It felt good. I told myself I was going to work on it for 15 minutes, and I ended up going strong for over an hour. The best thing about it is the commitment I now have – thanks to Freedom Filer! – to only saving papers for two years. So all the newly reconciled statements from 2007 and 2008 have become fodder for the Shred-It guys. Whoo hoo!

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for my sister. She is an amazing woman, an amazing writer, an amazing mother, and an amazing friend.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by Muffet.