Loving The Ocean, Settling For A Lake?

Dear Fibromyalgia,

Another loss, another dream dashed, this one really hurts. All my life my dream was to live in a small house near the ocean. It was my fantasy, the one thing that I could think about when I felt a little down or when the Winter seemed unending.

Rainbow Waves

Rainbow Waves (Photo credit: The Uprooted Photographer)

Someday…I told myself, I will live in a beach house, and swim in the ocean. To me, the ocean is life, it is majestic, magical. It is the one source of pleasure I can count on, always.

Ever since I was a child my favorite activity would be to collect shells, to feel their shape between my fingers. What were the dominant colors? I used one as a “worry stone” others shaped like hearts I would give to my children. Another one with a little hole on top, I used as a necklace.

Seashell

Seashell (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

When I was hot, I would drift into the ocean between the two green flags and submerge my whole body and head into the oncoming waves. I was not a timid swimmer. I loved to jump wave after wave, it was thrilling for a scaredy-cat like me. It was adventurous and bold for someone scared to take chances.

In the water I was brave, confident, and happy. It was hard to get me out of the water but when I came out, usually under protest, I was out only until my swimsuit was dry, and then I went back in. I never had the patience to lie in the sun just to get a tan. Never. If I was in the sun for more than three minutes, it was far too long.

The beach was MY place. My secret place. I can’t even allow myself to have the fantasy anymore which saddens me. I have no balance and no strength since I got Fibromyalgia, seven years ago. My life was stolen from me, little by little. The last time I went into the ocean was in Florida, three years ago, with my daughter, and I couldn’t get up out of the water. I kept getting thrown under, again and again until I couldn’t breathe.

Fibromyalgia Eye

Fibromyalgia Eye (Photo credit: Vinally2010)

I needed her to help me get up. It took several times.

I lost part of myself that day and every day since. I know now that it IS a progressive disease, I feel it. I know with time I have gotten worse; my dream will never come true.

Beautiful, Tranquil Water

Beautiful, Tranquil Water (Photo credit: BrotherMagneto)

If I ever get to live close to the water it will have to be a lake but that’s not nearly the same as the ocean, not even close. Dreams die, health fades, burdens multiply. We cannot do anything else but accept. Accepting graciously is one option. I’m not there yet.

So, Thanks Fibromyalgia, you not only messed with my body this time, you messed with my dreams and emotions too. Way to go.

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Haiku Horizons, DRIFT

 

Fiery red ants climb

 

A human leg three days after coming in brief c...

A human leg three days after coming in brief contact with a fire ant colony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drift into tight follicles

 

 

 

 

 

Scratching pink skin raw.

 

 

 

 

 

*******************

 

 

 

 

 

Die, near ecstasy

Mother Ocean

Mother Ocean (Photo credit: belindah-Thank You!-200.000 Views Now)

 

 

 

 

roar, overpowering Life

 

 

 

 

 

Waves, sand, drift away.

 

 

 

 

 

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Driftwood & pebbles

Driftwood & pebbles (Photo credit: Jerzy Durczak)

 

Driftwood, lies in dirt

 

 

 

 

 

Shaped like a  young bucking foal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to escape.

 

 

 

 

 

**********************************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haiku Heights: Beach

Reaching for the Sun

Reaching for the Sun (Photo credit: paperbackwriter)

Sniff sea air, faces

Yield to the sun like tulips

Green water crashes

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Curled, in a tan ball

hiding from treachery, greed

A seashell in sand.

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(all photographs are property of the photographers.)

seashell on sand at Avila beach

seashell on sand at Avila beach (Photo credit: kingdesmond1337)

Plinky Prompt: Beach or Pool?

    • Going For A Swim
    • Beach Girl
      Ocean Wave Beach. The feel of the sand under my feet, walking slowly in the sun, looking for seashells. The thrill of the ocean (and the fear of the sharks) jumping over the waves, being a part of Nature. Sure, it is a little risky, it’s a little cold but there is no better feeling for me than diving under a huge wave and jumping over the rest; knowing when to jump and when to swim. It’s always held power over me, I love swimming and walking on the beach. I love watching the waves as they crash. My biggest dream is to live near the ocean. Someday….
    • Previous Answer

What I Worry About

Depends On The Day

Waves III

Sometimes I worry about everything, sickness, plane crashes, terrorists, radiation, illness, dying, not dying but in pain, being in a coma, a loved one being in a coma, being in a coma alive but no one can hear me…….Other times, I try to talk myself out of worrying by realizing I can’t control, pretty much, anything. Accepting that life is random and that there is always change and whether you go up or down, you always have to hang on and continue to ride the waves until you can ride no longer.

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I’m Thankful For…. Chronic Babe Carnival

Waves crashing at Sal, Cabo Verde

Image by aldask via Flickr

In this blistering cold weather, I am thankful for a peek of bright yellow from the sun coming through the budding trees. When I am sitting on an, old, worn bench in the front yard and see the little purple flowers around the edge of the brown grass I am thankful for that too. What I am thinking about this very moment is how to be thankful when you have heard news that makes you unhappy, in other words, when life throws you a curve ball or two.  I think those are the times, like now, that might mean the most because it is test and a challenge and I need to teach the lessons to myself all over again. Learning from unexpected challenges….learning the hard way in the real world.

I wished for my mom to feel better and with deep gratitude, she is slowly feeling better. The spark is back in her voice for the most part and she plans to go back to her yoga class every week where she is surrounded by loving class-mates who have kissed her soft cheek after months of her absence.  I am thirty years younger than she is but with Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I cannot do yoga. Yes, I have tried it and couldn’t manage it. I did take Pilates for senior citizens and special needs people but because of my lack of balance, I couldn’t keep up. What was humiliating and embarrassing at the time, is funny now. I am grateful my sense of humor returned.

Tonight, I heard that my husband will have to spend six weeks in Buffalo on a new project. This came out of the blue and he starts immediately. It shocked us both, and within one minute we also heard from our son that he did not get into one of the colleges he applied to. I had to think hard and glean the gratitude of these two events. When my husband said he had “bad news” I thought his (new) job had been eliminated. The fact that he wasn’t let go and still has a job after two years of unemployment is a good thing. I need to wrap my head around the location change. Even though it’s not the end of the world, it’s hard to be a mom of two demanding teenagers when you have chronic pain issues. That my son got rejected from one of the schools he applied to, could very well be a humbling experience for him and a good life lesson. Life speaks to us that way, in gentle tones and whispers unless we ignore them and then we are hit with hard, crashing blasts of turmoil and angst. The decision might not have gone the way you hoped, now stop and think how some things are not meant to be, and that “things happen for a reason.”

We’re constantly (does it really have to be THAT constant?) challenged in ways which we do not expect. Riding the waves, both rough and smooth is part of the process and I am grateful I have learned to do that. I am also grateful that I know myself well enough to know that I need a good 24 hours to process ANY change. After that, things are easier to take and understand. It doesn’t help me from not getting shocked but it does give me a reasonable time frame to get myself together and plan accordingly.

I am also thankful for my family, of course, and my friends. I am equally happy that I can let my feelings, good or bad, out on this computer and learn to process things on my own. I have books to read, music to listen to and ultimately, little control over what happens in the future. With years of trial and tribulation and of experience, I have learned that there are many rough waves in the world to ride out. I just need 24 hours to remember how to do it. For that knowledge alone, I am exceedingly grateful.

Riding The Rough Waves

Good things do happen to good people but sometimes you just have to wait.  I speak from experience, 2 years of physical and emotional hell, and learning old lessons in a new way. From a new outlook, and most importantly, from a new me.  I’m not the person I was 5 years ago, not even 3.  I’m a new person in an old body, and an older soul in the same body.  I am grateful for what I do have. What I don’t have, I probably don’t really need right now; and if I do need it and I don’t have it maybe there’s a reason. I just don’t know what the reason is…….yet.

There are  ALWAYS unfair twists and turns in people’s lives. I don’t have the answer to terrorists or 9/11 or a beautiful baby girl diagnosed with terminable cancer. I’ve learned, however, that we all pay a price in life, nobody goes unscathed. Of course a certain amount of self-indulgence is definitely acceptable.  Why me? Why him? Why us?  There just aren’t answers all the time and part of growing up is the willingness to accept horrible things and still go on. What choice do we have?  We need to learn to ride the waves,  the smooth rippling water and the fierce, crashing undercurrent. There is not one straw that breaks the camel’s back but many, many straws and we need to deal with them, one at a time and probably forever. It’s the way the universe works. Give to it and it will give back to you; maybe not now but sometime in the future.

No one is talking about easy. No one is talking about fun.  It’s your own approach to the world that makes a difference. So, give a little of yourself,  believe that good things will happen and put your energy out there. It may take a good enough amount of time but the last thing you want to do is give up. Play “The Smile Game’ when you feel the most miserable, cranky, depressed or disgusted, smile broadly (even when you don’t feel like it)  go out and see what happens. I KNOW you don’t want to do it, I didn’t either but try (please).  You’d be surprised. People really do react to what they see, we all do.Give a little of yourself to the world, to a child, to a charity and say hello to the universe and to the angels, smiling.

Life is short and it’s a game; sometimes it’s only a crap shoot, other times you have more control.  Believe in something, anything, your G-d, your Buddha, “The Sound of Music” the smell of new cars, Ben and Jerry’s,  Jimmy Choos or for me,  Merrell clogs  While you are on the this good earth, give of yourself, your love, your hope, your time, your gratitude, your patience.  As long as you take the steps to believe in yourself and give to others, you’re more than halfway there.  Welcome home.

for Roland who has helped me, even when the waves were really rough and for Doc who taught me that there were always more straws to break. I thank you.

Mmmmm, Mojito!

My regular cream cheese complexion has salmon and caviar mixed in. Yes, I am a little sunburned and my freckles, (thousands I never knew I had) are dotted all over my body. My lips look like I have 24/7 lipstick on but the truth of the matter is, they are burned too. After a few days of the potent sun of Aruba, even the palest person can be reinvented.

The palm trees sway to give you the occassional breeze, the ocean is amazingly beautiful but to go in you need a lot of dexterity which I simply don’t have. There are pitfalls and ridges, inclines and declines before you are close enough to get in the water and swim. Once in, however, it is everything you have dreamed of and more. Being a water baby, just the feeling of the cool, dreamy blue-green water is enough to make me swoon. You float, on your back, and get carried away by the soft white ripples. When you look down to the sand, there are some beautiful shells. You can see lots of coral but you can’t take it home and with such an amazing environment, you wouldn’t want to take anything away to spoil it for even a second.

Yesterday, we went snorkeling with friends. While my back got twisted and my foot was reinjured, it was worth every second of pain and suffering. There were pretty electric blue fish, fish with yellow and black stripes,  big gray-white fish and a variety of others. To me, snorkeling is the best of both worlds. The world of water and fish and the world of sand and shells. I would not have missed that for the world.  My husband and I had a similar experience 23 years ago in Hawaii where we got engaged.  There, you could feed the fish (approved food you could buy) and they would swarm around you like Bambi and all his friends in the forest. We felt like we were part of the fish community there, not intruders. The fish swam with us not away from us and it was a world that was new and similar to a Jacques Cousteau special; except we were in the movie not watching it from the couch!

Today, our last day, we had a hut with shade and lounge chairs at the ocean.  It was more perfect than perfect could bewith the highlight being a Mojito served to us on the beach. For ALL those who know me, you know I never drink alcohol. I don’t like the taste of any kind of alcohol, it makes my stomach feel queasy and I just don’t like the way even half a drink makes me feel. That is, until today. The perfect mojito, served at the Marriott on the beach in Aruba was just a piece of heaven in a frothy glass. The perfect proportions of mint and lime, rum and some sort of soda. I loved it because you could not taste the alcohol and it was perfectly blended with a whole bunch of fresh mint that you could smell before the glass was handed to you.

I know I could start ordering a Mojito back when I am the States but without the sun, the waves, the crunchy sand between my toes and the armchair with my book “Have A Little Faith” beside me, it just wouldn’t be the same. My husband and I shared one drink but every sip was a perfect balance of all the ingredients, except this time they were kissed by the sun and serenaded by the rippling tides of the ocean music.