heartbeat of the brain

Last night P&I did an unusual thing – unusual because its not something I incredible enjoy – but he was excited to share it with me, so I went along for the ride…. we watched a concert. He had two options, and I went with the one I figured he would more enjoy …. the Sting & Shaggy 44/876 tour concert in Moscow.

I should say, I’ve had this head addiction to that song 44/876 – since I first heard it…. my head, that voice in there LOVES numbers…. and it loves cadance just as much. And this song services both incredible well – not to mention it has those incredible meaningful and moving lyrics of a typical Sting song… “I try to free my mind, live a life stress free – the politics of this country are getting to me….”

The concert was really fabulous – I’ve always enjoyed Sting as an artist, and this was no exception. Watching him on stage with Shaggy – another artist I enjoy – was just fun. Enjoying it from the comfort of my living room with P was great! There were a few times during the concert, that particular songs elicited super strong emotions for me.

Music does this for me, more than any other art form. Something about the tone, and the lyrics just — its like in the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty – where the fairies are arguing over making her dress pink or blue — my brain picks up on these things and just dances them down the hallway of emotion and my heart just can’t help but pick up this beat and is suddenly overwelmed by a feeling that the song holds.

Sometimes the feelings aren’t really from a personal connection to the emotion, just a sense of what the artist intended when he wrote them. There are not alot of famous people I feel I would enjoy meeting. Most of the time they are not what they are personified to be…. Sting however is one of the handful I feel strongly I would enjoy, because his songs — just tell so many stories that often feel like my garden is being tended. (Heart Garden)

Its kinda funny for me to call it a heart garden – because a few years back when I went to the fitness camp, and I had a session with one of their … I don’t know what he was officially called but he was a type of massage therapist that also did “healing” … this was before the big C took over my life – and in our session – he mentioned that my heart Chakra was blocked, it was overgrown with Rosebushes that hadn’t been tended well… It was such a profound personal thing for him to say, and it struck me – and suddenly I could see and feel what he ment.

Since that session I have strived quite diligently to tend the rosegarden that lives in my heart chakra. Its a beautiful place, and its always in bloom. Some of these Sting songs just bring sunshine, or rain or a soft breeze to this place, and my heart sings.

Today is a chemo day. I always get a little nervous about these days, more so since incidents in January – but overall. While I recognize that its not an unbased fear, or irrational fear – I do feel that many times it just doesn’t serve me. I have not had any specific warnings or concerns that have told me its time to stop this chemo, in fact I’ve had confirmations that this is the time to be doing this … for the moment. Still gives me pause…..

There is a country song I came across a bit back called “What Ifs” by Kane Brown (great video too btw)- that seems just to be the mood of my mind today… plus his voice is like a warm hug. ….

I think part of the worry about today, stems from the little kid in me – the one that is finally feeling better from the last treatment, worrying that I won’t get good days again, that as “billy joel says – These are the days to hold on to… cause we won’t although we will want to…” …. I keep telling her its okay, that we are doing better and better, but she remembers days of running through a playground, and climbing up trees… I don’t know that I’ll ever be that vibrant again – but I will be more vibrant, my light will shine brighter… how do I tell her that its enough? How do I feel that its enough? I’m not 7 anymore, so its not really fair to expect my body to behave like a 7 year old… but what does it feel like to be 47? Is it supposed to feel like this? How does “healthy at 47” feel?

These are the questions my mind ponders. Answers are not readily available – but Hey! seems like maybe the fridge IS working this time 🙂 so there is light, always light, at the end of every tunnel…. and I’m certain treatment will go swift, and easy, and I’ll be doing right as rain in a couple of days … again.

Blogging is like Poo from the head…

As I lay in bed this morning, awake at 5:45 – trying to convince that voice inside of me that is incessant at some times, trying to make me wake up — trying to convince “her” to sleep – please go back to sleep…

I did the normal attempts – prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, bed stretches — these all helped to make me feel calm, and relaxed, but this voice – today was having nothing to do with more sleep.

She promptly started talking up a litany of blog topic/subject things…

A few months back, someone asked me about “how do I blog…” – I said its just stream of consciousness that I type as I think it – I’m a pretty fast typist…. so my thoughts become my words and they make it to the page.

I’m not really a writer, I’m a speaker – because writers manipulate words, and rehash them, mold them like clay into art – and then they revisit them, reshape them and turn them into some vision of beauty. This isn’t me. It’s not that I’m incapable of this, quite the opposite. It’s just not something I enjoy.

Thoughts are my artform. My expression is blogging.

When I fight this “she” that is “me” trying to convince me to wake, her thoughts become more and more tangent in places that are sometimes not good. She/I had an analogy today that both made me laugh and shake my head at the same time. ….. Blogs are like poo that come out the other end….. And there is … I don’t know if its sadly? oddly? Strangely? — its something – not sure how I feel about this but its something…. There is — atleast for me, maybe not for a writer, but perhaps even there… there is some definite undeniable truth to it.

This is the place where I empty my head. Where all the experiences that load in from my intakes – from the news, stories, people, appts, experiences I roam, the nature I see, the sights, the music – where all those things culminate into a symphony of thoughts rising into a cacophony and melding into a brain overloaded – this is where I release them, and set them free from my mind.

Today’s thought started out as a pondering that has been tossing around for a few days – probably some of it will still be tossing around after this blog — How do you handle when someone has different conceptions of who and where you are mentally – and they try and confirm you to their anticipated pathway – when you are no where near that road.

A left field example of this that my mind has brought forth having nothing to do with the reality but feeling much more safe to utilize – Like when someone finds a flavor of ice cream – chocolate butterscotch that they feel “saves the world” – it has an amazing taste, texture and incredible notes of subtle flavor – they have found it is the new health craze – that it provides a cure for every possible human ailment – and they try to convince you that you MUST try this thing – that it will save your life. Totally oblivious to the fact that you are lactose intolerant and abhor – and have for the majority of your life – butterscotch. How do you handle this with grace, tact and shrewd wisdom that does not offend, hurt, and yet enlightens? Still struggling with this silence is golden is the adage that comes to mind. Or honestly a quote/song from the Musical Hamilton — “Talk less, smile more” It eventually led to problems for him – but I have no aspirations of politics so feel I should be fine 🙂

My crepe myrtle trees we planted years back are finally starting to become true to their nature. Its an interesting thing to watch, they are not a full bloomer yet, but they have realized “Oh this is how its going to be, fine” and they have bloomed in bright happy colors this year, which makes me quite happy to see…

My newest sister in law – well that’s what the kids are calling her these days – especially me — made Empanadas – with a recipe from her Gram – and I have to say the things are heaven – Pumpkin Empanadas – and the BEST part hands down or worst part if you are trying to be healthy and limiting things in your diet – is that she didn’t enjoy them so I got 3 times as many of them as the other ones — Apple which I left all too P because they were just NOT as good as the pumpkin. Life is just full of so many great blessings – thank you Gram o T for the bestest yummies I’ve been craving and got to have in a long time — now that pancakes have betrayed me, I am holding my “Iron Dessert” its like iron chef except for its all in my head and tummy – where tastes battle it out for the right to reign supreme. I have to say Empanadas have clearly taken the lead -now to find out if its something I can replicate or not. — This is a very hard competition to hold for me, when your trying to minimize bad things in your diet…. like each competition has to be X time apart which makes it harder to be truly unbiased about voting for each thing as the winner — go figure I guess I’ll get to spend a lifetime re-evaluating each of these 🙂

Personal Mountains

There are two songs that come into my mind as I contemplate this post – “Rockytop” and “Going the distance” – while very very different messages, songs and meanings – they have a similar feeling to me of work it Alethia get to the top.

There is a mountain that I’m struggling to vista. Its an arguable a “silly” mountain – I call it silly because I have, in my short/long/complex life met MANY people, encountered and formed lasting relationships with many people that not only do NOT struggle with this, but have amazing tools for this mountain.

The mountain of my challenge is a mountain of “enough” – Right now, I’m healing, focusing on allowing my body, mind, heart, the much needed time to heal and regenerate. It has been thru a washboard of a ringer, and its on the downlow. Its here, alive, and in a sense thriving – however, it feels “not enough” to me — This is not a judgement I would EVER make to someone else. In fact, its been something I have many many times helped reframe for other people – why is it — the phrase “physician heal thyself” comes to mind — why is it that I struggle so much with this…..

At the end of the day yesterday, P and I were doing our wind down things, and I told him with the self frustration I tend to experience, that I just didnt’ feel – I just don’t feel like I am doing enough. And even as I said this, he laughed and said I was doing more than enough. He named off the check marks in his mind that represented enough.

I know I am doing “things” and that these things are “great” and super valuable for my life and household. I also know I am doing at my limits – often pushing just past to the point that I am super exhausting myself. I know that I have to be careful with this, and I am walking that fine line — another good song “Tightrope

I’m just struggling with this, of — its not that I’m not telling my internal voice “we did good, its enough” — its more that there is a part of me that just doesn’t believe its enough – the Angelica Houston line in that movie Everafter “No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.” — there is a voice inside my head that oddly sounds a little like her from that movie 🙂 — that tells me a similar thing – “no matter how much you have done, there is always more you could do”

Oddly – I don’t think its a pessimistic side of me, or a side that is failing to see the positive of what I’m doing – its more a challenge. It feels like its pushing me to be better, stronger, work harder, take on more….. and in a normal condition — hell what is normal anymore – in a formerly normal condition – its the side of me that would get me inspired to “push it” — but right now, that barbie doll voice just needs her head popped off and to STFU …. I’m good just like I am, and while it may not seem like alot – its all a personal victory to me — and in P’s words — as much as they are NOT super inspiring to me — You’re Alive.

Its not that I don’t agree that being alive is good – its more that, there is more than “just being alive” – I have no interest in “just being alive” – I want life. I want to experience all the pleasures, joys and triumphs of life – I want to feel the wind, hear the rain, see the water drops – not just know its raining. But I suppose, since I feel that was my biggest triumph of yesterday – getting to enjoy my favorite time – the musty smell JUST before the rain — that it was enough.

Just gotta remind myself that “enough” is not a stagnant thing, its a dynamic thing and just because it was former more and that its littler now — sometimes a smaller portion is a better portion – and I should carpe diem and “enough” will continue to evolve as I do.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, above all Stay Happy.

Things that you don’t miss…

I found out today, thru a random conversation with P, that there is a hurricane – now tropical storm hitting Texas. Due to my focus on healing – and screening of as much news and current events as I can since its just so not helpful for healing – I did not even know about this weather event.

P mentioned about it today – when I commented how it was so dark at noon – so we pulled up a report so I could see it. I realized, as we watched a weather report and they showed some – I call it “some” because its always so so filtered what they show you – news about the storm.

I realized after we watched this, and I explored with my mind and yes, I found the storm, and yes I connected some “mental dots” to the horrible headache I’d had a couple of days back, and the general “sinus stuffyness” I’d been experiencing – had my brief AHA moment and realized, this news …. Not something I miss…

Had a other friend, recently make me aware of a DR friend – naturalist that specializes in helping people heal cancer thru things other than conventional medical treatments – I pulled up her website – she is in south austin – not close, but the website looked interesting, until I read one of her informational pieces that she makes her patients give up coffee….

I have given up coffee in the past, for periods of time. I am capable of giving it up physically, emotionally, mentally. I just don’t want to…. and Spirit and I have a agreement that its not something I have to do without. I went back to the friend and told him “yeah not for me because I am just not giving up coffee”

Coffee and I have a long standing relationship. It makes me happy to drink it. I believe that things that make you happy are not only important in life, they are vital. I don’t know or completely understand the why of this happiness, and bluntly I don’t need to… I look for good sourced, good roasted, reasonable priced coffee and support the quality production and humane distribution of quality coffee. And then I grind it, brew it and savour every drop. Its a moment of blissful happiness for me.

When I told the friend about this he just laughed. There are somethings that are part of life. Coffee is part of mine.

Kenny Rogers song the Gambler comes to mind. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

So many good things in life going on, that its just important to constantly remind myself of these things. The chemo brain Dory phenomenon is strong with this one, but I refuse to let bad things sneak in and take over.

I made Masala Chai yesterday – I started adding Masala to my personal definition of my Chai since I learned/was educated that Chai just means “tea” not spiced tea… as I thought and as well, I think most Americans use it — Masala means the specific spices I tend to “use” in my Chai — or rather what is referred to at “starbucks” as chai is actually Masala Chai — or tea with spices, although bluntly Starbucks is mostly sugar with a few things to add flavor – mine, the one I brew at home is spices with a little bit of tea added at the end.

I made my Masala Chai – as I do regularly, its tasty, feel good and a healthy drink I can have when coffee and I are having an “off” day or when I just want something in the afternoon to partner with my water and make my mouth sing. … again I digress, I made my Masala Chai and I share it with my mother and sister, so we took some to deliver to them…. Its a big batch when I brew it – its one of those “chores” that keeps me sane right now, because I love making it, its not difficult or complex, and it makes the entire house smell amazing — like christmas or like a spice market or just like a warm cozy place that is filled with love …. This is something so true about my home that I love the smell of these spices to bring back the happy memories.

We delivered the ‘extra’ that I share to my mom and sister, and as we drove we talked, P & I – as we always do about things …. we also enjoy this time to drive and see all of the wonders and beauty of Texas. We took Starbuck with us on this particular outing…

Starbuck is my baby, and incredible pup … most of the time … He gets so so scared sometimes, and he “wants” to be an adventure dog, but he just gets so nervous and frightened of new experiences. He has ridden in the car before, many times, but not overly recently. He gets barky when he gets anxious… but its an amusing thing to both P & I — the thing that ALWAYS calms him down…

Starbuck loves Pitbull. When he is barky barkerson, just anxious and hyper dog… we put on some Pitbull music and he just settles down. So, in the car, when he was pacing in the back, and just so bark bark.. we put on some Pitbull and immediately, he just lays down and all is right with the world.

I like Pitbull, he is an incredible artist, and a shrewd businessman. I’ve watched him make amazing music, and stay current with the times, but be so good at weaving thru the currents of society, he is truly an incredible artist and just generally, a very smart man. His music isn’t always, heck its not even “normally” my go-to. He is a house music rapper, part of why he is so powerful is that he is smart enough to recognize that he can get his message across, but he needs a “musician” to carry a tune and make it sell. He does compilations, and puts another great artist in his songs, and then he delivers a powerful message, and someone else sings a pretty tune. Its great. Its just incredible amusing to me how MUCH Starbuck loves this guy.

Within the first few refrains of ANY Pitbull song, he is called down from 10 to 2 and then down to zero. I noticed this years ago, and I laughing told R and P that this was the case, they both laughed and didn’t believe me…. However, we have tried and trued this so many times now that its beyond question. In the car yesterday, when he was being so so anxious, first song and he is happy calm dog again. Thank you Pitbull for being brilliant.

One of his latest songs – came out around my birthday is timely and incredible both for me on my personal journey, and for the times… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxMaHi91RkE – I believe that we will win.

So Masala Chai delivered, happy pup back home, comfy Alethia, and happy P led to an amazing night of sleep and a super chill Sunday.

This was going to be…

A post about why there are so many good things in the world but people (humans) seem to focus on the not good things….

But the universe decided instead to provide me an abject example.

Turned on PC this morning – when I was unable to sleep – go figure blame weather, meds or just mental fidgeting….. and once again Microsoft has “done something” to make my internet not work.

P and I have talked about it, and we are going to agree to chalk this up to an “Alethia insanity” thing – where I’m actually believing something that not only probably isn’t true, but is quite enough implausible to be more than just a figment of my imagination.

Sometime ago — circa de IDK how far back so we will call it “a year” – I started experiencing this issue with my PC – my windows PC 🙂 – where I would boot the sucker up and after bringing me the beautiful location of the picture that showed up on my computer in the Microsoft browser, windows would be kind enough to inform me I had no internet connection ….. This seemed strange to me, as it was able to bring up the location on a browser, clearly indicating it “had” internet connection atleast a few seconds before….

This strangeness continued to go on – because when I would use the “handy” windows network screen to “troubleshoot” my network issue – It would find the solution as “reset all network devices” — which would of course bring about P’s more techy side to say “Nope my pc’s working fine, internet connection shows fine, we don’t’ need to reset” – and when I started to agree with him, is when I decided to push the “give microsoft feedback” about the troubleshooter – and magically my internet connection would be working again……

So this has gone on for … X time … and a few months back I decided to start putting in feedback messages asking Microsoft “why” this was happening…. unfortunately, this was clearly a mistake. Now after several updates my “neat/perplexing fix” no longer works…. Go figure, guess they got tired of my “please stop breaking my internet connection” messages. Oops 🙂

So it occured to me, as I was originally intending to post about how “humans” – including myself – unless I’ve suddenly becoming something more or less than human which I’m unaware — although I do have to say the idea of being a cow in one of the fields that we have driven past recently was kinda appealing to me – watching them all crowd under this shade tree and look so community and comfortable – then I thought about all the horrible videos and things I’ve seen about the slaughterhouses, and realized “Yeah not a cow” — I digress, but again with another example of exactly what I’m wondering about — Why as humans do we focus on the negative?

There are so many people doing so many amazing and incredible and “right” things every day. Stepping out and saying “no we can’t do it this way” — Saying “let me help you with that” — Stopping to help. Talking politely and sharing happy information. Helping us to laugh, helping us to learn, helping us – just helping us…. So many, so many times per day – we encounter the “greatness” that is being a human.

Why is it the bad things that stay in our minds? I don’t remember the source but there was/is that comment about the fact that for every bad experience a person will tell 10 people, but for every good experience a person will only share it 3 times…. Why is this? Why do we have a propensity to talk about the bad things 66% more often than the good? Why do we share these? — This is a part of myself I just dont’ understand. I know its part of being human, but that seems like a weak justification for doing something I “KNOW” is not good for my fellow humans, and is not good overall for the energy of the planet — and yet it doesn’t change the fact that I feel almost a bodily function need to share my experiences. I spent a second trying to figure out how best to express this above, and it seems to me that this feeling at its core feels alot like a baby crying. They don’t have words to share what they need/feel/want – so instead they just cry.

Maybe the problem or the source is that when we are forced to endure some experience that is not comfortable, or unpleasant, we just don’t have the right tools – like the baby crying because they don’t have words – we don’t’ have the right tools to release it and go on back to the positive.

I know I share the positive, but I feel a strong passion and compulsion to try and turn around my percent so that I’m not settling for the norm of only 33% positive. …. So while that’s a faulty statistic, we will call that again “Alethia insanity” – it seems much more poignant than just — I don’t know – I feel like overall, I’m a pretty positive person.

I feel I try and stay upbeat and happy — especially now — most of the time. While I recognize I encounter bad or unpleasant things, I also recognize that I am surrounded by abounding blessings that not only deserve, but demand my eternal and service of gratitude. I feel I can work harder to try and share the positive over the negative. To try and elevate the good things.

So while Microsoft is off doing there “Alethia insanity” things – and while it was a 45 minutes worth of trial to get my internet back up and functioning… and while the beef “industry” and I have a few unresolved traumas — These are not the whole of the world. These are not the whole of my world. These things have a place, and do require attention, but they are not the universe. They are not the majority of the universe.

I’m going to focus on my blessings – like enjoying this beautiful sunrise. The amazing weather we have had the past few days. The clouds with their inability to linger at one height or the other, and tormented by so much water as to practically drip from the sky. The kind souls I will get to meet and greet at my doctors appts today. The kind souls at my Starbucks who went in super early, and will be super happy and cheerful to pour me a cup of my favorite beverage and will provide me with an uplifting smile and a happy jolt to start my day. The clear roads – with less traffic, that allow for an amazingly relaxed commute to my appointments. The loving man that will be my “driver” for this trip. The safe journey I’ll have, and the fun insights that will occur in the world to make my moment, day, life richer and better.

So many blessings. Positive Vibes Abound.

The beat goes on…

Two songs: The beat goes on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS3O5zg290k and We got the beat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f55KlPe81Yw

These two songs seem really appropriate to celebrate a particularly good report card. Had results from my tests, and they look good – all of them look good.

My body still feels – well lets just say I don’t feel like a spring chicken right now. Tired is the overall feeling. Healing takes alot of energy and effort. Chemo is very harsh. Meds in general very harsh. — However, celebrating the good things is what we do – we are going to enjoy this moment of blissful happiness. The tests all looked good!!

We are winning! Battle has a ways to go still but the precipice looks swell.

My little Starbuck scared me a little the other night be being “extra loving” this sounds a little odd to say, but he just isn’t overly the cuddling type and he decided in the middle of the night that he NEEDED to cuddle. Like he climbed up and layed in the middle of my stomach against me and just layed there resting for a half hour. When I had given him enough attention he migrated down to beside me and again laid here for a half hour. I’m not certain whether he was feeling out of sorts or just sensing I was nervous, either way it was pretty great all-be-it concerning because its just so so out of character for him.

The tree with fruit in my backyard – I should say the one of the four we planted that has managed to “survive” my drastic gardening style is looking amazing – the fruit is green presently, but pretty certain its the mandarin orange tree – so we will have just a ton of these soon in the early fall when they finally turn orange.

This is such an interesting time to be alive. So many things are stretching people – family, friends, strangers – to be a better version of themselves. Watching and being able to see people come together, and grow and evolve is so powerful. Not to discount the craziness of “when its not positive” but the positive things just so so far outway the other, it’s like the Sun peeking thru the dark clouds. Its an amazing overshadowing and creates such amazing possibilities.

I’ve been blessed to talk to and see, and read so many of the amazing things people are finding they CAN do during this time – while still staying safe, healthy and happy. Its so so inspiring.

In the course of my healing, I’m finding that the more relaxed I get the faster time just seems to whiz by for me. I’m still enjoying making my marsala chai, and soup – I’m hoping to soon add a homemade empanadas into my repertoire – while they aren’t always the healthiest thing, my plan is to make them and then find a way to adapt them. Plans are great – I still haven’t done this yet with the cheesecake recipe I managed to persuade out of my stepmother – so we will see if the plan happens.

Have been considering all the places in the world I’m looking forward to exploring and the list just keeps getting longer. Realized recently I’d really like to go see Mount Rushmore and see the Grand Canyon. They are just places that have always seemed like touch points for me about what this country must have been like 100 years ago.

They are building this huge entertainment complex thing just across from the Dell Diamond – down the road a short distance from my house. I’ve been watching it evolve during this isolation time – its supposed to open the end of the year. It has so many elements, but it’s definitely been progressing – I wonder how it will be later in the year.

Got the chance to talk to one of my favorite Starbuck Managers yesterday before test results – he is an amazing guy – his store is ALWAYS busy – but typically very very fast. It was a day when things were slow like molasses, and he was lamenting over losing another 5 employees. At a smaller store like his, this is a huge thing. Apparently starting salaries at Starbucks are low for the economic conditions right now, and that’s making it challenging to hold onto people when they have options of other places to go to make more money. Here is hoping that they recognize the shortcoming and correct the course.

Still waiting – so so long later – for my fridge to be fixed. Its become a sort of game between P & I about hot potato on meals. It will certainly be nice when its repaired, the guy yesterday came out and identified “another” part that is causing the problem. Here is to hoping that this time is “the one” and that they are able to get it, fix it and have it repaired soon.

A friend mentioned today about an AC being out – it certainly put my fridge into perspective. if I had to chose the fridge while very inconvenient definitely a lot more comfortable being out than the AC – just consider myself blessed that this hasn’t happened to us in the summer. Thank you universe for protecting this appliance, and our home from AC issues in the heat of a thousand suns. That expression, “texas is hot as hell” holds alot of truth – and there is a reason why the AC is one of the most precious appliances in the house – bless its little heart.

Still riding the incredible emotional high for a good report card on health tests. Somethings still need work, but we are getting there – progress is evident, and things are working as intended. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Would you like fries with that?

Sometimes people come and go from your life – sometimes it feels like a drive thru – they are poof there then gone. Other times they linger – like the cranberries song – Linger

I’ve had my share of people that are just amazing – whether they were the drive thru variety or just seemed in hindsight like the drive thru variety or whether they were the fellow employees sharing the bane of having to ask each customer “would you like fries with that?”

There are always memories. Even if they are a wisp – like a cool snap breeze on a an early summer evening.

Life is full of surprises.

Right now, my mind goes from one memory to another – the really only consistency is the fact that there is nearly always a song attached to my memories.

Shared one with P today – a play list I made for a friend – gamer friend. He recently – I suppose its been almost a year at this point – amazing how that term recently changes as you age. I remember when “recently” used to mean past week/month at max – and now it encompases “years” sometimes. Had a conversation once about this with my paternal grandfather – when he explained something that he called recently that was before I was born as we continued the discussion. BUT I digress….

I had made this playlist called “Gnome Powa” for a friend. It was during the last expansion of a game we both play – there was this challenge mode thing and he was playing a “gnome mage” which way too complicated to explain here – he was streaming and I was watching him struggle. I realized he had the wrong tempo, and so I quickly thru together a playlist for him.

This is one of those “super power of Alethia” things I have – an ability to see a situation and feel the music for it. Its an AMAZING superpower, but not really financially leverageable. Which kinda makes me smile – because I wouldn’t give this superpower up for all the money in the world. There is something about the art in it that is more fun than money could possible buy. Its not my only superpower, but I have to say kinda hands down its one of my favorites.

Had an instance earlier in the week where spirit had me communicate with a friend about a circumstance she is going thru and I feel it was a beneficial communication, it allowed me to utilize another of my superpowers – again not one I am personally able to leverage – especially right now – although many people do – its the power to talk to spirit and get answers. Mostly it’s because I work for spirit. It’s not really a paying gig but its highly rewarding.

P and I made an interesting observation or rather I made it and shared it and he laughed but completely agreed. Apparently I’m prejudice against woman for most of my interactions. This came, when I realized in the game I’m playing these days when I can – Animal Crossing (AC) – I really mostly dislike all the female characters on my island. I don’t adore all the male ones – but its more rather of the ten characters the three I adore are all male. Its not so much that I hate/dislike all woman. Its more that there are often times I find myself feeling the need/desire to hold them to a higher standard. This reflection comes as an interesting one for me – considering I’ve always been feeling like there is 100% an inequality in this country for woman – its particularly prevalent in alot of the areas I’ve been exposed to over the past 20 years. To hold such a strong feeling and be part of the problem was an interesting revelation. Eyes wide open and such.

Was trying to find some songs today on Spotify – songs that have resonated for me for years – from my experiences when I regularly attended a christian church. Most of my memories from that time are song or performance – these are the things I held onto – and basically let all the other BS go – there was a show performed by some incredible artists at the time – the story of Joseph – and there was a song called “When god closes a door he opens a window” – which is apparently called “Dreamer” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slEheK0cfOg – spotify wasn’t having it. Good song, kinda one that has been like a lighthouse in my life for the 35-40 years since I heard it.

Had the scans/tests this week – I get the progress report all in one day on Tuesday. I’m a little nervous about this. I feel there will be really good news, and some potentially not so good news. I feel like it will be helpful to know and also sorta less optimistic to know – so basically it will be a reflection of life – all in the span of about 8 hours of 4 teledoc appts. I think its nicer for it to be teledoc 🙂 because then I can just get the news in the comfort of my own home and just enjoy my coffee and water and get hugs from P and Starbuck.

Maybe less rambling next time, but for now wrapping up like an old bugs bunny cartoon – thats all folks.

The present

So many definitions to that – so many ways to see and take it. “the present” really is a present – its not something you can assume will go on and on forever – for good or bad.

Its like when you have a birthday and there are no “presents” – sometimes presents are wrapped – and you get to unwrap something that is already there – something just waiting for you to enjoy.

Sometimes presents come as unexpected arrivals of things or people that were just not anticipated or expected and just bring joy and surprise – showing us the blessings to be grateful to for the “present”

The moment we are in, alive and living – is the “present” of the present. The past is all the memories of joy, bliss, opportunities, and other times that maybe weren’t so amazing. The future is things of possibilities, nothing is written – its all “maybes” from the universe. This is just not the case of the present.

It’s here, now in this breath, this heartbeat, this blink of an eye. Its an infinite amount of time to laugh, smile, hug, dance, to feel the joy of the moment. It won’t be here forever, because it will be “another” in a moment. Its limited by our time, by our constraints, but its also circular. Coming back to us with each heartbeat.

I’ve been asking myself over and over again – what is my present? What do I want to be doing in this moment. I find myself laughing more, enjoying sitting on my porch and just watching the birds – feeling the heat – yes the heat.

Texas heat isn’t like other places. Its like a rollercoaster. it comes up super quick, and then it topsy turvy turns and falls to a manageable level. Sometimes its dry heat, that pulls moisture from your bones, other times its wet heat that makes your clothes take up permanent residence on your body, like a grunge dancer. This week has been a perfect example – record heats that just make you almost delirious with the feeling. Somehow, in my present, its been my present to spend a few moments – not too long – in this heat and go “wow thats the heat again” and feel my body go “Yep thats super hot, maybe we shouldn’t be standing out here in it” – and just counting another breath to experience it.

So so many experiences. Just feeling that heat upon my arms, and my skin kissing it with this super hot brush. Then walking back into the house, where I’m immediately surrounded with this freezing cold internal temp. AC is quite enjoyable, particularly after that heat.

There is just something enjoyable about driving in this heat, with the windows open, feeling the AC brush past you as the hot air brushes in, both mingling and providing this cornucopia of temperature sensations. Especially when the drive is providing vistas of wide open spaces, with wind blowing off the fields – hot wind.

The allergies have also been high – go figure “grasses would be high” when the weather is so up and down – lots of rain to feed them, lots of warmth to help them grow – lots of people to cut them 🙂 — Heads pounding from too many sensations for my sinuses, reminding me I’m alive, reminding me that in this present, there are “things” actively going on around me – nature is having a dance party and my nose is invited to dance with them.

Had the tests this week – the contrast injections are becoming a bit harder to flush out of my system – I slept super late today, and its made my day feel a little wonky. Was almost late for an appt scheduled – thank you to P for waking me from an amazing sound sleep to bring me awake to the Present. Thank you for my present.

Dream Therapy

Today was the MRI – and it went – well the ARA place is so so weird right now with the COV procedures – like you register on your phone or computer and then you wait to be called/texted back – then you do the prescreen, and then you do the check in – then you sign the papers, and then you wait. They only have like 7 chairs for waiting – so they are basically queuing up people in a manner to insure that they don’t have overflow of people. This means effectively where I’d talk to 2 people my whole visit for tests in the past, now I’m dealing with 7-8. So so crazy. I don’t really think it was any faster lol – took about the same time, just so so many more hoops to jump thru. On the plus side, all of the people were super nice, and they didn’t feel rushed so Go go new policies. Also the place felt very clean which is – well it doesn’t feel dirty usually but it definitely feels super clean now. Due to these things, they were also super fast with the actual test lol so test seemed ALOT faster. Here is hoping results are good and just as fast.

Had a dream last night – it was one of those super imagination ones that for me are often so so therapeutic especially right now. Christopher Robin was all grown up – same actor from the movie recently – but in my dream he was a new type of doctor. Sort of medical sort of Not – like psychology/mental/emotional doctor. He had this office that was just like a college doctors office. We went in and talked, and he said to me, “well thats enough information Alethia, I’m quite certain you need some Pooh Therapy.”

I was immediately intrigued, and he explained that it couldn’t really be explained it had to be experienced, but would I like to spend some time in his Hundred Acre Woods. I ofcourse said yes emphatically – caution to the winds as it is most times in my dreams.

He explained that time runs differently there…. that he would only have me in the woods for the remainder of my hour – it was a therapy session of sorts, but it would feel like as much time as I needed it to feel inside – days, months, years – however long I needed to get the therapy out of it that my body was craving.

He had a wooden door that popped out of the wall that suddenly was a tree with a door on it – a little lower than I was tall – and he said, well this will never do – he grabbed a toy beam gun thing that looked sorta lazer like but more like a pop gun, and pointed it at me, and started making this sound – space gun sound, and winding it in a circle, and suddenly I was shrinking.

I became just a little shorter than the door. He opened the door and shouted inside “Pooh, I’ve a vistor for you. Her name is Alethia and she needs to spend some time with you and your friends – is this a good time?” – There was a laugh at the end of the pathway, echoing back up – and it replied “its never a bad time for you Christopher, go ahead and send in this new friend, we will make her at home, and let her find what she seeks”

After that, Christopher adjusted his arm and glanced at his watch. “Right then, off you go. I’ll call back at the end of our hour, it would be kinder to me at this time – I’ve so many other patients – if you were to come out on your own when I call. Thank you Mrs. McNeely – I’m excited to hear next week all about your visit but for now, Pooh is waiting. Have fun”

At this I started down the path, it was dark at first, but I followed down and I was suddenly abruptly inside the hundred acre woods. I was wearing – lighter fluffier versions of my clothes that didn’t seem very attached to me at all, but I also found I had a basket with a few things, including a bucket of Honey. This was a VERY happy thing which Pooh eyed as soon as I arrived.

“Oh what a wonderful guest” Pooh clapped and shouted in glee “to bring a basket of lunch for us to enjoy” – We started down the walk and I felt as though all of my body – all of my difficulties melted off of me, like a shadow being left behind. I stopped as I felt this, to which Pooh stopped too. I looked behind to realize I had no shadow. I frowned in a minor questing sense.

Pooh asked “something the matter?” – I said “well, my shadow is missing” – Pooh said “Oh dear, do we need this shadow?” – I replied “well, it seems like its always been a part of me, and I do hope it didn’t get lost or attach to someone else” – Pooh said “right we will go see owl…. after lunch… he will know where to find this or if it will come back to you after its gone off exploring”

The rest of my days there started much the same way. Pooh found me a small cottage to live in , and he and Pigglet came every morning to take me out exploring. We did find my shadow. It had gone off and was fishing with Eeyore – it took a few weeks to find this.

We visited Rabbit, Gopher, Kanga, Roo – and a few other people who I’d never heard of before – My time seemed so long, but the days were without number and I honestly felt like I was just going to be blissfully living there forever. Time just passed, and I wasn’t super aware of it at all, which is just not typically me. I slept, we ate sometimes but mostly Pooh ate honey – which magically seemed to appear all over the place all the time. I tasted a tiny bit of it once, and it was very gammy – it had a unappealing taste to me. The carrots Rabbit offered were a touch better, but overall I just wasn’t hungry. The rest and sleep periods seemed so satisfying… quiet, comfortable, and carefree.

My shadow seemed content fishing with Eeyore so I waved it good bye as I headed for exploring with Pooh.

There was suddenly a call and Christopher let me know it was time to head back now. Pooh called out and asked if I had to go so soon. They talked a little bit, and his bear like plight for me to say was not effective enough. Christopher expressed I’d be coming back again soon most likely. I headed to the doorway, and the whole hundred acre woods was suddenly there to throw me a going away-coming back soon party. They had cakes and drinks and magical fireworks that didn’t require lighting but shined and flared like sparklers. It was a grand party, I hugged each of them, and took in memories of their smells and feelings, to carry back with me.

As I walked back up the dark pathway in the tree, carrying two cupcakes – one for me one for Christopher, I began to feel much taller, either that or the passage was getting smaller. This hurried my steps and as I reached the door into his office, I was suddenly full size.

The cupcakes didn’t arrive quite as well as when I left, but there was something in the lingering magic, as I quickly handed him his and shoved mine into my mouth. It had a glowing sparkling light that was fading so fast as I entered his room.

He reached over and hugged me, and asked how my adventure was… I couldn’t use words, tears streamed down my face…. and he nodded. He understood.

“thank you for your visit Mrs. McNeely, we will schedule you again for next week I think?” he smiled and said.

“Yes please, it was so…..” My mouth wouldn’t work “beyond words.” I said and nodded.

The dream faded, and I realized that the bathroom was calling me, and even my sleeping state I’d slept so much better than in a while, and longer than expected. Sometimes dreams are powerful healing tools. Thank you Pooh for your help.

Exam time again…

A few months back I realized that these retests aren’t really much more than a progress report on my status for my doctor /partners in health. They aren’t my bosses, but more my coworkers/teammates, and these are a way of checking on our project status.

Somehow this “great” mindset, doesn’t really make me that much less nervous or stressed – but it does make me frame it in a way to see a value in it and recognize its not really powerful. Its a single datapoint – all of them. Into whats going on with my body.

Have MRI tomorrow and then CT & Bone scan Wed – all with contrast which will be icky. Overall I’m feeling tired still from the chemo, but its lifting a little day by day. These tests are – well historically – they will make me a little more tired – I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I get so stressed and concerned about them before – which I’m working very hard not to do. They provide a single data point, they do not define me or the state of my condition.

So many wheels turning with things in our society right now. Emotional, Physical, Political and just Social or Mental. – Everyone has an opinion, not many have a good source of facts – just a few sprinkled in like topping on a really good yogurt – not really necessary but they sure make things seem pretty…. or miserable – I suppose if you don’t enjoy yogurt.

P and I have been observing a phenomenon of …. how to put this – its like Lemony snicket of annoying — vs unfortunate things. They are REALLY annoying but they don’t impact the life of things that matters – atleast not for the long term. There are just so so many of them. I’ve been thinking that maybe these are the balance for all of the “good things” that are and will be coming. Gotta have the balance and geez if thats the case — THANK YOU For Fridges going out – because of all the kings horses and all the kings men its a much easier humpty dumpty to put back together than any of the alternatives.

I think I’m finally being able to — at my core or root — better understand the need to appreciate these annoying things – to be truly thankful for them. Its not that I need to give word or thought to what they could have been that might or WOULD have been so much worse, its just to recognize that they are small vs big – and to be so so thankful and to feel so blessed that I just have small ones to deal with – ones that are totally within my wheel house to resolve – all be it harder at this moment. But thank you so much universe for atleast giving me ones I CAN address right now, verses ones that I can’t.

There are – and have always been – just so so many blessings in my life. Blessings without number, positive happy things of a count like the stars – continuously increasing.

P has been telling me jokes lately – and some of them are just so left field but most are just so amusing they make me laugh out loud and he seems to enjoy the fact that he was able to get to do that.

I’m very happy for my health. For the Health of the people in my life, for the blessings of safety, health and happiness of my house and my family.