Friday, January 9, 2009


One little word 2009.

to be in a vigorous state; thrive;
to be in its or in one's prime;
to be successful; prosper;
to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.
a trumpet call or fanfare.
a condition or period of thriving: in full flourish.

Flourish is the perfect word for me. It's not one of those many "tasks" or "to do's" on my list for 2009, but something I can apply to each and every thing I do this year, whether decluttering, playing with my girls, or canning the harvest from our garden.

Last year my 'Simple Focus' became a bit one sided as things fell behind. I focused but not always on the right things. It was not an easy summer for me healthwise as I waited for the arthritis flare-up to subside as it always had. Except it didn't. It just kept getting worse and stayed into the fall and winter even with prescription meds, keeping me from doing as much of the things I wanted: exercise, bike rides, laps at the pool, pulling weeds, holding the garage sale after purging & decluttering, canning as much of the garden and orchard fruits as I did every year.

Notice the words and phrases: as much, at the pool, after? Ok, so I didn't finish everything I wanted. But I went. I tried. I started. I DID. I kept thinking and telling everyone the truth of what I still feel now: that I have accepted this is here to stay and not due to some weird virus we all had when this hit: I count myself SO lucky to not be alone, that I have a family who can and will help me, right down to Mira who has learned not to squeeze my hands hard and who cheers me on when I am trying to unbuckle her from her carseat. That although there were days when it felt my whole body hurt, I was lucky my hips and spine are not affected. That I am lucky to live in a time when there are so many options (ah, there's another blow to my interest/obsession with pioneer living).

Sure there were days when I couldn't open the deadbolt to let the cat out in the morning, I got stuck in the bathroom because it hurt too much to turn the doorknob (hey - 1930's house here), and once I didn't even want to attempt to walk to the end of the driveway much less the TWO blocks to the park to watch neighborhood fireworks with my girls. At least I recognized and gave my self credit for having just walked all over the neighborhood during the Fall Festival.

But there were definately negative thoughts creeping in and staying. Those missing bike rides. Dreading long car rides that made me crabby and probably miserable to ride with (it was very uncomfortable to sit for long periods). Perpetual embarrassment about the weeds in the garden, overgrown flower beds. The unraked leaves that you can still see on my lawn when the snow melts. The still-there frozen tomato plants that my neighbors have to look at. Yeah, Rich could have done some of that. He was busy busy busy at work and travelling with us and catching up on work after our travels and then taking over some of my other duties.

Flourish is the perfect word to remind me what I have already decided: that I did and can do those things. I still spent the summer at the pool and having picnics. I have a pantry full of apple and tomato sauces. I made three beautiful dresses for the girls. I lost 15# even without being able to exercise. That's pretty good, dontcha think? I do. This year I will enjoy and celebrate every step in accomplishing my goals, and I will Flourish.

Side note: Treatment is going well. I rarely hurt anywhere besides my fingers and elbows which are being quite difficult despite many medication changes. I no longer have to psych myself up to roll over in bed or take each step down the stairs. I run and dance. That is glorious to me. Just yesterday my Dr. assured me that at some point I will be able to make a complete fist again without my pinkies sticking out. Or more importantly - if you know my family - I will be able to hold a handful of legos without dropping them all over!

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