I don’t know if this starting again will work. Mostly because I don’t know why it stopped working in the first place. It has occurred to me that the problem might have been in having too much to say, and not enough lift to sort it all out. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, does it? And there was the genealogy, which is still on-going – and which I will try to explain at some point, but not now, because unravelling the complexity of my motivation is pretty much worth my life. And there was the fact of a physical crash.
Last January I started the year’s first big project: the book of my mom’s life. Full time, I was scanning, re-touching and color correcting, reading and re-reading her personal history, trying to establish a time-line and identify which pictures came where. Somewhere in the middle of the second month, my little body began to crash. Okay, my desk was so far from being ergonomically set up as to be just stupid, but that’s because I never really plan anything out; I just get an idea and plunge into things. When idea and plunge happen simultaneously, I can’t stop to line up my tools or worry about where my monitors are.
I got yelled at for that, for working in deeply unergonomic circumstances. Murphy, the computer mavin, lectured me and made me take everything off the desk and set it up intelligently. More intelligently, I mean – which still may not actually be qualifiable as fully intelligent. To be fair to me, I’d already bought an ergonomic chair, one of those kind you’re supposed to sort of kneel in. Of course, sometimes I just sort of put my feet where your knees are supposed to go – But all this was sort of shutting the barn door after the horses are all gone.
After some eight or so years of spending hours and hours in front of that bad set-up, twisting my spine wrong and using the dang mouse with my right hand – I was in trouble. My back was killing me and my right arm was alternately numb and aching, like it had bursitis. I went to the doctor and asked for a course of heavy anti-inflammatories, because that had helped before a couple of years ago. Took the meds and felt much better – for about four days. Then it was all back again. Couldn’t sleep because of back and arm.
And every time I got up from the couch (where I curl up and write or read or eat-on-the-fly, or knit, or whatever) I walked like a little old person, all bent over – couldn’t straighten up for a couple of minutes. Constant pain of many different kinds in many different places, and mainly in the small of my back. Which scared me. Cancer can show up as a back ache. Blood clots in the lungs can show up as middle back pains. All of a sudden, I was feeling very mortal.
So, okay – I’m sixty one. But that’s just information.
The more essential truth is I went into age denial at about 48, around the time I stopped recognizing my face in the mirror. Aging is a little like childbirth – only your bestest, wisest friends will remember to warn you not to take your pre-preg jeans to the hospital when you finally deliver, assuming that baby-going-out means jeans-finally-going-back-on. And maybe nobody CAN warn you about how the machine your spirit is running is finally going to wear down. How it begins to lag in efficiency. The cameras start to fail, and the microphones, and the gears. And I’m supposed to think that living another thirty years can still be a picnic?
So anyway, it came to me to go to this chiropractor that Chaz and Lorri both used after car accidents, suggested by their very-not-ambulance-chasing lawyer (discussion of what car insurance does NOT do for you and why you actually much engage a lawyer at another time) because this particular chiro-practice is very quantified and effective and is accepted in the courts as responsible information. I thought, if I go there, they can tell me if this IS a back problem or not – and if it is, they might help. And if it isn’t, we’ll go from there.
So I went. And found out some astounding things about my muscular/skeletal state. And went into rehab – and have been in rehab since September. And things are getting better, much better. By rehab, I don’t mean lying on a work-out ball and gently rolling back and forth. I mean getting strapped into weight machines and hauling huge amounts of weight using only my neck. Or my core. This stuff is WORK.
But the fact remains that, sometime in February, it was like somebody pulled a plug on my energy, and I am still dragging. Is it just age? I don’t know. I have done a million things in spite of all this. I do at least two miles on the treadmill every single day, and sling hay, and argue with horses and make stuff.
But even back in May, when the fam took me to Disneyland, I didn’t feel like I had half the energy even to want to go. I don’t know. Maybe I am old. That would – ummm – suck eggs. To find that I actually am as old as I look. Which is bad.
——- January 7th
Oh PHOOEY. The problem is that I can’t WANT TO DO ANYTHING. Like I’m exhausted all the dang time. WHY IS THIS? I can think of reasons for every dang month in the last year, but it’s not like last year was any different than any other year. Well, I’m finished with the whining. I’ve put images up on Flickr since last year, meaning to blog them. And now I’m going to do it and back date the blogs. But they’ll all be under the old, wilted header image.
And I’ll try to remember to put links to the backdated stuff here – I mean if anybody wants to read what a big fat whiner has to say. Or see what a whiner – wait, you can’t actually see whining, can you? Maybe you can. Well.
Oh, poop, anyway.
including Cars Land
I think these are just Autumn shots
What I made
And whining about some people I know
Christmas Making, 2013
More stuff I made