~:: Reset ::~

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.

Birthday at Disney,  2013

including Cars Land

June, going South, 2013

The Desert

June and October, 2013

Blue Hair

November 11, 2013

I think these are just Autumn shots

Gifts for Gin, 2013

What I made

November 27, 2013

The feast

First real snow, first of Dec, 2013

And whining about some people I know

The Crazy Christmas Party, 2013


Christmas Making, 2013

More stuff I made

Christmas Day, 2013

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24 Responses to ~:: Reset ::~

  1. Donna says:

    I am so glad you are back and so sorry you are having so much pain. I had pain for years from sitting in tiny chairs and leaning over all the time…it’s better now.
    I can not work up the energy to write on my blog at all and was taking some warped comfort in the fact that you weren’t writing either…I was in good company. But even now that I am standing alone in the not writing, I can’t see me writing. sigh.
    But I do miss being in touch with you…so now that you are writing, we can be in touch again. :)

    • K says:

      I don’t know how much writing I will end up doing. This week alone has been insane – I’ve sung in the studio and met with old friends, gotten the new entertainment set up (learning curve – arg), had little family things here and there, the printer went out and have to decide what to do about that after hours of trying to make it see reason – I mean, it just never stops. I think one of the things that happened to me was that I started reading again. And I’m at the point in my life where any new thing knocks three old things off the table. You’ll start writing again when you get the snow gone and the house going – because we want to SEE.

      • Donna says:

        I hope so. It really just makes me a little sad every time I click over there and see Homebuilding Countdown and know that so little is getting done and the countdown is nearly at a stand still…Trying to be supportive and encouraging to my little husband without being a nag…very hard line to navigate for me.
        I will show and tell when things happen….and hope someone is there to read.

        • K says:

          Well, that’s what I’m doing here, just hoping someone will care and enjoy going on the ride with us still. Houses always take longer than you think. And the big structural stuff goes up SO fast. I’ve lived through the building of two houses and then additions – and it’s always this way. The insides take FOREVER. Even if you hire people – maybe especially if you do. And then winter makes it impossible to do anything. So you aren’t alone in this. Do NOT give in to the nag. All good things take care and you don’t want slap dash in your real, dear home.

          • wsw says:

            A forever of forevers. Does it ever actually get finished inside? We’re just about 5 years into the reno/rebuild and there is SO much left to do. Even the outside remains unfinished. And you’re so right, it *does* take foreverer if you hire people. I can’t tell you how many times my husband had to re-do what others did so poorly.

            • wsw says:

              Wait, before I release this computer to Eldest Son, I *had* to share that Eldest is using the other computer to complete her Computer Tech assignment. She’s using SketchUp to construct an outlay of our farm, so there it is, our house in all of its unfinished glory. Doors to nowhere. A porch rendered inaccessible due to absent stairs. A lack of railings around the porch…

              I had to laugh. And now I must let ES do his homework. What a terrible role model I am.

            • K says:

              Doors to nowhere. Oooo – I like that. Think of the potential in magic terms –

            • K says:

              I’m laughing. When we finished the house the first time, it had siding on three sides. It had naked pressboard for so many years, Guy’s brother went on his LDS mission and came back and it STILL wasn’t finished. We made MY brother do the finish stuff before he was allowed to leave for his. But still, things that should have been finished thirty five years ago are still on the good intention list. And we’ve added on thrice over those years. You get really friendly with the raw edges and kind of grow to like them. When we built the LL on – how many years ago now, I can’t remember – I was going to make a stained glass window for the eye-brow window in the long wall. I’m still thinking about that – but mostly only when the full moon is up and sends light flowing through that window like it was supposed to be a spot light.

  2. Heidi says:

    It could be the Mom project, too, you know? Sorting those memories is a different kind of core work altogether. I did some boxes myself last summer and went into a two month depression I only recognized once I was out of it. It’s tough stuff. And I know what you mean about not recognizing yourself in the mirror. And the necessity of exercise. I train for my next surgery, whenever that will be, because I remember the weakness that came after the last three. I’m not going back there. Or, at least, I will have some strength for the fight. I hope you are well. I think of you often!

    • K says:

      Heidi, I think of you too. Training for surgery is one of the most intelligent things I have ever heard. And isn’t it odd, how you don’t realize how dark it’s been till you see light again? I think you’re right. I put that project down and haven’t gone back to it for a year. I have to do it, but when I think of starting it again, two things happen – I immediately feel overwhelmed with even the thought of re-gathering the materials to see what I still have to work with, and I find myself weeping, just at the thought of going there. So a double whammy, twisted up skeletal system and the hard Mom thing. that helps. There’s more than one way, too, of getting of the strength for the fight. My sister is helping me, I think, with the Mom thing.

  3. Teje says:

    Hi Kristen! I have missed you and I’m sorry I have been too busy to keep in touch. I feel the same as you and I’m 53 (next Monday). That’s great that you have found a way to exercise – I hope your pains stop. I continue sitting in a bad chair and my hand hurts after working too many hours at the computer and the finger complains about the ‘mouse’.
    Thank you for a great post – I love your writing! Hugs! x Teje

  4. wsw says:

    Now I understand your reference to rehab. Oh dear. I adore my chiropractor. She has fixed me so many times. I need to go see her again.

    I want to say more, but Eldest Son (the melter-off-the-couch, btw) is hovering in need of this computer for his homework. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find computer time thanks to having these responsible homeworking kids. Certainly not a complaint. Just an observation.

    To ergonomics!

  5. Donna says:

    We are only 3 years in our building project, so maybe we aren’t such losers after all. :)

    • wsw says:

      Yeah, we’re something like 18 years into the FIRST major reno of the farmhouse (also unfinished), so I’m pretty sure we hold Homebuilding Loser title. It’s okay. It’s a labour of love.

      • wsw says:

        Ohhhh, maybe it’s actually Kristen and Guy who hold the title… :-)

      • K says:

        But really, when is a house EVER really done? I pity the sort of people who have tons of money and move into something that doesn’t need exploring and expanding – they lack an important creative engine, thus. And certainly, how can a house know what to be until there are people in it, and children really dictate usage in a way that cannot be expected and drawn up in neat blue prints. A home is actually process, not completion. And no home is complete as long as a life is being lived in it.

        • Donna says:

          Let the living begin! I can hardly wait to start ‘decorating’ and putting our stamp on the spaces we have created! I have IDEAS! Lots of ideas!

          • wsw says:

            Kristen, you’re making me cry. And BOTH of you are totally motivating me. I know what you mean, Donna, about having ideas. Ideas that want to move forward. And I’m finally doing a massive purge of stuff – stupid, useless, meaningless, accumulated STUFF – and creating the space for those ideas to grow.

          • K says:

            YES!! Throw open the gates and let imagination come surging through, throwing its head, legs pounding – mane flying.

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