Spring Storm

Snow with StormI don’t really want to blog about the weather, but I woke up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground and it has continued to snow all morning. I planned to go to Tai Chi class but decided that riding my stationary bike for 30 minutes would do the trick for today. This is the most exercise I’ve gotten since my husband Steve was diagnosed with cancer about a month ago. The picture here is called Snow Storm because it’s a picture of the snow outside my family room  window and my grandson Storm is looking out. Just a few days ago I posted pictures of my flower garden in the front yard and it was so spring-like. Now we are slammed with snow. I can’t help but see this as a metaphor for life. We make preparations (I had my garden tilled, I fertilized the lawn, I planted flowers, I pulled weeds) for life events, and then things don’t exactly turn out like we expected. What’s that saying? “Life is what happens when you are making other plans.” So true. However, there is goodness in the snow. It will add moisture to the grass and flowers so they will grow better. Adversity helps us grow. It’s just uncomfortable while it’s happening.

Steve is feeling great today and is planning to finally get the taxes done, before midnight.

Dreaming

car crash   bwI have studied the meaning of dreams over the last several years. My  husband and I used to moderate a dreamwork group at our house, and I teach dreamwork at the AHNA annual conference. I used to be a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. So I know a little about dreams. Last night I had a memorable one. Here it is: My husband is driving me to JC Penney’s to get a new outfit for work. About half way there I tell him we need to go back home because I will be late for work. It is to be my first day and I want to be on time. He says we have plenty of time and I say no, I still need to take a shower and get ready. Right after that a blue truck comes right at us head on. It hits our right headlight and spins out of control. My husband and I are not hurt at all, not even jarred. As the truck comes to a rest, I look over and see a woman passenger and a man driving. They are very calm and obviously not injured. There was something about them that was sort of friendly. Interestingly, I think that the accident would work as an excuse to be late for work that day, and I am relieved.

I worked the dream with my husband and have come to the conclusion so far that the dream is telling me that it will still be awhile before I can go back to work. It was interesting that the truck hit our headlight, symbolizing my eyesight. I’m a little disturbed that it hit my right eye, which is my “good” eye at this point. I also think the people in the truck symbolized my care providers and  how they are good people and mean the best for me, but my current condition is a bit of a car wreck. And it’s OK that I’m not working yet. The fenders (my vision) will be repaired. Patience is key. If you have any ideas about the meaning of the dream, please add a comment.

I also found a scripture about patience this week. Jesus said,”In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19). I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it stands out for me. I tell people that I am learning patience, but I’m sure not learning it fast enough! Dreaming about it helps.

Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella blue dressI saw the Cinderella movie and loved it. A recurring theme was “Have courage and be kind.” When I first heard it I didn’t think the two elements matched up well. But as the movie progressed, I realized that having courage can be difficult and challenging, but pairing it with being kind is a beautiful way to live a holistic, well-balanced life. It’s funny how those fairy tales work! I was also reminded how important it is to be yourself, and accept others as themselves. It was a great evening of learning and reflection. Thank you Disney.

Plateau

PlateauWell I am still dizzy when I walk, can’t read well at all, and have fatigue. I am experiencing a major plateau in progress but know I will get through it. This is life: mountains, valleys, and plateaus. A plateau is an opportunity to coast for a while, and develop patience. A few days ago I had about 2 seconds of completely normal vision. That was awesome and keeps my hopes up. I stopped walking the mall and now walk with my husband at an indoor track at the county recreation center. Once I develop more stamina, we will take a fitness class, like Yoga, at the recreation center. Onward.

The Peaceful Pelican

PelicanCountdown to surgery: 6 days to go. The last two days I have been super busy at work getting ready to take a couple months off. I am surrounded with loving, concerned and positive people. I am a blessed woman. A couple of people asked me today if I was nervous. I am not nervous in the least. I have been given a gift of peace and calmness. Not sure why I have been given this great gift, but I will just take it and say thanks. Maintaining a feeling of peace is effortless. It is just “there” for me.
Since  my first symptoms appeared I have had insomnia. Last night I slept very well and had a wonderful dream. I was at a holistic nursing conference with new nurse friends. A conference symbolizes learning and nurses symbolize healing and caring. We were in a car traveling to reach the top of a mountain so we could hike down it and back to the conference. That was an interesting symbol – why would I want to hike down the mountain instead of up the mountain? Could the mountain symbolize the tumor or surgery and hiking down symbolize my readiness to get over the experience and continue learning (symbolized by the conference)? In the dream I looked out the window of the car and saw a beautiful, huge, very white pelican land on the water in the bay next to the road. It was majestic and spread its wings in a loving sort of heart-shaped way. Looking at it made me feel loved and safe and peaceful. I looked at the nurses I was with and knew they did not see it and I told them I saw a pelican. It seemed important for me to let them know I had seen it..This pelican image has stayed with me all day and when people ask me how I’m doing or if I am nervous about the surgery, I visualize the pelican and I am happy, calm and peaceful. I see the pelican floating peacefully on the calm water. Emotions are often represented by water in dreams. This symbol goes along with the symbol of “sailing through” this experience that I mentioned in another blog.  I imagine the water being safe and calm, which I can use to calm myself if needed. But so far, I don’t seem to need calming. The loving, peaceful pelican symbol is just “there” for me, a part of my inner being. Is that cool or what??

Getting Paid to Eat Cake

CakeI visited a college campus yesterday and asked some faculty members, “What’s it like to work here?” One nursing instructor said, “I love to come here every day. It’s like getting paid to eat cake.” I have never heard that term before. It’s a metaphor for loving your job.
Now that the New Year has arrived, perhaps it would be a good time to reassess our job satisfaction. Do you feel your job is like “getting paid to eat cake?” Why? Why not? What changes would make your job more enjoyable? Notice how you answer that question. Are you pointing fingers at others who can improve your job satisfaction? I’m thinking only I can affect my job satisfaction. I can’t change other people. So here’s a New Year challenge: Choose one thing you can do NOW to make your job get closer to feeling like getting paid to eat cake. Then keep making small changes until you love your job. Or find another job that is tastier. Good luck!